I think this article also shows up something about youTube I've noticed within my social group. It's half a decade old and yet it's become pervasive and it feels almost like it's always been there. Friends have said that like me they feel like they've been using it since about the turn of the century.
Think of all the newsgroups, mailing lists and blogs. Think hyperreal.org and the community around all that.
The music itself may not have spread digitally as we saw from the mid-90s onwards, but discussion of the music certainly did.
He owned Lotek Records as well.
My point is, maybe I'm jaded now but music was so much more interesting then when there was mystery and not everyone had an opinion about a band before their first mp3 came out. I think the disposable quality of mp3s makes music less valuable too.
The internet also killed regionalism in music for the most part where a certain "scene" would have a certain sound as bands around an area being influenced by each other. See . I'm not sure what could have been done, it's a natural by-product of the internet, but I miss it.
"Dieses Video ist in Deutschland leider nicht verfügbar, weil es möglicherweise Musik enthält, für die die erforderlichen Musikrechte von der GEMA nicht eingeräumt wurden."
- This video is not available in Germany because there is a possibility (!) of it containing music for which the GEMA  didn't give the neccessary rights.-
Sure looks like regionalism to me.
There is a new line between people who can now fire up some proxy service to access the content nevertheless or know how to find it somewhere else and people who don't know enough and thus can't get past the block or who live in a region with free availability.
"I suspect — and I don’t think this is nostalgia — but it may have been able to become kind of a richer sauce, initially. It wasn’t able to instantly go from London to Toronto at the speed of light. Somebody had to carry it back to Toronto or wherever, in their backpack and show it, physically show it to another human. Which is what happened. And compared to the way that news of something new spreads today, it was totally stone age. Totally stone age! There’s something remarkable about it that’s probably not going to be that evident to people looking at it in the future. That the 1977 experience was qualitatively different, in a way, than the 2007 experience, say.
Is it optimal or sustainable that a band needs to sell t-shirts and concert tickets to support themselves as musicians, let alone be super rich? The recordings and the concert tickets are the only product offered by bands that we place value in; t-shirts hold some slight social value, but little personal value. Revenues from concert tickets go mostly to the venue operator, especially for smaller venues of 100-200 people that most bands play in, and the amount going to the band is hopefully enough to pay for the cost of touring, and probably not much more than that.
So that pretty much leaves recordings as the only valuable product that bands can hope to sustain themselves with. Merch and tour ticket sales are not going to cut it for most artists, so without sales of recordings in some form, they're going to need to work a regular job, and the music is relegated to a hobby.
Making good recordings costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time in a recording studio, so hobby bands have difficulty producing them. Recordings are valuable to us because they allow us to integrate music into our lives. How can we expect musicians to invest the time and resources to make good recordings for us to enjoy if we don't recognize their value by directly rewarding the artist for making them? Buying a t-shirt does not send the message to the artist that we value their recording; only buying recordings does that.
My impression was that anyone with even a modest amount of technical savvy could put together a recording incredibly cheaply using a computer these days. Decent software, audio interfaces, and microphones aren't that expensive, and you can tweak the production and lay in new tracks to your heart's content.
It still takes a ton of time to get right, but it doesn't have to be expensive studio time anymore.
My point is that regardless of the cost, if we don't reward artists for making recordings, despite their great value to us, why should they bother with the effort to make them?
Lots of people have always started bands, and relatively few of them have made a living at it, never mind gotten rich. Sure some people pursue music because they want to be rich rock stars, but lots of people make music because they like making music.
In earlier days, it was easy to play live (and not make much money), but expensive to record anything, much less get that recording out to people. Nowadays, it's very affordable to record things as well, and trivial to upload to YouTube, SoundCloud, etc. Of course, the chance that more than a vanishingly small number of people will listen to your recording is still extremely low, but the barrier is notoriety, not the means of production and publishing.
And yeah, part of the rise of electronic music is because it has the lowest barrier to getting started and making your music -- just like the rise of guitar bands came partially because it was inexpensive to put together a small rock group relative to some other kinds of music, and the rise of hip hop came partially because even poor kids had access to two turntables and a microphone.
That wasn't something trivial to do in ages past.
Possessing gifted production skills (or knowing someone who does who will help you produce your music) is just another edge some artists may be able to bring to the table. Then again, if you are merely a mediocre engineer but a truly gifted songwriter or guitar player, those mediocre skills may be enough to let people discover your other, more remarkable talents.
While I am not personally all that nostalgic about the passing of the cultural distribution channels that Gibson mentions in the OP's link, I wonder how the reduction of meatspace contact in cultural transmission will play out. Many of my long standing friendships were formed in prehistoric book and record stores. As a kid today, I might meet those people, even more of them, no doubt... but would the tight bonds that sustained those relationships over the years have formed in the absence of non-virtual presence?
I guess this problem, if it even is a problem (and not the distortion of my limited perspective), will sort itself. It could be that increasing arrays of relatively weak social bonds in conjunction with smaller sets of strong bonds are what the social meta-organism requires moving forward.
And I may be going out on a limb, but googling anything before the Internet was pretty tough /jk
And unlike punk's self destructive near impotence to do anything but rage. The modern movement actually has some tools to fight back with.
Couchsurfing, autocross, bdsm, ska, anime, hiking, slacklining... all communities i've become involved in with human beings at real places because the internet made it easier to find out. I still needed a human to show me it. But then the community was opened up to me much quicker through the 'net.
The next counterculture, to me, was 4Chan's /b/ and Anonymous. As stupid as it sounds, those retards brought a new kind of rebellion to people's lives - even if it was largely online. But it's not the method the message gets out that matters. It's the culture that develops. I think it's clear that the internet isn't holding anyone back.