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Web Documentary: How The Internet Changed Heavy Metal

from the hint:-for-the-better dept

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an upcoming web documentary by Metal Injection looking at the impact of the internet on heavy metal, among other things. The internet-focused episode was released last week, and it contains lots of interesting tidbits about the metal scene's reaction to changing technologies.

I say "tidbtis" because the format of the documentary is a little frustrating. It jumps rapidly back and forth among interviews with a huge variety of people including musicians, promoters, journalists and label representatives. It's kind of hard to keep track of who everyone is, and nobody really gets the time to make longer, more complex points, which also means there are a few quotes that are hard to interpret without the surrounding context. Nevertheless, there are some great views expressed, most of which will be familiar to Techdirt regulars.

At its core, the metal scene (like most music scenes) seems to be embracing the internet. One thing I found interesting was the number of people who clearly accept what's happening even if they don't entirely approve of it: whether they think that there is too much crappy music out there now, or that file sharing is bad for artists, they acknowledge that these things are here to stay and the only thing to do is embrace them and move forward.

There is also a running thread of the idea that the metal genre is especially well-positioned to build online business models, because metal fans tend to be big consumers of merchandise, and have a huge appreciation for large-form artwork and appealing physical products. Several people point out that it's no surprise the metal world embraced filesharing, since the golden age of heavy metal was fueled by tape trading—a topic that's discussed in more detail over at the Metalluminati blog.

You can watch the full documentary below.

Filed Under: heavy metal, internet, metal injection, tape trading


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2012 @ 5:38am

    Fans never stopped embracing paying, the internet is a place holder not a replacement for the original stuff unless you start calling everybody a thief than nobody cares about the original, nobody wants a piece of the artist and cognitive dissonance reins supreme, they may like the music but if they don't like the artist they don't buy anything else they don't put money on it, they don't start collections to acquire every piece of junk that the artist puts out.

    Further if you treat the fans badly natural social forces start to emerge and what was cool to own is now bad because you are financing the bad people who would harm as all and nobody wants to be on the receiving end of stinky eyes from their friends and family.

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