I have access to more music than ever before. I subscribe to five satellite radios, I have a Pandora subscription, and I have probably 3000 CDs. I have two big ass hard drives full of music, two iPods, an iPad, and a phone that plays music.
And I get music in the mail daily...from promo lists I'm on and from musicians contacting me directly.
So why am I so bored with music?
You'd think with the ease that people are able to record a great album, there would be some really great stuff out there. You'd think that the tight playlists on radio stations would mean that only the best stuff actually makes it on the air.
Was thinking about this over the weekend, with "Black Friday" sales on Amazon discounting recent albums to as little as $1.99 and iTunes having a huge blowout for $6.99.
I grew up around the music business. I play guitar. I have a degree in music. I love music.
How come I'm not buying any, even when it's $1.99 for an entire album and I can get it instantly, without getting up from my chair?
I think I've figured it out...
As a marketing guy, I'm fascinated by what makes people tick. Because of this, I love documentary films. And there is a great film called Paris is Burning, which follows a group of urban drag queens in the 1980s, that I think does a good job of explaining this major "problem" of the music business today.
During the film, one of the older drag queens is being interviewed about the performance attire he and the others wear while on stage. This, for the most part, consisted of high-fashion items that were very pricey and a stretch from what the majority of people in Harlem, where the film was shot, could afford.
Many of the drag queens would "borrow" (a.k.a. shoplift) their outfits. This guy didn't.
"You can tell the people who steal things," he said.
In short, the people who got their outfits through theft didn't want them as much as the people that had to work for them. And that "will to succeed" was missing from their performances.
Could it be that the music industry is suffering from the same issue?
Think about it... It used to be that you'd have to really work to get good equipment. But quality equipment keeps getting cheaper and cheaper. And it's easier than ever to find exactly what you want and have it shipped to you.
And recording is even easier than ever...
And making videos is even easier than ever...
And communicating with fans is even easier than ever...
And distributing music is even easier than ever...
And taking money from fans is even easier than ever...
In fact, almost everything in the music business is easier than ever.
The only thing more difficult is cutting through all the noise, because everything has become so easy that the music business has been flooded by people who would have been wiped away 10 or 15 years ago, because they don't have the passion that it takes to look up venues, get the booker on the phone, book a show, promote a show, get a van and drive to the show, perform live, and do whatever it takes to repeat the process again and again, until somebody "inside the gate" notices.
So is the music business really better off because of new technology? You tell me...