A decade into the snake oil and lies of the empowered internet musician the truth bares itself out over and over again. In a recent case study the band Quiet Company said of their promotional experiment with Grooveshark in an interview with Digital Trends,
“I think for years now, as far as back as [Quiet Company] has been together, people have been talking about how different the music industry is and how the Internet has changed everything and how we’re all looking for a new model.”
“After everything, I’m not sure there is a new model. The old model is still the model, it’s just that the Internet made it way worse.”
We’re not surprised in the least as we’ve previously noted how Grooveshark’s infringement based business model could easily be described as “Notice and Shakedown.” Even tech progressive artists such as Zoë Keating have struggled with the service. Zoë could not get her music removed from the site after issuing at least six DMCA notices to Grooveshark.
So it’s strange to us despite there being near universal agreement on just how bad this service is for artists that some people still don’t get it. Of course these always seem to be the same people that defend every other service that rips off musicians and pays them nothing like The Pirate Bay.
One tech blog actually said after the Pirate Bay verdict, “The folks this will hurt the most are those content creators who actually do value The Pirate Bay.” But we doubt that as it’s not like there aren’t tons opportunities for artists to give away their work willing, with consent, should they so chose. What we find most disturbing is why the choice of consent to give away one’s work should be forcefully take from them by companies who are profiting from advertising revenue?
It’s all pretty simple. Artists need to get paid and so many of these so called “new models” seem to be built on the “new model” of not paying artists anything at all, or next to nothing at all. Again, from Digital Trends,
But now the contract is up and not being renewed, because – you guessed it – a monetization strategy couldn’t be found for Grooveshark. “We were the test monkeys,” says Osbon.
Once again we see that The New Boss is Worse Than The Old Boss, indeed. We’re not surprised, we know there’s a lot of money being made on the internet in music distribution, it’s just not being “shared” with musicians. So once again we ask where are all of these self empowered, independent new middle class musicians? The answer is, like most things where the truth is self evident, they just don’t exist.