Huge online reaction to Ben Hammond article

FOH engineer Ben Hammond’s latest article for API ‘went viral’ this week, spawning a massive debate among musicians, audio professionals and music fans worldwide.

The piece, entitled ‘Public misconception of the music industry’, sees Hammond explain why he believes the record industry is in a "sorry state," tackling topics such as the impact of illegal downloading, why up-and-coming bands are struggling more than ever and how this is all having a negative effect on the touring industry.

Countless great comments have been left on Facebook, Twitter and various other websites, but an interesting discussion has also been developing on Audio Pro International this week.

Here’s a round-up of the best comments on our site so far:

""Downloading is killing young bands" is where the argument always goes. The numbers simply don’t support that. Most downloading has always been skewed, WAY skewed to the stuff that is POPULAR.

I’m interested in the real metrics behind this argument. Maybe the 80,000 size festivals need to die, except for the ones that work? Bonnaroo seems to have the formula right…does a free stream..and gets bands on the map – then those bands do better on tour." – Andre Cholmondeley.

"Prior to the craze of downloading, bands were getting roughly 14 points, or 14% of their CD sales, and depending on the way the contract was setup the advance was recouped from that 14%, not to mention paying agents, managers, producers also came from that cut so in the end the band/artist was left with very little from their CD or album sales.

"So it’s not like CD sales were making bands major coin to begin with. In fact right around the time downloading became a big phenomenon you saw bands doing everything they could to get OFF their labels and start up their own or go independent so they could get the larger chunk of revenue from their CD sales.

"I however point the finger at the music industry, namely the major record companies and labels. With pop music, alternative rock, anything Top 40 etc. everything became formulaic, and this is before the download craze." – Brett Daley.

"Being an independent artist, I have to thank Lars [Ulrich] and the other bands that stood up for all artists (signed and unsigned). Without their fight, my band would not have been able to independently release 8 albums. These have been funded by online sales, mostly through CDbaby and Itunes. Sure, our music is all over torrent sites as well, unfortunately, but those who choose to support us, actually don’t mind paying $.99 for a song." – Steve Page.

"The simple solution-Abandon digital. It’s easy to steal and reproduce. Of course, I still firmly believe that the major labels are reaping the karma that THEY so richly deserve, having screwed so many musicians out of royalty monies not to mention the ones they foisted addictions upon to keep them more manageable." – Kevin Lunt.

With the debate still raging, Audio Pro International is now in the process of gathering comments from other audio industry personnel, so please get in touch with API editor Adam Savage if you’d like to contribute, or let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below (or on the original article).

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