Liebig, Steuart A. put forth:
i'm not really convinced that it holds much more for us than would a record store in terms of reaching people who haven't heard what it is we *do* - - people who don't already have experience with experimental music (or what ever you wanna call it). i say this because people have to WANT to find something and actively search it out - - and i'm not really sure how that's gonna happen unless they're already interested. if someone could explain why i'm wrong about this, it would help me to be more optimistic about the 'net as the "salvation" of "creative" music.
Chew on this then. :)
Retail Sales for CDs have been shifting to the Internet for nearly 5 years now. The figures involved were even abused by the RIAA in the construction of their "case" against Napster - they only used the numbers for CD Singles, which lose out to LP Singles any day (Part of this is DJs I suspect). CDs in general though have been bought more and more online, and less in retail outlets, which traditionally have been the most difficult places for "new music" to get placed, let alone sold. The only exception are stores like PooBah's which have a huge used selection, and this model has also been growing. Such stores are quite open to individuals as opposed to big distributors, if they personally like your stuff.
In addition, because the Traditional Music Business has really crawled onto the Internet, it's created the space for folks like us to sell and play our wares without the slightest bit of interference from the cigar-chomping blood-suckers. Radio as it is in the US is an ongoing thing that won't go away in the near future. Airplay for other than Industry-sponsored quasi-payola acts will then continue, but the small stations, especially the college ones, can be a valuable market, because play lists aren't controlled in the same manner. Mind you, the radio station for a huge university might be the exception, but as far as I remember even Syracuse University - whose communications school is run by Newhouse - isn't confined to such closed-minded playlist antics.
Despite all that MCA/Vivendi is doing to encroach upon our right to post original material without paying for it, there are a ton of online venues to place material for nothing but a CD sent to them, or even just the time spent posting the MP3s in question.
I still insist that if we allow behemoths like MCA/Vivendi to monopolize the distribution business for music on the Internet, it's our own fault for not doing something about it. I would still like to discuss the idea of a mass exodus and boycott in the future.
In the event that you ask, "Why hasn't this sub-genius taken advantage of all this great Internet airplay/distribution that he talks about?", I've an answer - It's been nearly 10 months without a job in the UK other than the occasional consulting gig and sparse cartooning gigs ("How can you draw for a [cough] British magazine? You're an American!"), and I barely have the cash to pop the occasional CD off to a more-than-potential label that wants to hear my stuff, let alone get the 1000 CD production package.
This will change, I promise you. But for now...