Score one for web music distribution

21:11, Feb 03 2010

I received an interesting press release yesterday about the Mint Chicks, who announced they had snubbed their major US record label, Warner, in favour of a small NZ-based website.

They say they want to cut out the (large, corporate) middle-man and take the music to where their fans are - online.

The move comes after another great band, Radiohead, offered their album In Rainbows online last year for the ultra-thrifty price of whatever you felt like paying.

It was a loud and clear signal from the band, "We want to take the label out of the equation."

First it was vinyl, then 8-track, then cassettes, then CDs, then DVDs. Now we are moving into an era of data. The world may soon lose the need for these round, increasingly antiquated vessels for our music.

Now, before you go off at me saying CDs aren't dead or dying, please understand that I know some people like to have something physical to go with their aural experience, and the CD (and cover) still has a place. But is is just something to read and then neatly sit on a shelf?

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Personally, it's what's on the inside that matters to me.

It's important that we continue to move forward with the times and adapt along with the industry and the demands of consumers. Bands shouldn't be pressured into the status quo just because it's the established way.

Unfortunately, it's all about the money. A CD or DVD probably costs less than $1 to produce, and they sell for about $30. I'm sure a lot of that goes to the record company, not the band.

It's about time that the bands started directly interfacing with fans, and cutting out the middle-man.

The technology is there. But like the electric car, it's an inconvienent truth for the big companies.

Good on the Mint Chicks for turning down a massive label and trying something different. They may just be showing us where the future of music lies - online.

What do you think? Is online music taking over? Is it a good thing or bad? Do you prefer something physical to go with your music? Why is that?

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