The Net worth of music

In a recent interview to Time Out magazine, Tanmay Bhattacharjee of the Indian band Something Relevant discussed the release of the band’s debut album

It Feels Good To Be Live, and spoke about how the members were adamant that they wanted a CD release despite the sharp decline in music sales. The effort and expense that go into releasing an elaborately packaged CD may or may not pay off for Something Relevant, but with limited options at their disposal, and digital distribution almost a dead-end in India, the band had little choice but to release the music in a CD format.

Ryan Sadri, Bhattacharya’s band-mate in Something Relevant, says the band looked at the CD as not just an album of songs but as a marketing tool — a way to tap markets that may have no other means of experiencing music but CDs. This makes sense, especially considering that even today a sizeable number of music lovers in India don’t have easy access to the Internet to download music even if it is freely available.

And just like Jalebee Cartel, another popular Indian act who routinely give away free CD compilations at their performances, or Arctic Monkeys, another band that released its music online for audiences before signing on a label, Something Relevant chose the traditional CD as a strategy to access a wider audience.

While the music industry continues to focus on its two core functions — the discovery of music and the delivery of music to audiences — the fact remains that the Internet confronts the latter with an increasing number of challenges while it makes the former much easier. Quite obviously, the trick to successfully delivering music is to first know who your audience is and how they would like to experience your music.

Which is exactly why the market for vinyl still exists all over the world and most major — and many minor — recording artistes still release their music on that format. The section of people who still prefer vinyl over CDs and Mp3s may be small, this market often counts significantly. In a recent article in Pitchfork, a Chicago-based daily Internet publication on music, Marc Hogan went into the revitalised music-cassette culture in the US and elsewhere, referring to successful artistes like Dirty Projectors and Deerhunter who release their music on cassettes, and labels like Burger Records which exist solely to service this audience.

In a recent article in Wired.com, author Eliot Van Buskirk wrote about Google’s brand new music-sharing strategy which will further change the manner in which we consume music. However, it is interesting to note that online music services like iTunes have yet to establish themselves in the Indian market. This only proves that technological trends in the more established music markets may not necessarily work in India.

For digital music to be successful in India, downloading of content needs to priced much cheaper. Further, downloading facilities need to reach out to the mass market. And once that happens, Indian music bands won’t shy away from releasing their music on-line. It’s only then that Indian audiences will learn to experience music in a newer ways.

(Craig Fernandes is a Melbourne-based freelance writer)

Posted via web from The LP Revival Blog

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~ by lprevival on March 2, 2010.

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