We just wrote about the Harvard economists who noted that, despite claims that file sharing would decrease the incentive to create content, more music
than ever before is being made, and the trends keep going up. That report did note that it couldn't necessarily judge quality
, but was simply focused on quantity. However, according to at least one well known band, unauthorized file sharing is absolutely improving the quality of music
-- especially the band's own music. This is according to the lead singer of the Fleet Foxes, Robin Pecknold. He points out that his own musical tastes were heavily influenced by what he could download online, and that wide variety of influences has made him a much better musician:
"As much music as musicians can hear, that will only make music richer as an artform.... I think we're seeing that now with tons of new bands that are amazing, and are doing way better music now than was being made pre-Napster."
Now, obviously, this is anecdotal and a single data point -- but the critics (and fans) sure do seem to like the Fleet Foxes' music. Its debut album was named "Best of 2008" by Billboard, The Times, Mojo, Pitchfork and Uncut and hit number 3 on the UK charts (not sure about the US). And, of course, not surprisingly, Pecknold is fine if you want to download his album:
"I've downloaded hundreds and hundreds of records - why would I care if somebody downloads ours? That's such a petty thing to care about."