How The Repeal Of Net Neutrality Will Affect The Music Industry

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Yeah, FYI… 

There are millions of people who make music in this country.

The main fear most musicians face with the repeal of Net Neutrality, is that the online music market will become “lopsided.” My concern with that is, isn’t it already?

Aren’t huge artists already allowed access to tools and platforms in a blink of an eye that the average musician has to go bankrupt for? These platforms and corporations do not value the opinion of the millions of “underground” artists. They do not value the content you are creating. Indie artists are not the ones that generate millions of dollars for them. The big household names that are signed to lifelong label deals make them enough money.

According to DigitalMusicNews.com,

“indie artists could face an uphill battle just to get noticed,” if Net Neutrality is repealed.

UMM, HELLO???

Have you witnessed what has been going on for the past 5 years?

Indie artists have the biggest struggle of all. They are constantly fighting to break through and become noticed on the most popular sound platforms. Unfortunately for them, hours of music is being uploaded every minute and each platform is slowly becoming oversaturated with content.

The main negative I have heard about Net Neutrality being repealed, is that we, the consumers, will have to pay more to access our favorite sites, right?

That may be true, but let me ask you a few questions first.

How much are you paying to listen to music per month?

-Could be anywhere from $0 with ads to $20 and complete streaming freedom.

How much music do you purchase? (physical & digital)

-Vinyls are making a comeback, yes, but I’m mainly referring to the typical units you purchase.

How often do you support your underground musicians by attending their live events and buying their merchandise? You know, #supportlocalmusic

-I won’t speak for you on that one.

Now add all those numbers up and compare it to how much you estimate you will have to pay for access to “your favorite music sites.”

I’m going to assume you (the average listener) are comfortable with spending more money on having all the music in the world at your fingertips rather than financially supporting underground music that’s created by millions of independent musicians.

Am I right?

The question arises again…

How is the repeal of Net Neutrality going to affect the music industry?

In my honest opinion, not much.

Listeners have been convinced that paying more is worth it because you don’t have to listen to ads and you are able to hear almost every song ever created. You will always have the desire to listen to as much music as you possibly can. No one is going to change their ways and say, “hey actually can I have less space to store fewer songs and pay less?” Listeners will probably pay whatever they have to in order to maintain their streaming freedom.

For musicians, it is a little different.

They invest their hard-earned money just into booking studio time, producing their music and paying the normal fee to upload it to retailers. Don’t even get me started how much they spend on promotion and advertising. Most independent musicians can’t survive off of their fifth-of-a-cent-per-play income so they have normal jobs to finance their music careers.

What makes you think musicians (specifically indie musicians) are going to be able to pay more just to have their music on platforms that don’t provide much for them in return.

You can have all your music on every retailer, but is up to you to send that retailer listeners (where they make money), in order to get your numbers up, in turn, making you relevant.

If musicians are expected to pay more to host their music after the repeal of Net Neutrality, why would they continue to invest their money with platforms that don’t help them return on their investment.

Enter,  TownWave.

TownWave is an exposure-based sound platform that allows musicians to upload their music (for free) and reach new listeners nearby or in targeted regions. Thus, encouraging artists to physically monetize their music career by performing at local events, selling merchandise & tickets and actually expanding their fanbase. The app is perfect for listeners who want to connect with their community and find an artist before anyone else.

“I never understood why listeners would pay $400 to see Taylor Swift perform but can’t buy a $10 ticket to your buddy’s first show.”

Oh, did I mention that streaming is 100% free with zero ads on the TownWave app?

The repeal of Net Neutrality is going to drive the millions of independent musicians away from the major platforms. I understand you want your music uploaded to a platform that has millions of listeners, I do, you feel that at any second your music could go viral and they would all know your name. How likely is that to happen? 

Is that risk more valuable than legitimately expanding your fanbase organically, targeting your growth, physically monetizing your music, connecting and engaging with new listeners, and receiving direct financial support from your day-one fans? It depends on what you are trying to accomplish in the industry.

It is expected that listeners will face a spike in  price to pay to listen to music since Net Neutrality has been repealed, but as I previously mentioned, we are at the point where we will pay just about anything for streaming freedom.

I suppose we can only wait to see how the repeal of Net Neutrality will affect us all, but if I am right, nothing drastic is going to happen within the music industry. The industry will continue to cater to those who can draw millions of listeners to the biggest platforms, listeners will pay just about anything to avoid ads and restrictions, and the independent musician that we all love will continue to struggle.  

Feel free to debate me on Twitter @RookDeeds and let me know why you think my prediction is wrong.

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