One of the more popular links I’ve placed on the site is the one to download Daydream Cycle’s eponymous debut album. After all, free music is pretty much a good thing, as long as the music is good. And the success of Radiohead’s In Rainbows shows that digital distribution can be a boon to the industry, with Radiohead garnering significant sales and airplay from the project. The music industry is evolving before our eyes, just like it evolved from records to cassettes to CDs.
While many have cried foul over the rise of digital music, Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails fame) is not one of them. Called by Time as “the most vital artist in music”, NIN’s lead singer has recognized the enormous popularity of the digital format, and released Ghosts earlier in the year for free on his site (though one must pay in order to get all of the 38 [!] tracks), rather than see them inevitably pop up in torrent sites. More recently, the band released cryptic messages about their next album, pointing towards a May 5 announcement. Now that May 5 has passed, we know what that announcement is– that next album, The Slip, is being offered for free on the band’s website. In related news, Thom Yorke shrugged.
Nevertheless, this turn of events should serve as a reminder for all of us that we must be able to adapt to the constantly-evolving music scene. Rivermaya has of course done the same thing before by releasing Free (Interestingly enough, Japs Sergio, whose Multiply page hosts DDC’s album, is a member of ‘Maya. More interesting is that he joined Rivermaya AFTER Free was released, so he can’t be considered the mastermind of both releases.), but it is probable that free digital distribution is not readily viable yet in the Philippines. However, the local industry has to learn to cope with new technologies and trends. Just like how local CDs are priced lower than foreign ones to stimulate local music economy, something should be done so that local musicians can benefit from the new technology, rather than suffer. While most local bands now have Multiply sites and Myspace pages, more must be done. Sites for legal music downloading like Fliptunes.net do exist, though I cannot gauge how popular the sites are. This is one pressing issue that the local music industry will have to deal with, most probably sooner than later.
Did I forget something? Oh yes, the link. Download The Slip here.