The Difference Between What You Want To Happen And What's Happening

from the how-it-goes... dept

We’ve written about Magnatunes and the Creative Commons a few times before, so yet another article on Magnatunes and the Creative Commons isn’t all that interesting. However, this one makes a very good point which is worth repeating. The article asks, if people can get their music for free, why would they bother paying for CDs. The response, which Magnatunes founder basically tells them, is that they’re asking the wrong question. People are already downloading music for free, and thus, the recording industry needs to figure out a way to adjust to that reality. The original question (what happens if people can get their music for free?) is like asking “but, what happens to buggy makers when automobiles are around?” The answer seems obvious to everyone, except those involved in the recording industry: they adapt or die. The recording industry is so focused on what they want to happen, that they’ve missed what’s actually happening. The article also suggests that, so far, Magnatunes is doing quite well, and has the potential to be a viable longterm business – based on the idea of giving away music as a promotional good.

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Comments on “The Difference Between What You Want To Happen And What's Happening”

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dorpus says:

Interesting Weakness

One passage caught my eye —

If he becomes aware that a pornographic film wants to use an artist’s song, he’ll contact the artist. But if it’s for a political ad? “Yeah, I’d probably just let that fly.”

So if Aryan Nations or NAMBLA decides to use an artist’s work, will artists become as greedy and evil as record companies? That couldn’t possibly happen, could it?

Mike (profile) says:

Re: No Subject Given

Actually, the analogy is perfect. You’re mistaking the “music industry” for the “recording industry”. As companies like Magnatunes are clearly showing, even if there isn’t the traditional recording industry, there are musicians who will make music. They just won’t make money the traditional way.

The analogy works because automobiles meant a new form of transportation, which wiped out the need for buggies. The internet is a new distribution method for music, which may wipe out the need for traditional record labels.

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