Monday, August 11, 2008

Have Your Cake And Eat It Too; Free Music On The Internet!

If I am who I am, and I am what I eat, then what am I based on what I’m listening to?

The music industry is in the midst of a massive upheaval as it continues to change dramatically as a direct result of the Internet. Consumers are exposed to more music than ever before through websites and digital content but the industry is losing face. Some artists are releasing songs direct to the consumers without the interference of their record labels (i.e. Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails) while other artists are circumventing the established record industry in its entirety and signing up with all sorts of new partners on more lucrative partnerships (i.e. Madonna and U2 signing up with Live Nation). The record industry is losing money hand over fist compared to the windfalls they made in recent years, but artists are finding a more intimate relationship between them and their fans! If you are what you eat, then the industry is getting leaner these days while the artists are snacking on a variety of delectable, delicious foods from all over the world!

Believe it or not, there’s now an entire generation of kids who may never step foot in a record store (one of my favorite experiences through the various stages of my life) and a whole slew of artists who are building a cult fan base without the help of a beat up old van for touring! Of course, the truth of the matter is they don’t have to do things the same old way anymore! New websites and new services pop up every day which enable you, the consumer, to discover new music and rediscover artists you may have forgotten about for years. In the past the record industry attempted to shut these resources down but they’ve since come around and begun to build more mutually beneficial relationships with these services and today we’re going to highlight just a few of them for you!

IMEEM ( Imeem is a social network centered on music. You build a profile and set out to share music, videos and photos of you and your favorite artists. Social Networking is a fun way to pass the time online and it’s not just for 17 year olds! Fans of all ages and backgrounds can post their music, talk about music and share music with others.

PANDORA ( Pandora was born out of an ancient online music effort called the Music Genome Project. It started many years ago in an internet far, far away and finally came to fruition as this engaging form of Internet Radio. With Pandora you create a customized online radio station that’s tailored only to you and what you want to hear. Whether you’re a fan of Pearl Jam or Mariah Carey, you start out with a title or a name or a genre and the station will begin streaming music to you that it thinks you’ll like! You give it a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down” and the system learns from your ratings, further refining the song list and creating an even more tailored experience for you! Of course, this is free and supported by advertising, but the ads are beautiful full-page “skins” as they refer to them and they don’t interfere with the experience of the site at all.

MUXTAPE ( The Muxtape is the place for people who like music but hate the Internet! If you like the concept of Imeem and Pandora but want a bare-bones, completely stripped down version, then this is the site for you. You visit Muxtape and register with an email address. You then get down to business by viewing and listening to mix-tapes created by other people or you can create your own for others to hear. No pretty graphics to get in the way. No annoying ads to pop up. No navigation to other areas of the site (there aren’t any). Pretty much nothing at all except music, music and music. For the snobbiest of music fans, this is the site for you!!

So don’t waste anymore time; get clickin’ and listenin’ to your favorite artists or the artists you remember and forgot you love!

More to come!!

1 comment:

We7Steve said...

We7 is also a great place to stream, share and download music for free. You can make and send your own playlists and the best thing is that we have pretty much any music you want and the artists get paid by advertising on our site, streams and downloads. For unsigned artists we have a tastemaker challenge where bands compete for their music to be streamed and downloaded for which they get paid like everyone else.

Steve Purdham
CEO - We7