R.I.P. The Mixtape…

Mix Tapes

Gone are the days people would pay for these!

I just wanted to add a little to a previous post about making money out of music…

I remember DJing at a bar/club where I had residency for two years. Every couple of weeks someone would come in and ask the manager how much I was getting paid and then said they’d do it for 20 quid less. Luckily the manager was quite happy with what I was doing and how much she was paying me.  That’s the problem with doing something enjoyable – people are a lot more willing to undercut you. Doubt that would really happen if you worked as a dustbin collector.

The same thing has happened with mix CDs, before you had to go to the store to get hold of the new tracks, but now the bedroom DJ can easily undercut the record labels by sticking his mix on the web.   The DJ can weave a magical journey out of other people’s tracks (or conversely make a bland hash of it) but this could still be considered piracy of a sort.  It is acceptable on some level though, as artists are generally happy that their tracks are being played. The biggest problem with billions of freely available mixes is that it removes the key product to sell the general public.  So even though the artists tracks are being heard, the artist doesnt see any revenue from it.  The non-DJ doesn’t want individual dance tracks from Beatport with 2min intros and outros.  To them the mix is the end product.

But, what do we do? Stop giving out mixes and hope others do the same?  That’s just not going to happen.  Things have changed.  I do miss the days of going into my local record store and eagerly handing over 10 green queens for a mix tape or CD.   I remember getting so excited when I heard the next tape in the legendary ‘Edge Collection’ was coming out – yes, I loved happy hardcore, and I am proud of it!

Now we’re spoiled for choice, literally swamped in mixes.  There’s no way anyone would pay for them.  And I’m just as guilty as everyone else.  When you’ve lovingly prepped a mix full of your favourite tunes you’ll do anything to let people hear it.   Things change, no point trying to stop them changing, just got to smile about the past and then look for the new opportunities ahead.

Although, I will say that it’s easy for the mainstream artists to say music should be free now that they’ve made it to the big time.  And I wish they were wrong, but it all comes down to market value.  I’m currently reading an interesting survey by British Music Rights into what people want with regards to music, and what they are willing to pay.  And, thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom!  I will post it up , along with my comments soon.

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