By Vidya Pradhan
First there was the single. Those of us over a certain age (ahem!) can remember stacks of shiny black vinyl discs with songs by Donny Osmond and Cliff Richards scratching away at 45 RPM on our parents’ LP players. As technology improved and made it possible to fit more than one song per side, the album was born.
Ever since, customers have been bound to this format, even as the delivery mechanism moved from an LP to a CD. Released from the constraint of quality, record labels have been bundling mediocre pieces with hit songs, to the utter frustration of the buyers.
No longer; thanks to the internet, the music industry has done a 360. Today the single, in the form of the mp3, has made a comeback as distributors like ITunes and Amazon Music make single songs available to the listening public.
This method of marketing music and the role of the internet in disseminating it have opened the doors for struggling musicians as they reach a wider audience without the support of established record labels. One such Indian-American musician, Ananda Sen, has taken the movement to its logical conclusion. On his website, he offers one free song per week for download, committing to a 52-week cycle of songs. Continue reading