Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Markets and music

I started feeling a bit queasy reading this piece in the Telegraph by the chief exec of the British Phonographic Industry, the music business trade body. I’m not an enemy of markets. I think they can work well in some bits of society, and not in others, and I think they can be harnessed for our collective benefit. But there is something about the interface between markets and creativity that always leaves me feeling deeply uneasy.

I'm a bit Bill Hicks when it comes to music. I hate the idea of "artists trying to build a long-term career", as the article puts it. Play music because you want to play it, not because it is a "career". I would rather a band made a handful of great songs, or one great album, and burnt out, than develop a "career" and turn into a merchandise-shifting marketing strategy based on a long since spent a creative force (see Rolling Stones).

This line in particular made my stomach turn:

"...we believe that the internet will become an environment in which creativity can be effectively monetised."

Pass the sick bag. And if I ever start talking about how to effectively monetise blogging, someone please kill me.

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