By Krystal Lynn Mutschler
Western Sun associate editor
Recent bills like the Stop Online Piracy Act brings piracy’s most affected industry into the spotlight. Though the movie business has suffered, musicians have seen their sales plummet, even with song purchases through iTunes, Rhapsody, and other online music services.
Yet the effects aren’t all bad. “I feel it’s affecting major record labels more than the artist themselves since major labels make the majority of the profit,” says Daniel Navarrette of band Rogue Sun.
Bands are starting to self-release their work, and fans are starting to attend live shows more frequently, where merchandise is often sold. “Smaller bands never sold CDs in big stores, but rather at concerts, which still works,” says Victor Bensmann of band Josephine.
Many artists today are shared through word of mouth, which often begins with, “You should download this band.” Ricky Navarro of Rogue Sun makes a valid point, saying, “It helps music get heard and gives listeners exposure to artists that might not have otherwise been shined the light… It is more about the music than money now.”
If fans can access free music, they will, and as long as they listen, bands will produce. In the end, ethics gets thrown out the window, because despite the money lost, the benefits of the extra exposure and artist/fan connections outweigh the losses.