This was bound to happen
sooner or later. Consumers are migrating away from the venerable CD form,
to the new handheld and digital age. Some are predicting a future where we
don’t own the music it is just “there”. So, are the labels and recording
companies needed, are they becoming a useless bureaucracy?
Rock veterans Peter Gabriel co-founder of OD2, or On Demand Distribution and Brian
Eno who is with SSEYO, a company that provides interactive software for music
and audio are in Cannes, France, launching a new musicians’ alliance. A kind of muscians
union for downloaded materials that would allow artists sell their music online
instead of only through record labels. They say they are not cutting the labels
out, they are just going to empower the musicians to produce on their own,
if they so choose, via the Internet.
With the Internet transforming how people buy and
listen to songs, they feel now is the time to act. If the musicians hesitate,
they could find new rules written leaving them powerless. Gabriel and Eno handed
out a slim red manifesto at a huge dealmaking music conference known as Midem,
that speaks to the issue before them.
They call the plan the “Magnificent Union of
Digitally Downloading Artists” – or MUDDA.
By removing record labels
Their pamphlet lists ideas
Gabriel, who has his own
“There are some artists who
A representative with the
One problem facing such a movement is the fact that
signed artists would be in violation of their contracts. On the other hand,
Gabriel makes a point. He says that labels are stuck in album mode. In order to
get published you need to fill an album. He says he is incredibly slow at
creating and is excited about the concept of writing a song and publishing it
online. We all have complained that the CDs are often mostly fill, this would be
nice for the artist, no longer tethered to the album format could produce
on their own schedule. It would seem to relieve a lot of pressure on creative
thought. We want ala cart downloads, so why not let the artist put up