Go To China To Hear A Reasonable Take On The Entertainment Industry

from the the-world-is-changing dept

Nearly a year ago, we wrote about how Chinese musicians had learned to adopt to a world where most people got their music for free. And, contrary to the claims of the recording industry, the music industry hadn’t died out — it had thrived. Instead of selling music, they recognized that the music was promotional, and used it to sell many other things, including tickets to concerts, merchandise and endorsement deals. Of course, due to pressure from the US government (acting as a proxy for the entertainment industry), China says it’s starting to crack down on unauthorized copying of entertainment content (which may be more for show than for real). Now, John writes in to point us to an article in a Chinese newspaper quoting Hong Kong’s Gino Yu, chairman of Hong Kong Digital Entertainment Association, talking about how the industry needs to learn to embrace the free copying of entertainment content and look on it as an opportunity to expand their market, rather than freak out that it’s a threat. He points out that there are plenty of ways to make money if the industry would embrace them — from using advertising to selling complementary products. Will the entertainment companies in the US learn that they’re screwing up an opportunity and alienating a larger percentage of their best customers? Nope. They’ll just keep suing everyone they can.

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Comments on “Go To China To Hear A Reasonable Take On The Entertainment Industry”

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lemon obrien (user link) says:

your just a little too...

pro china anti american hezbula the entrtainment people are always bad. How about just paying people for what they make. I’m sure you’d sue me or my company if i took your product, ‘corporate intelligence’ and starting giving it away for free. maybe b/c your IP (intellectual property)is not music maybe you just can’t grasp the prospects of getting paid for something you create. but then again, maybe no one has ripped you off. Now consider yourself a musician and place yourself in china…are you happy now. you get to make aproduct everyone will steal; and for all your hard work; you get nothing.

The Terrified Prude...aka DANI says:

Re: Re: your just a little too...

If we followed the Japanese model, REAL musicians could still get paid through perfomances, etc.

“we’ll have a lot less crappy music assaulting our ears.” Definitely!
If the musics worth listening to and the artist can actually PERFORM live, people would pay to see them in concert. (and buy their tshirts, posters, stickers, etc. etc. etc.

wolff000 says:

Re: your just a little too...

what did u not understand about this article? this artists are still paid they just get the revenue from concerts record deals and using thier music to advertise other products. do you really think all chinese musicians are unpaid? of course they get paid for what they create it simply isn’t dictated by record sales. what about the “famous” musicians that are for the free copying of music and were against the whole napster debacle that started all this crap. just becuase i can download a copy of a song doen’t mean i’m not goint buy a tshirt with that band on it, or sticker to put on my car or any of the other thousands of things that are meerchandised this way. just because the music can be downloaded doesn’t mean the artists don’t get paid. i know plenty of musicians that give away the music they create becuase they like creating which is what music should be about in the first place. if you only create a song to make millions screww you because that is not what music is. its self expression, creativity and art it has nothing to do with charging 50 dollars for a “collector’s edition” cd that has all the same crap the 20 dollar cd had plus a few unrealeased songs. i’m sorry the extra songs aren’t worth 30 bucks. people like you is exactly why the music industry is so screwed. you think they r justified in all these lawsuits and u fail to see the big picture just like the recording industry

Grammar Police says:

Re: your just a little too...

I think you meant You’re just a little too pro China anti American.

On Topic though, if the music is worth paying for it will be purchased. People still buy movie tickets, DVDs, ringtones, etc…

If the so called pirate/infringer/theives were profitting from the shared/downloaded files, I’d see a problme with it, but it isn’t like my company is stealing any profits from your company using your companies product. There ARE NO LOST PROFITS in any of this.

The Terrified Prude aka DANI says:

Re: Re: Its advertising

Allowing any and every person to hear and possess music at no charge is the best form of advertising an artist could ever wish for!

“if the music is worth paying for it will be purchased.”

If the musics good enough the artist WILL make $$$, probabably more if music was actually free.

(We even have to pay for radio now, sad, huh?)

Jerry H. says:

Re: Ah well, you're not thinking it through completely

the music itself becomes the promotional item by which you make money. For example, I go to Walmart to get free candy, and while there I decide to purchase a 56″ TV and a 7.1 Channel surround system all for about $500. Wal-Mart just made $500 offa me by spending 25 cents on a candy bar that my fat-ass had to have.
You could even call the music itself a loss-leader. Many retail outlets use that draw you into their store. Ever notice how certain big ticket items at Best Buy are priced pretty well, but then the smaller accessories are through the damn roof? Who the fvck pays $39.00 for a gold plated USB cable??! Lotsa folks, apparently!

Mike (profile) says:

Re: your just a little too...

How about just paying people for what they make.

Actually, the point of the article is that people are getting paid.

I’m sure you’d sue me or my company if i took your product, ‘corporate intelligence’ and starting giving it away for free.

We’ve said this before, but perhaps you missed it. The value of our corporate intelligence isn’t in the content produced, but in the next bit of content we produce. It’s a service. Our contracts allow our customers to use that content and share and give it away, if they so choose. However, most prefer to keep it to themselves — for obvious reasons.

Either way, we’re getting paid for what we produce tomorrow, not what we produced yesterday. What we produced yesterday, however, enhances the value of what we’ll produce tomorrow.

Now consider yourself a musician and place yourself in china…are you happy now. you get to make aproduct everyone will steal; and for all your hard work; you get nothing.

Again, um, the point of the article was that these artists are getting paid — and in many cases doing much better than in the old system where the record labels take most of the money.

So, just about everything in your comment is flat out wrong.

slick says:

Re: your just a little too...

Paying people simply for making music is very rare even in the US. The music has to be performed, recorded, and distributed among other things. Right now in the US, the people who ‘make’ the music ie writers and perforemrs don’t get paid much at all. That is not at all the fault of the people that consume the music, whether they pay for it or not. It is the fault of the people who record and distribute the music.

Some how the people who record and distribute the music convinced the people who write and perform the music that recording and distributing is more imortant and that the distributors should have control of the music. Ever notice how it is called the Recording Industry Association of America. Not Musicican’s Industry Association of America? They are the problem. They are the ones abusing musicians, and they have been abusing musician since long before the Internet.

Now that it is becoming possible for musicians to aviod the record industry the industry is desperately and violently trying to retain as much control as they can, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process. Witness the RIAA lawsuits against teenage girls and elderly women.

The main people that record and distribute music right now are trying to completely control how all music gets recorded and distributed.

They are trying (unsuccessfully) to prevent new methods of distribution of music because they think they will lose their control over the distribution of music.

Count Porkula says:

Re: your just a little too...

Oh, come on and wake up guys. This tool is part of RIAA. I guess they believe if they shout loud enough and long enough, they’ll brainwash us into believing their bullshit.

RIAA, hear my message. I have around 500 CDs in my music library but I will NEVER buy another CD as long as you people are loading up music with DRM and suing your customers. Never, never, never. You treat your customers like shit and I’ll do it right back to you.

Tin Ear (user link) says:

Download a Tee-shirt Today!!!

Sure the music is a vehicle for advertising. When you go to a concert for $25.00 +/= for a ticket, then buy the program and tee shirts and other promotional stuff from the vendors, you may get out of there about $100 lighter! I feel that if there is a new group out there, I would be more likely to download a selection of their music just to see if the concert was worth going to. Just try and download a tee-shirt or a sticker for your car window! That’s where the real money is!

It’s like the movie theaters. On a slow day, with minimal attendance, a movie theater STILL makes a SOLID PROFIT selling the concessions that everybody buys when going to the theater! Give the music away, and hype the concert and subsequent ancillary products!! The concert and concessions are where a band will ‘take home’ a higher percentage anyway, as opposed to the sales of CDs…

Li says:

No Subject Given

I am from China but live in the states at the moment. The model that works in China may not work that well here in the US for couple of facts I noticed:

1)There is a huge and ridiculously profitable ringtone market in China.

2)Higer percentage of Chinese TV commercials feature celebrities. It’s a culture thing I guess.

3)Compared to those big shot American musicians, their Chinese couterparts still make much less. Even a top guy makes less than $2 mil a year.

All these been said, those not so famous musicians definitely should try this model. Look how popular Lazy Sunday is. Once you are famous, you can always make money one way or another.

Tuna says:

Yes, but...

…have you heard chinese pop music? No wonder they are giving it away. I don’t think there is anyone other than the musician’s friends and family who would pay for that crap.
And all that complaining about the shitty music being produced novadays? Well, many of the real artists who respect their own work and know its true value stopped releasing CDs. A lot became mercenaries and work on “works for hire” like soundtracks and music theater/performance art. Many true talents get into paying gigs like music for games and multimedia before even releasing a single CD.
“You get what you pay for” is true in any day and age. If you got the music for free (and it wasn’t stolen) it’s likely just muzak-like filler or a product of some “wanna be” with great dreams giving it away like a slutty teenage girl looking for attention.

I wish there was a new CD from Peter Gabriel every couple of years, but it will not be. There’s just not enough money to be made selling CDs these days. A true masterpiece production takes a year or two to write, arrange and record/produce.
Name one artist today who is giving his music away and who’s productions are on par (artistically and creatively) with those classics of Floyd, Zeppelin, Yes, Gabriel, but also Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Dire Straits, McCartney or Springsteen.
Every one who dedicates a big portion of his/her life to making a product expects rewards.
Screw microwave or foot apparel makers.
As an artist I want to concentrate on making music masterpieces and not be a corporate whore with a greedy agent.

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