Like it, or lump it, the internet has been a decisive force in music distribution for at least 10 years now. From the very first p2p networks like Napster and Audiogalaxy to torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay or Mininova to Music Blogs to the new legal alternatives like iTunes, Beatport, Junodownload and so on. The great revolution in the internet has been in providing greater access to distribution for artists.
Nowadays a track can go from mixdown in the studio to being downloaded by a large audience within a matter of hours.
Opinions are split between those who download music "illegally" from torrent sites and largely the music industry and their representatives about just how ethically sound it is to download music for free. The fact remains that whilst it has become easier to distribute your own music online the chances of a musician earning a living wage from recording has become increasingly hard.
Part of this is due to competition from the sheer number of people actively recording and releasing music. Part of this has been due to the process of illegal downloading and the notion of free online music itself. Recorded music is no longer a profitable commodity.
So, in this overly competitive era where access to the public has been levelled, can an artist make a living wage?
What we hope to do over the coming months is to log and record our experiments with online distribution, music licensing, gigging and so on, looking at the various different options available and ways to make income - not all of them through selling the music itself.
We fully expect to make lots of mistakes on the way but hopefully learn from them.