Is Album Art Dying Or Evolving?

Recently I read a piece questioning if album art is dead. You can find it here.  I have to say that I believe that the artwork will not only survive but it will find a new golden age in the next 5 years.  The reason I say this is the same reason some are saying it is dying.  Digital downloads.  Yep iTunes, Amazon & all the others will come to the rescue in my humble opinion.

I know that the artwork on your ipod is small at best but a couple years ago I caught a look to the future.  Trent Reznor's band, Nine Inch Nails gave away their album "The Slip".  When you would download this in MP3 format you also had a pdf of the album sleeve.  I think this is where album art & liner notes will go.  I see the day where you download a full album from iTunes or some other online source you will also receive what would be the physical album sleeve, art, liner notes etc.  I also see bands and labels (however they exist in the future) storing the album art online.

New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)" by Erykah Badu
Look at some of the CD's that have been put out in the last year and you will see that the artwork is very good.   "The Stimulus Package" by Freeway & Jake One and also "New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)" by Erykah Badu stand out.  This is another reason I do not see it dying.  A good album cover or in the digital age album icon draws your attention to it.  The artwork compliments the music.  I do not see that changing, just evolving.

Now some may ask if the art is online and a download how will the artist get paid.  When you purchased a vinyl album the artwork was part of the purchase.  The same will go for the digital download.  Purchase the album in mp3 format and it is part of the purchase.  Higher res than your typical icon for your ipod.  You can view it on your computer screen or TV if you have your computer hooked up to it.  I can also see the album art as a stand alone purchase.  If you like 2 songs and love the cover art you can buy that.  Just want the cover,  that is an option as well.  I do see these as small individual purchases but the printing cost have been cut out.  I don't claim to have all the answers or know how this will play out.   I can only say that I believe album art, cover art etc will thrive like never before.  It just might take a few years.


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