Somehow I managed to miss the 2nd page of this discussion until now.
A label owner who also runs a music mail order ends up with a TON of music to listen to... so much that I could never buy another CD and always have more than enough variety of music to listen to for the rest of my life. This is especially true because I was a fanatical music collector before I started Hypnos, so I have a couple thousand pop/rock/jazz/soundtrack CDs in addition to this glut of ambient.
I can understand as well as anyone the idea of simply no longer buying new music, and just listening to what I have.
A good point is raised, though, which is the idea that even if it makes sense for us individually not to buy any more music, as part of a music "scene" we have an interest (not an obligation, at least I wouldn't say so) to support artists or labels who are creating interesting music that we would like to encourage.
A phenomenon I've seen happen many times, not just in the world of music but also in publishing, is that a label or publisher or magazine says "We aren't making enough money to continue because nobody is buying our product." So they do a Kickstarter, and everybody swoops in and donates thousands of dollars, and the label/publisher is able to continue at least temporarily. It seems people are willing to "bail out" someone who is doing good work, if people realize that the label/publisher is going to disappear without that support.
It seems it's human nature to take for granted that the creators we enjoy are doing just fine, and will always be there. We may not buy their CD, their book or their DVD, (or we might buy some of their output, but not most) but we want them to be around, because they are part of a community and a scene that we value.
Although I own a record label, I'm actually NOT bringing this up from that perspective. I'm not feeling sorry for myself about how tough it is to sell CDs in today's market. Actually, Hypnos does OK, and there's zero chance that we'll stop doing this any time soon.
But I do speak to other label owners, as well as artists who self-release their music, and something I hear again and again is "Why should I bother continuing to do this?" In the past few months, I've spoken to a couple of label owners who I had assumed were doing really well -- they were still actively putting out cool music -- but who indicated they aren't sure whether to continue.
I won't name names, but I have no doubt that if either of these label owners put up a Kickstarter and tried to raise money, and made it clear that without a certain-sized chunk of money they would cease operating, many of us would want to donate because we would simply hate the idea of the ambient/experimental music scene without these labels doing what they do. I like to think the same is true with Hypnos -- that if we were actually struggling, and let everyone know it, that people would contribute to keep it going.
I see both sides of this problem. I understand having so much music that it's hard to get motivated to buy more. Same goes for books, with me. I have such an enormous backlog, it's only the collector's mindset that triggers the urge to purchase, not an actual need for new reading materials.
I also think it's important for people to remember we ought to "vote with our wallet" by supporting the stuff we want to continue. I'll clarify again, this is not a plea for more people to buy Hypnos stuff. We're doing just fine, thanks! I really am talking about this more as an ambient music enthusiast, and friend to other labels and indie artists.