Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Vote Positively With Your Pocketbook

Adam Frucci at Gizmodo is calling for action, “Putting Our Money Where Our Mouths Are: Boycott the RIAA in March.”

I don’t disagree with him on the basics. I believe that consumer revolt is a misunderstood power. If you don’t believe me, I can prove it with one TLA: DAT. If your response to that is, “Huh?” then you’ve proved me right. The details of that are another essay, however.

However, there’s more to it than that. Boycotts are not as effective as purchase-shifting. If you just don’t buy any CDs, then one line in an accountant’s ledger will go down. The conclusion they’re going draw is that this means they have to hold tighter to what they have. There are no atheists in foxholes, but there are clinchpoops, and they clinch their poop tighter.

Subscribing to eMusic is good idea. If you haven’t, do so. If you regularly buy music, you will find enough things on eMusic that the monthly fee will save you a penny.

Better, go to CDBaby, Yep Roc, Compadre, and others. Even better, many,many small artists sell their music from their own web sites, often through a small label. As nice as eMusic is, relatively little of the money you give them will get in the hands of the musicians, and buying CDs as close as possible to the musicians themselves is the best way to get them what they deserve. Don’t wait for Friday, do it now.

2 comments on "Vote Positively With Your Pocketbook"

  • Adam says:

    I think one of the things that makes this most interesting is the conflict of security concerns. The labels want security in their revenue streams. I want security in what I buy, I’ll have next week.

  • Industry Insider says:

    With some of the things I’m saying on here I will obviously be remaining anonymous.
    Unfortunately there are some substantial problems. eMusic itself is actually owned by Universal (reference), so eMusic is fully a part of the RIAA. This is a major problem throughout the online music purchasing system, about as close as you get to independent is Yahoo Music, which is far from independent with major links with the majors.
    CDBaby would be good except that they have a sizable history of never paying the artists at all. Approximately 90% of the artists I talk to that have been on CDBaby have actually withdrawn and ceased even discussing things with CDBaby. CDBaby continues to sell CDs form these artists, but cannot deliver anything. CDBaby was not meant to be a con job, but it has turned into one.
    All other online independent CD sales companies are quickly becoming the same as “issues” creap into the system.
    The best alternative I know of for purchasing online would actually be Soundclick, they at least have a reputation of giving the artist what is due.
    For your listening pleasure though I encourage everyone to frequent their local live music venue, Jambase (website) has quite a selection. For those of you in the Los Angeles area I personally prefer Whisky a GoGo, but Viper Room and Roxy are trendier. If you visit the Roxy make sure you have a visit to On The Rox upstairs it’s a wilder party, even though the groups usually aren’t as good.
    In the SF Bay, Bay Music Scene (website) has a good listing of shows, and Bay Events is hard to use, and lists a lot of clubs, but the information is usually pretty good as well in finding live shows.
    In the Inland Empire (Riverside/San Berbardino County California), have a peek at Skinnie Magazine (website), they cover a lot of events there and all the way out to Las Vegas.
    If you’re in Vegas and can’t find a party there’s something wrong with you.
    In any major music scene city (basically any large city) it is only necessary to find a single substantial club, they almost always have free magazines, and in most of those cities the magazines are even more widely available (Chicago is the only exception I know of off-hand), just find one, and you should be set.
    Myspace also has a horrifyingly useless listing, but it can be useful for finding the event locations.
    Long live LIVE MUSIC.

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