I have been a professional music producer and songwriter for about 10 years now. To some heavyweight music business moguls my very opinion might not mean a thing considering my infancy to such a high-profile, multi-billion dollar industry. But I must say, given the material results proven against the music industry as far as plummeting record sales, and numerous reports of heavy pirating, this business is fighting for its life as many musicians and artists are turning to the the independent route to market their products.
One thing that has particularly stood out to me are these "360 deals" now being offered by all of the major labels still breathing. These 360 deals require artists to now sign their record deals with the addition of granting the record companies percentages of ALL outside ventures and/or deals you may acquire outside of your contract such as: movies, commercials, endorsements, etc. Now I know some of you may be thinking that this sounds familiar as artists have been taken for money and financially "raped" for years by their execs but this was never a required holding in standard industry practices.
Digital sales are up as actual in-store purchases are becoming less and less common. But even the digital world of sales faces a huge battle of their own when it comes to piracy. Piracy is nothing new to the entertainment industry in general, ranging from software to video games and movies. Back in 2001, the famous battle of the P2P file-sharing network Napster, against the music industry shocked the world. Eventually, both parties settled and became friends allowing Napster to run legally, splitting monetary profits with the record companies. Now, though that battle was settled, it seemed like thousands of P2P file-sharing networks were created overnight. In fact, so many forms of piracy were now created that it became impossible to track and fight every "lawbreaker". This to me, is the main reason for seeing the music industry fall from it's grace of happy and devout followers and record buyers.
Though, there is still a huge market for touring and other ways of making money in the industry, the main source of income has always been record sales. The industry has been forced to forget about it's roots and join the race of evolution and technology. If you still feel artists and musicians alike should be supported, by all means, we need you. Continue buying albums and supporting your favorite artists but don't force us into having to sell our souls and give up both our monetary rights and personal integrity for your gain!