Pay to Play

When it comes to the music business, even they are socially conditioning you to pay to play music releases. It was discussed and planned as far back as two decades ago. I remember the conversations and discussions very well on the GU (Global Underground) Forum in the early days of the internet back in the early noughties.

This is one of the main reasons why I don’t do streaming on the likes of Spotify, Amazon Unlimited and Apple Music. I don’t stream other people’s music or allow my music to be streamed on their sites apart from on YouTube. I’ve stuck with downloading mp3 versions of music from places like Amazon and also buying CD’s. I’d still buy vinyl too if it was back in fashion. The only people who benefit from streaming is the telecommunications companies because consumers need bigger data packs for their cellular phones to listen to them and play their favourite records.

There’s also a downside to music streaming. If your wifi signal drops or there’s a problem with your internet connection or if the online world goes down, it’s not practical and causes a lot of disruption. It’s more expensive to stream music too than owning a physical or digital copy. The only advantage is it takes up a lot less room and storage space.

I’m just not into streaming apart from being able to preview or demo music and new releases. I’d much prefer to own a digital or physical copy than stream music or films or anything for that matter including software. I’m not into cloud based software or music which plays right into their hands and leaves it open to abuse and corruption and deleting cultures, history and intellectual property. This issue seems to be overlooked and not many people are addressing these issues as well as it being a more expensive way of listening to music and playing it.

Napster with it’s P2P (Peer-to-Peer) file sharing technology started the internet music revolution back in the late nineties/early noughties, but things have transgressed so far now that cloud based technology and streaming products seems ill thought through if you ask me. I’m not going to spell out all the dangers and my predictions for the future of civilisations and cultures (I’ll leave that for my next book!), but I’m not keen on going along with the status quo and copying what the majority of people seem to be doing as it would be downright foolish.

I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again! It’s much better to innovate and be a pioneer than copy the rest of the sheep who follow the herd that don’t realise what route they’re taking. I prefer to think for myself and question reality and the legitimacy of things like streaming. I’d rather do my own thing and what’s best for me. If that leaves me alienated then so be it, but I trust my judgement and own gut instinct and prefer to stick to what works best and what worked best before the internet reared it’s head.

It’s better for me to own a physical or digital copy of my music collection than to stream it and eventually go down the pay per play route. I prefer the old way of doing things and keeping with tradition. I’d rather do what’s more practical than be socially conditioned to pay for my music collection every time I want to play it. It also wouldn’t be fair for the fans of music and it would end up costing them more money in the long term and they’d never own a copy of the music. We’d be renting music instead if we continue down this pay per play route. So, take stock for a second and rethink streaming. Besides, I suspect music releases will be available on crystals at some point in the future which is a new storage medium, so things will go back to how they used to be and physical goods will replace streaming and cloud based technology somewhere down the line.

By Mark Wheawill

Artist/DJ/Record Producer/Author

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