Speaking for myself as an artist, this is one of the most important developments in the ambient world of
late (and beyond) which I think will make some artists considerably re-consider their practice. For me, I
think Mike has made some very important points / observations (which I agree with) regarding this, and he
certainly pulls no punches in his response to 'Snapping Turtle's post, where he said:
'...Implying that a huge influx of "free download" amateurs have glutted the ambient music market does
not say anything about whether the genre has peaked. How is one connected to the other? I think the work
being done by the best artists is as good as it has ever been, but I see no contradiction in asserting
that the average level of quality is dropping due to the huge crowd of less-serious beginners using
Reason or Acid to throw together a few pieces of music and offer it for free download...'
I wonder how the 'free culture' will change in time after its initial lustre has worn off - the
prevalence of the 'free' may develop into a general apathy / significant lack of quality control which
won't make for a healthy scene for anyone. For example, Where's any kind of sustainability for 'serious'
artists - artists in it for the long-term ? Seren's point regarding nothing being really free is a very
interesting one. Philosophically, nothing is free - in terms of the energy that is put into any project.
Will some artists just give up, if the feedback (alone) isn't sufficient to sustain them ?
My plan is to carry on releasing CD(r)s and just see how things go, whilst also making all my material
available on the (legal) download sites. I'm curious to hear people's experiences of their download sales
vs. CD sales ? I'm finding a much larger audience from iTunes et al and having a relesased a reasonable
number of albums helps.
Lastly, anyone know the arcane workings of Lastfm
? I've noticed that Mirko / Deepspace is pretty active