Today’s MediaGuradian carries yet another story about how the UK record industry continues to blame P2P filesharing for poor results and falling record sales. A ‘research’ firm has spent ages working how much money would have been spent by British people if they weren’t busy stealing music instead.
What might have been a more suitable topic for research is: How much more money would British people have spent buying records if the UK record industry spent any money at all on a realistic and genuine effort to pursue new music?
What seems to have happened is that the record company execs looked at the unpredictability of 1990s pop music (first it’s acid house, then Nirvana, then Oasis then Kylie) and thought they’d like a period of stability. Hence, funding went to Coldplay, U2 and their clones… but these new AOR/MOR bands were marketed as ROCK. Which, of course, ain’t the truth. And yeah there was loads of shit around in the 90’s (drum & bass; trance; Dodgy et al) but the same culture that gave birth to (and nurtured) the Red Hot Chili Peppers, also gave birth to Royal Trux.
What I’m trying to say is that I can take all the crap music, if there’s something else being sold which I believe is genuinely ‘independent’, ‘avant-garde’ or just ‘good’. At the moment, the UK record industry is promoting almost no really good music. I’m only 24 so this isn’t an age thing… and i know that there are loads of tiny indie labels out there… but it’s not just independence in terms of money. The UK record industry decided not to gamble on new music… and the UK record buying public has responded in kind. Wake up, BPI: we’ll invest in you when you invest in music.