There Is No New Business Model For Music?

from the say-what-now? dept

Nick Fitzsimons points us to a blog post by journalist/musician Rhodri Marsden complaining about everyone who keeps telling the music industry it needs to "find a new business model." According to Marsden, the people who say this do so without ever suggesting what that alternative business model might be. That is totally wrong, of course. It may be true of some, but plenty of us have spent years and years not just the explaining how such new business models work, but showing example after example after example after example of it working in practice. So, I'm sorry, but I find it rather silly to claim that such business models don't exist or that those of us who "smugly" claim the industry needs to find a new business model never suggest any.

Marsden then notes: "The fact that we're sitting here watching the music industry rapidly decline is a fairly big hint that no such model exists." But, of course, he's wrong about that as well. The music industry hasn't been rapidly declining at all. Every single aspect of the business is way up -- except for the part that's about selling plastic discs. The plastic discs with music on them business is in decline, but that's not "the music business." More music is being produced today than ever before in history. More people are making money from music today than ever before in history. The concert business has been setting records every year, despite the supposed "decline" in the industry. Even instrument sales have been going up. Sales of devices to listen to music, such as iPods, continue to rise as well. Basically every single part of the music business is doing fantastically well -- record levels -- except for the business of selling plastic discs.

So, sorry Mr. Marsden, but it very much is a business model problem. And, yes, there are tons of business models that work -- and many, many folks have been both laying out the fundamentals of those business models, as well as making them work. That you want to ignore them and pretend they don't exist or don't work is your problem, but don't claim that it's not happening. Open your eyes and look around at what's actually happening.

Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    TasMot, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 6:53am

    Business Models

    I'm sure you know and I've done some research to find out exactly what a "Business Model" is all about. But, maybe some of the critics just don't get it. How about writing a "definition" article to explain just what is meant by a business model or at least when you mention it, always make it a link to what you consider a good definition of a business model, even if it is just a link to the definition on Widipedia (which needs some updating which you could probably do).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 6:56am

    Maybe since you have been talking about the new business models for years and years, they don't consider them new anymore?

     

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    Shawn, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 7:10am

    Seems to me

    Most of the time when you see artists echoing stuff like this, it is becuase thier representation told them so.

     

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    david smith, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 7:49am

    wemix has a great

    WeMix offers a model that really transforms the way music is monetized and leverages the good of past.

    While I am not affiliated with WeMix, I would suggest ýou ping them to learn about their novel and valuanle approach to digital music.

    David

     

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    david smith, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 7:50am

    wemix has a great

    WeMix offers a model that really transforms the way music is monetized and leverages the good of past.

    While I am not affiliated with WeMix, I would suggest ýou ping them to learn about their novel and valuanle approach to digital music.

    David

     

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  6.  
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    Joe, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:01am

    It's not just music

    As digital distribution gets cheaper, and creating content gets cheaper you will and probably are seeing this affect other things than Music. Look at TV, people have more choices so not everyone watches the same shows.

    It's not only what people can watch but how they can choose how they want to experience their entertainment via the TV/online streaming video/mobile video/dvds or any other way of viewing video content.

    We are seeing executives struggle at finding the next big show to work on the TV. where are the executives looking to create content that will be big on the internet and how to monetize the viewers? Yes some networks made Hulu which is great, but if they improved that experience they may find a more lucrative/more targeted market then they currently having using TV.

    Allow users to watch Hulu content on their TV. (I already do but make it easy for everyone to do it)

    Markets are shifting as consumers are given control of how they use content. Sadly the networks are failing at capitalizing on these people and they are seeing their "core business" falter. Instead of working to help people they are making rules/regulations to prevent the change because their core business will suffer.

     

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  7.  
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    CJay (profile), Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:02am

    No Middle Man Business model

    I think his complaint might be more that no one has presented a new model where all the fat-cat middle men get to keep making their unbalanced slice of the pie. Typically the alternative models are bands directly promoting their music and giving it away and then making money on concerts and physical goods. This lessens or even potentially eliminates the record companies from a lot of where they make their money (as we saw with the Eminem lawsuit).

     

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  8.  
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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:04am

    Lighten up...

    Mike -

    Does this guy really deserve the level of rancor you delivered?

    I just read his post, and he seems more than clear on the evils of the existing music business, willing to listen, but confused and doubtful, as are a lot of us.

    Your notes here have me thinking hard about ways giving away the infinite good and charging elsewise might work; I would gently encourage you to maybe question your own assumptions - otherwise you move from being a thoughtful pointer in the direction of the future to a narrow minded propagandist.

    Scott a.

     

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  9.  
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    Weird Harold, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:05am

    They aren't new business models. Giving stuff away is as old as retail itself, going back centuries. The only thing new here is that people are gutting a 10 billion dollar a year business hoping to make millions back. Trading dollars for quarters is an easy business, someone is always willing to buy your dollar for 25 cents.

    Mike, can you show where AS A WHOLE (not some individual care) that the music industry as a whole is making more money today (in 2009 dollars) that it was in, say, 1989 or 1999? Maybe you would also want to do a little study on the effects of free music on ticket prices, t-shirt prices, and the affordability for most music consumers to enjoy live shows?

    That is the true issue - is there more money here, or less? If there is less, then the old business model was still better business.

     

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    cram, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:08am

    I've said it before and I'd like to say it again. There is no one single new business model for the music business any more. As Mike himself has pointed out, there are many, many models at work, but the interesting thing is no two models are alike. What works for Trent Reznor does not and need not work for Jill Sobule, or anyone else.

    Mike,

    The disc business is certainly in decline, but "rapid" decline? Just the other day one of your posts carried stats of disc sales, which are running into billions...the decline began in 2001, but till date sales have been nothing to sneeze at.

     

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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:10am

    Re: It's not just music

    Joe -

    What's going on right now interests me a lot; Hulu and the lesser competing players from CBS and ABC are a Balkanized way to get free on-demand tv.

    But it looks like Comcast and TW will make a deal this year with most of the big content providers to move the content over to a centralized platform, a platform that will only be available to existing cable subscribers, (and maybe the sat. guys will get to play too, at some point.)

    It's still early, but it looks like free on -demand is about to get less free, and could lead to additional fees.

    Scott A.

     

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    some old guy, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:21am

    Re:

    That is the true issue - is there more money here, or less? If there is less, then the old business model was still better business.

    Not at all, since the "old model" is no longer available. Nor will it ever be available again. Why? Cause distribution is no longer a scarcity. Nor will it ever be a scarcity again.

    But you are correct that it WAS better. For the middlemen. The "Old Model" was nothing more than managing scarcity. There's nothing there to manage now.

     

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    Doombringer, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:24am

    Re: No Middle Man Business model

    Exactly, cut out the fat cats and all will be well. For too long have these a**holes been coming between the musicians and the fans, all they do is clog up the pipes and take money from the people who deserve it, and its time to get out the roto-rooter. Get a rope.

     

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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:34am

    language problem...

    Part of the problem talking about this stuff is the fundamentalist urge on both sides to describe it as "giving away music for free."

    Mike's example after example after example is mostly not about giving it away; it's about skipping the middleman, as others here have noted. And while it opens the door to different and interesting selling models, it's not the end of the world as we know it.

    s.

     

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    jonnyq, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:42am

    Re:

    Harold, why don't you share the burden of proof on those numbers.

    If you want numbers "as a whole" then you have to define what the whole is. The "whole" used to include people to manufactured vinyl records. Today, the "whole" includes the people who run MP3-selling websites. Good luck with that.

    Why not define the "whole" as just the artists - the people who produce the actual product of art? Run those numbers while you're at it.

    Why is money so important anyway? (This is a point I've made before.) Money is not the economy. Money is an indicator of the economy, and money is the lubricant of the economy, but money is not the economy. The whole of goods and services are what make up the economy. The purpose of money in the music industry (like most) is to encourage people to produce. The fact is that more people are producing more music than ever before, which indicates a healthy industry, regardless of how much money was involved.

    To follow that same point, imagine that health care suddenly became cheap. Dirt cheap. (And I don't mean through some political change - speaking purely economically.) Suddenly more people are getting care and becoming healthier than before, and fewer people become sick and more people are trained and working in the business. But, overall, there's less money being made because the product is so cheap. So, more product, fewer sick people, but less money. Is that not still a successful industry?

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:43am

    Rather than comfortably sitting in your techdirt office typing away criticizing articles prepared by another, why not simply saunter over to the site where the article you are criticizing appears and engage the author in a thoughtful debate. He appears to understand the "good and the bad" of the music industry, and particularly the content production side of the industry. Perhaps, just perhaps, engaging the issues in a respectful manner with the author may lead to a greater appreciation on both sides of what is happening.

    Until this happens, articles such as this here are little more than "flames" criticizing an individual who might have something substantive to add to the discussion.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:47am

    Re:

    Can you show me where it says somewhere that music HAS to have a viable business model? If it's true that there is no longer a viable business model for music (which I doubt), then I guess you'd best find a new line of work.

     

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    interval, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:48am

    Re: wemix has a great

    @david smith: "While I am not affiliated with WeMix..."

    Said the guy not affiliated with WeMix, twice.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:50am

    Re:

    I would suggest that nothing is stopping said author from coming to this site and engaging Mike in a lively debate regarding the issues either, if the author is that concerned about Mike's opinion.

     

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  20.  
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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:52am

    I clearly wasn't lamenting the demise of fat-cat middle men. The post was prompted by the colossal wave of bile directed at the PRS earlier this week when they dared to stand up to YouTube-Google.

    Mike - I loiter around sites like musicthinktank.com and see strategies and theories posted about new business models on a weekly basis. I know that the theories exist, and I can see that they've worked for a handful of people (I don't count the musicians whose fame was built upon the old-style business model, cos most of the work was already done for them.)

    What irks me are the people who facilitate the giving away of music for free - particularly the file-sharing community - then shrugging their shoulders and saying, well, we've utterly broken your model, find a new one. It's the attitude that pisses me off. Clearly forward thinkers such as yourself are doing something about it, rather than sitting around consuming the music and barely even thinking about it.

    I don't particularly lament the old model being broken - I happily give away my own music. But every other so-called alternative is predicated around selling something other than music. As someone who has spent over two decades in bands ranging from minuscule to reasonably well-known, I know that touring is FAR from lucrative, and that certain age-groups aren't that interested in merchandise. But the biggest problem - and the point of the post - was that none of this helps songwriters, the people who actually craft the music, compose it, create it. You don't buy a t-shirt with the name of a songwriter on it. Songwriters might not be performers, but the new models force them into becoming performers. You talk about how it's only the plastic disc that's suffering - but the manufacture of plastic discs (not the selling of them) results in a mechanical royalty to songwriters. Streaming music & on-demand jukeboxes (as YouTube has become) has utterly screwed mechanical and performance royalties. Which is why the PRS took the stand for its members.

    Now, the obvious response to that is "tough shit", and I totally understand that. You can't artificially support a profession that has had its day - ask any coal miner. I also acknowledge the errors and inconsistencies in the original blog post, which was written in something of a fit of pique after seeing shitloads of self-righteous people spouting the "music is freedom" line when they clearly know nothing about the realities of the music business.

    I guess you could just see me as a whining 37-year old lamenting the declining value of The Song. I don't particularly mind people calling me an idiot for doing so - but before we all subside into a morass of death-metal mousemats and hours of insincere social-networking, I just think it deserves lamenting.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 8:53am

    Wierd Harold

    I've been lurking Tech Dirt for a while, reading and viewing comments. I don't always agree with Mike, or anyone else here, but I have to say this.

    The issue is that technology and times have changed, yes illegal downloads have caused issues for the record industry, but forcing a business model that is clearly not working isn't the answer. Nor is endless litigation, clearly there are new models that work, but what we are observing imho is akin to the decline of the tape, or vynil. The problem is instead of accepting and moving forward with new technology, the industry has fought it every step of the way, further alienating customers, and creating a fertile enviroment for pirates.

    This is of course, over simplified, however insisting that because Model A made more money in 1999 then Model B does in 2009, does not mean that the old model is better. All that matters is today in business, does Model B net more then Model A in 2009? That's the difference between success and failure, clinging to old models because they used to work is no way to run a business.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re:

    Mr. Masnick identified the author by name. The author did no such thing. Perhpas he has never even heard of Mr. Masnick and this site. If Mr. Masnick deems it acceptable to criticize the author, then certainly he should do so by intoducing himself and initiating such a debate.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:07am

    Re:

    But what you're missing is that it's note Mike and We Commentators here who are 'gutting the business.' it's the other artists, the competition, who are going to take advantage of the economic facts that you'd rather ignore so you can keep living the glory days.

    Your band: charge people for access to your music (downloads, CDs, radio, commercials, etc), charge for concerts, end up suing fans when they don't play by your rules. (A little-talked about fact is that people don't share music they don't like -- if they're sharing your music, they're one of your fans.) You'll limit the exposure you get and piss off fans 9customers) by constantly trying to thwart their attempts to use your content.

    The competition: give the music away for free (downloads, commercials, YouTube, etc), let fans do whatever they want with it, charge for scarce items (concert tickets, CDs with added value, access to the band, creation of new songs). They'll work WITH their fans (customers) to give them what they want, and in return they'll get free exposure from all the free sharing and distribution of the music that they get funded elsewhere to make.

    In the end, your band fades into obscurity because they can't compete with The competition. this is the sum total of what Mike's saying, and guys like you stick your fingers in your ears and throw tantrums because you don't like what he's saying.

     

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  24.  
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    Hulser, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:08am

    Re: Lighten up...

    Does this guy really deserve the level of rancor you delivered?

    While I wouldn't exactly say that Mike's post rose to the level of "rancor", I would say that his criticisms are justified. I read Marsden's post too and most if not all of his points are predicated on the false assumption that there aren't viable alternative business models for the music industry which, for anyone who has read Techdirt for more than a day or two would know, is not true.


    Also, if any comment from from Marsden is worth rancor, I think it's this one...
    "The PRS may have become the evil organisation in the press and blogosphere today, but they're only trying to get what they feel is a fair deal for their members (the vast majority of which are not big earners) in a climate where their earnings have slumped, regardless of the recession."

    The reason that organizations like the PRS are percieved to be evil is for the very reason that people believe their doing more to protect themselves or their "big earners" at the expense of all their other members. "Fair deal"? The PRS aren't looking for a fair deal, they're looking for a deal where they're still relevent and still get a big cut of the profits. Why else would you ignore alternative business models that work?

     

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    jonnyq, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:10am

    Re:

    What irks me are the people who facilitate the giving away of music for free - particularly the file-sharing community - then shrugging their shoulders and saying, well, we've utterly broken your model, find a new one

    File sharers didn't break the business model. They just indicated that it was broken. That's not an attitude problem.

    There are still plenty of reasons to buy digital music, though, as long as it's in an open format.



    I guess you could just see me as a whining 37-year old lamenting the declining value of The Song.

    The value of the Song is still the same. The value of a copy, however, was inflated and has been forever.

    The value of the Song, however, is decreasing as more and more people are able to create. That's also the fault of technology, but it's nothing to lament.



    So what if there's more bad music than ever? There's also going to be more good music. It may be harder to find at first, but these things tend to work themselves out. Yes, going are the days when two random strangers can strike up a conversation about a top 40 artist because that's what most people listen to, but that's not worth lamenting at all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re:

    huh... maybe I should preview

     

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  27.  
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    Weird Harold, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    Re: Wierd Harold

    See Rhodri Marsden's comments above you.

    What the whole file trading and Web2.0 thinking has done is the equivilant to a riot destroying a store. There isn't a shift in business models here because a new one wasy required, rather an unruly mob has figured out how to shoplift en masse and has laid ruin to what was a thriving business.

    Just because we now have digital delivery doesn't give us all new rights to steal, borrow, pilfer, and redistribute things without a care in the world.

    If I close down at gunpoint every restaurant in town for a month, my hot dog cart will be the best restaurant business model right now. That isn't a victory.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:16am

    Re:

    There are modles for songwriters, too. Either do freelance work where bands pay you to write a song on a case-by-case basis (and once the song's written you let it go and let whoever do whatever with it), or you integrate as PART of the band, writing their songs and getting a cut just like the drummer and the vocalist (and once the song's written, let it go. You got your pay, why clutch the art so tightly?) Those are just two ideas, I'm sure there are more. And in each case, the songwriter is better off because they become KNOWN. They get recognition and it makes songwriting mean something. These days, songs are just attributed to whoever performed them; no one knows who wrote it.

     

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  29.  
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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:18am

    The PRS aren't looking for a fair deal, they're looking for a deal where they're still relevent and still get a big cut of the profits.

    I'd disagree with this - not least cos royalty collection societies are among the most austere sections of the music business. I've made all the points in comment 20 above, really. It's about songwriters and the value of the song. People always think of the equation in terms of 5 blokes in leather trousers in a transit van on the motorway, but it's just not like that.

    As for 23, again, I'd say the same thing - but this isn't about reliving "glory days". Glory days? It was about getting a cheque for a couple of hundred quid for songwriting royalties, based on radio play or CD manufacture to help pay a few bills. New models don't compensate for that. I'm not throwing a tantrum or sticking my fingers in my ears, I'm saying that this was a small but deserved payment to an artist, it's disappearing, and there's no business model that replaces it.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re: Wierd Harold

    The old model supported dozens upon dozens of manufactured so-called artists. If the new model allows four good artists to make $60k for every five bad artist making $80k on the old system, that's less money but more value, and I proclaim victory.

     

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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Those are just two ideas, I'm sure there are more. And in each case, the songwriter is better off because they become KNOWN. They get recognition and it makes songwriting mean something.

    That's based on the assumption that a songwriter gives a shit about becoming famous, rather than just being good at what he does.

     

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  32.  
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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Lighten up...

    Well, the music business is its own worst enemy, over and over again.

    And on both sides of the pond, a lot of artists believe groups that are - on paper - working on their behalf are in fact there to perpetuate the status quo.

    Agreed on all that.

    But at the risk of sounding like a member of the Flat Earth Society, there continue to be questions about how the economic models work, for how many and at what scale.

    s.

     

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  33.  
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    Number 23, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:29am

    @Rhodri

    Oh, that wasn't directed at you. That was to Harold, who is kind of a cry-baby.

    No, I think you're fairly well-reasoned, but I think you're uninformed or misinformed. i'm not saying it's EASY -- if it were, I wouldn't be doing a desk job. But it's been shown that there ARE models that ARE working for both large and small artists. And there's a place for songwriters, too, because they're as important to music as vocalists and drummers.

    You lament the death of music, but I think such rumors have been greatly exagerated.

     

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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:29am

    Good point

    You wrote:

    "That's based on the assumption that a songwriter gives a shit about becoming famous, rather than just being good at what he does."

    In most versions of the debate, someone chimes in with - So there is a business model, it's just not one the fat cats/pop stars/old guard want to live with.

    I think you put it in a lot more human context - you're a craftsman who wants to be paid for his labors, which are transparently still of value. You're not in the business of getting famous, developing a big fan base, etc. How do we support you?

    s.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:32am

    Re: Good point

    A more human context would be admitting that you're just a working stiff like the rest of us and, like the rest of us, shouldn't be paid today for work you did yesterday. Ask any coal miner.

     

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  36.  
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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Wierd Harold

    I understand that you get tired of the overheated hype in the other direction, but what you write just isn't true.

    First, you're not stealing if you copy a musician's work. It may be wrong, but you don't diminish their supply, nor - the believable research shows - the supply of paying customers.

    At worst, you're committing an act that should be resolved in a civil court, and niot the way the RIAA does it.

    If we're going to have an art & a business that works, partisans on both sides need to calm down and get serious, and not indulge in either moral panics nor revolutionary fervor.

     

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    Hulser, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Lighten up...

    But at the risk of sounding like a member of the Flat Earth Society, there continue to be questions about how the economic models work, for how many and at what scale.

    Sure, there are questions about how viable the alternative business models are, but the problem with Marsden's post is not that his criticisms of these models are inaccurate; it's that he denies or ignores that these alternative models even exist. Even members of the Flat Earth Society admit there is a competing "theory" that the Earth is round.

     

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    johnjac (profile), Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    What words don't mean

    Music does not mean plastic disc
    News does not mean paper
    Innovation does not mean patent
    Writing does not mean book
    Movie does not mean theater
    Theater does not mean movie
    Voice does not mean phone
    Internet does not mean web
    Web does not mean web page
    Ad does not mean commercials
    Computer does not mean PC
    Mobile device does not mean phone
    Video does not mean TV
    TV does not mean cable
    Cable does not mean TV
    Art does not mean painting
    Trademark does not mean property right
    Organic does not mean healthy
    Green does not mean good for the environment

     

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  39.  
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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: Good point

    He's not asking for a free ride, and he's not in the buggy-whip business.

    He's saying, pretty plainly, his labors still have value, but there's a disconnect between that and the methods for paying for it.

    s.

     

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  40.  
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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:43am

    Re: What words don't mean

    Now try doing it in reverse...as in, stating what words do mean.

     

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    natural order, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:47am

    File sharing is NOT the same as robbing a store. If I loot your store, you no longer have any goods. If I could walk past your store, and magically copy every good you hold, and move on my way, this is analogous to file sharing. Artists are not being robbed, they are just not being propped up like they were. The concept of being a well paid musician is less then a century old.

    Another issue rarely discussed is value. Everyone throws the word value around, but no one ever defines it. Value is whatever someone is willing to pay. If no one is willing to pay for your music, then it has no value, period.

     

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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:57am

    Re:

    That's a pretty incredible summing up of every lazy cliché that's ever been applied to this subject.

    The concept of being paid for, say, SEO optimizing is less than 10 years old. So what? Irrelevant. You then talk about "value" and how it's rarely discussed, but then fail to address the myriad kinds of value that don't involve a dollar bill. And as for the robbing a store analogy, there's so many holes in it I don't know where to start.

    This kind of thing is exactly why I wrote the initial post. If you don't believe that people should be paid for writing music that you enjoy, fine. BUT SAY SO. Don't dress it up in half-arsed rhetoric and specious arguments. It's pathetic. Just say it. Be brave. Go on. Say it. It's fine.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: wemix has a great

    And links his name to their website... LOL

     

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    some old guy, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 10:24am

    Re: What words don't mean

    Internet does not mean web

    Yes it does. Stop trying to make it out as if port 80 is something special.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: It's not just music

    Which would then drive customers in droves to find alternative sources for the "on-demand" free shows such as bittorrent or limewire. They'll try it, it'll fail and some poor schlep underling will get fired over it even though it was the moronic exec's fault.

     

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    RD, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 10:37am

    And people like you are why this problem exists

    "If I close down at gunpoint every restaurant in town for a month, my hot dog cart will be the best restaurant business model right now. That isn't a victory."

    And once again, just like EVERY OTHER INDUSTRY APOLIGITARD (TM) you are incorrectly equating unlike things and then using it as proof your argument is right. Digital music (or movies, books, anything that can be digitized) IS NOT AND NEVER WILL BE LIKE A SCARCE RESOURCE.

    Let me say it once again for those in the cheap seats and with limited comprehension skills.

    DIGITAL MUSIC IS NOT LIKE FOOD. ITS NOT LIKE CARS. ITS NOT LIKE ANYTHING NOT DIGITAL.

    Now, can we PLEASE get a friggin CLUE about using comparisons like this?

    If I have one of something, and someone takes it, I DONT HAVE IT ANYMORE. Thats THEFT.

    If someone looks at my thing and makes an exact copy, I STILL HAVE MY ORIGINAL THING. This would apply to food, cars, etc. This is INFRINGEMENT. Not theft, stealing or piracy.

    Ask those people on the high seas a few months ago that got killed by real pirates if they think someone downloading a song was perpetrated by the EXACT SAME KIND OF PEOPLE as those who captured their ship with guns and violence.

    Try to make arguments that SUPPORT your stance, not completely undermine by being utterly wrong.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Good point

    I never said 'free ride' or 'buggy whip'. I said he's still looking for royalties so he can get paid today, tomorrow, and forever for writing one song. Sure, he'll write more than one, but he'll get royalties on those, too. You'll pardon me if I don't have much sympathy for him while I punch my time card day-in and day-out. Know what happens if I stop working? I stop eating, too.

     

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    Jon, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re:

    Rhodri. I will say it. A lot of the music out there today, I don't believe deserves to be paid for. That is irrelevant to the discussion though.

    Ultimately, I think this topic boils down to free market mechanics. In the past, the market as the artist's employer, would bear the cost of paying an artist over the years. The market has changed and it is indicating it is now unwilling to continue that arrangement. A new arrangement must be found.

    If I could forge an agreement with my employer that he/she/it would continue to pay me for work I did today, I would jump on it. Who wouldn't? But that is simply not going to happen except in extreme and rare situations.

    Weak analogous scenario...

    Fast Food Employee: "I worked that cash register for 1 hour today. I effectively and efficiently serviced customers during this period. They will likely come back again. I would like to be paid every month for that hour I worked for the next two years. Do we have a deal?"
    Fast Food Manager: "Get the f*@k out of my store. You're fired."

     

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    Weird Harold, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 10:54am

    Re: @Rhodri

    I masturbate... A LOT

     

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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Good point

    So how do you see him getting paid?

    s.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re:

    First, I disagree with Jon -- Price and Value are NOT the same thing. They can be related, but even something given away for free can have value -- music is a great example because it's art, and as art has an intrinsic value to it beyond the exchange of money.

    Second, I do believe the musicians who make music I like should be paid. I go to concerts, I but merchendice, and I can and have made cold donations to artists when it's an available option. I DON'T believe that I should be paying for the music I don't like -- that doesn't ever happen directly, but it can happen indirectly. I also don't think anyone, EVEN artists I like, deserve to be paid for every work they do continuously from the time they create the piece until well after they've died.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:05am

    Re: And people like you are why this problem exists

    Preach it brutha

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good point

    Join a band. Take freelance work and get paid before writing a song, not after. Be employed by a Lable, on a salary, to write songs for bands they sign. Manage the scarities he can control.

    There are lots of ways. Mike's pointed out bunches. I pointed out a couple. He doesn't want to work on a commission or a salary or be part of a band. He wants to sit in his studio and write his songs and collect his royalties. And that's al well and good, he can do what he wants, but I won't shed a tear for him when The Song dies.

     

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    chris (profile), Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:16am

    Re:

    That is the true issue - is there more money here, or less? If there is less, then the old business model was still better business.

    the numbers don't matter because the old model has stopped working. it doesn't matter what numbers you put on the new model, as long as they are positive. positive numbers, no matter how small, are always larger than negative ones.

    even if you only make trace amounts of money in the new model, that is infinitely better than losing money on the old one.

     

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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Jon -

    Free markets don't have intent, nor are they perfect (or often even decent) aggregators of information and value.

    They are completely capable of going off the rails in bad directions, getting stuck in ugly feedback loops and doing other things that we don't want.

    That's one of my lingering problems with Mike's take on this - he essentially says 'Whether you like it or not, the market has decided.'

    And I'm saying, a broken machine may 'decide' to have a wheel fly off at 60 miles per hour, but that doesn't make it a desirable thing.

    The tech/internet revolution has allowed people to become born again free marketers, to believe there is some natural or organic quality to 'free.' Free is useful, just like markets are useful - just don't confuse them with facts.

    s.

     

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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:20am

    Re: And people like you are why this problem exists

    But what you're doing, just like everyone who enjoys a thoroughly satisfying pop at the major labels, is justifying the copying of a resource by engaging in semantic arguments about the meaning of the word "theft", and the meaning of the word "pirate". File-sharing might not be theft. And? I mean, dunno, let's give it another name, uh, "plibbing". He plibbed a load of albums. So did she. They thought that he and she shouldn't have plibbed the albums. So fucking what?

    I'll say it again: If music ends up being completely free, that's fine. If you don't want to pay for music anymore, fine. If you think artists shouldn't get any money for the music they've made, fine. But say so, you spineless bastards. Just say so! All you've done is give an empty semantic argument. And semantics, well, it's all just WANK.

     

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    chris (profile), Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:28am

    Re:

    Perhaps, just perhaps, engaging the issues in a respectful manner with the author may lead to a greater appreciation on both sides of what is happening.

    Until this happens, articles such as this here are little more than "flames" criticizing an individual who might have something substantive to add to the discussion.


    you must be new here. let me be the first to welcome you to the internet.

    here on the internet, we do not think, we do not listen, and we damn sure do not do anything in a respectful manner.

    hopefully that clears up some of the confusion and you can better enjoy your time here in the web.

     

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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:34am

    It's not wank

    I agree with a lot of what you say, but the distinction between stealing and not stealing is more than mere semantics.

    If you believe, as I do, that it doesn't fit the definition of stealing, then you can see the issues file sharing raises more clearly.

    As I wrote somewhere a few posts ago, what you have with file sharing is closest to a civil dispute. The fact that settling it as a civil dispute doesn't work particularly well is a big indicator that the law in this area is broken.

    FWIW, I believe in paying for music, (and I'm a huge consumer of it). I believe in royalties and copyright, thought not the absurdly long ones now in play in the U.S. I also believe in open source and copy left. Mostly, I think it's time for cooler heads to prevail.

    s.

     

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    R. Miles, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:37am

    Re:

    and the point of the post - was that none of this helps songwriters, the people who actually craft the music, compose it, create it.
    May I ask you something? Why in the world do you think it should be our responsibility to pay a songwriter, cartoonist, author (fiction), or et al who wants to do this for a living?

    You mentioned the coal miner. We pay the coal miner because they bring a necessary value to the business world. They produce the very material consumed by businesses and customers. Dying as they are, the biggest advantage a coal miner has is adaptation. They can mine other materials.

    Artisans don't afford this luxury. What they produce is entertainment. I can't take a song and use it (especially with litigation). What purpose does it serve to the world?

    None. And, quite frankly, we shouldn't be forced to pay marked up entertainment content costs because distributors are too stupid to adapt.

    For decades (even still), I've heard nothing but gripes and complaints from artisans their share isn't "big enough" when compared to the whole.

    Who the hell gives them the right to complain? They SOLD the right to distribute, but now all of a sudden it's not enough?

    The work I do is invaluable to the company I work for. I make "$X" per hour, so does this mean I should turn around and demand hundreds of thousands more just because my company makes this from my work?

    If this were the case, there would be no business. It would be too damn costly. Now for these artisans to bitch and whine for wanting more money than it took to actually produce the product is appalling.

    No offense, but I've yet to meet any artisan worth millions. In fact, I've yet to meet anyone worth millions. You are no better than me when it comes to working. Your skillset is different than mine.

    To think you offer more value and expect more than what I do is laughable and you will get no such pity from me when you feel your "paltry" salary isn't sufficient.

    There are millions on this planet working who will never attain an income equal to artisans raking in millions for the work they do. Never.

    So when people like us, who pay your damn salary, want a little break from the cost based on value model, you should listen to us. Giving away distributable goods for free is a step in the right direction.

    I would have NO PROBLEM paying for an artisan's work if it's helping to create future work and repaying the original work cost. But to think, of all the revenue the first product made, I now have to pay AGAIN for the next is insulting. Pure and simple, it's just greed and I'll have nothing to do with it, no matter how popular the artisan is.

    I've yet to see an artisan say "Oh, it cost us $200,000 to produce this album and since we made it back, we'll now drop the cost!" Nope, instead they whine the $200,000 isn't enough.

    When you artisans start realizing your target is everyday workers, maybe it'll sink in that your salary demands are getting too difficult for us to pay.

    Until this happens, we're going to find ways to save costs because we can't afford to pay every artist and their distributors. It's getting too costly.

    Artisans bitch about piracy taking away from their revenue when they don't even get the fact charging $1 for a digital song is the definition of true piracy.

    Chew on this for a while and let me know what you think. I fully understand your position, but it's time artisans realize the industry, as a whole, is in trouble when every aspect of it demands more from the pie.

    Trying to get 125% from 100% will always be a bad business model, and that's exactly what's going on.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: And people like you are why this problem exists

    I agree that it's wrong to copy and share a musician's work againt their wishes. It's NOT on the same level as theft, because nothing's being TAKEN. You aren't depriving someone of some thing. But it is wrong, on a lower level, less severe.

    That being said, I think it's FOOLISH of artists to keep people from sharing their stuff. It's free exposure. it's people getting their friends to be fans, too. It HELPS artists, and there are new modles out there that let you take advantage of it and still make money.

    And "music should be free" is NOT the same as "musicians shouldn't be paid." By all means musicians should be paid, and here we talk about all sorts of new ways they can bring in the money.

    Let me repeat: you shouldn't take or give away art without the artist's permission; unauthorized downloading is wrong and should stop. But it's a foolish musician who DOESN'T authorize downloading and sharing, and they key is to catch the money somewhere else.

     

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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:42am

    Re: It's not wank

    The question of whether it's stealing or not IS utterly irrelevant - it doesn't matter, because a) it's endemic, and b) barely anyone is ever going to get prosecuted, thank god. All it means is that people who think it's unfair will call it theft and piracy, and people who don't will say that it isn't. Doesn't matter. But what our friend did was see the word "theft" and just switch into auto-pilot and come up with various analogies for why it isn't theft. It's SO not the issue. And I'm NOT dissing file-sharing, or giving music away. I'm just so, so BORED with the people who construct elaborate scenarios to try and justify it. I'm totally repeating myself now, so I'll shut up, but why can't they just say: "I love getting music for free. I don't believe in paying for it any more, and I don't think that the musicians or songwriters should get paid, unless I buy a fucking poster with their faces on it. End of story."

     

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    Weird Harold, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Wierd Harold

    Scott, you don't have to wait for the entire house to burn down to know if there is a fire. Music is a great example: There is way more demand and use for music today than there has ever been, almost everyone has a 3000+ song mp3 player, many of us have it right in our cell phones. Yet, for all those millions of copies of those songs out there, the music industry has not seen it's income increase in the slightest. In fact, adjusted to current dollars, the music industry was making more 10 and 20 years ago than it is today.

    Damn increased, income did not, therefore sales were lost. Without rampant piracy, records sales would likely be up, not down. can you imagine what the sales numbers would be on itunes if P2P music piracy was blocked? I cannot think of a single friend under 25 that would actually buy music. They have been trained that it is "FREE!".

    Right now the music industry is basically being forced to negotiate with a mob that has taken their business hostage. It isn't really a two sided thing, just "business" versus "FREE!".

    This is also why Mike never addressed the issue of "FREE!" fully. One of the downsides of marketing in this manner is the loss of value for a product, and in turn the loss of respect by the public for the product and the producers. It is a very hard fight to get the public to believe music has any value anymore, which in turn may lower it's long term attractiveness for marketing concert tickets and other stuff. "FREE!" is dead end marketing, there is nowhere to go from there.

     

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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Good points, but...

    So he could do any of your ideas, and continue to make a living writing tunes.

    But you haven't really solved anything - with the 'be employed by a label/band/freelance' you've essentially recreated the 'Brill Building' model, and shifted the wealth back to the label, or if there is no label, to theemployer du jour.

    Remember, the point of royalties in the first place was to bring some equity to a system that heavily favored an existing structure of middle men. Are you sure you want to go there?

    s.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re:

    LMAO

     

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    Weird Harold, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good point

    If the labels don't exist and there is no way to pay writers or artists over time, someone is going to have to pay the freight up front. With no model that generates direct income, who is going to want to pony up hundreds of thousands or even millions to launch a new major artist?

    Everyone is talking about taking money out of the music business, and then somehow figuring all the musicians and writers and producers will make money some other way in the "FREE!" chain. But who is going to pay for it? I don't see anyone here holding their hands up to support it.

     

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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    But...

    As long as one side is screaming "thief!" and the other side is screaming "free!" nothing gets fixed.

    What do you make out of people like me, then, who don't think it's stealing - and who believe 'it's not stealing' is a sane, important argument grounded in the history of intellectual property and copyright - and who do want to see you get paid?

    s.

     

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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Good point

    This is such bollocks. The artist only gets paid if the song keeps earning the royalties. If it's a shit song, it earns no royalties. If it keeps providing pleasure to new people over a period of days, weeks, months or years, they earn money from it.

    Quite why everything has to be brought back to a comparison with someone working in a fucking factory, I've no idea. If you really want something to rail against, rail against inherited wealth - but if you pay someone in terms of the popularity of the song, you have to WAIT UNTIL IT BECOMES POPULAR before you can gauge how fucking popular it is. A six-year old could probably get their head around that one.

    Again, it's a total case of someone just disagreeing with the idea of someone earning money from creativity. "Hey, that's not a proper job, you fuck, here's a wrench and some overalls, now get doing something REAL. All you actors, musicians, writers, film producers, artists - all of you, you're a fucking waste of space, now leave us to carry on in a world without any culture, where all we do is masturbate and cry about how meaningless our sorry existences are."

    Forgive me if I paraphrased you, there.

     

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    Steve, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:04pm

    Who is this asshole and why has he never heard of iTunes?

     

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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    Re: But...

    You're referring to me as "you" as if I earn money from music - I don't. Basically I have the same stance as you, and so I think you're eminently sensible, even enlightened, and I think we should spend Christmas together. But it doesn't really help the situation, does it. I've probably proved that I don't have answers, I just want consumers to be a bit more honest about their motivations.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good point

    @Stupid Harold

    It is getting cheaper and cheaper to produce music and have that music reach millions of people for little to not cost at all (the internet).

     

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  71.  
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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    Re:

    I'm that asshole. And I don't think it takes a genius to work out that iTunes is merely a step between the CD and the world of free music on demand. Oh, look, Spotify. There you go. Right.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good point

    Thank you for raising the intellectual level of this discussion. I'm done talking to you.

     

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    R. Miles, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Wierd Harold

    the music industry has not seen it's income increase in the slightest.
    I would like to know where in the hell you pulled this from. To state the music industry isn't making more money today is laughable, especially when you seem to overlook the industry demands EVERYBODY pay, regardless of what the music is used for.

    Want streaming music? Pay for it.
    Want to copy music? No, you must pay for the copy.
    Want to listen to it in your workshop? No, it's an audience, and you must pay for it.
    Want to use it in speeches? No, again, audience factor.

    You're ignorant, Harold, if you think there's lost money out there.

    I think you're confusing the industry with CD sales, and in that regard, Mike is correct. Hell, I can't even remember the last time I bought a CD.

    And the MUSIC purchase hasn't dwindled. It's increased. Just ask Amazon and Apple, who rake in tons of cash for those $1 songs.

    Get your head out of the sand and pay attention, especially to the artists who continue to whine about THEIR lost monies when distributors don't pay them what they feel they should.

    Obviously, there's enough money around if they're whining about it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: But...

    You have decided what a consumer's motivations are, and will not be satisfied until they agree with you. You're an angry, cynical person, and have added nothing to this conversation.

     

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    RD, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    Dear Apoligitard (tm)

    "Without rampant piracy, records sales would likely be up, not down. can you imagine what the sales numbers would be on itunes if P2P music piracy was blocked?"

    Oh my GOD will you please stop talking? You are without a doubt one of the biggest music industry shills I have ever seen on the net, completely parroting their incorrect, proven-many-times-over-WRONG standard line. There have even been STUDIES on this and they have shown that piracy IS NOT THE CAUSE OF THE DECLINE OF MUSIC SALES. Even some MUSIC INDUSTRY EXECS themselves know its not piracy. And ALL of you idiots (and yes, I am starting with the name calling because you have stepped over the line and deserve it now) seem to ignore the fact that:

    a) a copy is NOT a lost sale
    b) its as much about getting WHAT the customer wants, and HOW (ease of use) than it is about FREE. iTunes has PROVEN that people will PAY for music
    c) if people cant get it easy or free, they will simply do without. You cant lose what you never had, SEE A) AGAIN

    It's like talking to retarded children on here. Go ahead, ignore ALL the anecdotal evidence, the studies, and even the quotes by your very own music industry heroes and by all means continue to believe that piracy, AND PIRACY ALONE, is the SOLE reason music sales arent higher. Ignore the economy, bad music, pre-packaged pop-princesses, and all the sublimely idiotic moves by the music industry to alienate their customer base (suing, insane PRS and ASCAP fees, Universal and Warner trying to strongarm youtube such that youtube removes their videos, lobbying for laws that all but kill internet radio, and the biggest of all, trying to shake down radio stations to get them to PAY TO PLAY THE MUSIC!)

    And please keep in mind that through all this turmoil, litigation, argument over and collection of fees, NONE OF YOUR INDUSTRY HEROES RETURNS ANY OF THIS MONEY TO THE ARTIST. Any such "victories" like stamping out piracy will ONLY and I mean ONLY help the labels and the fat cats. NOT ONE DIME has ever been proven to have been distributed back to the artist on any of this stuff, even when your industry heroes proudly proclaim they need this new law, or that new fee "for the artists." They are scumbags. Your support of them makes you one as well.

     

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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re:

    First, I'd look up the word "artisan" on Merriam-Webster or something, cos you don't know what it means.

    What they produce is entertainment. I can't take a song and use it (especially with litigation). What purpose does it serve to the world?

    None.


    There you go. At last, someone being honest. I think you're a complete philistine, but at least you're honest.

    And again, you're constructing the argument on such a confused basis. You're saying that fuckin' Elton John, or George Michael, are the music business. I'm talking about the hundreds of thousands of people who make a little bit of money each year out of providing fleeting moments of cultural pleasure for others. Greed? Jesus. It's as if you imagine that all musicians are living in fucking palaces.

    But as you've pointed out, music has absolutely no worth whatsoever, so there you go. Get back to your grindly empty day devoid of culture, I bet it's great.

    (And again, I dunno why you're saying "you". I don't make any money out of music, and never have.)

     

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  77.  
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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: But...

    Ummm...he was good enough to join the conversation and do something very intellectually honest - use his own name.

    And there's nothing cynical in being frustrated.

    s.

     

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  78.  
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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: But...

    Cynic? Compared to some of the hard-nosed anti-culture people on this thread, I'm positively romantic.

     

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  79.  
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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good point

    Sorry if the rude words distracted from the point I was making.

     

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  80.  
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    R. Miles, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good point

    Hey, that's not a proper job, you fuck, here's a wrench and some overalls, now get doing something REAL. All you actors, musicians, writers, film producers, artists - all of you, you're a fucking waste of space, now leave us to carry on in a world without any culture, where all we do is masturbate and cry about how meaningless our sorry existences are.
    Is this a jab at my comment?

    I didn't say it was a waste. I said it offered nothing to the world we know. Culture? Sure, there's plenty of culture out there and most of it I don't have to pay a dime to enjoy it.

    The notion you think you're entitled to royalties is where I have a beef. As a performer, you think you're entitled to more money just because we like your music?

    Get your head out of your ass. As a developer, if I took this same approach, I'd lose all my customers who would look elsewhere for products.

    I couldn't dare fathom myself going after companies that made thousands of dollars because they made more money than it cost me to produce and sell the software. Nor do I care people download it for free (it's already been paid for and they're potential future customers).

    But this is exactly what the music, movie, book, and television industry is doing. Want to view? PAY UP, YOU LOUSE!

    I'm sorry artisans make the mistake in WILLINGLY signing contracts that dictate their salary based off their work, but this isn't my problem. Nor should it be anyone's, including you.

    If the business world worked in the same manner as the entertainment industry, we'd all be out of a job, and it doesn't matter if you're a coal miner or a musician.

    By the way, for reading this reply, you now owe me $79.99. It's what I believe a fair price for the VALUE of the content despite it costing me NOTHING to produce.

    Sound freakin' familiar or will you just skip to another reply without paying?

     

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  81.  
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    Jon L (profile), Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: It's not wank

    But maybe if we don't buy the music, it's because it sucks?

    Seriously, there are plenty of people paying for things that they don't HAVE to pay for in these new models. OpenOffice/Neoffice for example, is free, and a helluva lot more effort goes into that than any artistic endeavor - I pay them about $25 a year as a donation because what they make is GOOD.

    In this new world, there are going to be a lot of artists who simply don't get paid for their stuff, and that's society's way of saying "sorry, your work just isn't good enough to pay for."

    BUT it's also up to YOU, the artist to give people who DO like your work an easy way to pay you! It's FREE + 2.9% to put a freakin' paypal button on your website and write some copy that says "Hey! Buddy! If you do like my work, I hope you'll consider tossing me a few bucks so I can buy some Ramen while I work on more stuff to give you! THANKS!"

    One out of a thousand just may do that. Reach 100,000, and you've got a few bucks. Reach 1,000,000, and that's better than you're going to get from ASCAP, BMI, etc.

     

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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good point

    It doesn't cost a doctor anything to offer you a diagnosis. It doesn't cost an accountant anything to go over your books. It doesn't cost a psychotherapist to offer counselling. Doesn't mean what they're doing is worth nothing.

    I've been provoking the debate because I was interested to find out if people put a monetary value on entertainment any more. Clearly many people have decided that they don't. Like I say, I'm not a musician, I don't earn money from it, but I just find it fascinating that there's so much resentment from people at the money they've paid for CDs over the years to bands and artistes of all sizes.

    If I love a band, or a TV show, or a film, I want to give some cash to say thanks. It seems that you don't. I don't have a problem with that. It's just fascinating that the internet has precipicated this change in attitudes...

     

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    R. Miles, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    First, I'd look up the word "artisan" on Merriam-Webster or something, cos you don't know what it means.
    –noun
    a person skilled in an applied art; a craftsperson.

    From dictionary.com. I believe I used the word correctly.

    There you go. At last, someone being honest. I think you're a complete philistine, but at least you're honest.
    I'm sorry, but I'm far from being a philistine. I appreciate works I enjoy, and will discuss those I don't. If I enjoy works enough, I'll purchase them (despite loathing knowing a paltry sum goes to the artisan).

    You're saying that fuckin' Elton John, or George Michael, are the music business.
    No, I'm not. I'm saying the music business is whining about the recording business in "lost" revenues. Don't classify me into this group, please.

    Greed? Jesus. It's as if you imagine that all musicians are living in fucking palaces.
    Ha! Don't you wish. No, my beef, again for clarification, stems from artisans who continually think that value affords them continued revenues.

    You can't sit there and tell me you don't feel there's a difference between Elton John (your reference) and an unnamed garage band who's trying to make it big.

    There IS a difference, and in the digital world, you can bet the garage band will take advantage of getting popular much faster than Elton John did through his record label.

    You mentioned popularity in another reply. Interesting you brought that up. Isn't it the goal for every artisan to be popular?

    Get back to your grindly empty day devoid of culture, I bet it's great.
    How do you think my empty day is devoid of culture? For someone who emphasizes it, you should be the first to realize the problem of getting this culture to the masses.

    I'm sorry, but you're beginning to sound like a hypocrite, so watch yourself. I've read each of your replies, and you've got some solid arguments, but they fail when the true overall goal is to SHARE CULTURE, not limit its distribution by crying foul of downloaders who you deem as thieves.

    Who are you calling a philistine again?

     

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    R. Miles, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good point

    It doesn't cost a doctor anything to offer you a diagnosis. It doesn't cost an accountant anything to go over your books. It doesn't cost a psychotherapist to offer counselling.
    Your comparison is off. These professionals also don't sit around doing this in hopes of making it big. They do it to offer a service, for which we pay for.

    I want to give some cash to say thanks. It seems that you don't.
    I'm so very glad you said seemed, because this isn't me at all. Personally, I wish that every artist who creates gave me the ability to pay them directly. I would be MUCH MORE willing to pay, knowing I'm helping them earn a living.

    But to a point. I'm not willing to give them the idea I'm going to pay them over and over if their works generate thousands upon thousands over the COST of such work (just like a doctor covering costs of diagnosis). The world can't work this way and artisans don't get special treatment.

    Sorry, but that's just the way I am. Not sure how long you've been around, but you should know I'm not a fan of capitalism. This may help you understand my point a bit.

    Also, before I head home (I'll check back in later), I want to apologize for saying entertainment is useless. It's the business model that's useless.

    I also want to apologize for including "you" in the music world. I just saw Mike's introduction of you as a journalist/musician, so it just went without saying.

    But, if you are a musician, I'd be inclined to know how you make your living if you feel downloaders are the evil you think they are.

     

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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good point

    I only turned up today because someone said that my piece got hammered on Techdirt :)

    I am musician, I mean, I've been in bands for years, but I'm not a musician by profession these days. I write for a living, so obviously I'm seeing the effect of the distribution of free content impinge on my meagre earnings, too.

    I don't think downloaders are evil, at all, and I'm annoyed with myself for getting caught up in that argument, which has obviously been done to death. But we're slowly moving to a world of on-demand music, where ownership (of CDs, files, anything) is completely removed from the equation, and it's all streamed to various devices. Spotify is an amazing step down that route; it's ad-supported, but you can imagine how little of that (if anything) filters back to the musicians.

    So the music becomes free. My interest is in the financial value of culture, and how the internet is eroding it, and how people who once thought music had a dollar value, but now isn't so sure. It's an unstoppable process, which is why I don't have any answers about what to do about it. I'm just fascinated by how it'll change things.

    Still don't quite see what you mean about not being willing to pay IF an artist is earning loads of money - although if you're not a fan of capitalism, maybe you'd want a cap on earnings over a certain level :)

     

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    Rhodri Marsden, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Firstly, I'm not saying downloaders are thieves, I've said that so many times it's getting boring. I'm saying that a) music will inevitably become free, there's nothing that can be done about that, and b) I don't think it's right that the people who craft the songs - the artist - will no longer get any financial recognition for that act of creativity. I don't think it's very controversial.

    "Artisan" is a handicraft thing, innit - wine, cheese, pottery. At least, it is in this godforsaken part of south London.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 12th, 2009 @ 1:24pm

    Hello Rhodri

    Hello Marsden.
    I am glad you came to chat here, although I am sorry for some of the fellow commenters being rather rude (once in awhile that is me too). Both sides get frustrated at times.
    While I do see your side of the argument, I must disagree and I do rather refuse to feel any sympathy.
    For the songwriters, one of the best models is probably to just write good songs. Most fans of music will probably never hear your name or care, but the musicians who play will. They will pay you to create music. Then you do not have to worry about getting paid later on. You just have to save up for retirement like the rest of us.
    I am a computer programmer. My position is somewhat similar to yours. Except that I am already employing the business model I am advising. I get paid to create programs for now. I am not writing the program for free and then expecting to earn a minute percentage of the company's profits forever.

    Perhaps part of the reason I refuse to feel sympathy is because I am a computer guy. I love technology and all that it enables. I download music. I admit it. You want people to admit it, well I will, I do. You want to know the simple reason why? Because I can. Technology has enabled it. That is just how it is.

     

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    RD, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 1:28pm

    Rhodri

    "Firstly, I'm not saying downloaders are thieves, I've said that so many times it's getting boring. I'm saying that a) music will inevitably become free, there's nothing that can be done about that, and b) I don't think it's right that the people who craft the songs - the artist - will no longer get any financial recognition for that act of creativity. I don't think it's very controversial."

    Indeed and I think you will find that most people on this site agree with these 2 points. Where we disagree is in how that is accomplished. Payment for every conceivable use for 100+ years is, I think, anathema to most people who view this issue. But why is it "wrong" for the artists to get paid like anyone else? There are session musicians who never get anything but session pay at the time of the work performed. Why SHOULD it be different for "artists?" Maybe they should just be paid more up front, like a higher-paid worker and thats it? Maybe they should just make their own way and cut out the labels? I dunno. But you, like many here, FREAK OUT when the word "free" is brought up, as if that means the ENTIRE process is free from creation to consumption. Not so. But the idea that artists should make NO money on their work or efforts is also not what most people here ascribe to.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 1:32pm

    Money...

    Wow, big discussion. I'm glad Rhodri found this site. Nice name by the way.

    I too lament the death of Song. I used to enjoy music, but now I don't. I refuse to pirate and I refuse to pay, so the result is I enjoy a lot less music.

    I miss music sometimes, and I probably play a little more. I'm not very good though, so I'd be incredibly honored if anyone ever thought I should be paid for it. Which brings me to my point.

    Many industry apologists note that we currently have mob rule. Kids are used to free music, and now they won't pay no matter what. They, like me, will simply quit buying if p2p dried up.

    From outside of the industry and outside of p2p, I see the same problem on both sides. The problem is appreciation.

    Lots of fans don't appreciate the artists/industry, and lots of artists/industry don't appreciate the fans. They both take each other for granted. The fans see so much money floating around the music industry, and they simply do not care how the business works.

    The industry and artists have the same problem. If they could just force the fans back into their box, they'd return to easy profits.

    I guess the only thing I lament more than the death of Song is the death of Culture. Music used to say something. People expressed and defined culture with it. Now, the opportunity to speak to millions is lost behind the power of money.

    I want an artist to be an artist. To speak from his soul, and be thrilled that anyone wants to hear. And money can be left out of it. If music is about ad campaigns and launching artists, it isn't about music at all.

     

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    Mike (profile), Mar 12th, 2009 @ 1:47pm

    Re:

    Mike - I loiter around sites like musicthinktank.com and see strategies and theories posted about new business models on a weekly basis. I know that the theories exist, and I can see that they've worked for a handful of people (I don't count the musicians whose fame was built upon the old-style business model, cos most of the work was already done for them.)

    Rhodri, we're seeing it work for an awful lot of people, big, small, medium... so I'm having a lot of trouble understanding folks who say it can't work or that they're somehow "exceptions" to the rule. On top of that we've been looking at both theory and historical and economic examples to show why it works...

    I guess I just take offense at the idea that no one addresses this.

    What irks me are the people who facilitate the giving away of music for free - particularly the file-sharing community - then shrugging their shoulders and saying, well, we've utterly broken your model, find a new one.

    While I can understand that (and, I should note, for the record, that I don't participate in any file sharing at all), I'm not sure I believe that's a fair statement. Business models break all the time. It's never the responsibility of the breaking party to fix the model for the others. Did automakers have to fix the model for the buggy whip makers?

    As someone who has spent over two decades in bands ranging from minuscule to reasonably well-known, I know that touring is FAR from lucrative, and that certain age-groups aren't that interested in merchandise.

    Indeed. But that's limiting your thinking to the old methods of making money -- not expanding your views into how the new opens up many new opportunities. Also, part of the point of "free" music is in increasing the size of your fanbase, such that it makes it much MORE likely to make those things more lucrative. Plus, you can be much more strategic about it (lining up shows where you know you have more fans willing to pay, for example). And, finally, you can start doing really new and innovative things around *access*. Look at what Jill Sobule has done. Or Josh Freese. They're adding a totally new way to get paid for an album... Granted, we suggested just such a model 6 years ago, so maybe it's not "new" but artists are finally embracing it, and it's working.

    But the biggest problem - and the point of the post - was that none of this helps songwriters, the people who actually craft the music, compose it, create it. You don't buy a t-shirt with the name of a songwriter on it. Songwriters might not be performers, but the new models force them into becoming performers.

    Not at all, and I've addressed this many, many times in the past. Performances are ONE scarcity, but hardly the only one. The models that are working most often aren't necessarily about concerts. Jill Sobule and Josh Freese aren't using concerts as the basis of their business models.

    Plus, if musicians are making good money from their own business models, then they can certainly afford to do work-for-hire deals for songwriters. And, if you write a hit song, your price goes up.

    So, I have trouble believing that there are no business models for song writers.

    You talk about how it's only the plastic disc that's suffering - but the manufacture of plastic discs (not the selling of them) results in a mechanical royalty to songwriters.

    Well, my personal feeling is that all royalty systems like that should be scrapped. They distort the market and make musicians use them as a crutch, rather than actually putting in place a real business model... but that's obviously a discussion for another day.

    I guess you could just see me as a whining 37-year old lamenting the declining value of The Song.

    Well, some other mentioned it, but I'll repeat it: you're confusing price and value. The value of a song has not declined at all. In fact, I'd argue it's increased in many cases, now that music is more accessible than ever before. Value is only the demand side of the equation (how much a person values a song). But *price* is set at the intersection of supply and demand, and when supply is infinite, price will get pushed to zero. But, that does mean there's plenty of excess value out there to *capture*. And that's the basis of the business models we discuss. Use the music to release that value, but make sure you have a business model in place that captures a nice portion of it.

    I don't particularly mind people calling me an idiot for doing so - but before we all subside into a morass of death-metal mousemats and hours of insincere social-networking, I just think it deserves lamenting.

    Give it 10 or 20 years or however long it takes for people to realize these things, and I don't think you'll be lamenting anything. Once people recognize how well these models work, and they're making more money than they did in the past there will be nothing to lament.

    Thanks for engaging in the comments by the way. I'd be more active, but I'm spending the week here in the UK myself for work, and between actually working and writing up more blog posts, I have less time for comments than usual...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 1:51pm

    Re:

    PRS is a government agency. BMI & ASCAP are non-profits. The only one that has a chance at profits is SESAC and their marketshare is so low they hardly register.

     

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    R. Miles, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good point

    although if you're not a fan of capitalism, maybe you'd want a cap on earnings over a certain level :)
    I like you! You hit the nail on the head with this reply.
    :)

    I'm sorry if I mistook your defense against downloaders. But you're correct to say the product of such artists is now free.

    And it should be. I'm sure we're going to agree to disagree, but it's how I feel.

    I feel this way, because as a programmer, I used (still use) the no cost model. I hate the word free. It's misleading. I give away software all the time. No cost. It's advertising for me.

    The goal is to say "I would like to hire you because of your work with [x]". I AM THE SCARCE PRODUCT.

    So are songwriters. Their scarcity is the ability to write good songs. But I see your point in the notion they're having a much more difficult time generating a livelihood from it.

    But, sadly, it's just the way the world is. I didn't get droves of customers giving my software away, either. Which is why it's a side business, not my entire business.

    I'm sure I could do so (and actually have plans to do so), but the "safety net" of having income outweighs the insecure potential for sustaining my house payment.

    All businesses need capital to start. Common sense. Artists, for some strange reason, think this doesn't apply to them and instantly feel their works can be charged a fee.

    This isn't a viable business model if that work is a digital product, because the laws of supply and demand no longer apply. There is no limit on an infinite supply.
    Thus, they themselves become the scarce product, which is much more difficult to sell.

    This is where the breakdown occurs with most people. They don't understand this and often target downloaders as the evil for taking away profits.

    It's an ignorant position to take, and I fully understand not every person in the music industry will benefit from the no cost product model. Your reference to songwriters proves this, but I must be honest to say when has their interest ever been taken into account?

    Take Lars Ulrich, for example. Here's a prick who destroyed Napster because he felt people were thieves. This one landmark case changed digital distribution forever.

    Never once have I heard him defend songwriters. Feel free to point me to references in which I'm incorrect with this statement.

    All this can easily be summed up with this: The moment a business sues the very fans who've supported the industry for years, it's a sad, sad day.

    As I've said before, it's impossible for me to pay every artist their dues when the costs of distribution makes it impossible to both pay and enjoy.

    Something's got to give, whether it be new business models, extinction of distributors, or pay direct options.

    SOMETHING to warrant the $0 cost of the digital item.

    Some plans will fail. Some will succeed. But staying stagnant hurts everyone.

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    Re: The Market Has Decided

    Scott Atkinson wrote:

    That's one of my lingering problems with Mike's take on this - he essentially says 'Whether you like it or not, the market has decided.'

    And I'm saying, a broken machine may 'decide' to have a wheel fly off at 60 miles per hour, but that doesn't make it a desirable thing.

    And what do you suggest doing about it? Nothing has worked so far—that’s the point that Mike and others have been making for years. No lobby group and no Government has been able to reverse the tide one bit. Isn’t it time to stop banging your head against the wall, and try something constructive, that actually takes advantage of the unstoppable forces that are the P2P networks and other unauthorized distribution mechanisms, instead of futilely continuing to try to fight them?

     

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    Adam K., Mar 12th, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    Another example

    check out gogoyoko.com - a website created by musicians for musicians. Looks interesting at least

     

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    Scott Atkinson, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: The Market Has Decided

    Oh I'm not opposed at all to many of the solutions Mike cites -for example, I'm an enthusiastic supporter of ArtistShare and I subscribe to Dave Douglas's web site.

    But I think it's of more than 'argue it over a beer' value to distinguish between those projects, which skirt traditional distribution models, and the broader beliefs you run into here, and that have assumed the status of fact.

    It seems to me that Mike's arguments are a lot more useful if you dump the philosophical baggage and concentrate on what could work.

    s.

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 4:04pm

    The sooner the recording industry realizes that they have become obsolete the sooner real progress can be made...

     

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    anymouse, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 4:52pm

    What is 'art'?

    I'm not sure when the world decided that 'art' was only what 'creative' people do for entertainment purposes, and that they expect to be paid for life for what they did.

    When my son mashes some finger paint around on the paper, he isn't thinking of future royalties or making a living off of that one piece of work, he's doing it because he enjoys creating 'art'.

    Why is it that if you go to school for 4 years or more (college/graduate school), suddenly what you do isn't an 'art' it's a 'professions', and you are expected to continue to render services in order to keep getting paid. But if your a completely uneducated (as in no college/grad school) individual who happens to jot down a tune on a napkin, you are suddenly entitled to money from anyone who ever references that tune in the future? If an accountant comes up with a legal plan for minimizing taxes, why does he only get paid by his client, why can't he get paid by everyone who utilizes his strategy in the future?

    Oh, that's right, it's all about the money, those who didn't pay for their education seem to think that society owes them something because they chose to be 'creative' instead of educated (I'm not saying people can't be both). BUT, you don't see a lawyer writing one legal brief on a topic and then sitting back and getting paid forever any time someone else references or refers to that brief (damn, now some money grubbing lawyer will try this... I'm patenting the idea and if you do, you'll have to pay me first).

    Why is it that work by 'professionals' is almost always on a work for hire basis (did we all get brainwashed while we were in school?), but any Joe Blow creative type off the street who writes and sings a song expects to be paid forever for that same song?

    Now where did I put my tinfoil, I need to go out soon....

     

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    Weird Harold, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 7:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good point

    Think past the end of your nose. Music may or may not cost less to produce (and distribution is "FREE!" when it gets stolen), but the cost of a musician trying to make a living writing and recording songs doesn't go down. The cost of a producer, a mixer, studio engineers, and all that other stuff needed to produce that next hit record doesn't come for nothing.

    People cost. Timbaland ain't working for free.

     

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    Weird Harold, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 7:48pm

    Re: Re: @Rhodri

    please note another loser using my name. Have to love people who have nothing better to add. Mike, please delete that loser.

     

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    Tim Price, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:08pm

    Truer words were never spoken

    "Every single aspect of the business is way up -- except for the part that's about selling plastic discs. The plastic discs with music on them business is in decline, but that's not "the music business.""

    Exactly. You have nailed my thoughts in these words!

     

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    rjk, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 9:41pm

    and distribution is "FREE!" when it gets stolen

    uh, no.

    Music gets "stolen" because reproduction and distribution is free.

    Too many people focus on the "problem" of piracy. Piracy is only a "problem" because technology has made the cost of the reproduction and distribution of digital media virtually $0 and the record companies have done little to adjust to this change.

    I'm happy to pay for music, but I'd sure like someone to explain to me why I'm expected to overpay for it, particularly when very little of the money actually goes to the artist.

     

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

  102.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Mar 13th, 2009 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Wierd Harold

    There isn't a shift in business models here because a new one wasy required, rather an unruly mob has figured out how to shoplift en masse and has laid ruin to what was a thriving business.

    it wasn't a riot, it was a change in the market that came too quickly for large media conglomerates to react to.

    the problem with large companies is that they can't change directions fast enough to keep up with these sudden changes. the same thing happened to microsoft with vista, the market didn't respond as predicted and now there is plenty scrambling to meet that response.

    this wasn't a riot, it was a shift in the market that the recording industry just wasn't prepared for. the world woke up one morning a few years ago and said "i don't want to buy plastic discs anymore" and then they stopped buying them.

    this happens to companies all the time, something happens and the market moves in a radical new direction. when that happens, you have two choices: invest time and money in pushing the market back in the old direction, or invest that same time and money pushing your company in the same direction as the market.

     

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

  103.  
    identicon
    nasch, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: What words don't mean

    You're saying "internet" does mean "web"? So everything on the internet is the world wide web? VOIP is web? Email is web? FTP is web?

     

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

  104.  
    identicon
    nasch, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How does a market get broken? I can think of three ways off the top of my head: insufficient competition, insufficient information, or regulatory/government interference. In the case of the market for music, the first two are certainly not a problem, there's an enormous amount of music out there, and a glut of information about it.

    The third is certainly in play, but in the opposite direction you seem to be indicating. Government interference in the form of copyrights has prevented this from being a completely free market. Whether that's good or not isn't my point. However, that interference is certainly not distorting the market in favor of file sharers and to the detriment of musicians.

    You're saying the market is broken, not working right. In what way? If it's just that some people aren't making as much money in the same ways as they used to, that isn't breakage, it's just change.

     

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

  105.  
    identicon
    nasch, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: But...

    I just want consumers to be a bit more honest about their motivations.

    I think you need to stop accusing people of dishonesty. Anybody with average reading comprehension and an open mind can understand that downloading a song, legally or illegally, is not stealing. Are you going to now tell me that I think artists shouldn't get paid? Are you going to accuse me of being dishonest about my motivations without knowing anything about me?

    I don't pirate music, at all. I buy it, or I download it from musicians' web sites, or I stream it online, etc etc. That does not mean I have to believe that either A) copyright infringement is theft or B) it's OK to misuse the word "theft" when describing infringement.

     

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

  106.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Mar 13th, 2009 @ 8:13pm

    More music today

    Wait, if music is booming, the present IP laws (copyright, specifically) are working?
    I don't think so, but why is music better than ever in the present environment?
    I think the quantity of music is up because of technology, and in spite of the IP laws; the quality is down, though, in my opinion, and that is due to bad law, more than anything else.

     

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

  107.  
    identicon
    Bob Clifford, Mar 14th, 2009 @ 12:30pm

    C'mon… if the 'business' isn't declining, how do you measure it? Every business in the world is measured in terms of money, costs, and profits. Of course the business is declining. The CD business – which is the largest, by far, segment of the entire music business. It's declined in terms of the revenue by over 50% since 2001 (peak year for sales of plastic discs).

    How about the live music business? You call a decline in revenue and clubs closing a new business model?

    So what is improving? The fact that more amateurs are involved making music and it being available on YouTube or MySpace? More – many more – people without much talent posting songs that aren’t very good on the internet? So, more garbage that nobody other than family and friends care about is the basis for the new business model?

    Are there exceptions? Of course. There have been some notable successes that show that there is a possibility to build something that is different from the established model, and takes advantage of the interacting directly with fans. But the scale of that model is exponentially smaller in every meaningful way that comprises a BUSINESS.

    Now, if you want to discuss overall participation, how many people profit with today's single songs/internet model versus album discs through brick-and-mortar distribution, that might be a more nuanced discussion. But the overall revenue has declined in cataclysmic numbers, and for you to take such a semantic approach is silly.

    Frankly, that goes for pretty much everyone on every side of this issue. Nobody seems to take an honest look at the whole story, all the sides. There is good and bad on every side. The theft of someone else’s intellectual property on a massive scale has basically decimated an entire industry.

    Yes, technology has made that possible, and the same technology can do great things. But that doesn't make stealing right. It's so self-righteous and false for people to blame the major labels because they want to take a pass on their bad behavior.

    On the other hand, many of the problems and much of the misery can be laid at the doorsteps of the major labels and the song publishers who both keep asking for outrageous upfront fees that leave no chance for an emerging business model to every get a foothold. The label’s greedy contracts, screwing over artists, stealing royalties (by not paying when and what they should), and the horrible artist signings and career development - excuse me, the total lack of career development, due to chasing the short profits to satisfy boards and stockholders for the international conglomerates - have created the environment to leave the customer little choice but to grab at will.

    Nonetheless, the new model based around the internet is nothing short of total RESET for the business of selling songs and making money. The labels – and artists - are going to have to accept life on a much, much smaller scale, and the customers are going to have to pay the price of overreaction on the owners' part to the theft by the few or the many.

    It would be nice if everyone could adopt a bit of a broader perspective, and try to work together without the ridiculous demands and overblown rhetoric, instead of the fear and paranoia that lead to such greediness and short-sightedness.

     

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

  108.  
    identicon
    Bob Clifford, Mar 14th, 2009 @ 12:40pm

    Me again... sorry.

    Before I make one more point, I want to apologize for coming to the game late. I haven't read the other 100+ comments, so I have no idea if my viewpoint has already been debated.

    /////

    One key thing - of course, the major labels know the old model is crumbling down and only has a few more years, at best, of life. They see that the end is near, and know the old model from the past century is a dinosaur waiting for the final explosion.

    But, since the revenue from CD sales is still measured in the billions of dollars, they will continue to protect it and serve it as long as there is significant money to be made.

    Of course, the sooner there is some inkling of a business model that will work, or at least take hold firmly, they will be more inclined to let go. But they will cling to their existing revenue stream as long as there are millions to be had.

    As would any person with any sense. They're not stupid people - at least not for the most part. They are working on protecting the old, while trying to develop the new.

    I don't know why there is such vitriol about this. Did anyone cry about IBM, et. al. when computer keyboards made typewriters obsolete? But people's emotions and identities are intertwined with their music preferences.

     

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

  109.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 7:43pm

    Re: What words don't mean

    You are full of win.

     

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


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