The Galleon - Portsmouth's Student Newspaper



The True Cost of Free Music

The music industry was recently hit with the news that iconic heavy metal label Roadrunner Records has shut its offices located in the UK, Germany, Canada and Australia, leaving the offices in the US unaffected. It was also announced that founder and CEO Cees Wessels and 36 other employees will be made redundant as a result of the closures.

Since 1980, Roadrunner Records has released some of the biggest rock and metal albums, with its current roster of artists including Slipknot, Nickelback and Korn. If you are a fan of rock music then you are bound to have one of their releases in your record collection.

There has not been an official statement or reason for the closures, but it does signal to be a cost cutting measure during the hard economic times.

We all know about downloading music illegally, and we’ve all heard the various record labels views on how it is affecting the business as a whole. But to be perfectly honest, with Adele recently topping the young rich list with a staggering wealth of £20 million, times don’t seem to be so hard for the mainstream artists and labels. As a result, people are continuing to ignore pleas from record labels to actually pay for music.

22nd April 2012 saw the trend of ‘Record Store Day’ fly around Facebook and Twitter, being the most popular year since it began in 2007. Its aim was to promote independent record stores and to “celebrate the art of music”. The idea was for each and every one of us to go and buy a new record from an independent store and keep the industry alive.

Unlike Adele’s bank balance, the closure of Roadrunner Records might be enough to convince people that downloading music for free has affected labels that promote some big bands. We all like things for free, but sooner or later labels will close for good and music won’t be as accessible as it is now whether you pay for it or not.