Music should be free. If you don't want it 'stolen' then don't record it.
#91
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #91
Quote:
Originally Posted by DISCERN View Post
Ashley Simpson.




What do you mean labels have no control over what sells? Do they only receive 4 pieces of music a year and think "Oh shit... I hope we go ok!". Hell no. Every label and radio station on the planet has a stack of music just sitting in the corner waiting to be turfed into the dumpster, and we all know "quality" really has nothing to do with that decision making process.

Take a plumber on the other hand... how many can you rattle off from memory? None you say? They must be all broke then? Heck no. Plumbing is so economically viable that required advertisement is minimal. Chuck a number in the local phone book and people will know where to find you.

The only reason music sells is through the marketing chains it has created. Only 2% of albums in 2009 sell more than 5000 copies? I wonder how many of those 2% were thrusted upon society as the next "Must Have" thing.

You have answered your own question. If labels had no control over music and what sells, why do they even exist?? There entire purpose is to selective choose music (regardless of quality, originality and substance) to pedal to the public in such extremes that it falsifies it's value. All the marketing ticks are in there. Catch phrases, sexy, fashion, etc... and it's all in an attempt to convince consumers to part way with there money instead of choosing the free alternatives available over places like the internet that really aren't any different... they just lack that marketing "pizazz!"




My parents definitely taught me a thing or two. The very notion of "wrong" is reflected by the views of society. For example, you are here lecturing people about what is "wrong" whilst wearing designer clothes made by slavery in the third world... heck, you don't mind! People actually think you are kind of cool because of it, right?

I don't know if anyone has told you, but you and I are wealthy. Very wealthy! Simply being part of the western world makes it so... yes, that's right! Because you live in America you are one of the golden billion. Wow! You never thought you'd be in the top 15% of the worlds richest did you?? Congratulations

No doubt are you reeking the benefits of highly exploited, less fortunate people... perhaps without even knowing it. It isn't wealth that corrupts. It is comfort. It skews ones ability to determine right from wrong. Most of the western world is shielded from it. Even when presented with it, most take a glance and think "better them than me". That is some morale fortitude isn't it?

...and here you are, screaming from the roof tops "I deserve my money!!", while some of the world is screaming "They deserve to eat!".


After all, it's not like there is anything else you could do for money if the music industry imploded. Don't feel bad. Why would you be able to tell right from wrong? The society you live in can't... it is out to advance itself, despite the cost to life, living standards and the wellbeing of other members of the human species.
Designer clothes? PLEASE, you know nothing of my background and yet you make these absurd assumptions. I do agree that as americans for the most part, we are wealthy, especially as compared to many other parts of the world where the poverty is heart breaking. However you analogy doesn't hold water, try this, what do you think would be the workers lot in their third word country making designer clothes if everyone was stealing them? do you think they'd still have jobs? stealing is stealing, and if enough of it is done, those industries ultimately will not be able to support those who work there, or it will make the exploitation that much worse. I can tell right from wrong and I don't try to justify something that is wrong by pointing out how much worse someone else has it. BTW if I don't make money I don't eat either
#92
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #92
Quote:
Originally Posted by psalad View Post
I KNEW someone would respond like that mobius, and I tried to disarm it with my little disclaimer.

As I said, I don't condone piracy, and I don't think people should roll over.

However, the TRUTH is there are people right here in this very thread with an attitude of ENTITLEMENT, that the world OWES them a working wage just because they create music.

The post above that I commented on, though, was really about MORAL SUPERIORITY. Read it again. People who criticize those pirates need to understand the big picture... again, nobody owns the moral high ground. Our incredible overuse of the world's energy resources in the west is just a start. Then it's our toxic waste that we send to other countries. Etc.
It's not an attitude of entitlement, that's absurd, what if you're a carpenter and you build furniture, you invest your time and labor and money and materials into building something, you finish it and bam someone steals it.
Or you're a photographer, you spend your life working on your craft, you make a collection of pictures you want to sell and some loser steals your prints, makes their own copies that they sell for a 100th of what you are selling it for, because they incurred none of the cost to make that product.

Look it's hard enough to make a living in the arts, you make a recording, put it out, there's no guarantee that it will sell, or that you can recoup what ever your investment in time, money to hire musicians, graphic designers etc
but stealing it doesn't help. By your idea basically if your doing anything more than making music in your bedroom by yourself you're foolish.
Again, I'd like to see how you'd feel if you spent a serious amount of time and money making a recording, set up distribution, spent money on a radio campaign, and discovered before the record was even released that it was available on some torrent sites, because some asshole intern from a radio station uploaded it, some of which even had the nerve to sell it.
#93
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #93
Quote:
Originally Posted by antstudio View Post
It's just a fact of where we are today. There's no value in downloads and digital copies
sorta - there may be no value in the digital bits but there is value in the human labor...

the scarcity argument is hollow

if it doesn't have value why do people steal it then? from a pop song to the waves diamond bundle

it is stolen, because it has value...

there seems to be enough value in it to pay for a monthly ISP connection though...

and an ipod, and a computer, and smartphones, and harddrives to store all of it on...

the container may have no value, but the content itself does...

the value is in the creativity and human labor

please read and respond to this:

Quote:
the critical issue
by Tom

I agree that debates about property rights in the digital age are often distracted by faulty thinking about scarcity.

So let’s get the facts straight.

Unless a resource is scarce, assigning property rights to those who “produce” that resource is neither sensible nor harmful. After all, even if those who produce an "abundant" resource can exclude others from the portion of the abundant resource that they produce, the value of that right to exclude will be $0 absent scarcity.

But, as economists have long known, scarcity comes in two forms, ex ante, and ex post. Ex post scarcity means that a resource remains scarce even after it is produced and disseminated. Apples, wheat, and iPods exhibit ex post scarcity. Ex ante scarcity means that the resource is scarce until a means to produce and disseminate it is devised. Lighthouses and information goods (like innovations and expressive works) are examples of resources affected by ex ante scarcity.

Copyright and patent law respond to the problem of ex ante scarcity. Anyone who argues that information goods like innovations or expressive works are not "scarce" can validate their argument by producing the following:

-- copies of the films that will win Oscars in 2012,

-- a detailed description of a 100% effective cure for cancer,

and

-- a detailed description of a cheap, nonperishable malaria
vaccine.

In short, useful information is scarce, and it is expensive to create and produce, until the information in question is created and broadly disseminated.


So the problem with information goods is twofold.

First, we must convince someone to incur the expenses and risks involved in creating them.

Second, we must convince those who create valuable information goods that they should disseminate them broadly instead of carefully restricting access to those who are willing to pay (a lot) to obtain access.

An example may make this point more clearly. Dr. Stephen Covey studied business practices for many years and concluded that he could identify seven principles that would increase the odds that a businessperson would succeed.

For years, he profited from this information by acting as a consultant to Fortune 500 corporations and disclosing it only to the senior executives of corporations that paid his (very high) consulting fee.

Then, copyright laws convinced Covey that he could better exploit his hard-earned insights by publishing a book and making his insights available to anyone willing to pay $7 or visit a library. As a result, The Seven Principles of Highly Effective People was created and widely disseminated.

Saying that this particular work is no longer “scarce” because it has been created and widely disseminated dodges the real question: How do we encourage people like Covey to create information goods and broadly disseminate them?

For now, the best answer yet conceived to this question is “copyright”: We give authors like Covey an exclusive right to their expression of ideas so long as they are willing to allow the ideas expressed to pass immediately into the public domain. This bargain explains why you owe Covey nothing if you read a copy of his book at the library for free and then use his seven principles to build a multi-billion dollar business.

To oversimplify somewhat, copyrights are justified by the difference between the costs of creating an expressive work and the costs of copying an expressive work that has already been created, disseminated and become popular. The “abundance” of digital works that have been created and disseminated does not eliminate this justification. To the contrary, it strengthens it: As the marginal cost of reproducing a popular, disseminated work decreases, the justification for copyright increases.

So I agree: If humans already knew everything worth knowing and had already expressed everything worth saying, then it would make no sense to prevent zero-marginal-cost copying of innovations and works that had already been created and broadly disseminated.

But we don’t. That is why copyright and patent laws continue to make sense.

And that is why people who support those laws do understand “scarcity” in the digital age.

I hope this helps.
#94
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #94
Gear addict
 
Unrealworld82's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by antstudio View Post
Seems to me music is and always has been free to consumers. Or better said, consumers have never paid for music. All we've paid for as consumers in the past is for the distribution and duplication of high quality copies. The current downloading trend is not a reflection of an increase in criminal activity, it's just the side-effect of the transition to a new music economy.

Here's what I mean. In the "old days" I paid $10 for an album. Had I then "purchased" the songs? I don't think so. Eventually my album wore down and I had to pay another $10 for another copy of the songs. I personally repeated this process many times for my favorite albums in the 70's. If I had really purchased the songs, I could I go back to the record company and pay perhaps $2 for another copy just to cover costs of duplication. Nope. The record companies view was I had purchased and owned nothing but the physical medium. The entire $10 applied only towards the vinyl medium and packaging. They even fought vigorously to prevent me from even making my own backup copy on cassette tape. In their view I did not own the music, I did not purchase the music, or even a personal license to it. The music was owned by the record company, publisher and/or artists. All I paid for was the physical copy, and if I lost it or wore it out, I needed to pay a full price for another copy.

The record companies can't have it both ways. In the digital world the cost/value of high quality duplication and distribution has gone to practically nil. Consumers know that instinctively and that's why they don't have any qualms about downloading. It's just a fact. You can't convince the majority of people that something of no value or minimal value actually has value. That's why the majority of people download. Not because they're criminals. Not because they don't value an artist's work. It's because they assign (and always have assigned) no value to simply listening to a song (e.g. listening to a song on the radio is free to them) and they're not wiling to pay ridiculous prices for something they know costs almost nothing to deliver.

It's just a fact of where we are today. There's no value in downloads and digital copies.

However, there is still value in high-quality replication, distribution and delivery of music. There is value in organizing the vast world of music available and making it instantly accessible and discoverable. There is value in providing easy, fast and convenient ways to search for new music, find artists, songs and albums that fit the consumer's interests. There is value in high quality music files with accurate lyrics, artwork and liner notes. There is value in knowing your music collection is of the highest quality. There is value in eliminating the need to fart around with torrents, downloads and other crap you have to deal with to get "free" music. There is value in being able to go to a single place to get, as an old Saturday Night Live commercial parody once said, "every song ever recorded". There is value in having all your music accessible from everywhere instantly - PC, phone, tablet, car, etc.

When "record companies" get this -- or when some entirely new company gets it and convinces "record companies" to work with them, the industry will have found their way out of the current mess/downturn and on to a new music economy where consumers pay a reasonable price to have "free and easy" access to the vast and creative world of music, old and new and not yet created. Artists will have new ways to create communities of fans/followers to promote themselves and their music to a worldwide audience. They will sell lots of merch, drive a lot of fans to revenue generating shows, license their songs for commercial use, arrange for high-paying "guest appearances" at private venues, and perhaps even sell some high-quality physical media, e.g. a personally signed copy of their latest album or a limited run vinyl print with great packaging and liner notes.

However, I have to agree with the OP. The old way of selling music will never work again. If your business model as an artist depends on selling records (high-quality physical copies) or selling downloads (high-quality digital copies), you need to re-think your business model. To survive, record companies, much against their nature, have to become service oriented (i.e., provide a quality service to artists and fans). Artists have to build as big a fan base as possible, leveraging the almost zero cost of digital duplication and distribution, acknowledge that the vast majority of those fans won't "pay for music" in the old way, and find new ways to free fans from their cash.

That's how I see the situation. As far as my personal desire? I'd love to see a system where consumers can pay a fair price to get access to all music (e.g. a low-monthly subscription service) where the service provider gets a fair cut (10%-20% max) and the artists (and I mean writing and performing artists) get the majority 80%-90%. I don't think it can happen, sadly.

What keeps me hopeful is: good artists, good songs and good performances will rise above all this, whether they are financially rewarded or not. 100 years from now we probably won't be talking about today's record companies that screwed so many artists and eventually screwed themselves, but we'll probably still be talking about the Funk Brothers and their transcendant and transformational artistry.

..ant
Great point. Echoes what I was trying to say ... that there is a distinction between the perceptual value of "music" and "music product." Which, in my opinion, the labels fail to address really.
#95
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unrealworld82 View Post
Great point. Echoes what I was trying to say ... that there is a distinction between the perceptual value of "music" and "music product." Which, in my opinion, the labels fail to address really.
what about the indie, unsigned and DIY artists? is it somehow different for them, then labels?
#96
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #96
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unrealworld82 View Post
I think you've misread my post. I am simply "asking" the record labels to stop pretending there is no piracy, and to eliminate the need for it by presenting music (in mp3) as way to sell CD's, merch, what have you. It's already all out there, whether anyone likes it or not.
Would that would eliminate the need for it?
#97
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #97
Lives for gear
 
doug hazelrigg's Avatar
Interesting thread. A couple points:

Musicians have been compensated for their artistry for thousands of years. It may not have always been monetary. For example, the musicians in ancient Israel were housed and fed by the tithes the people made to the Temple.

Also: Is it not POSSIBLE that the new business model for music distribution can actually make MORE money for the artist? For example, anybody can sell their tunes on iTunes or some other site and make a FAR bigger profit margin than if it was marketed by a label. Also, a new band can record an album for FAR less money now than in the days of old, where the label typically charged back the cost of recording an album to the band before any royalty was paid.

What's left I believe is still the essential ingredient that mandates that an artist play live and play often in order to establish a following -- the way it's been done since time immemorial
#98
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #98
Gear addict
 
Unrealworld82's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicAndFilmGeek View Post
what about the indie, unsigned and DIY artists? is it somehow different for them, then labels?
Good question. A good example of this working to great effect is (now independent) Nine Inch Nails Ghosts album, which (like or not) is a 4-disk, 36 track instrumental album that Trent Reznor made $1.5mil off of in its first week. TR and Co. gave away disc 1 and still sold physical copies, and digital downloads. So the immediate thing that you say is "Well, NIN was established on a major label, that's why they have a huge fanbase" - which is a very true statement. My point is, the week Ghosts was released, NIN generated more revenue than the #1 major label release the same week, which was Alan Jackson's Good Time. So what this proves is that there are models that better address the downloading-age and do make money. I don't have the missing solution for the new, upcoming indie artist, but somewhere there is a solution that relates, just waiting to be figured out.


Edit: I'm referring mostly to personal income for the artist here, I recognize that AJ's 119,000 in sales might have yielded more gross income than $1.5, but I would doubt that he realized that much in personal income, which TR did. The numbers are 119,000 for AJ, close to 800,000 for NIN, and its also known that TR made that particular amount of income, but the same is not known of AJ, so I'm partly speculating about the amount of "points" AJ is getting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synonym Music View Post
Would that would eliminate the need for it?
Well, mostly. I mean the most hurtful demographic of illegal downloading is the would-be casual record buyers. If the labels themselves give away decent mp3's to them and sell CD's and hi-quality DL's, then what they have done is reduce public interest in going to outlets like Limewire for music, whilst still "hyping" the artist's merch and shows. There will always be those people who want to rip and share lossless versions of physical cd's, those who will DL and properly install FLAC's and FLAC codec, but they are perhaps a somewhat less harmful (and certainly much smaller) group than the less tech-savy masses collecting 128kbp mp3's off limewire. The latter group is the one you would lose if labels gave away mp3's. Which would, of course bring an end to iTunes, so that's a whole other story.
#99
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #99
Quote:
Originally Posted by doug hazelrigg View Post
Also: Is it not POSSIBLE that the new business model for music distribution can actually make MORE money for the artist?

For example, anybody can sell their tunes on iTunes or some other site and make a FAR bigger profit margin than if it was marketed by a label.

Also, a new band can record an album for FAR less money now than in the days of old, where the label typically charged back the cost of recording an album to the band before any royalty was paid.
it should be possible... and that is the promise of how the internet SHOULD have helped musicians!

however we've yet to see it manifest in a meaningful way, due to the readily available free illegal alternative... this conversation is only being had because of piracy... (neener, neener, you can't stop/catch me)

truth is, professional musicians are way worse off after the internet, than before it.
#100
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #100
@ underworld82

re: NIN/Radiohead

I appreciate that - but is there a successful example outside of radiohead and nin? both of whom profited from years of multinational corporate spending to establish them and their brands/bands?

Everything that effects the "labels" now effects artists directly. NIN and Radiohead are not a model for new artists. They are a model for legacy artists now free from labels.

But can this work for a new artists without decades of multimillion dollar marketing spends paid for by a third party? We as yet - have not seen it work.

in my experience, what I've seen is that the damage of piracy is collateral and proportional
#101
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #101
Lives for gear
 
nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doug hazelrigg View Post
What's left I believe is still the essential ingredient that mandates that an artist play live and play often in order to establish a following -- the way it's been done since time immemorial
....except for a blip in time this century when they didn't need to tour. I like to record but putting on a tour would be very difficult with my music and time limitations. But I agree it appears to be what musicians will need to do..

I think it's too early to know how the industry will change and what the revenue models will be. However I agree that selling recorded music seems to be the least sustainable money making opportunity for musicians.
#102
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #102
MonsterIsland.com
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
How did The Beatles, Kraftwerk and Steely Dan build their wealth so successfully?




I think a large section of the musical fraternity have already rejected the major label model, initially by installing their own studios, thus reducing their need for huge advances and as a result wrestling more control from the label. Secondly, the independent label and distribution network has been a viable route since the late 70's.
I agree, the indie artist is never going to sell as many records as The Black Eyed Peas, but when I get really worried about the future of music when I see self funded, independent artists (with international reputations and fanbase) almost giving up because their sales have slumped so much.
Why don't you go ahead and answer that question. Please tell us why Paul McCartney has so much money and what percentage of that comes from record sales.
#103
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #103
MonsterIsland.com
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adpz View Post
The problem is that piracy is not the right thing to tear the industry down. When someone does not spend money on something, they lose their voice in the marketplace.

I've said it before - we have people like Bieber, Jonas bros, Miley etc. because the tweens and their parents are the ones willing to spend money on it. The tastes of the 20-somethings are not reflected in mass media as well b/c they don't support their likes in the same fashion.
That's not why we have those artists.


Marketing music is very difficult. You need to expose and artist to a massive audience and then you get a small portion of that audience as fans. Certain music is easier to reach a mass audience with. Certain artists can crossover to multiple disciplines, like acting ad singing. That allows marketing through more media simultaneously.

What's the easiest debut album to sell? The winner from American Idol because they already have a fan base.

Only certain genres fit in mass media and because of that, they will be the genres that always sell best.
#104
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #104
MonsterIsland.com
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unrealworld82 View Post
I do agree that seems to be the main, glaring problem. This is a good discussion.

I think what I am trying to articulate is that, I don't think we will "save" the record industry in its current business model. My hope, is that "we" (as in people who like to make/record/listen to music) save it in some other way that still makes it practical to both create and enjoy. That's where I think we will have to be contented to deliver and receive it in a more pre-wax recording era manner, on a more localized scale. That's just where I see it going. And honestly, the proverbial brick I speak of, I do think has been earned by the music industries foolish defiance to adapt to customers across age groups.
Why are those artists a problem?

How could any financially successful artist be a problem for the music industry? That makes no sense.
#105
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #105
MonsterIsland.com
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unrealworld82 View Post
OK. In the old days it was good to have people hear your music on the radio. The labels even did the whole payola bit. the internet is a chance for EVERYONE to hear music.

Here's a different business model:

Get people to like your music by giving it away in decent quality 320k mp3's on your label website.

Sell nice, "CD Quality" loss less versions and Cd's with great artwork booklets to your "true fans" ( you know, the only one who would ever buy your album anyway)

Completely negate all channels of piracy in the process, reach as many ears as one could hope for, and still come out selling the same amount (or more) of CD's as they would under the current model.

Tour the world. Sell tickets. Sell merch. Get rich. Have a nice life.

What's so bad with that?
Why would someone buy a CD quality file so that they can put it in iTunes as and MP3 and match the quality that they already have?
#106
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #106
MonsterIsland.com
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unrealworld82 View Post
I think you've misread my post. I am simply "asking" the record labels to stop pretending there is no piracy, and to eliminate the need for it by presenting music (in mp3) as way to sell CD's, merch, what have you. It's already all out there, whether anyone likes it or not.

Edit: I'd also like to state, so as to clarify... even though I have some serious issues with the current state of the record labels, and I do think that the only thing they should do differently is go ahead and "promote' their "product" by giving away their music, I do not support piracy. I have just accepted that it is here to stay.
Labels don't pretend there's no piracy. That's what they see as the biggest problem.

They do give music away. Lots of new signed artists give music away for free.


It's not just up to the label however. There are two copyrights, one for the sound recording and one for the songwriting. The label must pay the songwriter for each copy of the song given away (unless a deal is negotiated, which is what usually happens). So a label would actually have to pay to give away music.
#107
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #107
MonsterIsland.com
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DISCERN View Post
Ashley Simpson.




What do you mean labels have no control over what sells? Do they only receive 4 pieces of music a year and think "Oh shit... I hope we go ok!". Hell no. Every label and radio station on the planet has a stack of music just sitting in the corner waiting to be turfed into the dumpster, and we all know "quality" really has nothing to do with that decision making process.

Take a plumber on the other hand... how many can you rattle off from memory? None you say? They must be all broke then? Heck no. Plumbing is so economically viable that required advertisement is minimal. Chuck a number in the local phone book and people will know where to find you.

The only reason music sells is through the marketing chains it has created. Only 2% of albums in 2009 sell more than 5000 copies? I wonder how many of those 2% were thrusted upon society as the next "Must Have" thing.

You have answered your own question. If labels had no control over music and what sells, why do they even exist?? There entire purpose is to selective choose music (regardless of quality, originality and substance) to pedal to the public in such extremes that it falsifies it's value. All the marketing ticks are in there. Catch phrases, sexy, fashion, etc... and it's all in an attempt to convince consumers to part way with there money instead of choosing the free alternatives available over places like the internet that really aren't any different... they just lack that marketing "pizazz!"




My parents definitely taught me a thing or two. The very notion of "wrong" is reflected by the views of society. For example, you are here lecturing people about what is "wrong" whilst wearing designer clothes made by slavery in the third world... heck, you don't mind! People actually think you are kind of cool because of it, right?

I don't know if anyone has told you, but you and I are wealthy. Very wealthy! Simply being part of the western world makes it so... yes, that's right! Because you live in America you are one of the golden billion. Wow! You never thought you'd be in the top 15% of the worlds richest did you?? Congratulations

No doubt are you reeking the benefits of highly exploited, less fortunate people... perhaps without even knowing it. It isn't wealth that corrupts. It is comfort. It skews ones ability to determine right from wrong. Most of the western world is shielded from it. Even when presented with it, most take a glance and think "better them than me". That is some morale fortitude isn't it?

...and here you are, screaming from the roof tops "I deserve my money!!", while some of the world is screaming "They deserve to eat!".


After all, it's not like there is anything else you could do for money if the music industry imploded. Don't feel bad. Why would you be able to tell right from wrong? The society you live in can't... it is out to advance itself, despite the cost to life, living standards and the wellbeing of other members of the human species.

If Ashely Simpson is financially viable, then she's financially viable. You either are or you aren't by definition. You may have to give more detail if you want to make your point.


If labels could, at will, make an album sell, they'd choose to make 100% of their albums sell more than 5,000 copies, not just 2%.
#108
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #108
Lives for gear
 
rhizomeman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by antstudio View Post
Seems to me music is and always has been free to consumers. Or better said, consumers have never paid for music. All we've paid for as consumers in the past is for the distribution and duplication of high quality copies. The current downloading trend is not a reflection of an increase in criminal activity, it's just the side-effect of the transition to a new music economy.

..ant
This is an excellent statement that accurately sums up the current situation.
#109
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #109
MonsterIsland.com
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by antstudio View Post
Seems to me music is and always has been free to consumers. Or better said, consumers have never paid for music. All we've paid for as consumers in the past is for the distribution and duplication of high quality copies. The current downloading trend is not a reflection of an increase in criminal activity, it's just the side-effect of the transition to a new music economy.

Here's what I mean. In the "old days" I paid $10 for an album. Had I then "purchased" the songs? I don't think so. Eventually my album wore down and I had to pay another $10 for another copy of the songs. I personally repeated this process many times for my favorite albums in the 70's. If I had really purchased the songs, I could I go back to the record company and pay perhaps $2 for another copy just to cover costs of duplication. Nope. The record companies view was I had purchased and owned nothing but the physical medium. The entire $10 applied only towards the vinyl medium and packaging. They even fought vigorously to prevent me from even making my own backup copy on cassette tape. In their view I did not own the music, I did not purchase the music, or even a personal license to it. The music was owned by the record company, publisher and/or artists. All I paid for was the physical copy, and if I lost it or wore it out, I needed to pay a full price for another copy.

The record companies can't have it both ways. In the digital world the cost/value of high quality duplication and distribution has gone to practically nil. Consumers know that instinctively and that's why they don't have any qualms about downloading. It's just a fact. You can't convince the majority of people that something of no value or minimal value actually has value. That's why the majority of people download. Not because they're criminals. Not because they don't value an artist's work. It's because they assign (and always have assigned) no value to simply listening to a song (e.g. listening to a song on the radio is free to them) and they're not wiling to pay ridiculous prices for something they know costs almost nothing to deliver.

It's just a fact of where we are today. There's no value in downloads and digital copies.

However, there is still value in high-quality replication, distribution and delivery of music. There is value in organizing the vast world of music available and making it instantly accessible and discoverable. There is value in providing easy, fast and convenient ways to search for new music, find artists, songs and albums that fit the consumer's interests. There is value in high quality music files with accurate lyrics, artwork and liner notes. There is value in knowing your music collection is of the highest quality. There is value in eliminating the need to fart around with torrents, downloads and other crap you have to deal with to get "free" music. There is value in being able to go to a single place to get, as an old Saturday Night Live commercial parody once said, "every song ever recorded". There is value in having all your music accessible from everywhere instantly - PC, phone, tablet, car, etc.

When "record companies" get this -- or when some entirely new company gets it and convinces "record companies" to work with them, the industry will have found their way out of the current mess/downturn and on to a new music economy where consumers pay a reasonable price to have "free and easy" access to the vast and creative world of music, old and new and not yet created. Artists will have new ways to create communities of fans/followers to promote themselves and their music to a worldwide audience. They will sell lots of merch, drive a lot of fans to revenue generating shows, license their songs for commercial use, arrange for high-paying "guest appearances" at private venues, and perhaps even sell some high-quality physical media, e.g. a personally signed copy of their latest album or a limited run vinyl print with great packaging and liner notes.

However, I have to agree with the OP. The old way of selling music will never work again. If your business model as an artist depends on selling records (high-quality physical copies) or selling downloads (high-quality digital copies), you need to re-think your business model. To survive, record companies, much against their nature, have to become service oriented (i.e., provide a quality service to artists and fans). Artists have to build as big a fan base as possible, leveraging the almost zero cost of digital duplication and distribution, acknowledge that the vast majority of those fans won't "pay for music" in the old way, and find new ways to free fans from their cash.

That's how I see the situation. As far as my personal desire? I'd love to see a system where consumers can pay a fair price to get access to all music (e.g. a low-monthly subscription service) where the service provider gets a fair cut (10%-20% max) and the artists (and I mean writing and performing artists) get the majority 80%-90%. I don't think it can happen, sadly.

What keeps me hopeful is: good artists, good songs and good performances will rise above all this, whether they are financially rewarded or not. 100 years from now we probably won't be talking about today's record companies that screwed so many artists and eventually screwed themselves, but we'll probably still be talking about the Funk Brothers and their transcendant and transformational artistry.

..ant
Your initial point seemed like it was trying so hard to be clever, I almost didn't read the whole post. The whole thing together is kind of accurate, but I think you can make it simply with math.

There are people who discuss a subscription model which I think at $10/month generates as much or more for the entire industry than in their best year ever.

You're essentially saying that we've always been paying for a delivery medium - the vehicle that gets the music to us. So if we paid extra to our ISP who then paid the labels, we'd happily pay the ISP since it got us access to all the free stuff on the internet.

In the end, it's just a numbers game. How many people would have to pay and how much would their subscription fees have to be for it to work. That's the way to argue this model. The analogy is totally unnecessary.
#110
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #110
MonsterIsland.com
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
It's not an attitude of entitlement, that's absurd, what if you're a carpenter and you build furniture, you invest your time and labor and money and materials into building something, you finish it and bam someone steals it.
Or you're a photographer, you spend your life working on your craft, you make a collection of pictures you want to sell and some loser steals your prints, makes their own copies that they sell for a 100th of what you are selling it for, because they incurred none of the cost to make that product.

Look it's hard enough to make a living in the arts, you make a recording, put it out, there's no guarantee that it will sell, or that you can recoup what ever your investment in time, money to hire musicians, graphic designers etc
but stealing it doesn't help. By your idea basically if your doing anything more than making music in your bedroom by yourself you're foolish.
Again, I'd like to see how you'd feel if you spent a serious amount of time and money making a recording, set up distribution, spent money on a radio campaign, and discovered before the record was even released that it was available on some torrent sites, because some asshole intern from a radio station uploaded it, some of which even had the nerve to sell it.

I agree with you if the product is recorded music. I think you have to step back and ask what the product really is.


Ford makes cars. Ford makes TV commercials. Ad agencies make TV commercials. Ad agencies should get paid for their work making TV commercials, so they sell them. Shouldn't Ford get paid for their work making TV commercials, so shouldn't they sell them? I think this is obviously a rhetorical question.

We all know why Ford doesn't sell their commercials.

I will say this, Leica recently did a product demo of their new S2 camera that you had to pay to see. I don't know if it created a profit, but that was selling a "TV commercial".



Here's are a couple of questions that are not rhetorical, that I doubt anyone knows the answer to, but make the real point.

Who would end up with more money, an artist that got all of their record sales income and had a top ten hit or an artist that got none of their record sales money, but had a number one hit?

What chart position is the dividing point, #5, #10, #40, #100? #10,000?

At some point the - take you're pick of words - fame/branding/popularity of being known at the level of a #1 song/artist is more valuable than the income that the artist gets from selling that song.

There's also a difference between new artists and established artists.
#111
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey View Post
Ford makes cars. Ford makes TV commercials. Ad agencies make TV commercials. Ad agencies should get paid for their work making TV commercials, so they sell them. Shouldn't Ford get paid for their work making TV commercials, so shouldn't they sell them? I think this is obviously a rhetorical question.

At some point the - take you're pick of words - fame/branding/popularity of being known at the level of a #1 song/artist is more valuable than the income that the artist gets from selling that song.

There's also a difference between new artists and established artists.
Well it's been years since I did one but when I did Ford didn't make commercials, they hire an agency to make them for them, if Ford is making the commercial they're paying the people who actually are doing the work, so I don't get this analogy, I don't entirely agree with this your paying for the medium idea, I think buying recorded music in a way is more like buying a limited license for the music, even way back when you might have head the single on the radio but if you wanted the album you bought it. The main point still is stealing is stealing, whether it's music, movies, of software, or someone's car. If someone opt's to give a song away that's their perogative, but when you find a pirated version your product available for sale 3 weeks before the CD release date I can't imagine anyone being OK with that, especially something they put a lot of time and money and heart into. But I'm speaking from personal experience here.
#112
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #112
Lives for gear
 
PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adpz View Post

Yes, Andy Warhol is the most important, most influential, and was the richest artist of the 20thy century. Who is your choice then?
Uhhh. Picasso.

Maybe not the richest, but def. top marks on the other 2.

Back OT now...
#113
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #113
Lives for gear
 
nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Ya, there are several choices that would be arguable as "most important" including Pollack and Picasso.
#114
20th June 2010
Old 20th June 2010
  #114
MonsterIsland.com
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
Well it's been years since I did one but when I did Ford didn't make commercials, they hire an agency to make them for them, if Ford is making the commercial they're paying the people who actually are doing the work, so I don't get this analogy, I don't entirely agree with this your paying for the medium idea, I think buying recorded music in a way is more like buying a limited license for the music, even way back when you might have head the single on the radio but if you wanted the album you bought it. The main point still is stealing is stealing, whether it's music, movies, of software, or someone's car. If someone opt's to give a song away that's their perogative, but when you find a pirated version your product available for sale 3 weeks before the CD release date I can't imagine anyone being OK with that, especially something they put a lot of time and money and heart into. But I'm speaking from personal experience here.
If that's the way you're going to look at it, then labels don't make records and neither do producers.

And ad agencies don't make commercials the hire directors and production companies.

Ford makes commercials. They own them, just like the own their sales brochures. I'm sure the make films too - for training and sales.

What about if you make a cable, should you be paid for that labor?

It's an oversimplification to say that you should be paid for everything you make.


You're arguing that "no means no." If the owner decides to restrict the use, then they should be able to do so. I don't think anyone is arguing against that. I think that should be the case even if they have no intent to sell the item ever. If someone wants to give away their music, it should still be illegal for one person to give a copy to another if the owner says that all free copies need to be downloaded from one central location.


Suppose someone puts a video up on youtube. Should a third party be able to download it and then serve it from another site? No of course not. Even though the owner is intending to allow and unrestricted number of people to view it an unrestricted number of times, that doesn't mean that they shouldn't have control over the distribution.


That's a totally different point from whether or not recordings should be sold.
#115
20th June 2010
Old 20th June 2010
  #115
Lives for gear
 
G-Spot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elginchris View Post

all music should be free in cost.
whatever you do for a living should also be free in cost
nkf
#116
20th June 2010
Old 20th June 2010
  #116
nkf
Lives for gear
 

#117
20th June 2010
Old 20th June 2010
  #117
Gear Guru
 
Sqye's Avatar
 

Thumbs up

.

after years of wading through these kinds of threads, and 8 gagillion opinions -
professional, amateur, tech, and musician, educated and self-taught,
hard-working, lazy and entitled, humble and self-righteous, ignorant and insightful,
talented and tone-deaf, broke and loaded, born with a silver spoon and successfully entrepreneurial,
respectful and irreverent, independently creative/expressive and copycat/poser/wannabe,
lucky or cursed, connected or ass out - in every freeking genre, i've come to a conclusion.


the bottom line is..............there is no bottom line.


every single musician, and every single human, is different.

we each want different things out of life.

and this changes constantly - given our environment, stage in life, etc.

some folks want to read about specs on ribbon microphones until their laptop battery dies.
others want to make a gazillion dollars in the industry with marketing and merch.
other want to compose 85 minimalistic symphonies.
some want to get high and get laid all the time.
other want to spread political and social messages.
still others want to stay in school their entire lives and get 8 million degrees.
some want to paint themselves green and jump up and down on stage screaming.
others want a union sound effects gig for a movie studio.
some want to hang out and jam all night. or play covers.
some want to be as famous as possible party with gaga, etc.
some want to wrap cables all day, tune guitars, set up amps and mic stands.
or just hang with the band.
some people just get off telling everyone what to do all the time.
others want to philosophize 'til the cows come home.
some people just copy other people for the rest of their lives - and never discover themselves.
etc., etc.

but regardless, most of us in the entertainment industry live in a fantasy world,
and never come to terms with the fact that we only have one life,
(depending on our belief system) - so, we'd better start trying to make the best of it.

at the end of the day, there's no prize. nobody's watching you.
you're the only one who really matters. so be good to yourself, and be good to others.

i used to think i had all the answers. the older i get, the more i realize, i don't know shit.

but if i ask any one of the younger generation here,
you're all driven and opinionated like mutherf*kkers.
this just reminds me of myself not so long ago.

FWIW, i say - do what you love. and if you don't know what that is,
spend some time trying to figure it out - because you only have one life on this planet -
as far as i know.

anyway, cheers - and i wish you all the best, slutz - you ROK!



.
#118
20th June 2010
Old 20th June 2010
  #118
Lives for gear
 
sonicdefault's Avatar
The notion that music should be free is just plain silly. And the law is on the side of this blatantly obvious fact. There are protections for intellectual properties, period. How it all plays out is a different story.

I'm all for being realistic, but allowing the enormous dilemma of piracy to somehow brainwash us all into the cynical fallacy that artists should throw in the towel and attribute no tangible value to their work would be nothing short of a travesty.

Anyone who cares about music should realize we need to work together to foster a healthy mindset towards a fair marketplace.


-SD
#119
20th June 2010
Old 20th June 2010
  #119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Id Ridden View Post
Regardless of what you think of the current state of music, or what you think of labels or whatever complaints you may have on it all, it is an industry that supplies jobs to people. Those people need to stay employed and should.

Yes there could be a lot of improvements made to a lot of things, but, that goes for anything, I mean have you looked at Governments lately? The financial meltdown of Countries, States, The World?? Have you not seen the destruction we are doing to our planet, chasing the dollar bill??

The answer to this is not, free music, screw the labels, etc. etc. The answer is education, a re defining of the purpose of life, a singular goal towards human prosperity. Killing the arts is not the way to get there, in actuality, supporting the arts and making them ever so important is a great first step.

Kill the music industry and any other creative industry along with the meltdown of societies and we have major issues on our hands, free music being the least of them. You want anarchy??? It might be coming if it all keeps up like it is. There are far too many job losses, not enough job creations. California is on the verge of bankruptcy and in need of a bailout. It is evident the recovery is not happening as thought.

Working a 9-5 and trying to make good music do not go well together, in fact for some of us it is pretty damn impossible. Some can do it, but it should not be the norm or the music will suffer and music cannot die, we cannot let that happen. Somehow artists need to be able to make money so they can spend the time needed in honing their craft and educating and practicing and creating otherwise we will have a sad World, worse then it already is.

What needs to happen is all this bickering, stabbing everyone in the back, fighting each-other over petty issues needs to stop. There are massive problems that the whole of the human race is facing, together.

Somehow people need to put their differences aside and come together to work this stuff out. Why does something drastic need to happen to have people stop ****ing each-other and actually work together for once.

Unfortunately it seems we just keep strengthening the divide and quarreling like little children.

I often feel ashamed and disgraced to be a part of this race and struggle just trying to find reasons to continue living. Everyone thinks they are so great and amazing, with all their material garbage and big status and because they move heavy weight they are some God or something...what a joke, we are nothing more then parasitic leeches raping the World of its life.

Sometimes I think we should all just say screw it, kick back put the feet up and watch the World burn to ash, what is the point? Why bother fixing anything when the race has proven it only cares for killing and destruction and doing anything necessary for a buck....The World is our play pen and we are all trying to take each-others candy, when in reality there is enough candy for everyone. Ain't nothing perfect, nor will it ever be. The music issue is a small one in a pile of a ton of other issues.

Anyways what do I know? I am just a dreamer. I fail to see how we will ever be able to put our differences aside. Maybe if some super race came here to take over our planet we might actually realize we are in this together. Until then I guess we will just continue acting like children...
fantastic post.
#120
20th June 2010
Old 20th June 2010
  #120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonicdefault View Post
The notion that music should be free is just plain silly. And the law is on the side of this blatantly obvious fact. There are protections for intellectual properties, period. How it all plays out is a different story.

I'm all for being realistic, but allowing the enormous dilemma of piracy to somehow brainwash us all into the cynical fallacy that artists should throw in the towel and attribute no tangible value to their work would be nothing short of a travesty.

Anyone who cares about music should realize we need to work together to foster a healthy mindset towards a fair marketplace.

-SD
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