Oh you poor, dear record companies…

You’ve got to hand it to “the music industry”. This week they released a propaganda film Australian Music In Tune which asks us to sympathise with musicians because they’re all poor struggling artists. Diddums.

Photograph of Jared Madden and Adam Purcell

The only reason musicians trying to “make it” are poor is that as soon as they do get that sought-after recording contract they still pay for everything from there on. Before they see a single cent from their music, they have to pay off the studio hire, recording engineer, video director, stylists, set designers, editor and dozens of other parasites — including music company executives with their nice lunches and their BMW leases.

An entire industry — “the music industry” and their retail outlets — sits between the musicians and their audience, sucking out something like 90% of the money in the process.

And they have the gall to rope musicians into their propaganda film under false pretences, telling people like Frenzal Rhomb’s Lindsay McDougall that it was a movie about life as an artist.

He said he was told the 10-minute film, which is being distributed for free to all high schools in Australia, was about trying to survive as an Australian musician and no one mentioned the video would be used as part of an anti-piracy campaign.

OK, so who are the guys in the photo? Jared Madden (left) and Adam Purcell (right) have created tune-out.com in response to the industry crying poor.

They know that thanks to teh intenetz, we can distribute that music from musician to audience for a fraction of a cent. They know that the audience is deciding for themselves what’s hot or not through this social media thing, and that the entire music industry is becoming irrelevant.

You the Music Industry have failed to move with us in our discovery of new and exciting ways to interact, collaborate, and communicate. We have embraced the digital space and the opportunities it affords us, and we have changed because of this. We are developing new forms of entertainment which have transformed the way we interact with each other, with you, and with music. This is an ongoing process, and we are excited about what we will discover tomorrow.

For some reason you assume that we are the same as yesterday, and you are kidding yourself.

You wrongly place the blame of declining CD sales on others. Our source of entertainment has diversified, and we are no longer as interested in the concept of the ‘album’.

There is no digital music battle or piracy war. That is a figment of your imagination, and, every time you preach our digital crimes to us, we ‘tune out’ of your deranged ranting. Your declining profits are the symptom of a business model that is fast becoming irrelevant.

You want us to pay? We want you to pay attention.

Hear hear. I have signed their letter. I look forward to the video they’re producing this weekend.

Meanwhile, read Mark Pesce’s essay, Unevenly Distributed: Production Models for the 21st Century. I’ve linked to it before, but it’s especially apt today. Or read about 1000 True Fans.

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