Ever since the introduction of peer-to-peer downloading and sharing software sites like Limewire and Bearshare, the music industry has suffered a steady decline in album units sold. Despite the time that has passed, veteran and novice musicians are still enduring the hardship of the new music industry model.
In a recent interview on the "Thunder Underground" podcast, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons gave his hardened opinion on streaming services and their impact on contemporary music culture.
Asked for his opinion on streaming music services like Spotify, Simmons said: "Good luck to 'em. I am not a supporter. I do believe in free market economy — supply and demand and all that kind of stuff — and I support Taylor Swift and METALLICA and anybody else who doesn't wanna play the game; THE BEATLES didn't wanna play the game for a long time.”
"Look, it doesn't affect me," Simmons continued. "I'm a rich bastard. I do well. By some standards, I'm rich and famous and all that stuff… However, none of this affects me. It doesn't. I make a living. We have our fans, they show up, that's great. We sell truckloads… But imagine you're a new band and you have your passion and your music and you really love it, you can't do it. There's nothing else. They can't show up live, because they don't know who you are, so somehow you've gotta get the music out there. But if you wanna earn a living, you can't get the music out there. So you're living in your mother's basement, you have to have a dayjob and the kids get your music for free. 'I'm just promoting my live shows.' It doesn't work. And the people that killed all the new bands are the fans themselves. It wasn't corporate America, it wasn't aliens from space. The people that killed the music they love are the people who love the music."
Simmons went on to cite Radiohead‘s 2007 digital release of In Rainbows where fans were asked to name their own price for the album download, he noted, "Remember, RADIOHEAD put out a record: 'Hey, pay what you wanna pay.' They did it once, didn't they? It doesn't work. Charge people. Make them pay. Make a cross, draw a line in the sand. This is commerce, and that's charity. Once you get your money and all that stuff, then you can decide if you wanna do charity. Or advertise it as charity: 'What I'm about to do? Charity.' But I don't want somebody else deciding when I do charity or how much I'm giving.”
It is imperative for the aspiring artist to monetize their craft from the start. Our artists at Wood Records embody this concept because our label ensures that their product is optimized to its fullest value deterring free distribution and assuring music commerce. Sell your music, do not donate your hard work.