Saturday, December 05, 2009
An interesting piece on the economics of the pop music business. Steve Albini's definitive article on the subject is here. When you think about the history of recorded popular music one of the first things that comes to mind is the exploitation of the artists. You read again and again how so-and-so died broke, even though his records sold millions, and maybe you think that things have changed. I'm not so sure they have. Digital distribution, as opposed to slabs of plastic sold in brick-and-mortar shops seems as though it should result in more money going to the artists, but the reality is that the labels are in the business of promotion more than anything else, and this has always been true.