"...whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved" - Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (1859)
Apple Music launched last week, confirming what most musicians have known for a while. The music industry is no longer really about record sales.
The digital audio marketplace has been paired with, what is essentially, Spotify on uppers to help reshape the wilted, jilted and stilted recorded music marketplace. Music has grown beyond the solid gift-wrappable product that it was to become a digital imaginarium which can be access all areas for anyone with an iPhone/Spotify shaped library card.
And its the best news we could have hoped for!
At one time all you really needed was a good album. (You didn't even have to be singing on it!) Just take a nice photo, interview well, lip-sync for SMTV and have bags, and bags of street credibility. Or blonde hair dye.
If you could get some sexy people to be the face of a strong musical product; you had a goldmine on your hands. Sell records. Charting guaranteed a BIG payout. Touring was always needed and almost always happened AFTER the album dropped.
At a time when recorded music makes SO much less than it ever has being able to put an album together is not all there is to it.
Now its about selling out.
If you can sell out a venue, you're a gold mine. Increasingly greater numbers of artists, signed and unsigned, are touring their material, gigging and building their fanbases without having ever set foot in a studio. More and more execs flock to artists who can fill a string of pubs, halls, arenas; who may never have recorded before because the LIVE performance stock is UP!
And is it really a surprise? Standing in the front row, back row, on the wings, in the rafters; with the boom of the amps and the buzz of the live moment will always, in my opinion, be irreplaceable. It's priceless, and those performers, DJ's and songwriters that can bring us all together are the ones that have a fighting chance. Their life is no longer just in your hands, but in the stands.
Darwin nailed it;
This is an evolution of species.