Some thoughts on Google Music
I've had the chance to use Google Music and the Music Store for a while now, and I'd like to share my thoughts on a feature of this launch that seems to be not getting the attention it deserves: Artist Hub.
For far too long, record labels have made the vast majority of money from CD sales, as they recoup costs of recording, promoting, and developing a band. Now that these costs have dropped significantly (with Garage Band, MySpace Music, etc), you'd think that either bands would be making more, or the price of a CD would drop. Neither has happened. It seems to me, the biggest problem is that bands didn't have an easy way to get their music to a well known music store without a label who had brokered a deal with iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.
This has just changed.
Now artists can take their music directly to the Google Music store, set a price, and keep 70% of the profits, no pesky record contract needed. This is HUGE. I am hopeful that more music stores will follow suit and make it easier for bands to remain independent, while still reaching a massive audience.
We all know it: the music industry has been broken for years. I think we might have just seen the first step towards its rebirth, with the artists in the drivers seat. I'm really excited to see where this leads. If you're a recording artist, I recommend checking out http://music.google.com/artists/ for yourself. The industry might finally be changing for the better.
In my opinion, this is the most exciting thing to happen to independent artists since YouTube.