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NYT Article: Songs From the Heart of a Marketing Plan

December 31, 2008
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The New York Times recently featured an article discussing music licensing, and its potential effects on the creative process of creating new music in the future.

You know, I’m really starting to get sick of the whining about the music industry not being what it used to be. It is what it is, and let’s get over it. The author, in discussing the increased lucrativeness of licensing for musicians nowadays, muses about musicians starting to write songs with their marketing potential in mind.

The fact of the matter is that there have always been and will always be musicians that make music with the end product in mind: selling it, making it commercial, getting rich. And there have been and always will be those who create their music as a true artist.

Likewise, there will always be listeners who ‘discover’ music through commercials, movie trailers, etc., and then there will always be those of us who dig and dig and dig to find new stuff on our own. Articles like this often ignore that the new music industry has allowed us to find new bands much easier through things like MySpace, iLike, itunes, and Pandora….even videogames, gasp!

The subtext of this article is the age old ‘selling out’ label. I’ve never thought that an artist should be labeled a ‘sell out’ as long as they didn’t change their music to be in a commercial or film. If they can’t make money selling records, then let them license their music as they please without calling them a sellout.

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