Today's Music Industry
I was thinking about this because of a post Jeff made on Facebook. I came to a realization: I think right now is the best time it's ever been to be a music fan/consumer. A few reasons why:
1. Being a casual fan is much more cost-effective
When I was a kid and I heard a song I liked, I had to buy the whole album. Yes, sometimes this would lead to a good discovery, but more often than not it was a waste of money. Nowadays you can choose your songs a la carte. You get what you want without the unwanted chaff.
2. Greater access to artists
Social media has made it much easier to keep in touch with your favorite bands. You can find out about tour dates and release dates within minutes. You're never out of the loop. Before the internet, if you didn't have any friends who were into the same bands as you, you were pretty much screwed.
3. Artists have more freedom
Want to do a digital-only album? Pay-what you want? Special pre-order bundle? Artists not only have more/easier ways of getting their music out there, but they also have more ways to offer their music to fans.
Sure, there are drawbacks to all of these things. Piracy still screws smaller artists. The easy access to music tends to make fans entitled and spoiled. Some of these conveniences take the "fun" out of it (though I think a lot of that is romanticized by nostalgia).
"COLONEL KLINK, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?!"