Friday, January 13, 2006

Music: Fan un-appreciation

Its music Friday again.

Over the past few years we have all become familiar with comments from the RIAA and various musical artists featuring complaints about their loss of income due to rampant pirating of music on the internet and in the streets. Bootleg cds, napster, Kazaa, bit torrent downloading and the like have all been alleged as the cause for the decrease in record sales and the shortfall in profit projections in the record industry.

Cant really say I disagree with their analysis and sometimes I do feel sad for a recording artist who has put his soul on wax only to see his music 'leaked' to the internet before its official release date or whose cd is being sold in large amounts on the bootleg market but he can barely go aluminum with his legit album. Poor guys.

isn't that terrible the way how the fans treat the artists? Mind you most cds are overpriced coasters these days anyways.

I'm sure we could argue that point quite a bit but I wanted to focus on something else today. The way the artists treat the fan.

The music fan is truly unappreciated by musical artists these days. I'm basing my argument on just one fact today although there are many others.

Exhibit A. Recording artist "Johnny Got Lucky" releases "Lukewarm the cd" in August. On the strength of previous releases, promotions and a maybe sort of hot first single 'Blah blah blah' his album selling for 14.99 moves quite a bit of product and he makes the top 40 list going maybe even Gold or Platinum. The album is possibly solid and he has a nice group of core fans from previous releases who are willing to buy his stuff as soon as it hits the street. From there, Word of mouth, he say she say and just hearing your boy or girl play it 10 straight times in their car convinces Joe or Jane Average public it may not be such a waste of money and he/she goes out and cops that album. Yea sales skyrocket. Johnny is platinum. People be catching the vapors.

It was all a dream but homeboy is making money and getting popularity. Back then they didn't know him now he's hot they all on him (And no I'm not pointing out Mike Jones). Was it his superior product, well maybe sometimes but it was also due to his hardcore fans and a few others who bought that cd as soon as it dropped and then played it and played it and passed on the word to the others that it was nice. This is what caused the snowball effect that led to that album going platinum.

So what does Johnny do in appreciation of said fans? Johnny releases "Mediocre the cd, Vol 1.5" in December featuring along with the old stuff 4 to 6 new songs or remixes and selling for 18.99. What da?

Ok before anyone says well you don't have to buy the second album, this is very true and I completely agree but I still think that dropping the same album with 5 or 6 new tracks 6 months later is disrespectful to the fans who went out and bought your album before it got big and got you to that platinum status. Shouldn't you be rewarding the people who bought your album the first time out instead of penalizing them for not waiting 6 months to buy it?

And no this isn't aimed at any specific artists, although quite a few come to mind, and I'll be dammed if I'd buy vol 1.5 if I already had version 1 but I still think that this practice is a serious diss to the fans who supported the artist from the get go. Its like trying to gouge your loyal fans twice. isn't it bad enough they bought your overpriced product once already.Thats not right!

But it does lead me to believe that the artist cares nothing about the true fans and is just out to stuff his/her pockets by siphoning off as much of your money as possible without putting in extra work. Maybe its to make up for the illegal downloading but its not right.

p.s: Monday I'm trying out a new story on you guys, its long so i'll give you it in parts. Have a great weekend.


Scratchie said...

But if the artistes continue to do stuff like that the illegal downloading won't get any better. I'm waiting on the story.

Ri said...

All I know I am enjoying Limewire. Its no substitute for CD's, but its fun stuff. Of course there is the dichotomy between illegal downloading and file sharing, which is what Limewire claims to do.

Miz JJ said...

I figure I have gotten burned buying CDs that have sucked I am just making up for that now by downloading. However, if it is an artist I really like I will go out and put down my cash to get there CD. I bought the new Mary J (even though it's mediocre at best) because she's an artist that I love. I always do that with her stuff. Buy it without even listening because I really like her. But I am not buying an entire CD because I like one song. Uh uh.

Sunshine said...

Yu know Jdid-I hadn't thought of double gouging the fans, but you have a good point there. Where is the creativity to produce new tunes. I do agree that we shouldn't download music but we all have at one time or another.

Radmila said...

The downloading this is a double edged sword...artists may complain, but I've gone out and bought CDs by artists I would have never heard of had I not been surfing for downloads and had the opportunity to hear their music.
You can't have it both ways, and if artists start doing what you describe regularly, illegal downloading will only become more prevalent and accepted. No one likes to be taken advantage of, and the purchasers of music have been taken advantage of for a very, very, very long time. How many CD's do any of us own that only have one or two good tracks, and the rest is shite?

Inside Man said...

I'm not big on downloading music like that off the strength that i enjoy going to the record store and sampling music. The experience is better, I like talking to the store clerks about what's the latest and who was greatest.

I definetly buy the Cd's of the artist I like, sometimes I just have to cop a album off the humble.

obifromsouthlondon said...

you know my style already jdid. yeah I put ish on webjay but not before it's released and my focus is never really whats hot and whats current.

see for some artists they bring this ish on themselves. over exposure. mixtapes, compilations etc etc. so the buzz gets going, the album does good but son's run outta steam. fair assessment bar the true lyricists (do they still exist? better yet does the core audience still exist?)

Lene said...

Yeah, usher and mariah need a kufi slap for that. hahahahahaha

it doesn't hurt me none since i'm the neighbourhood bootleg queen.

sometimes, certain albums are not even worth the downloading (re: "unpredictable") Jamie shoulda named that trash, "Unremarkable".

Stunner said...

I don't really buy albums, I, simply put, don't have the money. Further more most albums only have one or two good songs on it and the rest is just pure crap. So I do it the better way, download the songs that I want to hear and compile my own mix cd. Why should I bruk my pocket to buy these over priced albums, then watch these artiste show off the expensive and often unnecessary things they have, things that I would nevr be able to afford in my lifetime.

Quirky Creativity said...

nice post.
Its nice to have the unappreciation of the fans discussed from time to time. Many artists have let me down with their rushed (see: Cravin'!) album releases.
An album purchase all depends on the artist, and the the time between albums ( I think 2 yrs is appropriate! lol)

slybabyk said...

Definitely an interesting part of the debate you've focused on. I guess many artistes just get big and switch and that's sad. I think I'm pretty much your average downloader, if it's good I'll go and buy the album. In one instance, I've even downloaded an album then gone out and bought it twice, one for me and one for the-then-bf-who-is-now-hubby, the album was just that good.

N~Control said...

I do use limewire, mostly for new artists to see if their CD is worth the money. If it's a CD I like, there is nothing that replaces the quality of a factory CD.

Rose said...

Sorry that I don't feel sorry for the artists. They are going to make their money by releasing a cd several time, like unplugged, number 1 hits, and the rerleased with new songs...get real.

Jdid said...

@scratchie - yep thats true
@ri - but where is the line drawn?
@mizjj - agreed too many one hit wonders out there
@sunshine - yea the double gouging is disrespectful
@radmila - so true
@KG - yep I love the record store experience
@obi - triue lyricists? where are they
@lene - agreed
@stunner - good points
@lucian sista - two years might even be pushing it but in the market these days you have to be out there continually or you've got to start from scratch
@slybabyk - i've actually done the bought an album twice thing too but that was before cd burners :-)
@n~control - true
@rose - yea it amazing how someone can do two albums and have a greatest hits cd isnt it?