Web music revolution creates avenues for listeners and artists
March 4, 1999
From Correspondent Rick Lockridge
NEW YORK (CNN) -- It is the best of times for music lovers. The World Wide Web and new digital technologies such as MP3 are bringing them new ways to experience music and new ways to buy it and carry it around.
"In the future, with digital delivery, you'll be able to buy a song at a time, and those will probably go for 99 cents," said Ken Wirt of Diamond Multimedia. "So music delivered in that way will probably be a five-times-better value."
For musicians, the Web music revolution could be a way to reclaim artistic freedom.
"We have to go through minefields that we have to negotiate just to reach the listener," says Steve Perry of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies. "It's really kind of up to the (gatekeepers) ... as to whether or not we reach them.
"With MP3, if they could just download the music from us ... there's a lot of positive benefits to it."
Folk singing is a low-tech, shoes-off genre. But contact with her fans is important to singer Dar Williams, and the Web gives her new ways to do that.
"What you do is you build yourself as an artist according to what an audience says about you, as opposed to just submitting a demo tape to someplace and letting a record company take it from there," Williams said.
As Web music establishes itself as an alternative to CDs, artists may find they don't want to play by the old record company rules any more.
"Maybe the artists should keep those master recordings and just use a service, like MP3.COM, to sell their music," said Michael Robertson of MP3.COM. "And in fact, when they use us, let's give them a flat fee ... let's just give them 50 percent of the sale price right off the top."
Downloading music from the Internet: theft or democracy?
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