NEWS: The Benefits of the Digital Music Industry for Indie Bands

The music industry, like ever other industry, is struggling to catch up with the modern world. The world of music, once so open and widespread, can now be contained on a device not much bigger than a credit card. While there are numerous articles on how technology is slowly killing the music industry, we thought we would look at the benefits of the digital revolution.

Distribution is the biggest advantage that the digital industry offers for most bands. The internet gives musicians the chance to have their music heard across the globe without having to pay a penny for postage. This has allowed music fans to experience artists and genres that they would have never experienced before or considered if they still bought records the traditional way. For instance, have a list of 13 Egypt indie musicians that they believe should be listened to. Across the internet thousands of similar lists not only recommend bands but also provide an outlet for fans to listen to them.

Bands who fight the digital revolution are fighting a losing battle. In Hype Bot’s 5 reasons music streaming services can benefit artists they note that the majority of people listen to music today via digital platforms. Consumers will either stream or download their favourite tunes from their computers or, more likely, their smart devices. As Hyper Bot state, this is also the only way to avoid piracy as more consumers shift from pirate services to licensed music environments. Streaming services essentially rent your music out. If you want to get paid for your music, putting it on a streaming service is one of the only ways to generate profit.

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There is no argument that as much as the digital music industry has helped indie bands it is still much more beneficial for the big names. The internet has allowed bands with large followings to branch out and reach new audiences. For instance, Guns N’ Roses have used technology to reach out across media platforms. The most obvious example of this has been through the highly popular game series Guitar Hero where Slash was put on the cover of the third instalment. Yet Gun N’ Roses, like many other bands, have also licensed their name and image to less traditional media sources. Popular online gaming site Slingo have an officially licensed Guns N’ Rose slot game that uses the band’s name to attract current fans while also introducing new fans to the band. However, indie bands have a long way to go before digital technology will work for them in the same way.

It must be said that not all indie bands are embracing the digital revolution with open arms. IKE Productions reviewed Digital Resistance by Slough Feg which focuses on pushing back against the role of technology in modern society. This is a trend that slowly appears to be increasing in the music industry. Reports have shown that vinyl sales are up 53% on 2015. It would be a strange irony if indie music finally gets a hold on the digital world only for the industry to turn back to hard copies.

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Written by Charlie Edwards.