The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Lessons from/to the music industry ?
Old 18th May 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
spaceman's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Lessons from/to the music industry ?

My question might be off-topic, but here we go :

The musicians (and the whole music industry) using your tools are right now subject to devastating piracy. Can your own experience as software developers facing the problem of piracy help the music industry in any way ? And vice-versa, did you learn anything on your own market problems by observing the problems of the music industry dealing with piracy ? Is there anything to be leaned that can benefit both ?

Thank you.
Old 18th May 2009
  #2
MMI
Special guest
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman View Post
My question might be off-topic, but here we go :

The musicians (and the whole music industry) using your tools are right now subject to devastating piracy. Can your own experience as software developers facing the problem of piracy help the music industry in any way ? And vice-versa, did you learn anything on your own market problems by observing the problems of the music industry dealing with piracy ? Is there anything to be leaned that can benefit both ?

Thank you.
This is a huge question, but for us the Education project is very worthwhile. Rather than use police action we have chosen to challenge people on a moral level - dude what you are doing is wrong. You are eating your young. Keep the software industry going so you will have software tomorrow.

We have learned from other campaigns like Drunk Driving, ReCycling, Condom use etc. You can't be in every car to stop every drunk, but you can make people think about the potential damage a drunk driver can do through continuous education. The education itself will make many of them stop. Eventually, you reach a critical mass and peers are carrying your message. I suppose we are working towards a music creation world where people want to do the right thing, just like people today don't want to drive drunk. We may not get 100% but as long as more and more people are becoming aware that is progress. The key is not to fall into the trap of this being a quick fix - we are talking about years of education.

I don't want to tell the Record industry what to do, but if you are asking my opinion I think they should be running every rock star they can find out there to schools to reinforce piracy education for the next generation. Piracy is learned behaviour - it is not something you are born with - like left-handedness. As with all behaviours it can be modified.

Ray Williams
Music Marketing Inc.
Old 19th May 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
I think the apple music store is the only working business model that has a chance against piracy. Their idea was essentially to make the product so cheap and easy to get that a large amount of people would prefer the ease and safety of buying from Apple then downloading songs illegally.

Why don’t software company’s adopt the same philosophy. A plug-in that costs $250 retail could sell for $50. The idea being that at a that low of a price most people that would have pirated the piece of software will now pay for a legit copy that comes with tech support and updates. A volume sales approach. You take a hit on the upfront R&D and marketing costs but sell ten thousand units as opposed to one thousand with the rest being pirated…
Old 19th May 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 
colinmiller's Avatar
 

Because the iTunes store isn't making money on the music, they are making money on iPod sales. They afford to take the loss because they will profit from the hardware.
Old 19th May 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
I believe the iTunes store is making a significant amount of money. If they have sold a billion songs at .25 profit to Apple thats $250,000,000. The volume business model works for so many companys. Why not a software developer?
Old 19th May 2009
  #6
Gear Head
 

The music industry and the music software industry are two sides of the same coin. It is a shame that some of the same musicians, who complain about the illegal copying of their intellectual properties, use cracked versions of someone else’s intellectual property. To change the world, one must first change himself/herself.
Old 19th May 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 
msquared's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by colinmiller View Post
Because the iTunes store isn't making money on the music, they are making money on iPod sales. They afford to take the loss because they will profit from the hardware.
I was under the impression that it was the other way around, that they take a loss on iPods and Airport Expresses but make it back in spades from music sales. I'd love to see some links with actual numbers if you know of some.
Old 20th May 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 
7161's Avatar
 

i doubt it. the music industry is run by morons (lawyers), the s/w industry requires some actual intelligence to be part of doesnt it?

if you copy the music biz you're doomed i reckon
Old 20th May 2009
  #9
MMI
Special guest
 

Why doesn't Apple just drop the price of the iPod to $1.00 and sell the music for $10.00? I mean you are making an asumption that there is more value in the iPod that the music. How much did it cost to manufacture the iPod? How much did it cost to manufacture the music? Does the fact that one is in digital form and the other is tangible make a difference to their intrinsic value? Porche can sell a lot more cars if they priced them under $100.00.

The point is that the price is not set by the consumer. If you think a plug-in is too expensive, then you do what you do when you think a car or a house or a chocolate bar is too expensive, you don't buy it. You can't walk into a store and begin to price the merchandise. If a software company says Plug-In A is worth $250 then you as the consumer can simply say "OK or "that's too expensive." However, if you trying to justify stealing the software because of the 'high' prices, then I can't agree. If they price is too high just don't buy it.

Ray Williams
Music Marketing Inc.
Old 20th May 2009
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaschaP View Post
I think the apple music store is the only working business model that has a chance against piracy. Their idea was essentially to make the product so cheap and easy to get that a large amount of people would prefer the ease and safety of buying from Apple then downloading songs illegally.

Why don’t software company’s adopt the same philosophy. A plug-in that costs $250 retail could sell for $50. The idea being that at a that low of a price most people that would have pirated the piece of software will now pay for a legit copy that comes with tech support and updates. A volume sales approach. You take a hit on the upfront R&D and marketing costs but sell ten thousand units as opposed to one thousand with the rest being pirated…
Paying the same price per song as a CD but not having to pay for the CD, the jewel case, the insert, the glass master, the clean rooms, the equipment to make all that etc, and getting a WAY subpar audio quality has rammed profit margins through the roof while scamming the customer blind. My .02
Old 21st May 2009
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
I believe the iTunes store is making a significant amount of money. If they have sold a billion songs at .25 profit to Apple thats $250,000,000. The volume business model works for so many companys. Why not a software developer?
Not least because of tech support costs, and because the acheivable volumes are comparatively small.. bear in mind that billion songs is from tens of millions of available titles. A single very very popular song will only sell in the millions; if we assume ten music listeners/buyers for every musician that dabbles in recording, a single very very popular music software package might sell 100,000 copies even when "volume priced", with most "success stories" selling far less.

Basically, the market decides where prices are set.. given the market size and the R+D cost, most manufacturers seem to reckon the sweet spot for audio software is between about $99 and $499 for things with relatively 'mass' appeal. If getting prices down further were really the key driver in this market, you'd see ten FL Studio users for every Reason user and ten Reaper or Magix users for every Pro Tools user, and the numbers just don't bear that out. Not even close.

Also - there is a lot of fairly high quality, legal, freeware out there for audio production; anything aimed at this supposed ultra-low-cost "volume" market has to compete with that. The same isn't true in the same sense for popular music.

One thing that the music industry might be able to learn from - and I see those writer-performer-producer type artists who have end-to-end control of their work doing this already e.g. NIN, Radiohead, Steven Wilson - is to sell people more of a sense of connection as part of the package. Premium non-standard packaging - combo gatefold vinyl plus CD box sets - sold as limited editions direct from the artist's web site are a big step in the right direction here. People that don't really give a damn about you as an artist will pirate your stuff anyway, or pirate other peoples' stuff if they can't get their hands on yours. But treat the people that do give a damn right, and they might pay much more than the standard $15 for an album or $30 for a show, if you can make it seem worthwhile.

The current insane show prices for big-ticket artists also bear this out. My guess is that part of the reason e.g. Madonna can command $200+ a seat (that's way more than the 'elitist' Royal Opera House, ferchrissakes) is that people have more disposable income as a result of pirating, instead of buying, albums. Again, that applies to the box-sets - if you get all the bands you sort-of-like for free, you have more disposable income left over to spend on the bands you really-love.

The same trend is very much evident in gear the past 5 or 10 years too. Because people can use free-with-their-DAW compressors or cheap plugins for day-to-day stuff, the money they would have had to spend buying a rackload of 3630s or Behringers is (thankfully) freed up so they can buy one or two choice UA, SSL or Manley pieces.

However, all of that is not really much help to the crafting songwriter or others working with artists who have historically relied on high-volume, low-brow mass-market retail sales. Perhaps the best hope there - if it can be shown that the income previously spent on records is significantly being diverted towards live shows - is for your rights organisations to negotiate for a bigger slice of the pie when your songs get played live.

Cheers,
Angus.
Loading mentioned products ...
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
zebastian21 / Electronic Music Instruments & Electronic Music Production
13
chrisso / Music Business
42
sd-cd / Rap + Hip Hop engineering & production
17
TheNoize / So much gear, so little time!
38
TML / Bruce Swedien
2

Forum Jump