The New Tower Records is Spotify & PledgeMusic

Squeeze here and this is long due blog entry. I have been meaning to write something about the new music model, but just haven’t had the chance. We have had a ton of down time due to Blackey’s vocal problems, which means writing music, doing research and asking questions to try and figure out how to leverage everything out there better. Personally I have been led down the infinitely long rabbit hole known as Spotify. I first got involved with that nuclear bomb known as the mp3 during the 1st wave of ipods. The ipod was the best invention & totally made for me. I now could put my hundreds of cd’s in my pocket and listen to my music on the go. I always bought the cd though and then put the cd on my ipod until about a year ago when my ipod broke for the 3rd time and the cost to fix is ridiculous. I threw up my hands and said screw this, I refuse to put all my cd’s back on there. This is when I ventured into the streaming phenomenon. I started with Pandora, but got bored of it. Then I tried out Soundcloud, but there was too much garbage on it. While trying both of those I would also listen to albums on YouTube, but that got really old quick due to ads, glitchy internet and random ghetto audio quality.

Then I finally took the plunge with Spotify when I upgraded my phone from an android to an Iphone 6. On this day I was touched by a mythological creature. I used the free plan at first and was amazed at the amount music on Spotify. What really got me was that Spotify had all these rare albums that I wouldn’t expect it to have and albums that I was also interested in but didn’t feel like spending the time or money to check out. I upgraded to the paid plan after my free trial and then upgraded again to the premium family plan. The paid Spotify plan is hands down the best. You can listen to any song without any ads plus you have a download feature where you can download albums and listen to them without any internet service, which is perfect if your gym or office has crappy wifi. So many out there believe streaming music is the devil and bands complain about not making money with music sales. I truly believe the opposite. When Tower was around there was an actual culture around music. MTV played music videos all day, Music mags had all the latest music info, the radio played more variety, Tower held midnight promo events etc… It’s not like that anymore. Now the culture is reality TV and music being heard on TV, movies and video games. So naturally there has to be a new way to consume new music of which TV & radio don’t help. I have discovered so many bands through Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist that it got me pumped about music again. There’s a massive music culture out there but it’s in Spotify. I have actually purchased more band merchandise since starting to listen to Spotify. Bands at all levels manage there own merch stores & all of these bands are on Spotify. If I dig an album I go to the band website and look for the Vinyl , shirt or some other item that I can buy. There’s always that hesitation when a band puts out there latest album, maybe you hear a song or two from the radio or internet, should you spend the money on it? It always sucks to buy the latest album and then conclude that you just wasted $12. With Spotify hear the whole album first then decide to buy something, it’s a win win. It gives more incentive to the bands to put out quality albums each time because of all this streaming madness.

Streaming has definitely removed cd’s, but so what. Even if you had a cd where would you play it? Cars & computers don’t come with players anywhere and most likely your cd’s are scratched anyway or the player doesn’t work right. Another heavy hitter in this new music culture is PledgeMusic, which is a crowdfunding platform. I have been using it for a few years, but it has caught fire over the last year. PledgeMusic allows bands to offer exclusive limited edition merchandise. Megadeth released the grammy winning album Dystopia through PledgeMusic and one of the items offered was a guitar lesson with Dave Mustaine. I have recently pledged the Iron Maiden campaign and will be pledging the Cheap Trick & Nina Diaz campaigns. I have had my eye on a signed Cheap Trick Vinyl for quite sometime. Also Rex from Pantera has one going for his first solo album, which is really cool. He released a track on Spotify & I’m diggin it.

If this was 1995 we would run to Tower to buy & listen to all this stuff, but Tower is gone & it’s spirit lives in Spotify & PledgeMusic. Spotify, PledgeMusic and people like me will tell you all this stuff, but the rest of the media unfortunately won’t be so informative. These platforms were created off of the average consumer’s demands. I actually took steps in creating my own music podcast using Spotify as the core of it. In conclusion nothing has changed it’s just different just like everything else around you. Instead of going to a music store as the norm now you order everything through the internet and converse socially about it through social media. Concerts will never go away so you can get still get your heavy metal parking lot on with other like minded metal heads. Up the irons!

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