The state of the mainstream music business has evolved into a system that has lost its focus on the fans and instead opted to side with what is commonly known as finances.
A blockbuster album has become a means of turning a profit for the big record labels behind the album’s credits. It seems that the overall concern during production is not on how much fans will enjoy the music, but how much the music and albums will sell.
From the perspective of an artist, songwriter or composer, it is understandable that music be about making a living. When the job is enjoyable and sustainable, there really is no downside to the work being put in to craft and perfect each LP.
What is unacceptable, however, is the capitalization on these talented artists for the sake of the bank accounts of certain individuals, such as company executives.
The best example of this scenario is in regard to the numerous boy bands and super groups over the years.
Each was formed rather innocently, with the most recent powerhouse being One Direction, but over time the hidden motives that management hold out of public view begin to come into focus.
But it’s not just management. At times the artist, or rather ego behind the artist, loses sight of what producing music is about, and greed gets the better of him or her.
The current problem of this kind of greed lies with none other than the notorious Kanye West and his latest album’s release on the premium streaming service Tidal.
The album itself is great and worthy of awards, but its limited distribution is a tactic intended to populate a costly streaming service, which is no better than just outright paying for the album.
It is understandable that some artists choose not to stream music on the free services, because of the relatively low revenue generated from the services, but a good album will always pay dividends to its creator in the long run.
Up-and-coming hip hop group Run the Jewels are a rare gem in their own right, giving their fans free digital copies of the music and making a modest living solely on merchandise and concert ticket sales.
Their preservation of giving back to the fans, as was originally intended, was a concept that was lost somewhere in the 20th century and is something the industry should seek to model.
Unfortunately, that may never happen, but regardless, the music industry should live up to its name, but also focus on quality of albums and songs, instead of just the dollar signs.
There is still hope for mainstream music, and even for Kanye West, so long as the focus is taken off of sales and returned to the audience.