When You Can Hold Every Song Ever Recorded In Your Pocket... Does $1/Song Still Make Sense?

from the think-it-forward dept

Martin Thornkvist, who runs a (very cool) indie record label in Sweden that believes in treating fans right, has written up an opinion piece where he tries to envision the role of the record label in five years. The opening is certainly right in line with my feelings of optimism for the music industry:
When it comes to the future of music I've always consider myself an optimist.

For one I'm certain that musicians and music fans have a prosperous future ahead of them. That's because music is the single most important ingredient in the music business soup and music is of course a result of artists' creative minds. And it's when musicians interact with listeners that a window for business is opening. Not before, and not just because some A&R person, marketeer or CEO open their wallet. That the relationship between musicians and fans is the foundation to the business is the single most important piece of knowledge that we all have to submissively recognize. This is the key to the future for the middle men we call record labels – we have to encourage the interaction and realize that it will live without us.

We as middle men have to remember that we always need to convince our customers (musicians and fans) why they should engage with us. Music on plastic discs or plain mp3s just ain't enough anymore. Competition is hard and consumers don't take bullshit anymore. If they love something you don't offer, they'll go create it themselves.
The whole thing is worth reading, but the final paragraph makes a really important point that we've discussed in the past, but which often gets forgotten in trying to understand trendlines and the music business. It's that storage is growing ever bigger and ever cheaper at an incredibly rapid pace -- and as such it won't be all that long until you can carry every song ever recorded on a device in your pocket:
In five years a hard drive available to ordinary consumers will carry 35 TB of data. Data = music. 35 TB = 2.5 million songs. Watch this development closely. It's easy to get blinded by Spotify, but imagine when file sharing on the street means transferring the entire music history. At least it is a wild card. Anyhow it seems that we will have to work on better ways of charging for music than 1 dollar a song. Don't you think?
Indeed. When you can carry every song ever... do people really think that $1/song is going to make sense?


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 11:14am

    I can hold a bar of gold in my hands. Does that change it's value? I can hold a CD with a copy of Windows on it. Does that change it's value?

    Nope.

    The amount of storage is immaterial.

     

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  2.  
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    BullJustin (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Re:

    But are you really going to carry around a bar of gold in your pocket? You'd be too worried about it being stolen. Same with a music player, if you have 250,000 songs on it and you paid $1/song, then are you really going to want to carry it around with you anymore? Especially if you lose it or it is stolen, and the replacement upon syncing with your computer has the power and possibility to wipe your entire library because it doesn't match. Not only have you lost your original player, you are also out the $250K for music. Do you honestly believe anyone is going to shell out another $250K to replace music they already "legally" bought?

     

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    lavi d (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 11:44am

    I've Said it Before

    I've got an 8G MP3 player. Nothing fancy. It has about 2000 3 minute songs on it right now.

    I'll sell it - at a whopping discount - to the first person who wants to give me $1500US.

    Hurry, act now!

     

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    LaFade, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 11:45am

    Re:

    Is it not so much the amount of storage as it is the ease of transference of the stored material?

    I can practially lean out of my window to swap drives/storage devices with my neighbor. Or we could be more clandestine and hand them over the back fence. At night. Dressed as ninjas.

     

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    Revan, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re:

    Strange comparison.

    Gold is something rare, hence it's value. Music, the files, can be, and will be copied an infinite number of times.

     

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    David T, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 11:49am

    What problem?

    Obviously laws must be legislated to prevent the use of HDs greater than 1TB in consumer electronics.

    Problem solved...

     

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    SRJCollege@gmail.com, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 11:53am

    When something is available for free it loses it economic value.

    When Gen Y is the oldest gen listening to music, the current system will be obsolete. So yes the zunepod's of the time will be no more valuable then the time required to download all the music, which will be seconds by that time, and the cost of the hardware. The content will be of insignificant value.

    I see a future when I can go to Target and grab a "MusicHistoryPod" with all the music pre-loaded "with free updates" for ~$50...

     

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    Anonymous12, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:02pm

    I've heard here about how people pirate music, and how it's easy, and how data storage capacity keeps increasing, and how device sizes keep shrinking. What I haven't heard about is why any of this makes a hell of a difference. The best argument is, I can carry alot around, so the value of the music shrinks. Should movies be a dollar as well (I can hear all the YESs now)? The point is a dollar a song seems pretty fair to me. It's up to the creator to charge what they want. Tough beans if you don't want to pay. Nice try, but this post seems more like a thought problem than a serious discussion, WADR.

     

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    TPBer, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:05pm

    Ninjas :)

    I am now going to dress as a ninja everytime I decide to pirate anything.

    Thanx to the above poster for such a novel idea. Does this mean I am no longer a pirate?

     

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  10.  
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    jm, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:07pm

    Copy vs sell

    @David_T: Storage capacity as munition :-)

    @SRJCollege and others: Unless Copyright law is completely gutted, it seems to me that being able to buy mass-preloaded music gadgets at *mart is unlikely, if only due to cost.

    On the other hand, freely sharing those archives will almost certainly happen (although probably not at *mart).

     

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    TPBer, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    Re:

    "I've heard here about how people pirate music..."

    You must live under 2 rocks.

     

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    lavi d (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    The point is a dollar a song seems pretty fair to me.

    $1500US, 2000 songs, free MP3 player, going once, going twice...

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Re:

    "The point is a dollar a song seems pretty fair to me."

    Then pay it. No problemo.

    The *point* is that it is soon to be (and really, is already) so cheap to make copies that it is, essentially, too cheap to meter.

     

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    lavi d (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Ninjas :)

    Does this mean I am no longer a pirate?

    Pirate Ninja.

    The best of the best.

     

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  15.  
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    R. Miles (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:14pm

    Re:

    The amount of storage is immaterial.
    Gold isn't a storage device, genius.

    As for the CD, it's pretty worthless. But the software on it could be invaluable, based on how one perceives it (especially if used to run a business).

    Same thing with an mp3 player. The device is useless without something to play, and that is music.

    Filling today's mp3 players is costly at $1.30 per song.

    And these distributors are wondering why people are downloading without paying?

    For these CEOs, they've obviously skipped basic math classes.

     

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  16.  
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    Jason, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:14pm

    Its a matter of economics

    Intelligent Television has been conducting a year-long investigation into the economics of open content. This project is a systematic study of why and how it makes sense for commercial companies and noncommercial institutions active in culture, education, and media to make certain materials widely available for free, and also how free services are finding new (sometimes commercial) ways of becoming sustainable.

     

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    Hulser (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    Should movies be a dollar as well (I can hear all the YESs now)? The point is a dollar a song seems pretty fair to me.

    The point of the TD post is that, given the increase in storage capacity and the ability to transfer huge amounts of copyrighted data, it becomes all but impossible to enforce what "should" be or what is "fair". It's not that these devices change what should be or what's fair; it's that if you are trying to make money in a world where your friend can hand you a device that has every song every recorded, the business model of selling a download of a song for a dollar is no longer viable.

     

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  18.  
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    Sal, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:19pm

    Re:

    The thing that you seem to not understand is that things are changing. Technology is becoming faster and cheaper. What does that have to do with $1 a song? Its cheaper than ever to record that song. Not only that, but it's also cheaper to market, distribute, and advertise it. Why should music prices stay the same when costs are declining and supply is raised towards infinite?

     

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  19.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:22pm

    Once upon a time...

    There were dandelion farmers. They had a huge trade in dandelion wine. People happily spent money for the yummy yummy wine.

    Then one day, a dandelion head poofed and deposited its seed all over the countryside. People were delighted, they could make their own yummy wine. Some clever people started to add other things in an attempt to make yummier wine. Most failed, but some were quite yummy indeed.

    The Dandelion Growers' Guild was furious. This wasn't how it was supposed to work. People were supposed to buy their wine from them. They petitioned the King and his Council to pass laws outlawing the growing of dandelions.

    They did, but it went about as well as you would expect.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    A 35 TB drive would likely hold a copy of every game ever made. Games routinely sell for $40-$50. They should be less than a dollar too.

    There is a lot of discussion around digital music being free. I think the same arguments hold for video games.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    Re:

    In business, you only charge what people are willing to pay.

     

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  22.  
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    Jason, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:25pm

    Re:

    Actually the value can change. Value is "the assigned worth" of an object. It like the housing market. The home that you own will have a higher value to you than to the buyer. Value is tied to the individual.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re:

    The old adage, something is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it.

     

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    Tor (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:27pm

    Online and offline file sharing

    The same argument is often used here in Sweden to illustrate just how impossible it is to stop file sharing just by concentrating on online sharing. If people can quickly share massive amounts of material offline that also renders any surveilance of people's online activity useless.

     

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  25.  
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    Jason, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:32pm

    Another point often overlooked

    The distribution model the music industry promotes dates back to the origin of american music. Its simply outdated. Now with the internet you send less money to reach a broader audience.

    Ive heard from an entertainment attorney that there used to be a business model for songs that are placed on a CD. You pick 3 - 4 songs you feel will be a hit and lace the rest with filler. This way you maximize profit by allowing another hit cd to be released at a later date thus maximizing exposure.

    Now I am not an advocate in anyway of anyone breaking any laws but I cannot help but feel the music industry did this to themselves.

     

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  26.  
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    lavi d (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:34pm

    Re:

    There is a lot of discussion around digital music being free.

    Not on this blog.

    There is however, a lot of discussion of how to make money when the cost to copy your product is near zero.

     

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  27.  
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    Courtney (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:35pm

    Re: What problem?

    Are you saying that there should be laws out there to regulate the size of ALL HDs? Or just portable media?

    If you're going for the first, you may want to build a bunker in your backyard, because there are a lot of people going to be out for your blood. And if you meant the second, and you think that would actually work, well, I've got a great deal for you on the Golden Gate Bridge.

    I can go get a Thermaltake portable hard drive enclosure and turn any desktop internal HD into a portable in about ten minutes flat. And that's only because those things can be a real S.o.B. to put back together. After that, it's a matter of rigging and programming to get it to play music through a set of headphones. And there's a torrent out there for everything. The how-to would be in a new edition of the Jolly Roger Cookbook within weeks after the law was passed.

     

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    PRMan, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Games

     

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  29.  
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    ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    Re:

    I've heard here about how people pirate music Dude. People don't Pirate music, they Ninja it. Get with the program; we decided that 4 comments ago. CBMHB

     

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  30.  
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    WDS, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:47pm

    How Much is Too Much

    2.5 million songs at 3 minutes each, will take over 25 years to listen to, listening 16 hours a day. Thats assuming you don't listen to a song you particularly like more than once. The more songs, the harder it is to find the one you want right now, for this particular mood. At what point does the availability of more storage for a mp3 player just not matter any more?

     

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  31.  
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    Courtney (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:48pm

    I think we should just go back to the days when bands and artists actually toured like, ALL the time. What a concept, yeah? Who misses the days when you could be sitting in some little bar and Willie walks in and just starts playing? I know I do.

    As far as I'm concerned, any musician that finds themselves that concerned about album profits has lost sight of the real purpose of his profession and should be hung, drawn, and quartered for profaning the name of all music. Music is spirituality, and thus should be shared with all who are willing to listen.

    Bach gave us God's Word
    Mozart gave us God's laughter
    Beethoven gave us God's fire
    God gave us music, so that we may pray without words.

    Courtney

     

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  32.  
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    sehlat (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:49pm

    Sneakernet Rules

    This genie is LONG out of the bottle. At dinner last year with an under-25 I know, he spoke openly of "trading briefcases" (500GB drives) full of movies with his buddies. It's only gonna get easier.

    ATTN: MPAA 35TB = 85 thousand movies. Assuming roughly 2 hours per movie, that's two YEARS worth of movies. Swap time Thoroughly. The gummint won't save you because it won't be able to do so without a police state that would make Joseph Stalin drool with envy and even then, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:49pm

    You can go to almost any flea market today to find someone selling bootleg songs. Bring your own thumb drive and they will let you fill it for $5. Bottom line is you can't stop file sharing no matter how litigation or legislation you bring against it.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:50pm

    Re:

    obligatory idiot comment: The gold bar you can hold in your hands is worth infinitely more to you than the 2 gold bars locked away in Fort Knox

     

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  35.  
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    minijedimaster (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:50pm

    Re:

    I'd love to see you carry all the gold ever created in your pocket. That'd be a sight to see.

     

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  36.  
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    minijedimaster (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: What problem?

    You missed the implied /sarcasm

     

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  37.  
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    minijedimaster (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    You have to account for inflation though... so by that time your $50 will be $500, but it's all relative.

     

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  38.  
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    ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Games

    You know, I thought the era of Game Ninjaing had come to an end with the advent of MMPOGs. When I signed up to play StarWars Galaxies, I had to purchase a copy from Sony/LucasArts, and I had to pay $15/mo. if I wanted to keep playing.

    I figured this was the direction all games would take: Simply place the content online, where you can monitor the licenses in real-time. No complaints of DRM hassles because it's an Online game, right?

    However, it seems that Game companies still haven't clued in to this obvious strategy. Even if your game wasn't originally intended to be a MMO, make it one and you have your scarcity back. Virtually crack-proof. Even if cracked, you would have the crackers jacked into your server, where you could ID them by IP.

    Am I missing something, or are they?

    CBMHB

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 1:04pm

    I can't wait to download a 35 TB torrent.

    music.zip.torrent

    Then at 99.8% the only seeder quits.

     

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  40.  
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    B, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 1:06pm

    Re: I've Said it Before

    You can't, you don't own the music... you're just licensing it, remember?

    /s... kinda?

     

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  41.  
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    Common Sense, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 1:06pm

    Re:

    We're not talking value the way you think we're talking value. We're really talking cost, which is quantitative, not qualitative. A bar of gold's cost fluctuates based on a number of factors, but it's likely just as valuable at $100 a bar, or $10 a bar. A CD with a copy of Windows on it is about as valuable as a pile of dog crap with mold growing on it to me, but that doesn't change it's cost.

    Music will always be valuable, for numerous reasons. I think what they're getting at, is that there should come a time when the cost to possess that value should be reflective of the cost to produce and maintain that value. If you could go to the nearest park and spend 2 minutes digging in the dirt to bring home a bar of gold and a CD with Windows on it, THEN the cost of those should drop as well. (Nearest park is code for internet, and digging is code for searching/downloading, in case you missed that.)

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 1:09pm

    Whether we are talking about music, movies, software, really any digital good, there was a cost to make that good and there is a cost to distribute that good. Folks that produce digital goods are entitled to be compensated for their work (assuming someone actually wants it). The question is, what is the value of that work?

    In the case of music the market is speaking. If more folks are so called pirates/thieves than paying customers then it should be obvious that the product is over-priced. So, even now a dollar is too much. How about .05/track.

     

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  43.  
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    Hulser (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 1:20pm

    Re:

    How about .05/track.

    The point is that people aren't going to pay any amount of money per track if they can get every song ever recorded by simply copying their friend's hard drive. No matter how much you lower the price per track, this isn't going to change. Sure artists are entitle to be compesated for their work, but many of the topics brought up on this web site are about how that compensation is going to have to be something other than a per track model.

     

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    Anonymous12, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 1:31pm

    It's not that these devices change what should be or what's fair; it's that if you are trying to make money in a world where your friend can hand you a device that has every song every recorded, the business model of selling a download of a song for a dollar is no longer viable.


    Weak argument. Despite the numbers most people still probably do, or at least are willing to (due to tinges of actual guilt!) pay for music.

    The best point I heard was that it costs less to produce/record/distribute. True, true, and true, for most bands, except that you're discounting the initial technology investment/re-investment by the individual/band/music label or company. The independent model doesn't mean that (for now) the concept of a label, even if not one of the big-"dinosaur" labels, is going anywhere. There will most likely always be people who want full-studio recordings, etc,. despite how more and more of this is shifting away from hardware into software. The point is, all of these things are wrapped up in cost. If someone does a cost analysis independent of the company selling the music, that's one thing. These companies (like ALL companies, in ALL industries) are not obliged, nor will they, open there books on cost of production. So while price may drop do to lower overhead, it's really not accurate to argue that higher storage capacity, and people copying music, is grounds for lowering price, IMHO.

    BTW the idea of online only distribution isn't a bad idea from a protection idea. I still like having some physical device, in case the company goes under etc. but some hybrid system could develop.

     

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    kevjohn, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 1:43pm

    Can't I just time warp 5 years into the future right now?

    Finally, someone in a industry who realizes that he is just a middleman, a reseller standing between the producers (in this case, the musicians) and the consumers. That basic business model has been failing left and right (Circuit City, CompUSA, Ritz Camera, etc.) and will continue to do so. People can buy electronics, gadgets, computer components, cameras, you name it, online for much less from the comfort of their home. They can get music just as easy, and for free. And with the recording industry, and more to the point, any major record label, not offering a reasonably priced and convenient alternative way to get their music legally, large numbers of people will still opt to do so illegally.

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: What problem?

    Sarcasm, eh? I though it was more satire / ennui that his facetious idea will likely be proposed, in earnest, by a legislator sometime as soon as the industry figures out this 'threat vector'.

     

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    m3mnoch (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 1:57pm

    it makes perfect sense

    storage size absolutely has to do with the price of music.

    lemme explain.

    why do you even need that much storage for your music? the answer? glut. if there wasn't so much glut -- so many choices -- on what to listen to, we'd only need a couple hundred megs of space for our music.

    here's the real problem the riaa is grappling with: they no longer matter.

    yeah, that's pretty non-profound on a bunch of levels, but it really boils down to the fact that they are not the gatekeepers anymore. they are not the taste-makers anymore. in this day and age, anyone -- and i mean absolutely anyone -- can become a "musician." there are so many socially relevant sharing mechanisms out there that having a bottleneck to "good music" just doesn't make any sense at all.

    what's even worse for the riaa is, using the standard ugc upside-down pyramid, 1 out of about 100 of these new musicians is actually going to be good. look at it from their point of view. if suddenly, the music industry went from a metered "couple hundred" acts a year coming out to %1 of 85,000,000 people who play musical instruments in the united states (according to the international music products association) can self-promote and self-publish? that goes from something in the neighborhood of 285 acts to 850,000 acts -- in the u.s. alone. pure cacophony.

    the only economy that musically makes any sense is the attention economy. there are soooooo many bands out there -- good bands -- that if you have any barrier to your music? well. people just throw you away and move on to the next song in their thousands-more-bands-because-their-player-holds-that-many queue. and you, as a musician, will never be heard. there is no more "captive audience" nonsense for the music industry to push music at.

    so, to recap, why does huge storage mean $1 a song isn't relevant anymore?

    1) digitizing makes music easier to make and distribute now than ever before.
    2) which means more musicians are able to publish than ever before.
    3) which means the riaa isn't the bottleneck anymore.
    4) which means the riaa isn't the gatekeeper and taste-maker anymore.
    5) which means there's a huge glut of new music to discover.
    6) which means you need huge storage to store and sort this glut.
    7) which means you will have thousands of hours of music but still only 24 hours in a day.
    8) which means any barrier at all between you and the music is too much barrier.
    9) which means if someone has to pay $1 before they hear your song, they won't hear it.

    ergo, because of the huge storage, if you're charging a dollar for a song, nobody will listen to your music.

    m3mnoch.

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:01pm

    Re: How Much is Too Much

    Don't think of it as carrying the 35TB in your portable device, although you could do this and solve the "discovery" problem using some embedded smarts like Pandora, playlists, ratings, recommendation engies, etc.

    Instead, though, think of the 35TB option as a file server in your office that has every song on it. You could then "buy" music from yourself to load to your portable device or phone. No file sharing network, no peer to peer, no ISP packet sniffing, no three strikes, no C&D, no RIAA lawsuit. The price...use the honor system.

     

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  49.  
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    Bob, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:03pm

    More Crap

    Isn't this the same crap from microsoft? People store other things on ipods you know, like video, podcasts, files, games, etc.

    More tech Dirt (literally)

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:08pm

    A lot of prescription drugs should be less than a dollar too. It costs less than 2 cents to make a Lipitor pill.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous12, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:08pm

    @m3mnoch: You brought up a lot of the good points I referenced (and that another user intially brought up), but your post was very convaluted in a sense. Again, you bring up outside factors. These factors may have a significant impact on price, but the storage capacity issue one is weak.
    A large number of bands/producers/labels have benfitied from lower cost, and this has opened up the market for many bands who would never have market access previously, and this HAS IMHO fundamentally changed the market. That is still a seperate issue from storage capacity. Storage capacity, taken in isolation, has zero impact on price. At best, it has a small impact (in the very, very low percentages) when taken into account alon with all other factors in the digital revolution in media, again, IMHO.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:10pm

    If I build a warehouse that is the size of Africa, should I get all the cars in the world for free?

     

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  53.  
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    c, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:12pm

    Subscription

    You can always look at subscription costs as a guess at value.

    If you can get an unlimited download/stream subscription for 10$/month (Napster, for example), that works out to a little under $10000 over a typical human lifetime (do the math).

    In other words, music companies appear to be content to get a measly $10000 out of any music listener over their entire lifetime for their entire body of content.

    Valid way to estimate? Maybe not. But is it much worse than anything else?

    c.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:14pm

    $1 still makes sense, that is if you are paying for a song you are going to actually listen to all the way through. 35TB is stupid to have on a device for audio, that's ridiculously large to manage, and makes the listening experience a chore. I only carry around less than 2GB on my music player, more than that is too much to weed through.

    If you think large storage capacities should decrease song value, you are sadly misguided and know nothing about music creation costs. If you put the cost to a dime or less per song, it becomes a money losing operation to make music. Then what you are left with is a bunch of amateur crap to listen to, because professionals can no longer afford to make enough money from music to survive.

    Lastly, with inflation skyrocketing, $1/song does not make sense. It needs to be $1.29 or higher, as is evident with new itunes pricing. Song prices are going to continue to go up, not down. Has nothing to do with storage capacity of devices.

     

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    WDS (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re: How Much is Too Much

    It doesn't matter if you carry it all with you or not, it still takes 25 years to listen to it all just once, if you listen every waken momment. Take some time out to actually live a life and you will never listen to it all.

     

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  56.  
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    m3mnoch (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:18pm

    Re:

    "Again, you bring up outside factors. These factors may have a significant impact on price, but the storage capacity issue one is weak."

    hrm.

    well. maybe you can do me a favor. can you explain to me why anyone buys mp3 players with 80 gigs of space?

    if your answer has anything to do with "that's how much music they have" -- regardless of how they acquired it, then you just proved my point.

    m3mnoch.

     

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  57.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:33pm

    Re:

    "Weak argument. Despite the numbers most people still probably do, or at least are willing to (due to tinges of actual guilt!) pay for music."

    No, it was a GREAT argument. Let's look at a scenario. Let's say, in 5 years, one of your friends offers you a 35TB HD with every song on it. Free, just cuz he's a buddy and has it. Do you refuse? Let's say you accept, "Sure, I'll just use it to check out some new music". Now you have the drive to keep forever, and it was a very efficient way to distribute all that data. You now "own" the music. How do you pay the musicians? Do you send a buck to each musician for each song? How do you find them? Do they actually own the rights? Do you pay for songs you don't like? Songs you never listen to? Songs in the public domain? It would be simplest if you could just send a bulk payment to the RIAA. They think $2M is fair, pay up...um maybe not. Maybe, at some point, you realize how ridiculous it is to pay for something that is clearly too cheap to bill. The act of billing requires more costs than the act of copying, storing, and distributing. You would need to pay a bill, essentially to cover the costs of billing you (since the music costs were zero). You are being billed for billing, not for music. Most people, even very honorable ones, will no longer "want" to pay for music, because it's just not worth the hassle. Not only will they not want to pay, but enforcement will be unlikely. Good luck to the RIAA in limiting copying when it's done in this way.

    "So while price may drop do to lower overhead, it's really not accurate to argue that higher storage capacity, and people copying music, is grounds for lowering price, IMHO."

    Now THAT is a weak argument. You see, in competitive markets, price = marginal cost of production. In the case of music, that's the cost of reproduction, which is approximately zero. You are making the standard argument we often hear here of incorporating the fixed costs of production into what you think "should" be the price. But fixed costs (whether fair or not) are NOT relevant to the economic determination of market price. MC = MR = P. Did the world care that Costner spent millions making Waterworld? No. His revenues, his prices were entirely unrelated to his costs. Could Axl Rose charge more for Chinese Democracy because he spent years and years and millions to make it. Nope. Market doesn't care about your fixed costs. Nothin' personal. Just math.

     

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  58.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:51pm

    Futile Countermeasures Aimed At The Past

    Good luck to the RIAA to enforce copyright restrictions in this kind of a "sneakernet" environment. The RIAA is busy

    - suing their customers
    - shaking down their fans
    - blocking enjoyment of music
    - inserting DRM that makes the product annoying
    - charging multiple times for the same content
    - overcharging for content
    - bundling bad content with good
    - pursuing three strikes laws
    - pursuing ISP enforcement of sharing through DPI
    - pursuing more active policing of infringement
    - shutting down directories and hosts
    - pursuing advantageous trade agreements with other countries
    - charging for blank media
    - pushing hardware makers to limit the devices we buy
    - pursuing an "education" campaign that is a farce
    - pursuing extension of copyright

    ...all as a response to the threats of the last decade, primarily the Internet and P2P. It's sad to see them spin their wheels thus, when the threat of the next decade will not be the Interwebs, but massive TB storage, for which none of the above efforts will be effective in countering. They are, in fact, building a culture of animosity which will actually drive the copying activity.

    One of the reasons sneakernet and massive storage has not been a problem yet is that the storage has only had the capacity for a small portion of the historic music catalog. If your tastes differ from your friends', you will not get the music YOU like on the shared drive. However, if that drive can hold the library of all recorded music, it is no longer your friends' personal music collection, but everyone's. Now, sneakernet can deliver a great product that will be highly desired, unseen by the eyes of enforcement. Add in faster drives, eSATA, etc, and it will have as big an impact as the always-on Internet had on P2P.

    You'll note, as usual, that I don't advocate copying, don't say what's right or wrong, or legal. Just what the economics suggests, and what will happen, for better or worse.

    Instead of repeating the futile countermeasures aimed at the past, shouldn't the RIAA start to consider some of the forward-looking ideas that Masnick has been advocating?

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous12, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re:

    can you explain to me why anyone buys mp3 players with 80 gigs of space?

    if your answer has anything to do with "that's how much music they have" -- regardless of how they acquired it, then you just proved my point.

    m3mnoch.

    NO it doesn't prove your point AT ALL. It proves that people have large music collections, and that they like to carry them around. It doesn't prove that this requires a drop in music price. While I don't think prices need to go up as one Anonymous Coward stated above, he is right in that there are limits to the price drop potential, even in a digital age. Digital has lowered cost, but due to the fact that companies price above cost to make a profit, the cost of a song (as sigh, others have also stated) will be what people are willing to pay, factored in, and what the companies will charge. Saying, I can buy more, so you should charge less, doesn't work. All songs don't cost the same. This isn't a fixed cost situation. You don't get a bulk discount, and if you do, it's up to the seller, NOT you.

     

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    WDS (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Subscription

    I would make that deal with the music industry right now. $10,000 for all the music I want for life. I figure right now they owe me a rebate of at least $8,000.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re:

    If they bought $250,000 worth of music, getting their ipod stolen is the least of their problems!

     

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    Anonymous12, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:55pm

    @ Derek Kerton: I don't know from what planet you flew in on, but here on EARTH price doesn't equal marginal cost of production by a longshot.

     

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    romeosidvicious (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 2:59pm

    Re:

    $1 still makes sense, that is if you are paying for a song you are going to actually listen to all the way through. 35TB is stupid to have on a device for audio, that's ridiculously large to manage, and makes the listening experience a chore. I only carry around less than 2GB on my music player, more than that is too much to weed through.

    How would you propose to gauge "listen all the way through"? It can't be done. What if I listen to it all the way through hoping to find some hook I like and I don't? I carry an 8GB iPod and have no trouble keeping it full and organized. Storage in portable devices will keep getting larger regardless of how silly some people think the sizes are. If 35TB is cheap enough then that's what will be in the devices because manufactures stop making the smaller sizes at some point.

    If you think large storage capacities should decrease song value, you are sadly misguided and know nothing about music creation costs. If you put the cost to a dime or less per song, it becomes a money losing operation to make music. Then what you are left with is a bunch of amateur crap to listen to, because professionals can no longer afford to make enough money from music to survive.

    Whether or not the price of storage SHOULD affect the cost of music is not relevant. The fact is that it will and the industry will have to deal with it whether they like it or not and whether they want to or not. This argument has been debunked time and time (...can no longer afford to make enough) and there's no reason to address it. As for a price point of .10 USD a song you would end up with people buying massive amounts of music and recoup some of the loss that way. As the price of storage comes down so does the price of the rest of the recording process and we don't know where the prices will drop to making the discussion moot for the most part.

    Lastly, with inflation skyrocketing, $1/song does not make sense. It needs to be $1.29 or higher, as is evident with new itunes pricing. Song prices are going to continue to go up, not down. Has nothing to do with storage capacity of devices.

    The price which you claim shows what the cost of a song should be has nothing to do with economics. It is the result of Apple hiding from reality for too long. They had to charge more for DRM free music while the good folks at Amazon are selling the same music for less and still DRM free. I paid .89 USD for the last songs I bought and looking at my next expected purchase I am seeing .89 again at the good ol' Amazon MP3 store. The cost of music will be what the market can bear and as the size of storage goes up the cost of music will come down as storage is a scarcity and digital music is not. Quality may be a scarcity but the most popular music is drivel anyway. It doesn't have to be right but the music industry will have to deal with the perceived value of music getting smaller as the size of storage increases. They don't have a choice.

     

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    Anonymous12, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 3:03pm

    @Derek Kerton: BTW, While I'm at it, you make a LOT of totally asinine, and downright false statements above, including saying that possession is automatically equal to ownership (sure, tell that to the next cat burgler selling speakers off of a truck, he can use it in his defense), and that in the future it will be too expensive to send in payment, LOL.Then again, your entire post was snarkily-asinine.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re:

    You may be able to keep an 8 gig ipod full and orgasnized, but how much music is on there? 800 songs? 1000 Songs?

    let's work with 1000 songs, 3 minutes each - 3000 minutes = 50 continuous hours of music. So now, if you listen to music for 5 hours a day, it would take you 10 days to listen to your Ipod without refilling. If you refill it every 10 days, you might never listen to the same song again.

    It's a pointless amount of music, the greed of free.

     

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    CptMystic (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 3:26pm

    Something missing...

    I see the typical pirate mentality throughout the comments. What I don't see is this: what IS a fair price? There isn't one, because a pirate thinks a fair price is Zero.

    Personally, I'll pay up to a dollar for a song I like, although certainly not unless I've already heard it and know I like it. Can I get the same song for free? Probably, but musicians deserve money for their work. You can argue all you want that the money goes to the industry and not the artists, but I don't see hordes of pirates sending money directly to artists either.

    People pirate - and always will - because they can. The market will find a "fair price," but I don't think that price will have anything to do with ease of piracy. Instead, it will be what people who actually have ethics and a conscience are willing to pay.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Re: Games

    Making something an MMO costs *way* more money than selling a plastic disc with a copy of something you paid a team of people to make (once) and get to keep reselling it, over and over, with no extra cost, for $50.

    So, of course they won't.

     

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  68.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Once upon a time...

    That is an excellent description of the current situation in the media industry right now.

     

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  69.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Sneakernet Rules

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"
    Well, Rorschach of course.

     

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  70.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 3:50pm

    Re:

    If you put the cost to a dime or less per song, it becomes a money losing operation to make music.

    No, it makes it a money losing operation to SELL *just* music.

    Now, if you used the up-front cost of making music to gather a larger fan base to drive more people to see your live show, you can make a profit. Much like commercials (Which aren't free) are made and given away to as many people as possible in the hopes that some of those people will go out and buy the product.

    Got it now?

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 3:54pm

    Re: Something missing...

    but I don't see hordes of pirates sending money directly to artists either.

    Tell that to the people packed into a venue to see their favorite artist. Or do they require you to show proof that you bought their music before you can buy a ticket?

    Fair price to make a copy is zero, because that's how much it costs me to do it myself, just as good as they can.

     

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  72.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 3:59pm

    Re:

    A car is a scarce good, that can't be copied very easily.

    (Digital) music is not a scarce good, that can be copied easily.

    So, in answer to your question: no. But your question is also a bad analogy.

     

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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:10pm

    Re:

    If you put the cost to a dime or less per song, it becomes a money losing operation to make music. Then what you are left with is a bunch of amateur crap to listen to, because professionals can no longer afford to make enough money from music to survive.

    Interesting, but what if what the professionals put out is utter crap and the amateurs actually make good and innovative music?
    What if the 'amateurs' have more fun making the music than the 'professionals', isn't the music industry much better off without the 'professionals' then?

    This whole notion of profiting of music is a rather new notion (originating arguably in the 70s, with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones), and a quaint one at that.

    Do you think Mozart was rich because of his compositions?
    For that matter, Van Gogh was a great painter, but why then did he die broke? (because their fame was mostly after the fact)

    But in this case it's simple economics:
    The product has the price the market will bear. If the supply reaches infinity, no matter how great the demand, the price of the product will reach zero.

     

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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Something missing...

    The market will find a fair price indeed...
    zero. or close to zero. as the supply is infinite (or reaching infinity).
    demand / supply = price

    large amount / infinity =~ 0

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re:

    We get it Joe, but it is meaningless.

    What do you do for a living? Let say you sell cars (bad job these days). What would you say if I told you that you will make NOTHING for selling cars (because there are an infinite number of potential car salesmen) and the only way you can make money is to follow around the cars you sell and offer to squeegee their windows when they stop for gas?

    Perhaps you would also like to sing and dance for your customers for tips in the showroom.

    You see music as a commercial to sell a concert. Most of us still see music as thing onto itself, with not requirement past being music to have value (and a fair market price).

    Got it now?

     

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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: Something missing...

    BTW, you seem to make the assumption that copying files equals so-called 'piracy'.
    If I were to pay for an itunes song, I download that song, thus making a copy. Am I now a music pirate/music ninja? No. I paid for my music.

    Also, price has very little to do with ethics and morals etc. It has to do with economy.
    Sure, I have given a few writers some money, because I was able to get their ebooks for free (while their dead-tree versions costs money), and I felt better to give some money for it in return, but that was voluntary, and the writer didn't suddenly start charging money for the downloads.

    If one can download a product, the supply becomes infinite, which means that the real price of the product should be 0.

     

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    Anonymou12, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:25pm

    @Sure, I have given a few writers some money, because I was able to get their ebooks for free (while their dead-tree versions costs money), and I felt better to give some money for it in return, but that was voluntary,

    Right. So you don't want to pay for things? Cheap, lazy, and a pirate-ninja, by all accounts.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re:

    I get that - there are business models where free tracks can be used to support the sale of something else. Great, but thats not the only way.

    I'm willing to pay for music but not anywhere near $1+/track. It has value in the cents/track range. I would stop copying music from everyone I know if it was reasonably priced.

    I have trouble with the concept that because I can store lots of stuff and copy it in a hurry that the stuff should be free. That stuff has value to its creators - does not matter if that stuff is music, movies, software or any other digital good.

    I might create some complicated software that I put a lot of r&d into, my cost to produce the inital copy is very far from zero. Now I should just give that software away to anyone that has a big hard drive, because they can store and copy it quickly? No way, that makes no sense. That copying is only inevitable when the product is over-priced.

    I'm more than willing to pay a fair price for a good. I'm not willing to get raped by a bunch of greedy assholes that provide no value (RIAA).

    My digital music collection has 25000 tracks, its not worth $25,000 but it might be worth $1250.00 (.05/track).

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:31pm

    Morphic Resonance

     

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    CptMystic (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:45pm

    RE: Something Missing...

    "If one can download a product, the supply becomes infinite, which means that the real price of the product should be 0."

    If you truly believe this despite any content creator's hard work, then you're a pirate, and you have no ethics. Music (or any other digital good) isn't suddenly worthless just because you can copy it for free, or no one at all would pay any money for it. Since people do, your argument is incorrect.

    "but I don't see hordes of pirates sending money directly to artists either.

    Tell that to the people packed into a venue to see their favorite artist."


    Great point, Joe - but not all people who pirate music go to concerts or buy t-shirts or contribute in any way to their favorite artists' living.

    BTW, I did note somewhere where someone suggested a nickel a song. If it's the right price, then that's what the market will gravitate toward. If it's not...it won't.

     

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  81.  
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    m3mnoch (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "You don't get a bulk discount, and if you do, it's up to the seller, NOT you."

    nope. it has nothing to do with the seller. i can try all day long to sell a granny smith apple for something silly like $10 million. there's not a person in the world who'll buy it.

    sellers don't control pricing. the market does.

    m3mnoch.

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:52pm

    Re:

    Umm, I think you missed the point here. If suddenly you could hold all the gold there ever was in your pocket, and so could everyone else, it would change the value.

    Rather than everyone being richer than King Soloman or Midas, instead gold would be worth about as much as dirt.

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 4:55pm

    "In five years a hard drive available to ordinary consumers will carry 35 TB of data."

    I don't know about that, I think limiting factors would make it expensive? Who knows, technology never ceases to surprise us.

     

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    romeosidvicious (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You may be able to keep an 8 gig ipod full and orgasnized, but how much music is on there? 800 songs? 1000 Songs?

    let's work with 1000 songs, 3 minutes each - 3000 minutes = 50 continuous hours of music. So now, if you listen to music for 5 hours a day, it would take you 10 days to listen to your Ipod without refilling. If you refill it every 10 days, you might never listen to the same song again.

    So lets work with 8 GB and see how your numbers work out. I have around 1200 songs on the player right now. That's about the max since I don't use anything lower that 192, but that's beside the point, it's usually lower due to the various TV shows and movies I have on there as well. But let's work with your supposed numbers.

    1. I don't "refill" my iPod - I add to it or take away depending on my mood.
    2. I don't care if I hear every single song on the iPod. I have them divided into playlists based on mood or activity and there's enough to have a good random selection.

    Why I would want to "refill" my iPod at all? Remove what's on there and replace it? I only do that if I grow bored with an artist and have found something new to replace them with and then it' usually a rotation at worst. The proposed "refill" scenario is laughable to be honest. Also your usage numbers are arbitrary. I listen to the iPod to and from work so that's about two hours, at least 5 hours at my desk and somedays up to ten hours if I can get people to leave me alone, and I listen to while I am doing yardwork or work on the house as well as when running errands. I bet my usages averages eight to nine hours a day rather than the five you list. And it's not about the number times I listen to a song but rather about having a good enough variety for multiple random playlists. The whole "refill" thing still has me laughing BTW.

    It's a pointless amount of music, the greed of free.

    And here's where I get to tell you to GO FUCK YOURSELF. Not a single song on my iPod is pirated. There is music that I didn't pay for on there but I think bands giving you CDs doesn't count as "the greed of free" as you so aptly put it. I have paid for almost every song I own. Between e-music, amazon, and other services my collection is NOT free. And as for it being a pointless amount of music well that's your opinion and you are welcome to it. But the size of my music collection has nothing to do with "the greed of free". If that's the crux of your argument than you have lost the debate.

    You can argue against the silliness of storage sizes all day and that's not going to make them stop increasing nor is it going to help the recording industry who will have to deal with the perceived value of music.

    And in closing I would like say that you can take your "greed of free" and shove it because it's horse shit!

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 5:40pm

    Re: RE: Something Missing...

    but not all people who pirate music go to concerts or buy t-shirts or contribute in any way to their favorite artists' living.

    You are stuck thinking of music as the product, so of course you'd think that way. Let's say I download a song from a band I've never heard of illegally. I don't like it enough to go see them. What *harm* have I done to that artist? If I had been forced to *buy* it before listening, I'd be far more likely to speak badly about them, which results in a net loss for the band, as my negative words may convince someone else to not to listen to them at all.

    Now, let's say I download illegally, and like it, but don't have the funds or want to go see them live, but I still tell people how great they sound. I have now potentially given them more money than they had before, by spreading their fan base.

    It boils down to this: The only musicians who should fear the current "pirate" climate are the ones who have no talent and can only thrive is this artifical monopoly. Good artists will be able to use filesharing as a tool to exponentially increase their fan base, as their music will be recommended and spread-- while the talentless artist will make nothing, because no one will be tricked into buying their shitty music with false hype.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re: RE: Something Missing...

    Comes to the same problem - if the band isn't touring, they cannot capitalize on this "fan base", because all of your friends are trading music with you as well.

    It's the biggest mistake of this entire process. There is no upside for a band to have a larger fanbase unless they have some way to capitalize on it. You are requiring them to do extra work to make a living. Don't you get where that is just wrong?

     

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    Mojo, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 5:54pm

    I agree that the amount of storage you have has nothing to do with the price of what you fill it with. That's the most ludicrous idea for a pricing model I've ever heard.

    20 years ago, when vinyl albums were selling for about $9, songs were a little less than a buck a piece. Then CDs came along and the music industry raped us, nearly doubling the price.

    Now, with digital delivery, we're back down to a buck a song - a very fair deal, considering that we're basically talking about a very popular item that has seen it's price decrease to the levels of 20 years ago. Very few - if any - mass market goods *decrease* in price.

    Everyone talks about how much it costs to make and distribute an album as being the model for how much the songs cost - but what about actually PAYING the artist? How about also letting them MAKE some cash in the long run?

    I am a music junkie. I used to spend 10 grand a year on records and CDs. With digital delivery, I can now spend much less for the same music. And sometimes it's less, with special pricing and volume discounts (and the record labels would be smart to continue that process).

    But if someone wants to horde music to fill their device, then you simply have to be willing to pay a lot if you want to BUY a lot. That's the way the world works. Just because you can fit 100,000 songs on your iPod doesn't mean it should cost less than $100,000 dollars.

    A buck a song is the same pricing we have 20 years ago. Who can complain about that?

     

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    Monarch, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 6:01pm

    Re: RE: Something Missing...

    AllofMP3.com had songs at $.25 back in the day. They were selling songs hand over fist. People that were pirating music were actually buying it from them. The music industry, instead of seeing the potential to sell mega music at comparative prices, used a trade agreement to get it shut down. Heck, at even $.25 a song, I'd think about buying music again, instead of flipping through channels on my satellite radio to hear a song I like.

    Here's an example for you. I recently drove 300 miles to buy a 67 Impala. Got the car, the previous owner put a newer stereo in it, but the antena cable was bad on the car so the radio didn't work, although it had a CD player. I didn't have any CD's with me. Stopped at a Wal-Mart with the intent on buying some CD's. Couldn't break down to buy any at the prices they were set at, I mean, $20 a CD, and you want more than one to have somewhat of a variety. What did I do? Bought myself a $20 boombox and some batteries, had the radio to keep me going the rest of the trip. Had there been a bargain bin for music at $5 a CD like the DVD movies, I'd probably had bought $20 or more worth of CD's instead of that boom box.

     

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    herodotus, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 6:04pm

    And another thing...

    One thing that should be said for the charge-a-dollar-per-song model is: why not?

    Say you are Amazon, and you have a dodecadillion MB of music storage and a dodecadillion TB of monthly bandwidth. You have this because storage and bandwidth are dirt cheap for a company that does business on such a scale.

    Now every person on earth is going to visit your site at least once or twice a year. If just a tiny percent of these visitors bought these dollar mp3s, it would still be more than enough to cover the minuscule costs. This does no good for artists of course, but why should Amazon change? Especially seeing as every download is a possible customer service hassle. Remember that there are people out there who are so stupid that they have trouble opening zip archives. At 5 cents a song, any increase in sales might not be worth the dramatically increased support headaches.

    I am not 'against' free or anything, mind. It's just something that I wondered about.

     

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  90.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: RE: Something Missing...

    Unlike digital music, cars are not an infinite good, so your analogy doesn't really apply.

    Many people have to do extra work to make a living now days. In my state, ALL state workers just got pay cuts of about 14%. They certainly now have to work harder to maintain their living. Fair? No. Ethical? No. Wrong? Maybe. Economical? Yes. And that's what its really about.

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 6:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: RE: Something Missing...

    for the post above, ignore the first line... I don't know where that came from.

     

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    jms, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 7:04pm

    Well, how many songs do you buy per week? lets say 10, in a year is $520 dolars, if you live 50 years buying music, it will be $26,000 dollars. What would you do right now after 50years with that money? pay your death? your debts? Give it to your sons, grandsons?

    The problem starts because most of the people when introduced to music is like 12years old, they want music, but they dont have a credit card, so they get it free, and they get used to the fact that music, movies, games etc are free. Cause their parents neither have the money nor want to buy them to him/her.

    iTunes sells crap, i mean music for the masses at 1dollar. what about those electronic music singles that are average $2 dollars, sometimes $3.50 for only one track?!

    if you dont want to make music cause people dont buy it, fine!!! quit!!! someone that does it because he/she loves music and not for money, will come up with better quality.
    Same in any profession!

    What about those footballers before the 70s that played for almost nothing, have a shitty house and no savings, most kids today do it cause of the fame and fortune.

    The problem is that companies got too greedy, the wanted to minimize production costs and maximize profits, so vinyl became tapes, slow copying quality loss every time but cheaper to produce, then the cd, then digital.
    In the movies, the projectors died, betamax, vhs both slow to copy with quality loss, then the dvd, then digital.
    Vinyl and projector movies are so expensive to make!
    that is why there were no piracy with them. they wanted to make cheaper product getting more profits = they kill their own industry.

    the fact is, we are going to a better society, the society of trade, like the old times: what? do you want 35TB of music? sure, but you make clothes, i give you music for life, you make me of you clothes for life; cause i traded my ability to build houses for this music, so, it is a win-win situation

    money shouldn't exist.

    We want value for money, not to pay $1 when the exact same thing costs zero, sure i will buy your album, cause it included a concert ticket, or something unique or special that i like. If one talent's is better than some one else's then it becomes priceless. Liek someone said, Beethoven or Mozart, or Picasso, didnt die being rich but happy, they still live in our society, And their work is priceless.

    So what are you really good at? Sell yourself, be the biggest fan of yourself. Live happy doing what you love.

     

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    TJ, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 7:10pm

    35 TB in five years... no

    I can't believe the 35 TB figure hasn't been challenged. Capacity increases in hds largely hit a wall after 1TB, while reliability has suffered at those capacities, and that's in the 3.5" form factor. Are you going to carry around a player containing a full-sized drive in your pocket? Neither am I. They should have looked at capacities for 1.8" drives or flash and trended that, giving heavier weighting to the last few years. I expect 2 to 5 TB in the pocket in five years at most; nothing to sneeze at but far from 35 TB.

     

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    ryan, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: RE: Something Missing...

    "You are requiring them to do extra work to make a living. Don't you get where that is just wrong?"

    This is horribly misleading and incorrect. They play a song in a studio for a day or two (which they likely did not write, record, engineer, mix, etc.), and then receive payment for something like life + 75yrs or whatever copyright allows.

    I go to work, research, draft, edit, and write reports, (that are then free to the world for download but that is beside the point), and you know what happens if I don't come into work 40hrs a week, every week, every year? I don't make money.

    Musicians are not required to do anything, but if they want to make money, I do not see how them actually having to tour to do so is somehow a "wrong" expectation. Explain?

    ..

     

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    m3mnoch (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 7:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: RE: Something Missing...

    "You are requiring them to do extra work to make a living."

    hahhahahahhahah...

    holy crap! work to get paid!?!?! perish the thought!

    ...lord, that's funny.

    m3mnoch.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 8:07pm

    Mike wrote: "Indeed. When you can carry every song ever... do people really think that $1/song is going to make sense?" Yes it makes sense, if it means the creation of more music.

    I know, I know, new business models, blah, blah, blah. But the fact is the more you NEED new business models to make money off of music, the more good musicians you lose. Not everyone wants to be on the road 365 days a year. If artists couldn't make money by simply selling their music, we might lose some great ones, like Tom Waits, who rarely plays live (his voice might not hold up if he did long tours)

    It's always lost on some of the people here that the ability to sell intellectual property acts as an incentive to create. Try supporting a family, having a day job, and creating music as a hobby. I guarantee the amount and quality of the music goes down. We want the artists to get paid.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 8:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Something Missing...

    They did the work already, did something that most of us can't do: Write a song and record it. 99.999% of us will never do it.

    Isn't that enough in and of itself?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 9:25pm

    Alternatively, industry can lobby to get a countrywide music tax implemented. Poof! Problem solved. And of course, the tax won't remain constant, due to inflation. At, say, 5 bucks a head a month initially, it's a lot of easy money to be made. No need to worry about changing landscape, no need to think up different business models, just tax the people!

     

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    m3mnoch (profile), Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 9:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Something Missing...

    totally.

    you tell that carpenter that he's already built a house. why does he need to keep building houses to get paid? you tell the waitress that she's already served coffee for the day. why does she need to come back and do it tomorrow to get paid?

    that's crazy talk!

    performers are just that -- performers. they are, by nature, work by the hour. performance is not a product, it's a service.

    welcome to the service industry, musicians. you don't work, you don't get paid.

    m3mnoch.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 10:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Its called 'a backup' and it solves your hypothetical library erasure issue quite nicely; plus.. its perfectly legal.

    Yes, 1$ per song will still make sense since my ability to consume more songs does not reduce the level of effort required in writing them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 10:18pm

    Re: Re:

    No it would not change the value of the gold since being ABLE to hold all of it in your pocket would not mean you changed the QUANTITY of gold available to hold in your pocket. The value would remain the same, your ability to hold what you cannot obtain would have improved.

    Songs of course are an entirely different issue so this is a silly comparison.

    Songs value also does not decrease simply because you can hold more of them. The song still cost someone time, effort, and limited resources (creativity, band cooperation, etc) to create. Getting more of them for less simply because you can now store them is not a causal relationship.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 10:22pm

    Re: Re:

    And the cost of producing a video game is definitely nowhere near zero. Video game's complexity has increased exponentially along with computing hardware's capabilities and it requires a huge expenditure of manpower to create this content. It is much closer to the movie industry than the music industry.

    Creating a good song has costs, yes, but it requires a level of effort on the scale of 5-6 people and some recording studio support. No video game on the market (other than iPhone and other mobile games) has been created by a team of 5-6 people in many years.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Something Missing...

    I for one cannot wait until live music really starts to make a huge comeback. In my area which has rapidly degrading entertainment options (due to cheap cost of living and lower income residents) live music is very rare.

    A performer working to entertain is so much more enjoyable than pre-recorded 'perfect' music. I love to hear all the minor changes to a song I know extremely well that show up when it is performed live.. these are not mistakes, they are the character of live performance.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 10:49pm

    Re: 35 TB in five years... no

    This may be true for the present, but new technologies could break these arbitrary boundaries of reliability. It has been many years since a game changing technology showed up in magnetic hard drives (solid state was one of those, but its not a change to magnetic tech).

    Would you have expected to hear that Blue-Ray might be a completely antiquated optical format in 5 years? Well, it might be. An extension of the already existing technology may give us optical disks with 1.6 TB of storage in just a few years from now. http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/fivedimensional-dvd-could-store-16-terabytes

    I wouldn't bet money (for or against) on whether 10, 20, or 30 TB drives will be showing up any time soon. It is a bet you're likely to get wrong.

     

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  105.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 10:54pm

    Re: 35 TB in five years... no

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 11:14pm

    Re: What problem?

    Ha!

     

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  107.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2009 @ 11:34pm

    Re: Can't I just time warp 5 years into the future right now?

    Your assessment of 'reasonably priced' may not be the same as anyone else's. If the alternative is free, than 5 cents isn't very reasonably priced is it? 'Convenient alternative' is also subjective....itunes is pretty convenient, arguably more so than a torrent, which an earlier commenter had mentioned is dependent on other users around the world. Quality and consistency can also be an issue with shared files. I think that a large number of people will share files regardless, as will a large number continue to buy. Record labels only market a product, they do not set moral policy.

     

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  108.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 3:53am

    Re: RE: Something Missing...

    I'm not saying music is worthless, it should just have a price of 0, or close to 0.

    Value is something different than price though.

     

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  109.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 4:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Something Missing...

    Not at all, you are mixing apples and oranges here.

    If you paid the musician $100,000 for a song, then yes, you would be comparing similar things. It's not. Each person is paying $1, and 100,000 people buy a download of the song.

    You are confusing outright purchase or single use goods with something that is enjoyed by many.

    Should a writer be paided for each book sold, or should he just get the first $14.95 and everyone else get the book for free?

    For musicians, if they don't do concerts, they don't get paid as a performer. But they are also song writers and song recorders and song makers, which is a DIFFERENT job. Your are telling them that the act of writing and recording a song which is enjoyed by millions is worthless - unless they are then willing to do MORE work, which they would have been paid for anyway, and it's a requirement of the first part of the job.

    Is being an engineer and designing a building or a bridge enough? Or must they also go out and tie rebar to make a living?

    Sorry, your point shows that you don't even have a clue how things work.

     

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  110.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 6:12am

    Re: 35 TB in five years... no

    It hasn't been challenged because the particular capacity is unimportant.

    The question is: does a limitless capacity for an infinite good have an effect on price?

     

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    m3mnoch (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 7:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Something Missing...

    nah. it's not me who's clueless. you "think" you have a handle on it. but, i mean, look at your own example.

    if you 100,000 people pay a performer $1 each, who pays the song writer? who pays the song recorder?

    not "the people."

    the performer does. and none of that changes whether the performer is selling cds or tickets. the difference is the performer actually has to "work" for a living instead of work for a week.

    maybe you think a week's work is worth $100,000, but the market doesn't.

    prior to the 20th century, when did a musical performer only have to work one week a year and still eat? (you said yourself they're not writing songs... all they have to do is sing) it's not pirating music that's the anomaly here. it's trying to sell something as a product that's not a product that's broken.

    m3mnoch.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 7:15am

    Re:

    I know, I know, new business models, blah, blah, blah. But the fact is the more you NEED new business models to make money off of music, the more good musicians you lose.

    Wait, what? You mean the more good business models there are, the fewer musicians? That makes no sense. In fact, we're already seeing that these new business models have helped artists make MORE MONEY, which is why there are MORE PEOPLE making money from making music than at any time in history.

    Not everyone wants to be on the road 365 days a year. If artists couldn't make money by simply selling their music, we might lose some great ones, like Tom Waits, who rarely plays live (his voice might not hold up if he did long tours)


    Since when has anyone said that touring is the only model? We certainly haven't. In fact, many of the models we've discussed haven't relied on touring at all. But, touring certainly is one way that bands can make money. But for those that choose not to do so, there are certainly other business models.

    It's always lost on some of the people here that the ability to sell intellectual property acts as an incentive to create.

    No, you've got the equation wrong. Making money may be *one* incentive to create -- but "selling intellectual property" is not the only way to make money.

    We want the artists to get paid.

    Who said anything about artists not getting paid?!? We've been talking about better business models to make sure they get paid MORE.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 7:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hey, it doesn't matter how many people it takes to create the game on the best computer that ever existed...

    If it's crap, it's worth crap... it's just "a huge expenditure of manpower" wasted on creating crap that can be "effortlessly" duplicated.

     

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  114.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re:

    Mike, it comments like this that make many of us wonder:

    "Since when has anyone said that touring is the only model? We certainly haven't. In fact, many of the models we've discussed haven't relied on touring at all. But, touring certainly is one way that bands can make money. But for those that choose not to do so, there are certainly other business models."

    Yet you don't ever detail any of them. You have mastered the vague brush-off. Please, enlighten us with a few ways that a recording musician can make money without touring, which making and recording records only.

    Answer: In your world, none. They always have to do something else to make money.

    Please, explain to us with actual examples, not vague "we have talked about his before". not all of us have read 10 years of back blog comments.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you're not a performing musician AND you're unwilling to distribute the music you've already created as a way to exposing it to an audience...then I'm not sure how you'd ever generate interest in your music to begin with...

    Why would I ever buy your music if I never saw you perform it and never had a chance to listen to it?

    I'm not sure there's an answer to your question. I'm not sure your question makes any sense.

     

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  116.  
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    romeosidvicious (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You see music as a commercial to sell a concert. Most of us still see music as thing onto itself, with not requirement past being music to have value (and a fair market price).

    You may see music as something to sell in and of itself and big media may as well but the bands, for the most part, don't. The artists make more money off of touring and merch than they do off of album sales. I have booked many a band and am friends with many more and the vast majority see their time in the studio as an investment to get people interested in coming to see them play live and to buy their merch. They consider it a necessary evil at best. There are a minority who see physical media and digital media sales as their bread and butter but they tend to make less money and have less fans than those who treat recorded music as a side effect of being a performer. There is another minority who play music for the sake of playing music and will do so only on their terms and in my, not so humble opinion, that minority are the true artists. They are also the the ones who make the least money and generally turn out the best work in their genre. If you move into the pop/hip-hop/top 40 sphere the game is different but it is my firmly held opinion that society wouldn't suffer at all if there were never another album from J-Lo or any number of cookie cutter puppets you can here on the radio.

    The idea that the quality of music will suffer if the cost of music approaches zero is based on the idea that radio music is good to begin with. Yes less music will be produced because there won't be a get rich quick one-hit-wonder template producing Hannah Montana's for the consumption of every tween girl but that is a good thing for society overall in my opinion. People will make music because they love music and the overall quality is likely to increase. History bears out this conclusion as the whole pop star idea is a fairly recent invention. People will pay for music because they love to listen to it and not as filler or background noise. Quality music is already a scarce good and people, like myself, will pay a premium for it. I buy songs for ~.89 USD but I also buy merch from the bands and go see them live. I support the bands I love in multiple ways from purchasing their work to giving them a place to crash when they are in town. The days of filling arenas to see a stage play may be coming to an end but the days of cramming too many people into small venues and actually knowing your favorite artists on a personal level are just beginning. Sure some will fall by the wayside and not be able to make a living playing music but there are nothing guaranteed in life. I love writing. I have written two novels and both of them suck. I can admit this because I am honest with myself. I will never make a living writing but I make a damn fine living as a Linux consultant. You don't always get to do what you want for a living and that applies to the music industry just as it does for every other part of life.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 9:33am

    you tell that carpenter that he's already built a house. why does he need to keep building houses to get paid? you tell the waitress that she's already served coffee for the day. why does she need to come back and do it tomorrow to get paid?


    Ummm, do you drink that same coffee the next day? You must like bad coffee.

     

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    nasch (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re:

    You seem to be conflating cost and price. In common parlance they may be the same thing, but in economics, cost is something expended by a producer, and price is a transaction amount. I think I could rephrase your post:

    A bar of gold's price fluctuates based on a number of factors, but it's likely just as valuable at $100 a bar, or $10 a bar*. A CD with a copy of Windows on it is about as valuable as a pile of dog crap with mold growing on it to me, but that doesn't change its price.

    Music will always be valuable, for numerous reasons. I think what they're getting at, is that there should come a time when the price to possess that value should be reflective of the cost to produce [and maintain? what do you mean by this?] that value. If you could go to the nearest park and spend 2 minutes digging in the dirt to bring home a bar of gold and a CD with Windows on it, THEN the price of those should drop as well. In other words, price tends towards marginal cost, which is the additional cost to produce one unit of a product.

    * I don't really agree with this, since part of its value is resale price, but I left it in since I'm attempting to just rephrase your post in light of cost vs price vs value, not change it to something I totally agree with.

     

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    nasch (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Songs value also does not decrease simply because you can hold more of them. The song still cost someone time, effort, and limited resources (creativity, band cooperation, etc) to create. Getting more of them for less simply because you can now store them is not a causal relationship.

    The value does not decrease, but when the marginal cost* of production is essentially zero, the price certainly will.

    * please don't forget the distinction between fixed and marginal costs if you reply

     

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    nasch (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If it cost virtually nothing to produce a new copy of a car, then yeah you would not be able to make any money selling copies of cars, and you would need to find some scarcity to sell. Seems kind of obvious.

     

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  121.  
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    nasch (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm sure Mike gets tired of this question. Try searching for "music business model" or something like that.

     

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  122.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 11:20am

    m3mnoch, how is music not a product? It's a form of entertainment. You listen to it to be entertained. There, the artist provided a service, entertaining you, yet you don't think the artist should e compensated for that?

     

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  123.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 11:27am

    Mike, I'm not going to respond to your entire response because it's worthless, you twist everything anyone who disagrees with you writes.

    I wrote, "I know, I know, new business models, blah, blah, blah. But the fact is the more you NEED new business models to make money off of music, the more good musicians you lose."

    You responded ,"Wait, what? You mean the more good business models there are, the fewer musicians?"

    No, I did not say that. I said they more you need to RELY ON Alternative business models (ie, where the artist is getting paid for something other than making the music itself), the more musicians you lose (because some musicians might be good at making music and nothing else). What I said is pretty clear and I'm sure you were smart enough to understand it. It's sad that you have to twist other people's words to make your point. That's pathetic.

    No need to respond, I'm done with this site.

     

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  124.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 11:31am

    m3mnoch, the problem with your carpenter argument is a carpenter works for a specific person or company, and provides them with a service. Musicians provide their fans with a service (entertainment). Guess what, when you listen to an album again and again, that's a service they provided. Yet you don't want to pay them for that?

     

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  125.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 12:30pm

    m3mnoch, in your carpenter example, did you take into account the time it takes to record an album. You, time when there is no revenue generated. So it's okay to spend a year recording music while not getting paid, but the minute music is being sold so the musicians make money while their not working, it's a problem?

     

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  126.  
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    m3mnoch (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 5:58pm

    Re:

    heh.

    "m3mnoch, how is music not a product? It's a form of entertainment. You listen to it to be entertained. There, the artist provided a service, entertaining you, yet you don't think the artist should e compensated for that?"

    so, aside from you actually calling it a "service" yourself, here:

    anonymous coward, how is the opera not a product. it's a form of entertainment. you listen to it to be entertained. there, the artist provided a service, entertaining you, yet you don't think the artist should e compensated for that?

    m3mnoch.

     

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  127.  
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    m3mnoch (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 6:01pm

    Re:

    "m3mnoch, the problem with your carpenter argument is a carpenter works for a specific person or company, and provides them with a service."

    i forgot. can you remind me? when bands sign a contract with a label, who does the artist work for?

    if you don't think it's the label, you should explain that to prince... er... i mean the artist formerly known as prince. or. now known, but was formerly known. or something.

    m3mnoch.

     

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  128.  
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    m3mnoch (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 6:03pm

    Re:

    "m3mnoch, in your carpenter example, did you take into account the time it takes to record an album. You, time when there is no revenue generated. So it's okay to spend a year recording music while not getting paid, but the minute music is being sold so the musicians make money while their not working, it's a problem?"

    wait. you think they spend a year in the studio? do you have any idea how much a year of studio time would cost?

    song writing can take days to years, for sure. recording tho? it's in and out in a week or less.

    m3mnoch.

     

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  129.  
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    m3mnoch (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 6:07pm

    beating up on the defenseless

    alright, alright. i think i'm about done beating up on defenseless folks and their silly comments. i'll stop bullying and making fun of them now, mike.

    m3mnoch.

     

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  130.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 7:09pm

    Re: Re:

    Dressed as ninjas?

    Are you nuts?

    THAT would clearly be a false flag operation then! If you share songs, you are a pirate and you have to be dressed like one!

     

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  131.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yet you don't ever detail any of them.

    Actually we have. The model used by Trent Reznor did not rely on touring. The model used by Josh Freese did not rely on touring. The model used by Jill Sobule did not rely on touring. The model used by Motoboy did not rely on touring.

    Yes, all (well, not really Josh Freese) used touring also to support that, but none of them relied on touring to create the additional value that people were willing to pay for.

    Please, enlighten us with a few ways that a recording musician can make money without touring, which making and recording records only.

    Wait, you've added a ridiculous condition there: you've just said effectively "tell me how a musician can make money without a business model."

    Of course you can't make money if you eliminate all workable business models.

     

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  132.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 8:49pm

    Re:

    No, I did not say that. I said they more you need to RELY ON Alternative business models (ie, where the artist is getting paid for something other than making the music itself), the more musicians you lose (because some musicians might be good at making music and nothing else).

    Wait, that makes absolutely no sense. What happens in such a situation today? What if a musician is good at making music and nothing else? Well, they do one of two things: either they don't make any money *or* they hire someone to handle the business model part of it (a record label/agent/etc.).

    That doesn't change. In the business models we talk about today if someone isn't good at the business model stuff, they partner with someone who is (just as they did before -- but luckily with more options -- a smaller percentage of which can screw you over) and go forward that way.

    So, you actually end up in a situation where MORE people can make a living off of music, because they have more options on who to partner with if they don't want to figure out the business model themselves.

     

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  133.  
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    Hugh Brown, Jun 4th, 2009 @ 3:49am

    Re:

    Actually, the value of both of those items changes a lot. But I agree that the amount of storage is immaterial - what's important is the amount attention a person can supply to their collection ...

     

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  134.  
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    Jason, Jun 4th, 2009 @ 8:20am

    Why do you make music?

    I'm a musician, indie label owner, band manager, and show promoter, amongst other things involving music. I don't see music as a product to be consumed or songwriting as a trade that deserves a wage. I create music because I'm a creative person, music has affected me in profound ways, and I believe art contributes to the community, and it can be a lot of fun. I would be making music even if there was no money to be made, and in fact, I've made very little money on any of it. I have friends who are totally broke, working bad jobs to pay their bills, but who are completely immersed in their music. It's all they know, it's their lives. Most of my favorite bands record albums and tour while barely making ends meet financially. None of us give a hoot about the "music industry" - we just do what we do. Are we ever going to stop for any reason? No. The level of community support may determine how far we are able to take things, but we will never stop. This has been the ethic for thousands of independent musicians, bands, and labels for decades. If money is the driving force behind your art, I can't imagine your art is very good. And if you're going to quit your music "career" because it's not financially viable, we're all probably better off without you. Maybe the current (and coming) state of the "music industry" will encourage musicians to question their priorities, their definition of success, their ethics, and their reason for making music. All this talk about new revenue streams and business models is beside the point.

     

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  135.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2009 @ 8:29am

    m3mnoch wrote, "alright, alright. i think i'm about done beating up on defenseless folks and their silly comments." Beating up on people? Their silly comments? Really?

    You wrote, "wait. you think they spend a year in the studio? do you have any idea how much a year of studio time would cost? ...recording tho? it's in and out in a week or less." You obviously have no idea how long bands spend in the studio. Yes, it is usually months, and some bands absolutely do spend a year in the studio, recording and rerecording to get it perfect. Maybe do a little research and find out how long bands spend in the studio before making ignorant comments.

    To your comment before that one, actually bands do not work for record labels. It's a partnership economically speaking. They don't get paid a salary, they get paid when they make money. So back to the carpenter: The carpenter comes to your house to work and you pay him, a musician provides you with entertainment and yet you don't want to pay him?

    I have nothing for the comment before that because I can't find on this board who said opera performers shouldn't be paid.

    Earlier you said "welcome to the service industry, musicians. you don't work, you don't get paid." Again, really? The writing and recording of music isn't work? It could take months to years to complete an album's worth of songs, but I guess that isn't work to you. Does this apply to all forms of entertainment? Do actors need to perform a movie live for you before they get paid? Should authors tuck you in at bed at night and read their book to you before they get paid? Does the creation of music, movies, and books provide you nothing?

     

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  136.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jun 4th, 2009 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: How Much is Too Much

    When was the issue in this discussion EVER about whether you could listen to it all, or not? Well, I guess you did introduce it in your comment two above. I'm trying to explain how this is an non-issue.

    So my response to you was that it's not about listening to it all, it's about *having* it all, in your pocket or home, without anyone like the RIAA being able to "catch" you, for about $150 spent on the future drive's cost.

    How can the music be of value, since there may be "too much of a good thing"? Tools like Pandora will help you discover what you like, and you could treat your 35TB drive as your own, personal, in home iTunes Music store where there is no DRM, and the price is free.

    Many here think this is a game changer...the next shoe to drop on the recording industry's model.

     

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  137.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2009 @ 3:49pm

    Jason, it's not about making money being the "driving force" behind creating music. It has to do with creating better music and keeping talented artists doing it. For all your friends who are still making music, look at all those who don't make it and by 30 stop doing it, or just pull out their instrument by themselves, but no longer create anything that anyone hears. It's not just about "loving music" if you want to have a family. There are choices in life, and people give up things they like and are good at if it's costing them time with their family and money they can't afford. Also, for the people who do still do it, who is going to argue that you can't produce a better product (and more of it) if you are able to do it as a full time job instead of just after work and on weekends.

    People who keep arguing that music is an art and artists should do it for the love of the art somehow forget to realize that the realities of life will still pull many talented artists who love their art away from creating.

     

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  138.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jun 4th, 2009 @ 4:29pm

    Re: When Does MC = MR = P

    In competitive markets at equilibrium, MC = MR = P

    We've been down this road a bunch recently. I think the sheer volume of people that get this wrong is one of the reasons that people also have such a problem with pricing at "free".

    You'll note that in the comment that you criticize me so kindly for, I qualified it as "in competitive markets", because it is only applicable to this case. And then please follow these links to find out that you are wrong:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090507/1743534788.shtml#c1134

    In competitive markets MR = Price, right? And the market supply curve is the MC curve, yes? The market clears at MC = MR = P. Here's a refresher course (with graphs and visual help) from the University of Maryland.
    http://umbcnotes.f-sw.com/econ%20101H%20notes/Chapter%2014%20Lecture%20Outline.pdf

    Ple ase enjoy section II and figure 1 of that course material, note the dot where the equilibrium is. Note the text that reads: "the firm maximizes profit by producing the quantity at which marginal cost equals marginal revenue." Since you've undertaken to argue with me about econ, I trust you at least understand that MR = P. Thus, the competitive market at equilibrium produces the result that MC = MR = P.

    So that's my longshot. At least that's how it works on my planet.

     

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  139.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2009 @ 6:06am

    Re:

    Unless we're going to start a govt. program to support artists' careers en masse, there is no way to guarantee any stratum of artisan can support itself.

    But beyond that...you obviously have never been an artist of any kind...the perspective that Jason related is very common among the artist community...we ARE artists...we don't WORK AS artists...in fact, and I can't believe that this hasn't come up on this blog before (that I can remember), the act of actually becoming an employee or accepting financial help from a corporate sponsor is seen as "selling out" and any art produced after "selling out" is questioned as to its integrity and quality.

    In short, from this perspective, once your goal is to become marketable and make money...you are no longer an artist...you're a sellout.

    We artists welcome the death of the industry...it clears a space for our art, that is it allows our art to be exposed to the world and compete on a more level playing field for the attention of our potential audiences.

     

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  140.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2009 @ 9:39am

    "But beyond that...you obviously have never been an artist of any kind..."~~~~Wrong, actually I played guitar in bands for 10 years in Los Angeles. You seem to completely miss the point. #1, if you are able to profit from your art, you can produce better art. If you say need a horn section for a certain song, you can go hire one, or whatever else you need. Money is not the enemy, but something you can use to improve your art. #2, are you really saying you couldn't produce more/better art if you could do it as your full time job? #3, you cannot argue that we will lose talented artists if none are able to make money. Creating art costs time and money. When someone finally decides they can't do it anymore because they already work a full time job and can't spend more time away from their family, it does not mean they love their art any less, it means they also love their family and have to make a choice. If that art was a career, they wouldn't have to make that choice.

    You wrote "We artists welcome the death of the industry...it clears a space for our art"~~~Sounds to me like your just bitter that you haven't succeeded. Really, you're not happy that there are artists you like who make enough money from their art that they can devote all their time and invest money into their art? Just because you can't make a living off of your art, don't hate those who can.

     

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  141.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    Re:

    If you judge success in art in how much money you make selling it, I suppose you're missing the point.

    If you judge the quality of art in how much money it costs to produce, not only are you missing the point, you're missing the best part of art.

    Some of the best, most talented artists in my experience are folks who never made a lot (if any) money from their art. This is not to say that there aren't commercially successful talented artists, but in the grand scheme of things, they are the exception, not the norm...and always have been.

    I'm not bitter at all...I actually like my non-artist job; and I like the fact that I can be an artist, creating art that I am connected to in a way that doesn't involve worrying about whether or not someone is going to buy it. I also very much enjoy the feeling I get when more people can be exposed to my art and be entertained or inspired by it or whatever other emotion might be invoked.

    I will agree with you on the choice aspects...making a living via work vs art. You just really have to understand the likelihood of being able to make a living from being an artist when the price your art can command in the market isn't all that great and the price pressure is downward means you'll likely struggle to make a living...there is some truth to the old "starving artist" label.

     

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  142.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2009 @ 1:33pm

    "If you judge success in art in how much money you make selling it."~~~I think you missed my point a bit. I'm not judging art by how much money is made selling it, just pointing out that you have more opportunities to create better art if you have money to invest in it. For example, when I did the band thing, the best music I have from those days is from the bands that did the best and had the most money to invest. It's not that what we wrote was necessarily better than what I did with other bands, but it's that we had the money to invest in more studio time to work and rework the music until it was perfect.

    I'm happy to buy CDs or pay for downloads to support artists I like and, honestly, since they are providing me with entertainment, I feel it's only fair to pay them. And if there's enough people who like their work doing the same, they will be able to devote all of their time and invest money in their art. To me that's a win for the artists and society as a whole.

     

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  143.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2009 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike:

    You have detailed various alternative business models. I am surprised that you did not respond that there are other business models that do not require touring. The reason another business model may be important is that some types of music do not tour well, if at all - especially some kinds of electronica and some kinds of progressive rock. There are other kinds of music that do not tour well because of cost.

     

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  144.  
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    kse (profile), Jun 27th, 2009 @ 3:38am

    Artist Music

    I think the implications are that $1 / song will not cut it if anyone wants to download 2.5 million songs.

    The larger question is: Why would anyone want to take the time to download that many songs. Just logic tells us no one will be listing to or even interested in that many songs from so many genres they don't care about and most likely never will.

    First off, music needs to be free. Music needs filter(s) so anyone can download only what they are interested in albeit from well know artist or from unknown indie artist. For me, I don't listen to mainstream artists any more. Why? Because I have discovered so many great unknown, due to the internet, that I actually enjoy more than any mainstream or major label artist. There are so many great artist with great songs and without the internet & myspace, I never would have found them. The internet is the "NEW" radio station. Privately owned 360 stations are becoming very popular, because you can find one that plays your kind of music. And better still, they play unknowns at no charge to the artist.

    Everyone in the music business is now swimming in the common waters with lots of islands, where certain genres of music eventually land and find their fan base. I call this their nice "island/market". These islands/markets are where they will find and build their fan bases that will support them and their music for many years to come.

    Music World 2.0 will be a music for free world for consumers; illegally or legal. And for the non believers, i.e., Artist, publishers, major labels that try to stop it will be trampled on by consumers. Today, consumers know they have the upper hand and they know they are in control. The number of illegal users is in excess of a billion. How stupid would it be to try and sue that many?

    Someone mentioned allowing people to get in a club for free, but, charging them on the way out. Anyone that does something that stupid will more than likely go out of business in 6 months and probably get their butts kicked (physically) in the process.

    All the big wheels today, in music, are viewed as assholes by a majority of consumers.

    Who is the most hated group in the world: The RIAA, not George Bush or Halliburton, as I am sure many may think. Nope the RIAA. So you win a few ridiculous judgments of a few million dollars...so what?? Where are you going to get the money, if this person doesn't have it...the answer, you won't ever collect and if you do, the writers and artist will likely see little of it. If your going to be stupid enough to sue your customers, at least be smart enough to sue the ones that can pay the judgment...duh.

    My suggestion is to come up with a way to issue a legal music license to everyone in the USA and hopefully in the world. The cost: $52/year x 225,000,000 in the USA is more money than the global music market is worth annually. If you have 4 dependents you would have to pay $108 / year. Business that now have to secure a license based on their gross sales would be charged a flat rate of $1,000 / year. So now, everyone is legal and can download as much music as they want, but, even though they may choose to download every song in the world, they still have to pay the annual license fee until they die or reach a certain age. This is simple and a great buy that most folks will not mind paying. It's a win/win for everyone. And, I am willing to bet, if artist/labels get creative and come up with unique CD packages, they will probably continue to sell CD's or some other music device at their live shows.

    I apologize for this being so long. But, it's about time, we face reality and do something that satisfies all concerned.

    --end

     

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  145.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 24th, 2009 @ 6:32pm

    Re:

    ...well, to be fair, it was only "snarkily-asinine" because you didn't understand it.

    BTW, did you enjoy the econ lesson I gave you above?

     

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  146.  
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    Mark, Dec 6th, 2009 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Re:

    A bar of gold cannot be copied. Gold is a finite resource. Of course I'd carry around 2.5 million songs. I'd have a backup at home. Who cares if they get stolen? Right now, landfills are cluttered with songs on CD's, iPods, harddrives, etc. that people just threw away. We have reduced music - the recorded kind anyway - to nothing more than bits of data that can be copied infinitely with no sound degradation. Recorded music has been so devalued to the point where it's worthless. What I don't understand - and I truly mean this - is why anyone bothers to record music anymore. Who listens to new music anyway? Who buys any of it? It's all free. Any 1/2 wit can figure out how to get anything for free. It's amazing to me iTunes even exists.

     

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  147.  
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    me, Feb 16th, 2010 @ 1:36pm

    me

    me

     

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  148.  
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    wut, Aug 26th, 2012 @ 2:39pm

    You people pay for music?

     

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  149.  
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    2k9, Dec 5th, 2013 @ 4:54pm

    music

    People from the past! I am from the future! And music is free just get an app for it, oh you know not of the app yet

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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