The music industry today is overridden with mediocre artists pumping out clichéd, meaningless music that sells records but fails to do what, at the end of the day, all good music should do: touch people’s lives and help them connect with each other and their individual realities. I, personally, have had no personal, deeper experience with any of the music I purchased last year.
There is, however, an undercurrent to the prevailing winds of the music industry that is proving to be quite promising, a movement that is being spearheaded by people like Sam Phillips. What I like about Sam Phillips is that she is not just a misguided rebel, doing things the opposite way just because it is fashionable to be the odd one out. Sam Phillips knows the shortcomings of the music industry first-hand. She has recorded eight solo albums with big-name labels like Virgin Records. Around a year and a half ago, however, she decided she had enough.
Her concept was simple and the reason I like it so much is because of its simplicity. She simply cut out the middleman: the record companies. She launched a website that offered access to her music for a reasonable annual fee and went about serving her music directly to her fans. Logically, something like this should not work since so much free online
music is available on online radio sites. I, personally, had my doubts about it. But it did and is proving to be a remarkable success that other artists may want to emulate.
What I really like about Sam Phillips is that she is using her newfound platform to provide her fans with a richer experience. Her website’s Longplay subscription service offers not only music but articles, videos and little tidbits that help her fans relate to the music more meaningfully. I really hope more artists adopt this model of distributing music. It translates into a win-win situation for both the artists and their fans, cutting out the need for a profit-oriented middleman.