Is the Internet Truly Democratic for Art and Music?
One of the purported benefits of the Internet is that it has democratized art and music. Instead of having to depend on major art galleries and major music labels, artists and musicians can instead turn to the Internet to find audiences. However, there are some limits to how much the Internet can truly democratize art and music. Here are a few of the perceived benefits and disadvantages of art and music on the Internet.
The Internet has made it far easier to distribute music, and many bands are using this to their advantage. Instead of only receiving a small royalty when each album is sold, musicians can instead secure most of the profit from album sales. However, bands often have trouble finding an audience, and is often the featured musicians to receive almost all of the money spent online. Becoming featured musicians is not an easy task, and it is often record producers who choose which bands are featured and which are not.
Those who provide original artworks for sale also face problem. Those who are mentioned in major publications and on popular websites will likely see a large volume of sales, but those who provide original artworks for sale who do not receive this attention often struggle. It cannot be stated that art is bought and sold solely on its merit, and some of the factors that would influence which artists will succeed are still present.
Despite these disadvantages, the Internet still provides a means to reach out to an audience online and find some success. Further, a number platforms have come online in recent years that allow a more democratic way of rewarding talented artists and musicians.