This cartoon depicts 2 different friends, the person wearing a napster shirt and an anonymous friend. The friend wearing the Napster shirt tells his friend, “Free pass! Let’s go.” The two friends walk past two angry people. The first person is a giant, obese, old man wearing a nametag that says, “Hello My Name Is: EMI Universal Warner Sony”. The second man they walk past is a musician holding a guitar, saying “Hey! Where’s the 23 cents I normally get paid for a CD?”
This is a cartoon about touring musicians and their music sales. The person wearing the Napster shirt bringing his friend to the free pass, depicts the act of file sharing. File sharing makes the major record label company executives angry because the label doesn’t profit at much. The big four record labels at the time, EMI, Universal, Warner, Sony exploit the bands and musicians on their label by only giving less than 25 cents to the artist for every CD they sell for over 15 dollars. Major labels attempt to create a pseudo-monopoly on the music industry by giving publicity to the biggest artists but taking away almost all of the artists’ profits at the same time. The meaning behind this cartoon is that bands do not get paid through album sales now as much as they did before the digital era. With the advent of streaming and illegal downloading software such as Napster, music has become easier and more accessible for small to nonexistent fees. Major label corporations and some artists have become adamantly opposed to illegal downloading because they feel like the label will not profit as much. Some artists feel like they need to rely on getting the small portion of album sales from the major label. On the contrary, some artists have supported fans to obtain their music because they feel that merchandise and ticket sales increase as a result of the increased accessibility to listening to the artists’ music. Assuming that most fans download their music online, merchandise and ticket sales have been the main factor in the success of touring musicians, due to the successful exponential spread of music by file sharing.
I feel that Napster made a contribution to the spread of modern music. Independent touring musicians would not be where they are today, if it was not for the advent of Napster. Other mediums such as Kazaa, Limewire, and the well-know ThePirateBay have contributed to making musical access even more broad to people. If people like the music they hear from the artist, they are likely to buy the content of the artist. In recent times, mediums such as vinyl, has seen a major resurgence among sales since the start of the 2010 decade. The sales of CD’s are still ongoing because many fans of music would like to have a physical copy of some form, if they like the music they heard from downloading. and prominences. These networks of access to music have made it easier for independent artists to spread their music rapidly without the need to rely on a major record label for mass promotion.