Why do some musicians pretend that music is not a commodity?

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Tsungai

guest
What is it about some toffee-nosed musicians who are reluctant to accept that their recorded music is a commodity to be exploited for quick capital gains? I don't see the difference between fast fashion and the hyper-commodification of records being made today. It's all consumed and forgotten in a short space of time, innit? And dusty musicians (with a little bit of reasonable potential, that is) shouldn't be ashamed to ask for donations if they are failing to make ends meet. It's not like every single musician is going to get a million-dollar record deal. Capitalism should be openly embraced by any creative person to the fullest.
 
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It is common for certain artists to want to be seen as people of high moral character who value their craft over money. At the same time, it is also ironic how some of those particular artists make songs criticizing capitalism, yet without private property rights as content creators, they would not have copyright ownership. If the same artists want to be commies they should release their music for free.

Realtalk, the recording industry wouldn't be where it is without cutthroat capitalism. It's important for music to remain an exploitable commodity so that all them people without strong signs of musical talent can participate in the business too. For example, instead of strippers working on the pole they can try the music thing...
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Nyikadzino

guest
It is because numerous performers are delusional, lmao. All forms of entertainment fall under bread and circuses (or bread and games). Facts are facts. Art is a luxury product. It always has been. Anyone who has to argue with what I have said their brain is surely full of saturated fat.
 

Bombastus

newbie
What you have to realize is that most folks don't really understand what a commodity means. They think it's only limited to the stock market. They only view music from its artistic perspective (or use-value) without considering the main motives behind the creation of multinational corporations involved in the recording business i.e., major record labels and movie studios (that commission original soundtracks and film scores).

So what we need to do now is define what a commodity is, which is simply any item, product, or good that can be traded, bought, or sold. Therefore if you approach music from its business side it perfectly fits the definition of what a commodity is.

When a producer or artist signs a record contract that doesn't necessarily mean they will own their own music. In fact, most recording artists don't even own the intellectual property (i.e., the sound recording copyright) of the works they themselves created in recording studios. So who does it belong to? Umm, it belongs to a record company, duh!

And what can a record company do with your masters? They can keep them if they want to and continue to make money off your blood, sweat, and tears or they can sell your masters to investors whenever they want. If music wasn't by any means a commodity it wouldn't be possible to transfer its ownership, would it? Probably not. On the other hand, to most music listeners, songs or albums are works of art just like paintings: it's all they envision.

P.S. Record labels don't work with artists because they are benevolent not-for-profit corporations. They exist to extract as much wealth as they can from the music industry on behalf of their shareholders. Which is the right thing to do from their side of things.
 
I don't think today's average singer-songwriter is delusional about the interest of a music publishing company (or record label) in transforming their art into a commodity that generates regular income through royalty payments or whatever sources of revenue are defined as part of a 360 deal.

However, in order to live a soft life and succeed in the natural selection game of capitalism sometimes you have to put on a facade even though you clearly understand the true nature of the business itself—the end justifies the means.

For instance, if you are doing music because you want to be rich and famous—something most singers or rappers do anyway—you are going to have a hard time marketing yourself to people who have never heard of you by constantly stating your capitalistic objectives loud and clear.

You have got to have at least some sort of inspirational story of how you came about to be a musician or songwriter. Whether your story is all made up you ought to continue to repeat it; the bigger the lie the better, you are on the right track—no pun intended. Otherwise, you will be snubbed for being "too corporate" and having a lack of passion for music by the masses. That's why it's a good thing for a musician to avoid coming across as a suit-and-tie corporate capitalist. Many people can not relate to that—image is important!
 
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Edward Longshanks

guest
@Munyaradzi Mafaro what you said can also be said about the video game industry. It's bad for businesses to criticize parasocial relationships. But if you "put on a facade" you can build a solid brand. There is absolutely no doubt parasocial relationships bring in more money both for businesses and streamers. It's a win-win situation. Everybody gets to eat. In a nutshell, greed is good. That's how you keep all shareholders in a perpetual good mood too.
 
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Toprameneesha

guest
@Munyaradzi Mafaro what you said can also be said about the video game industry. It's bad for businesses to criticize parasocial relationships. But if you "put on a facade" you can build a solid brand. There is absolutely no doubt parasocial relationships bring in more money both for businesses and streamers. It's a win-win situation. Everybody gets to eat. In a nutshell, greed is good. That's how you keep all shareholders in a perpetual good mood too.

Yes, that's why I tell people honesty always devalues a product or service being rendered. It's also worth remembering that believing a corporation is your friend is akin to believing a stripper truly loves you.
 
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Kwame

guest
It is common for certain artists to want to be seen as people of high moral character who value their craft over money. At the same time, it is also ironic how some of those particular artists make songs criticizing capitalism, yet without private property rights as content creators, they would not have copyright ownership. So if the same artists want to be commies they should release their music for free. But we all know they won't. It's kinda like politicians making campaign promises to small businesses while getting kickbacks from big businesses.
 
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Jonso

guest
If artists aren't supposed to sell their work how else are they supposed to get financial compensation for the work that went into it? I guess in my view, an artist selling their work is trying to recoup the costs of its production (e.g., DAW subscriptions). Rather than relying on a patron to pay for their work.
 
If artists aren't supposed to sell their work how else are they supposed to get financial compensation for the work that went into it?

You misunderstood OP's question. OP is saying art in the modern era has no meaning, no weight, and therefore no value if it is not associated with an already established brand exploiting it as a commodity.
 
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Benzorghini

guest
It is common for certain artists to want to be seen as people of high moral character who value their craft over money. At the same time, it is also ironic how some of those particular artists make songs criticizing capitalism, yet without private property rights as content creators, they would not have copyright ownership. If the same artists want to be commies they should release their music for free.

Realtalk, the recording industry wouldn't be where it is without cutthroat capitalism. It's important for music to remain an exploitable commodity so that all them people without strong signs of musical talent can participate in the business too. For example, instead of strippers working on the pole they can try the music thing and see how it goes.

Anything else is communist wrongthink especially if you own a record label. You gotta sign cats and eat off them. It's how the game goes. No talented acts on your roster mean no money in the bank. Like what the heck? BTW, I am not being sarcastic at all. I mean it.
 
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Realtalk, the recording industry wouldn't be where it is without cutthroat capitalism. It's important for music to remain an exploitable commodity so that all them people without strong signs of musical talent can participate in the business too. For example, instead of strippers working on the pole they can try the music thing and see how it goes.

Anything else is communist wrongthink especially if you own a record label. You gotta sign cats and eat off them. It's how the game goes. No talented acts on your roster mean no money in the bank. Like what the heck? BTW, I am not being sarcastic at all. I mean it.

The way you sound is like a record executive who won't hesitate to finesse artists with no remorse.

But I agree with some of your points. There are some musicians who have a commie mindset.
 
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Denzel Mashonganyika

guest
Several of you lads have said music is a commodity. And suppose that is the case, then why do record producers and artists make sure their tracks are properly mixed and mastered before being officially released? Why bother putting effort into something that isn't going to be cherished for eons?
 

Black Panther

grand master
Several of you lads have said music is a commodity. And suppose that is the case, then why do record producers and artists make sure their tracks are properly mixed and mastered before being officially released? Why bother putting effort into something that isn't going to be cherished for eons?

You are not serious, are you?

Anyways, it's for the same reason movies need post-production: presentation is important, notwithstanding the saddening reality of how a song's position on the charts or the number of streams has nothing to do with the quality of the mix or audio mastering. Hence, for a commodity to garner huge commercial success it must have massive exposure and that's what major record labels are very good at doing compared to independent or unsigned artists.
 

Bombastus

newbie
@Bombastus don't all the music rights revert back to original artists after 35 Years?

It depends on the country and if you release it independently e.g., re-recording your entire studio albums. Certain artists opt for the latter because sometimes there is no way for them to ever get their stuff back. Then there are artists who do it to be spiteful and that's self-explanatory. But there are also non-rerecord clauses in music contracts too to prevent competition on DSPs. It makes sense because you don't want multiple versions of the same commodity on the market. It dilutes the money for record labels.
 
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Essien

guest
People want to enjoy art. They don't want to hear about the boring legal ins and outs associated with show business. And it's not like an average entertainer doesn't know that corporations only work with them because they need commodities and merchandise to sell. So there's no point in spreading the word in the press about the business itself when you have to promote your new body of work. Artists only do that when they want to break a recording contract. That's when they start campaigning about how they are being held hostage and can't do jack.
 
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