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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Turning the industry on its head

    Let’s be honest. When was the last time you actually bought a CD from the store?

    Recording industry conglomerates are a thing of the past, as is their monopolization of artists’ CDs in the marketplace.

    “”Anything related to a major label is not artistic,”” said Chad Gerber, a member of Los Angeles band The Suicide Denial. “”It’s canned, formulated music.””

    Artists like Gerber are rebelling against the industry’s conformity and choosing new paths to distribute their music.

    “”We don’t want to be like the mainstream music industry that’s constantly fighting a battle with customers, trying to get them to purchase music that’s quite frankly most of the time overpriced,”” said Jessica Williams, The Suicide Denial’s manager and an employee at indie record label Divulge Records.

    Williams took an idea from Gerber and his bandmate, Chad McKinsey, and ran with it. The Suicide Denial gives its music and CDs away for free in stores and makes its albums downloadable online. They make money from merchandise and concert tickets.

    “”We were tired of trying to win over the major labels and make them like us so they can make us sound like everybody else,”” Gerber said. “”Why don’t we just do what we like, sort of like a revolutionary thing. Like, we’re tired of bad music, and labels control everything and we think that music should be free.””

    Radiohead joined the music revolution with a similar approach last year with their album, In Rainbows. Fans could name their own prices for a digital download of the album for a few months after the release, according to Rolling Stone.

    The Internet has contributed greatly to the music revolution, as most young consumers download music directly onto their iPods, skipping the CD process altogether.

    “”The last time I bought a CD was probably in the sixth grade,”” said business junior Katie Godfrey. “”It was No Doubt. I really don’t know anyone that buys CDs anymore.””

    U.S. consumers bought 25 percent fewer albums from 2000 to 2006, including CDs and downloadable albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Sales in digital singles rose 65 percent from 2005 to 2006, at 582 million singles sold.

    “”People are going and spending 15 dollars at the store and going home and finding there are only like one or two of their songs that they heard on the radio,”” Williams said.

    Many music fans are more inclined to purchase and download the one or two songs they like, rather than an entire album.

    That’s one reason The Suicide Denial gives away music.

    “”They don’t fit in,”” Williams said. “”That’s the coolest thing, they’re doing everything so different.””

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