This New York Times article by David F. Gallagher, outlines the shift from old media to blogs as a means of generating buzz for a new band. The article went on record as citing Warner as the first major label to ask an MP3 blogs to play its music in the form of downloadable MP3 files on the blog Music For Robots. It also provides a cautionary tale for blogs attempting to expand within the confines of a major label. Warner's attempted to circumvent any bad comments by posting several comments saying how their band, The Secret Machines, was "so cool." When Music For Robots got wind of this they turned apprehensive to future major label involvement, saying that Warner's had turned the blog into something as deplorable as an "AOL chatroom."
This article gives weight to the argument that it would be tough for blogs to retain their independent credibility once they are bedfellows with major labels (conflicts of interest, and downright manipulation by labels could arise). It complicates my argument that a blogs could truly work alongside labels without being crushed by the corporate steamroller. However, it does add weight to my point that MP3 blogs have become legitimized by labels as a viable venture in band promotion. Also , it reaffirms that record labels have now become middle men in the music industry. If new bands appealed directly to blogs, they could avoid the major label, and appeal directly to an audience--thus beginning their careers, like Vampire Weekend
This article is a roundtable orchestrated by The Morning News .Org consisting of several blog editors discussing the ethics and future of blogs. Oliver Wang of Soul Sides Blog and Sean Michaels of the Said the Gramophone get into an argument during the roundtable about the financial responsibility blogs have to the artists whose MP3's they upload. Wang contends that artists,generally, do not make money off of record sales and cites touring as their main means of revenue. Wang decides that the name recognition that MP3 blogs give these artists is more important than a few missing sales. Michaels, howevers, rebuts with the fact that not all artists are able to tour (laptop based acts, tiny indie acts, and even older defunt bands such as the Beatles). Michaels acknowledges that name recognition is a powerful gift but says to think of the fiscal effect of their piracy as "negligible" is a facile argument. Michaels contends that the purpose of his blog is to expose an audience to new music, and for them to purchase the music. Andrew Nosnitsky, of the Cocaine Blunts blog, chimes by saying that his blog deals in the out of print and obscure--so he in no way feels any fiscal responsibility.
This article both helps and complicates my argument that MP3 blogs have transformed the music industry for the better. The idea of using MP3 blogs as used bins/ rental emporiums is an interesting idea. In the utopian view, the audience would take the MP3 for a while, delete the track after a thorough listen, then purchase the track if they liked it. However, this view seems pretty naive and very 'honor-system' based. How can blogs be sure that the illegal MP3 won't just remain on a user's computer. Also it calls into question the idea of 'name-recognition' being the most important thing for a new band.