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Music should be free. If you don't want it 'stolen' then don't record it.
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elginchris
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18th June 2010
Old 18th June 2010
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Music should be free. If you don't want it 'stolen' then don't record it.

the old system of selling music will never work again. anyone who thinks otherwise might as well stop reading this post right now.

all music should be free in cost.

as an artist/label, the only way to make money 'selling' music is through advertising and merchandising.

---end of story---

Fans are not the only ones who want what is "hot". Marketers make entire careers "breaking" underground artist to the main stream. Thats where the deals should be made.
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18th June 2010
Old 18th June 2010
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I like music, not so keen on merchandise/advertising.
Actually, my opinion on the current state is hardening.
The stupidest thing creative people ever allowed to happen was the taking of their work without payment.
There's a backlash going on.
More and more content providers are closing their freebie internet sites and applying fees for access.
The days of a free-for-all on the net might be numbered.
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18th June 2010
Old 18th June 2010
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bullshit, I guess you don't do music for a living
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18th June 2010
Old 18th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
bullshit, I guess you don't do music for a living
I don't either, and I agree with him. Does that negate my opinion too?

As I've posted elsewhere, I believe we'll look back in history to see a short blip where a small number of musicians got rich from their craft. Then it will go back to "normal."

As a musician, of course I would love to see it continue, but as someone who buys music, I find myself having less and less interest in ANYTHING the major labels are putting out. I'd rather go hear a few musicians playing together locally or even in my living room.
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18th June 2010
Old 18th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psalad View Post
I don't either, and I agree with him. Does that negate my opinion too?
It doesn't negate it, but it does mean your opinion doesn't hold much weight.
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18th June 2010
Old 18th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
bullshit, I guess you don't do music for a living
Its understandable to disagree with me if your livelihood depends on the old business model but sooner or later you will have to adapt.
Remember the days of the TV repair man? There used to be one in every town but now they are few and far between.

Think about it, what will the world do first: revert back to the glory days of a rich music industry, or, continue on its no-holds-bar path of free downloads (legal or not) ?

First they tried to push DRM and it FAILED.

The only way to stop downloading is for ISPs to control every bit of data that cosses the wires and i dont think anyone wants that.

( ** I do want to say that I am not a music pirate. I was a subscriber to eMusic for 3+ years until i switched to lala.com which is now defunct thanks to Apple buying them out.)
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18th June 2010
Old 18th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitmob View Post
It doesn't negate it, but it does mean your opinion doesn't hold much weight.
That's an interesting perspective.

Artists Have Always Had Day Jobs (image) < PopMatters

Tell it to TS Elliot, Faulkner, and Kafka... their opinion carries less weight because they had a day job? Kinda funny, that.

No, an artist is judged on their work. An opinion is judged based on the merits of the argument.
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18th June 2010
Old 18th June 2010
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I want to start by saying I respect all opinions here. Everybody is entitled to their point of view. I have no desire to see the old industry model come back. However, I think artist that work really hard to bring enjoyment, healing, and many other aspects of music that benefits individuals and society as a whole deserve compensation. Some artist would never reach the level they are at if they had to work other jobs. Musicians have to eat too.
Making quality music is expensive. I don't need to convince gearslutz that fact. We may know that better than anyone.
Music shouldn't be free. Not any more than a bartender workin for free. What motivation would a doctor have for giving up their prime years going to school and working ridiculously long hours to heal the sick. Should they do it for free?
Seriously???
I'm not going to pretend to know the answer, but I can't wait to rally behind the leader that offers a real solution.
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#9
18th June 2010
Old 18th June 2010
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I totally agree musicians should be compensated for their work! No question!

Whether they do it for passion/art, or as craft, it makes no difference.

However, I think the level of compensation will change now. I don't think there's any way around it. The old model is dying, I think, and the new models don't offer the same financial reward.

BTW, part of the problem is creating music is easy, everyone has a studio, and as a result, people with bedroom studios are undercutting for the same work. That brings the level of compensation down as well.

What can be done about it?? No idea... I don't think there's anything that can be done (or even should be done). Change is not an option.

Impermanence is the only constant.
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18th June 2010
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I was thinking about this last night.

Just wanted to say that IMHO Mark Twain comes into mind. His passion was literature and he was damn good at it. I doubt he cared much about money. But more of the beauty of the soul and expressing it through novels and what not.
Not much has changed in regards to wonderful art music poetry etc. There are still diamonds in the rough. Technology cannot and will not change that.
In other words GO DO IT.
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18th June 2010
Old 18th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DISCERN View Post
It is art after all. Creative self expression.

...not business.
Unfortunately the fact is that it's the reverse. That doesn't change the fact that you (and I) think it should be what you said.

18 hours of my day is music. From playing to engineering to design to customer service. 16 of those hours are business and I've yet to meet someone who operated otherwise The creative aspect only propagates through the business aspect. Business is the gate to let the torrent of creative juice flow.

That said, I still agree with the OP.
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18th June 2010
Old 18th June 2010
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thanks everyone for the thoughtful and respectful comments.

-OP
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18th June 2010
Old 18th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psalad View Post

BTW, part of the problem is creating music is easy, everyone has a studio, and as a result, people with bedroom studios are undercutting for the same work. That brings the level of compensation down as well.
That doesn't make them any good tho. Good music should still prevail, whether it was done in a spare bedroom or multi-million dollar facility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psalad View Post
Impermanence is the only constant.
Wise words

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorityFedup View Post
Technology cannot and will not change that.
Yep, technology is just another instrument. It still takes talent and vision to produce real, quality music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
The creative aspect only propagates through the business aspect. Business is the gate to let the torrent of creative juice flow.
Absolutely! I was twice the guitar player when I worked a side job about 10 hours a week and made the rest of my income off of gigging. Now that I have a family and need more money to keep it all afloat, I have to work full time at a bar and I engineer part time just to make ends meet. There's very little time to actually excel as a artist like I once did. Grrr... I never thought I'd say those words.


...it's too thick to navigate and it's too thin to plow
#14
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
The creative aspect only propagates through the business aspect. Business is the gate to let the torrent of creative juice flow.
I have exactly the opposite experience. My music has gotten less commercial, AND IMHO much better since I "gave up" on the commercial aspect and let the creative juices REALLY flow.... eliminating my own self censorship that prevented me from doing the real experiments and creative exploration I really wanted to do.

But that's just me...
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19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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If the music is good enough people will buy it, simple as.... yes people will still get it for free too.
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19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DISCERN View Post
Reverse? Not at all. If the business dies, does the music? Heck no! Music has existed for millennia without any business involvement at all. It is really only in the last century (then further amplified by recorded, reproduced and distributed music technologies) that business in music has really made it's mark.

Out of music and music business, the only one that can exist by itself is music. The business aspect is a by-product, not the means itself.
You need to take a music history course. Even well back to pre-roman times music was extremely business oriented. During the 'common practice' it was perhaps even more commercialized than it is today.



Quote:
I have had opposite experiences as well. Not just in music, but the art world. People really shine when they stop with the business. It makes the purpose of art money driven... not personal self-expression. In fact, some of the later 20th centuries most influential works in the art world are by anonymous artists that probably haven't even made a cent on their work. Take Banksy for example.
Business and money exchange are not mutually exclusive. Business is simply the quid pro quo interactions with other people not specific to your process. Just posting your music on myspace is business. Your support of their website through driving traffic to their ad-driven business model is repaid through the hosting of your material. Some goes for playing a venue, or having a friend play on your record and doing him a favor in return later.

If you are truly working 'business free' then I'm quite jealous of you, though I supposed unless you have an amazing manager, or that absolutely no one has a clue that you exist. (and that all your equipment/maintenance/electricity/snacks/etc... were un-requested and unrequited gifts)

As for banksy, I struggle with the idea that you acknowledge that he's anonymous then claim he doesn't make a cent off his work. That logic doesn't seem to flow very well. Money aside, we have no indication of how he handles his work, what his 'day job' is, if he's contracted or endorsed or if the works are even from the same single person rather than a conglomerate.
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19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
Business and money exchange are not mutually exclusive. Business is simply the quid pro quo interactions with other people not specific to your process. Just posting your music on myspace is business. Your support of their website through driving traffic to their ad-driven business model is repaid through the hosting of your material. Some goes for playing a venue, or having a friend play on your record and doing him a favor in return later.
I think you're trying to hard at categorizing business/non business.

Yes, most of us have "businesses" in that manner... we have CDs for sale, etc. But it's not the main source of income. In that case you have freedom from economic considerations, at the price of having less time for artistic endeavors. That's really what I mean...

It's all about choice... I'm not saying one choice is better than others, I'm saying, for me, it's worked out OK that I don't do music as my source of income. I think I make better music as a result.
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19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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To the two guys who've never done music for a living.... and who think making money from your work is 1) unimportant and 2) dilutes the value of your art.
I guess you are both living under a misapprehension.
I've worked in music for a living for 30+ years.
I would never say it made me 'rich'.
99% of the other musicians and studio personnel I've collaborated with have not been rich either.
It is a job.
We choose to charge a fee for our work. If no one partakes of our toils we wont be paid. Of course people are taking our work and not paying for it, which is the current problem damaging our art.

Society decided long ago that artistic people should be compensated financially.
That way they can concentrate on their art, instead of stacking shelves at Walmart all day and grabbing a handful of hours a week to create.
This is a good thing for art AND for society.

This artists do it for love idea truly is BS.
If you look at any great art - Mozart, Picasso, The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Wagner - they've all made a living from their artistic creations.
If you don't think so, please list the thousands of important works of art created by amateurs.
Believe me - Banksy is making a mint!!!!
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19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DISCERN View Post
You seem to only approach "creative people" from the business side of things.

...as the saying goes, "Don't mix business with pleasure". An argument could really be raised that the stupidest thing creative people ever did was try and charge money for their work.

What makes your art more valuable than the majority of people that make art for personal passion? Looking at the top 40 charts... "Quality" has absolutely nothing to do with it. We work in an industry based on marketing... creating economic viability where there really isn't any. It an idea of pure genius, but the bubble was always going to burst as distribution technologies became more efficient.


You like music... but you like money more. For the majority of the world, the two are completely mutually exclusive and they wouldn't have it any other way...

It is art after all. Creative self expression.

...not business.
Name one non-economically viable artist who's been made viable?

There's no truth to that at all. Label have no control over what sells. If they did, if it was just a question of spending enough money, then they would and every artist would be financially successful. But that's not the case.
#20
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
To the two guys who've never done music for a living.... and who think making money from your work is 1) unimportant and 2) dilutes the value of your art.
I guess you are both living under a misapprehension.
I've worked in music for a living for 30+ years.
I would never say it made me 'rich'.
99% of the other musicians and studio personnel I've collaborated with have not been rich either.
It is a job.
We choose to charge a fee for our work. If no one partakes of our toils we wont be paid. Of course people are taking our work and not paying for it, which is the current problem damaging our art.

Society decided long ago that artistic people should be compensated financially.
That way they can concentrate on their art, instead of stacking shelves at Walmart all day and grabbing a handful of hours a week to create.
This is a good thing for art AND for society.

This artists do it for love idea truly is BS.
If you look at any great art - Mozart, Picasso, The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Wagner - they've all made a living from their artistic creations.
If you don't think so, please list the thousands of important works of art created by amateurs.
Believe me - Banksy is making a mint!!!!
Hey Chrisso

Thats a excellent post..

And I feel anyone thinking music should be free or think stealing anything in this world is OK .. I am sorry to say, are very senseless..... or still living with mommy...Ask those same people if I can steal there car for a few years?????
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19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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You're right, knuckleheads. All art should be totally free. Please make sure that no artistic field returns any money to the artist. The world will be a much better place when the only professions that make any money to sustain a family are banking, laywers, and doctors. The world will be a much nicer place when those people are the only ones who have any money - there usually such nice folks anyway.

Here's what I think: you don't really care about music, or art, if you don't think you deserve the right to make money off of it. The amount of blood sweat and tears that goes into this work is enormous. If you don't know what that last sentence means I'll take a page from Philly Soul Man and point you in what may be a more meaningful path for you:

BURGER KINGĀ®
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19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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thumbsup
#23
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elginchris View Post
the old system of selling music will never work again. anyone who thinks otherwise might as well stop reading this post right now.

all music should be free in cost.

as an artist/label, the only way to make money 'selling' music is through advertising and merchandising.

---end of story---

Fans are not the only ones who want what is "hot". Marketers make entire careers "breaking" underground artist to the main stream. Thats where the deals should be made.
Ha! You're just looking at it from the label side.

Artists have never made significant portions of their income from selling music. Because they're paying their advance back out of their small percentage of the profit, they generally have to generate 10x the revenue they were advanced before they can earn their first penny in sales.

An advance of $1 million means they will probably have to sell 2 million copies before they recoup - assuming that video costs and tour support are not recoupable.

If you've sold 2 million copies of an album, you should have no problem generating $10/per fan per year, or $20 million.

Now lets say you sell 4 million, that puts you at $40 million from non-record sales income. In the black x2 million records which you're probably getting 10% of 90% or 1.8 million at $5 each. That translates to the record company cutting you a check for $900k boosting you're income from $40million to $40.9 million.

If you have to recoup other costs besides the advance, then it's far less.

Artist's have never really earned real income off of their album sales.

That doesn't mean that they don't need albums to sell to be successful. That's what's funding their ability to earn through all of those other revenue streams and fund the venture capital that is the record label. If you take the VC away, the whole thing falls apart, which is what's happening. Labels don't have the capital to function properly because 90% of record sales revenue is no longer enough.

Had the model been more 50/50 the current problems probably wouldn't be happening and labels would have seen Napster as a tool rather than a threat.
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19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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OP is keen to record/mix for free.... so be it... hey OP I have a couple songs unmixed you wanna have a crack? Ill give you $200 which will be 20% of profit on my tshirts.... (but of course if they dont sell you will get no money)

How about it?
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19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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Most Important Artist of the 20th century: Andy Warhol

Most Influential Artist of the 20th century: Andy Warhol

Richest Artist of the 20th Century: Andy Warhol

Art is not something you even have to buy, but right-minded people from my perspective find it right to value and reward greatness around them. What is broken then is not the industry, but the consumer.

The argument that art and money have to be separate, or cannot co-exist, or corrupt each other is total rubbish. Greatness finds its reward and to wish that was not the case is misanthropic.

The greatness of others should make us happy - it is an accessible insight into being human that opens our minds, ambitions, and hopes. It is a terrible thing then to try and turn this on its head and declare the insignificant and mediocre more important and "real" just because it aligns more closely with ones own insignificant and mediocre ambitions.

I mean - what's really at the heart of all these pro-piracy discussions? No matter the flavor? It breaks down to this:

1) Other people make too much money / other people should not make too much money

2) My entertainment is too expensive


fuuck
#26
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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One of the best posts I've seen in a long while.
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19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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Forget about even recording studios and artist and record companies, what about the writers who now aren't getting paid. When I heard that publishers are suing Limewire it put a smile on my face. As far as I'm concerned every single bit torrent site should be sued into extinction. There actually are pirates who steal your music and then have the balls to sell it. All of you "music should be free" fools should put a year of your life into a project and see it selling for a dollar on a bit torrent site BEFORE THE RECORD IS EVEN RELEASED, and then you can talk to me about music being free. It's F#@King STEALING. It sounds so anarchistic and cool to say screw the record companies they've been ripping us off anyway, but they're not just ripping off the majors, they steal from EVERYONE. When I was a young guy I stole "Steal This Book", sure I was all for ripping off the establishment, but see this is not just the establishment, it's EVERYONE, big and small, independent artist are NOT immune . When no one is making money from this business see how many equipment manufacturers there are, see what the quality of music actually becomes when no one can devote time to their art, in the past governments subsidized art, in this climate, that might ever happen. WAKE UP, it's STEALING AND IT"S WRONG, didn't your parents teach you anything
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#28
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
To the two guys who've never done music for a living.... and who think making money from your work is 1) unimportant and 2) dilutes the value of your art.
Making money from my work at this point in my life IS unimportant.

It does NOT dilute the value of my work. I didn't say that. I SAID, not relying on money has opened up creative doors for me. It's made my work better.

FOR ME. That is what both of those points have in common. Two words. "For." "Me."

I didn't say artists shouldn't be paid for their work either. My audience is very small, and people who like my work should indeed pay for it, and they do.

If it works for you to be required to write music that sells xxxx copies, more power to you! I don't deny you your right to your craft however you see fit.

Is there something that intimidates you about the choices of others?

I don't really care, frankly, which artists in history had day jobs and which didn't. Most great artists did not, but there are many who did... but that doesn't matter. I'm here on this stone to make my own path, the world is different then it was 50, 100, 500 years ago. You feel free to take your path, and I'll take mine.
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19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adpz View Post
Most Important Artist of the 20th century: Andy Warhol

(snip)

The greatness of others should make us happy - it is an accessible insight into being human that opens our minds, ambitions, and hopes. It is a terrible thing then to try and turn this on its head and declare the insignificant and mediocre more important and "real" just because it aligns more closely with ones own insignificant and mediocre ambitions.
BULLSHIT.

Warhol???? Of all the artists of last century? Not for me cowboy, for a LONG shot. "Most important".. I always LOVE that phrase, as if there is no individual discernment possible in art. Good freaking lord.

ART is not about sales, it's about emotion. The art that YOU think is "the greatest" falls flat on it's ASS for me in this case.

Art is not a popularity contest. Leroy Neiman sold more work then Warhol ever did. Enough said.
#30
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey View Post
Artist's have never really earned real income off of their album sales.
How did The Beatles, Kraftwerk and Steely Dan build their wealth so successfully?


Quote:
Had the model been more 50/50 the current problems probably wouldn't be happening and labels would have seen Napster as a tool rather than a threat.
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.
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