My solution to Piracy: Pay $19.99 a month, get everything
Old 13th October 2011
  #1
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My solution to Piracy: Pay $19.99 a month, get everything

Im not a lawyer, piracy expert, economist, or music industry employee. Just another musician producer trying to earn a living in this tough business. Heres my idea:

You pay $19.99 a month, and get access to 95%+ of all recorded music in a lossless compression format. You can listen to this music on your PC, phone, ipod, whatever, but the deal is once every 30 days you must connect to the internet to re-authorize the content. Possibly for a fee, you could buy a longer authorization.

Now you say, how could this work, why would people bother? Two reasons: convenience and quality. You have to make the website thats faster, more streamlined, and with more content than any torrent site in existence. Then, you bring the quality: lossless compression which supports up to 24/96, SACD, 5.1, you name it.

The way you beat the torrent sites is to beat them at their own game. Just offer more content, and at higher quality, with superfast downloads, for a flat monthly fee, and watch them die off.
Old 13th October 2011
  #2
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Winny Pooh's Avatar
95%? lossless? Ahaha
1
Old 13th October 2011
  #3
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog View Post
Im not a lawyer, piracy expert, economist, or music industry employee. Just another musician producer trying to earn a living in this tough business. Heres my idea:

You pay $19.99 a month, and get access to 95%+ of all recorded music in a lossless compression format. You can listen to this music on your PC, phone, ipod, whatever, but the deal is once every 30 days you must connect to the internet to re-authorize the content. Possibly for a fee, you could buy a longer authorization.

Now you say, how could this work, why would people bother? Two reasons: convenience and quality. You have to make the website thats faster, more streamlined, and with more content than any torrent site in existence. Then, you bring the quality: lossless compression which supports up to 24/96, SACD, 5.1, you name it.
Well, you're a bit late to the table with that; various similar ideas have been floating around for awhile. The current popular ones are Spotify and Pandora. Your primary difference is the use of lossless files, which present something of a technical challenge at present, especially if you're talking about wireless transmission.

A couple other issues - why would you want or need 5.1 on a mobile device that you listen to via phones and has no decoder circuitry? Why would you was 24/96 or SACD on devices that don't support those formats? And you would only see devices supporting those formats if (1) the demand was there from a large segment of the public (it isn't, most people are neither audio engineers or audiophiles) and (2) the technology existed to deliver it (it doesn't on wireless and the data stream would be rather large over a wired connection). At present the ISPs are moving towards instituting data caps on wideband connections of all types. That means that if you used such a service a lot not only would you have to pay the $19.99/month for the service, you'd also end up paying increased data charges to your service provider(s) - another $10-$20 on your wired connection and who knows how much on your wireless, as wireless providers (cell companies) are getting quite aggressive on the data charges.

When it comes to convenience, Pandora and Spotify are already there, and for less money. (although reportedly some artists and labels have started pulling their content as the return isn't good enough....)

Quote:
The way you beat the torrent sites is to beat them at their own game. Just offer more content, and at higher quality, with superfast downloads, for a flat monthly fee, and watch them die off.
Are you talking about downloads or streaming?

If you're talking about downloads the idea won't fly - you'd never get it licensed.

Not only does everybody in the industry oppose a flat rate for unlimited content (that's what Napster tried to do), the problems of distributing the fees in a fair and equitable manner are insurmountable; what would happen would be that you'd end up subsidizing the Gagas and Beibers and totally screwing the small indie labels and self releasing artists who can't afford a seat at the big boys' table. Massive fail. That means that the indie sector would never agree to licensing.

I have a certain amount of knowledge about this, as I came up with a similar scheme (using a Bittorrent delivery system) over two years ago.

My proposal for a Bittorrent based dowload service to compete with piracy and revolut

I shopped it around the industry a bit - zero interest.
Old 13th October 2011
  #4
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ksandvik's Avatar
 

Todd Rundgren proposed this long time ago, I think in the mid eighties as part of the Time Warner cable project in Orlando.
1
Old 13th October 2011
  #5
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
Nice try though.
Old 13th October 2011
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog View Post
Im not a lawyer, piracy expert, economist, or music industry employee. Just another musician producer trying to earn a living in this tough business. Heres my idea:

You pay $19.99 a month, and get access to 95%+ of all recorded music in a lossless compression format. You can listen to this music on your PC, phone, ipod, whatever, but the deal is once every 30 days you must connect to the internet to re-authorize the content. Possibly for a fee, you could buy a longer authorization.

Now you say, how could this work, why would people bother? Two reasons: convenience and quality. You have to make the website thats faster, more streamlined, and with more content than any torrent site in existence. Then, you bring the quality: lossless compression which supports up to 24/96, SACD, 5.1, you name it.

The way you beat the torrent sites is to beat them at their own game. Just offer more content, and at higher quality, with superfast downloads, for a flat monthly fee, and watch them die off.
That's not a solution, what you'll see die off is the last of the professional recording musicians and the industry around them.
1
Old 13th October 2011
  #7
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chrisso's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog View Post
You pay $19.99 a month, and get access to 95%+ of all recorded music in a lossless compression format. You can listen to this music on your PC, phone, ipod, whatever, but the deal is once every 30 days you must connect to the internet to re-authorize the content.
Two problems.
The current situation proves the public aren't that bothered about audio quality.
So, I can't see anyone who currently obtains any music they want completely free, suddenly stumping up $20 per month.
Second problem, how is it fairly distributed amongst artists?
The biggest stars, GaGa, Beiber, U2, McCartney etc are all doing quite well despite piracy. Evidence based on the distribution networks we already have points to the fact those artists will receive most of your $20, and once again, the poorer, more innovative artists will be screwed..... as they are by the pirates.
Old 14th October 2011
  #8
Gear addict
 

Oh yes.

I can see it now.

Everyone will whip out their credit credits to buy subscriptions.

And piracy will decrease significantly.

And world hunger will end.

Old 23rd October 2011
  #9
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Two problems.
The current situation proves the public aren't that bothered about audio quality.
So, I can't see anyone who currently obtains any music they want completely free, suddenly stumping up $20 per month.
Second problem, how is it fairly distributed amongst artists?
The biggest stars, GaGa, Beiber, U2, McCartney etc are all doing quite well despite piracy. Evidence based on the distribution networks we already have points to the fact those artists will receive most of your $20, and once again, the poorer, more innovative artists will be screwed..... as they are by the pirates.
How they divide up the $ should be based on how much people listen to your songs, so if only a few people listen to your tracks, you get pennies out of the $20, and McCartney gets dollars. Im not an economist or music industry expert, but this cant be impossible to figure out.

As I said before, a lot of my friends who used to pirate movies dont bother anymore, they just pay for Netflix because ITS A BETTER CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. Thats all this comes down to, provide a better experience, better quality, faster browsing and searching, streaming, downloads (which need to have the license reactivated every month or so) and have some egghead figure out how to divy up the money.

$240 a year is a LOT more money than anyone I know is spending on music, and I have a hard time believeing the industry would make less money this way, than the current scenario, where nobody buys anything and bittorrent provides a better customer experience than iTunes.
Old 23rd October 2011
  #10
Gear nut
 

Who gets the money? A mega corp?

Edit:

Just read your above post.

Heres your flaw. Say User A listens to only your music, all his money goes to you (exept whatever money the company that is hosting this does, and they would take ALOOOOOOT to be able to afford lossless audio sharing and a tech team to keep this website from crashing and such) which sounds great, but then User B listens to everyone, and i mean everyone. He downloads ALL the music he can get his fingers on, making your few penny's of profit turn into micro penny's. Then he cancels his membership to your site, and just payed 20 dollars for all the free music he wants.

Now, if your arguement to that is going to be anything along the lines of... Well he can't download it, then im sorry, but rhapsody beat you to this, and for $10 a month.
Old 23rd October 2011
  #11
Gear maniac
 

No one is going to pay 19.99 per month for something they can get for free, with mostly an unrecognized difference in quality.
1
Old 23rd October 2011
  #12
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I used to think similarly to this, but really what's the incentive for anyone but major artists to want to be involved with this?

Also, I used to spend way more than $240 a year on music. I don't anymore, because I don't want to pay for new music that I don't like when I already own plenty of music I do like. So $240 may seem like a lot in this economy, but if I bought 2 cds a month it was a slow month, and that's back when music was rarely $9.99 a cd, I shopped at independent shops mostly so I was never paying $20 a cd, but even at $11.99-13.99 I was easily spending triple that a year. I'll never do that again I'm sure because I am tired of being ripped off and marketed nonsense, so any music I do buy is usually directly from an independent artist, so I'd never go for a subscription as a music consumer either.
Old 23rd October 2011
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VenVile View Post
No one is going to pay 19.99 per month for something they can get for free, with mostly an unrecognized difference in quality.
+1, there are many FLAC rips on torrent sites these days.
1
Old 23rd October 2011
  #14
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Shut down the pirate sites, and a whole world of fair play will open up for ALL artists (in music and all creative fields). Until then, lobby your government representative.
Old 23rd October 2011
  #15
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Agreed.
As I posted earlier, this really kills a lot of (interesting) independent and self releasing artists.
The McCartney's, Pink's and U2's are doing quite well even with piracy, what's the point in a solution that keeps them at the status quo, while penalising the artists on the margins.
Old 23rd October 2011
  #16
It just would never work. Consider a simple scenario. Lord of the Rings, the trilogy, cost something like $300M to make. And of course for anyone in the future to bother risking that kind of money, it would have to make back at least twice that. At $600M that one set of movies would eat up the monthly outlaw of something around 30 million of these people, just one movie.

The economics of such a system just don't work. You'd completely lose some of the most epic movies ever made, all of which were very expensive to make for that particular time.

And of course you can't make that kind of deal for music and movies and leave software out. Once you throw that into the bucket, the whole thing just completely collapses.
Old 23rd October 2011
  #17
Banned
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AwwDeOhh View Post
Shut down the pirate sites, and a whole world of fair play will open up for ALL artists (in music and all creative fields). Until then, lobby your government representative.
Well, that's the goal.
Old 23rd October 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GearOnTheGo View Post
Well, that's the goal.
yeah.. the solution to piracy is to stop piracy
1
Old 23rd October 2011
  #19
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Thread Starter
YEAH! SHUT DOWN THE PIRATES SITES! OF COURSE! BRILLIANT!

I was seriously hoping for a better discussion...

An entire generation of consumers is growing up with the reality that they dont have to pay for any music, and the only way to lure them away is to offer better products and services. Price isnt a consideration, because 90% of the people we are talking about can afford to spend less than $1 a day on music, and would happily do so if that service was BETTER than iTunes and torrents. As in, streaming FLACs for any artist ever recorded, as a start. Why pirate when you can stream? Thats how Netflix won.

So, you guys arent agreeing with me, what can I say? My friends and I have spent thousands of dollars on Steam, and we all have Netflix accounts, yet when it comes to music, torrents is the way to go, for the simple reason that iTunes sucks, and we refuse to pay for shitty products and services. I guess that isnt going to change, because apparently, paying for something thats better JUST WONT FLY WITH PEOPLE. Hmmm mmmm. Uhh huh.

I think Im going to go pirate some Lady Gaga remixes, just to blow off steam.

Ooooooooooooohhhhh yeah.
Old 24th October 2011
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog View Post
I was seriously hoping for a better discussion...
I guess that isnt going to change, because apparently, paying for something thats better JUST WONT FLY WITH PEOPLE. Hmmm mmmm. Uhh huh.
Right, so you think you have the genius idea that no one else has thought of.

It ain't happening because it's unfair and unworkable. Simple as that.
I would love it if you really had the solution..... unfortunately you don't.

You keep bringing up Netflix.
But netflix is only available in one country, music is global, as is music piracy.
Netflix also doesn't replace regular TV (paid for by cable fees and advertising), nor does it replace the movie theatre experience. It's additional.
I'm happy for music to grab some additional income from a subscription service, but it doesn't replace income from selling records.
1
Old 24th October 2011
  #21
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imo , those big record labels should pay a dept to just upload uber crap but with the name of songs. bunch of corrupt files or misnamed files plus singing up for the forums at bittorrent sites to deceive other downloaders.

thats what got me off piracy a while back. there was just sooo much crap and i spent way too much time figuring out / downloading and file management. now i buy from itunes and use netflix/hulu.



if a software could just create and signup 10k accounts (captcha done by a real person) for every torrent site/limewire etc and each account uploaded 300 bogus songs with real song titles and song length.
plus a small army of "users" placing deceiving posts then the real pirates will just be so overwhelm with crap that the time they wasted on figuring out/download will be more money than buying the song you actually want.
Old 24th October 2011
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog View Post
YEAH! SHUT DOWN THE PIRATES SITES! OF COURSE! BRILLIANT!

I was seriously hoping for a better discussion...

An entire generation of consumers is growing up with the reality that they dont have to pay for any music, and the only way to lure them away is to offer better products and services. Price isnt a consideration, because 90% of the people we are talking about can afford to spend less than $1 a day on music, and would happily do so if that service was BETTER than iTunes and torrents. As in, streaming FLACs for any artist ever recorded, as a start. Why pirate when you can stream? Thats how Netflix won.

So, you guys arent agreeing with me, what can I say? My friends and I have spent thousands of dollars on Steam, and we all have Netflix accounts, yet when it comes to music, torrents is the way to go, for the simple reason that iTunes sucks, and we refuse to pay for shitty products and services. I guess that isnt going to change, because apparently, paying for something thats better JUST WONT FLY WITH PEOPLE. Hmmm mmmm. Uhh huh.

I think Im going to go pirate some Lady Gaga remixes, just to blow off steam.

Ooooooooooooohhhhh yeah.
what about itunes sucks other than you actually have to pay for it? itunes also happens to be the only thing saving the record business at this point... as for netflix they just had to change their supply side model to actually pay for the content they are releasing, so this will get more interesting as well. netflix is now being modeled like a cable channel, like starz or hbo... alot of crap on netflix streaming too, and not too much that is first run, and current.

the record business could learn to window it's releases like the film business does, than maybe some of the streaming models might makes sense. but music is different from film, and software so trying to impose those models on it may not make sense, or work.
Old 24th October 2011
  #23
Old 24th October 2011
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog View Post
YEAH! SHUT DOWN THE PIRATES SITES! OF COURSE! BRILLIANT!

I was seriously hoping for a better discussion...
your in the wrong place then !
Old 24th October 2011
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorFiller23 View Post
Spotify is a doomed model as it pays just about nothing to content creators and artists. It will only take a year or two for labels and musicians to come to their senses.

The race is on to IPO before the licenses expire. The majors are equity partners so the need to cash out on an IPO before the end of term on current licenses.

Spotify is also being shown to be cannibalizing paid sales, not increasing them. It's not going to last, or it's not going to last under it's current structure.
Old 26th October 2011
  #26
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I kinda have this feeling that the major labels and acts will go to a subscription/delivery model at some point anyway , something sort of like steam

as stated they are the ones who will benefit the most and it gives them leverage against consumers/governments/tech industry - hey look we even offer you a reasonable sub service and you still don't do it , time for the big stick

plus they can stick it to itunes
Old 26th October 2011
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvsky View Post
I kinda have this feeling that the major labels and acts will go to a subscription/delivery model at some point anyway , something sort of like steam

as stated they are the ones who will benefit the most and it gives them leverage against consumers/governments/tech industry - hey look we even offer you a reasonable sub service and you still don't do it , time for the big stick

plus they can stick it to itunes
In the end it comes down to the ROI.

Netflix had the same problem as Spotify. Content creators tried the experiment, the made no money and Reed Hastings got stupid rich. When the licenses expired, and when it came time to deliver new product the film studios said, "It's time to pay up". So now Netflix is paying and structuring deals closer cable channels and paying FAIR licensing fee's for the content... for one reason only... They have too.

Eventually, the same will be true for record labels and spotify, or any other service. There has to be a Sustainable Revenue Model. The right relationship is symbiotic, not parasitic.

Steam is a PC based platform for games, but the real money in video games is in the console games, which have very robust DRM with very real consequences. This is why they are profitable. The average MP3 downloading pirate is not hacking/running pirated versions of console games which is the profit center.
Old 28th October 2011
  #28
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I agree with the OP.

However 24/96 and SACD is a total non-issue...no one, other then a tiny number of freaks, cares about that. 44.1k 16 bit would be more then enough, and even that would be a hard sell. For 99.9% of people 320kbit mp3 is fine.

The future isn't about owning music, it's about listening to it. Why will you need to own a CD or a file when music is available to stream always & everywhere? That's the mental switch that people are starting to make.

Basically, Spotify, or some other service, needs to do for music what Google did for information. What does Google sell to it's users? nothing. It's all free. Yet they still find ways to make billions of $ profit.

Spotify is a good start, but we need to look at it as if we're looking back at the very first search engines in the 90's, then try to imagine what a google-like leap forward might be.
Old 28th October 2011
  #29
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Maybe we just need a good old fashioned global internet blackout for a month or two to remind people the value of owning music.... (a joke, but not without some truth...).
Old 28th October 2011
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
I agree with the OP.

However 24/96 and SACD is a total non-issue...no one, other then a tiny number of freaks, cares about that. 44.1k 16 bit would be more then enough, and even that would be a hard sell. For 99.9% of people 320kbit mp3 is fine.

The future isn't about owning music, it's about listening to it. Why will you need to own a CD or a file when music is available to stream always & everywhere? That's the mental switch that people are starting to make.

Basically, Spotify, or some other service, needs to do for music what Google did for information. What does Google sell to it's users? nothing. It's all free. Yet they still find ways to make billions of $ profit.

Spotify is a good start, but we need to look at it as if we're looking back at the very first search engines in the 90's, then try to imagine what a google-like leap forward might be.

spotify is a HORRIBLE start... but you make some points I agree with...

It's important to not conflate the separate issues which are:

1) how will music be consumed

2) how will the artists / rights holders be compensated

the solution seems to be headed towards merging two existing models into one, those current models are

1) transactional downloads (Itunes, Amazon Mp3, etc)
- which pays well and fairly

2) subscription stream (spotify, rhapsody, etc)
- which does not pay well or fairly

the coming hybrid appears to be Transactional Streaming... ie, The Cloud.

in this model you still make a transactional purchase of the music, which is then stored in the cloud for streaming to all of your devices.

there are some bumps in the road here, but it looks like the majority of this has already been worked out at Apple and Amazon via different licensing schemes and Google Music looks like it is going to follow suit as well.

the wild card here is how much of the transactional model remains when people are just streaming their own libraries from the web. the larger play here is for these companies to UPSELL other products while consumers are accessing their own music.

For Google this will most likely be Advertising based. For Amazon they are changing an access fee. Apple is charging an access fee, but is legally able to mirror non-purchased music onto the cloud.

the key component to all of these is still the transactional model which has appropriate compensation to artists and rights holders
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