At Borders tonight, we were looking at books, music, etc… the price of CDs, even ones on sale, were selling for upwards of $17-20, some of them. It’s just insane. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t fully blame the record industry. I think both the consumer and record companies are to blame.
I believe piracy is rampant because prices are up and quality is down. For sure, 90% of the music out there isn’t worth my hard-earned dollar. Why would I pay for music that miserable?
But capitalism is a funny thing. Even though piracy is widespread, today’s dungpiles of cardboard-flavoured, day-glo albums still sell… mostly because people have no taste. Yes, most of the music out there is trash. But if people have no ear for music, they’ll buy whatever dogfood the record labels keep putting out.
So, yeah. I blame the record companies for their losses, you reap what you sow. It’s not worth paying for the stuff they put out. But at the same time, I blame the consumers for nonetheless indirectly supporting these junkyards by listening to what they create. In absolute terms, the record companies probably have just as many ears listening to the latest flavour of the week… and as long as they have that, they’ll never change.
Something’s gotta break. Prices have to come down, or people will have to develop a sense of taste; The record companies will have to learn to improve their wares, or people will have to start looking to the indie labels for quality elsewhere. Until one or more of these things happen, we’ll continue to sit in this den of din.