Let’s face it: We all are guilty of downloading music. A song leads to an album which leads to an entire discography. We don’t give it a second thought, especially as to how it effects the bands that produce that music.
The music industry has all but given up the fight against pirated music, and has finally started competitively pricing their releases. Many unsigned bands have stopped releasing CDs altogether, opting to release them online, usually for free.
As someone who is an active download enthusiast, I do feel a certain level of guilt in taking money away from the record companies and bands that pay for the recording/pressing/distribution. I try to offset that guilt by buying an album for every discography I download. It’s not much but it helps me sleep at night.
I would much rather support a band by buying their merchandise at a show or giving them cash in their tip jar, which most touring bands have now. There are very bands that I enjoy enough to warrant me buying every single album they make.
I find a certain nostalgia every time I buy a new CD. I can’t exactly explain why I spend well earned cash on an item I could easily steal from any number of websites. (See: BT Junkie, PirateBay.)
Maybe it’s because I like having the opportunity to enjoy the album art, see any important information that may have temporarily escaped my internet browsing.
I think what I enjoy the most is seeing that although nearly, if not all of us, download their music, they still have the heart to thank the fans.