EARACHE RECORDS: THE ANTI-CENTURY MEDIA
When I first started critiquing Earache president Digby Pearson’s Ask Earache blog over a year ago I pegged Digyby / Earache as an out-of-touch label with all its eggs in one basket. My, how things have changed over the course of a year-plus. The Internet is a funny thing; it encourages discussion, and in some cases can actually produce change. I’m not patting myself on the back for turning Earache into a Fortune 500 company, but I am saying that the discourse I generated may have contributed in some small way to Digby taking a long hard look at the current music industry landscape and tweaking his approach. I know for a fact that Digby reads these blogs.
Dig’s latest move: capitalizing on the Century Media / Spotify backlash by issuing a press release essentially stating, “We love Spotify! All of our artists are on it!”
Digby’s been vocal about his support of Spotify before, but there’s no way the timing of this press release is coincidental: Dig saw a chance to move in where others are faltering, and he did it. So while Century Media seem to think the CD is going to experience a miraculous resurrection — or even that digital file ownership is here to stay — Earache sees the great long-term potential for its artists and label and is jumping into the future head-first. While Century is waiting for those CDs to fly off shelves (in what stores?) Earache is thinking long term: “How will these streams we’re giving away for a fraction of a cent help <<insert band here>> sell merch on their next tour? How many new real fans can we garner from this? What is the value beyond the immediate purchase?” Bravo.
Visit Earache on Spotify here, by the way, to listen to t he 3,500+ tracks they have posted from their catalog free of charge (or $10/month if you like better audio quality and want the ads to go away).