Originally Posted by MPF
It is really a double edged sword. On the plus side bands that wouldn't have gotten the exposure they deserve if it wasn't for the internet. For bigger bands it does fuck them out of the more money they could have had. If the smaller bands had the opprotunities that bigger bands had, it would fuck them over as well. But it gets their name out there, which you can look at again as a double edge sword.
It makes it easier for small bands to get known, yes. But they can't make any money and actually carry on, so it's really not a positive in the least.
If the industry had got a lock-down on digital music technology at the beginning, so that it was only used for providing samples/streams/listening opportunities to fans so they could make more informed decisions on buying records and attending tours, then it would have been the best thing to happen to music in decades. They didn't, so it isn't. It's actually bordering on the worst thing.
Bands could have had all that new exposure and the like we're all talking about as positive impacts without losing money, without tours fucking smaller bands with stupid buy-ons because the bigger bands can't make money from records anymore, without labels withdrawing all tour funding and the bands having to charge silly ticket prices, without recorded music being watered down with shitty digital-only releases because people can't afford to release it properly, and so on.
The negative impacts of the digital age FAR outweigh the positives because the positives, but very few people can ever see beyond "HURR, I CAN HAS MUSIC FOR FREEEE!!".
In metal, things are AS bad. The evidence of that is more metal bands getting in album charts. Metal fans possibly more than most have stuck to supporting the artists. I think metal fans have always had a better grasp on how the industry works than most genres, probably because metal has always been such an underground thing that they've been closer to it than pop fans are. Most of the bands I talk to don't feel quite as threatened by the declining industry at the moment as I thought they would, because the fans are, for now, still there. The slope is still running downwards, though.