An article yesterday in The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2184032,00.html by John Harris suggests that we will somehow suffer from the demise of the labels stating that “Witness the Jam in 1978, commanded by a young Paul Weller, on their third album and floundering. The man from Polydor paid them a visit in the studio and curtly told them their new songs were “shit”. They regrouped, wrote some better ones, and released the superlative album All Mod Cons, which kickstarted their spell as Britain’s pre-eminent guitar group, and with it Weller’s three-decade career.”
In the new digital arena, live music becomes a more valuable revenue source as does radio (internet or not). Bands make less moeny from recording songs and more from other activitties that I would argue get them off their arses and back where they should be – playing live. Let’s get back to the man from Polydor. In the new business model, the man from Polydor would still be interested in finding new bands and helping them as those bands would still be making money. Just because the value chain changes and there is no room for labels doesn’t mean that bands don’t make money. Maybe they make less than they did! Maybe there is less dosh to spread around the groupies! Maybe they have to play more live concerts! No tears!