Terry McBride: Songs Are Not Copyright. Songs Are Emotions
from the getting-there... dept
There's now another interview with McBride at the Future of Music site where he talks more about his vision of a music future where people effectively pay not for the music, but for the convenience of a "music valet" that does a better job organizing and finding the music you want when you want it. I'm still not convinced this is how things eventually work out, but it's certainly worth thinking about.
However, there are few statements McBride makes that are worth highlighting. First are two statements I agree with, and then one I don't:
People have always been sharing music. Why would I want to stop them? Why would I want to tell them what to do? The way to win was to get them to support my artists, not to force them to do it a certain way. I know I wouldn't like anyone telling me that.This is a huge point that is so often missed by those in the industry who are focused on "protecting" and "control" rather than recognizing how people want to interact with musicians. The thing that I find most ridiculous from those complaining about file sharing is that they always make some statement along the lines of, "people who are sharing my files aren't fans, because real fans spend money." Of course, if that's true, what's the problem? The people who aren't fans aren't paying and (based on that statement) the real fans will pay. So, there's no problem at all...
Songs are not copyright. Songs are emotions.Indeed. And that's the point. Do people pay for emotions? No. However, emotions will impact what people will pay for. However, despite agreeing with McBride on so much, I think he goes a bit off-track with the following:
Out of all of the sharing of music, who's making an economic return? Whoever is should then share that with all the people that allowed it to happen, creating a nice alignment of interests to grow any business. A lot of the providers have viewed music as free content, while at the same time paying for the cable content to grow their networks. They've been making money off the backs of the artists without any compensation for the artists at all. I think that's fundamentally wrong. I've also said it's fundamentally wrong to go after the consumers that are using that opportunity. That's not the right approach either. The phone companies and the cable providers have gotten away with murder in this whole situation.This is the blame game and it's missing the point. The ISPs haven't "gotten away with murder." They've simply put in place a reasonable business model based on fundamental economics -- and there's nothing stopping plenty of others in the music business from doing the same. Demanding those who have figured out how to make money share with those who haven't isn't the answer either. There are business models that work just fine for those creating the music that don't require demanding anyone else share their profits. You just focus on coming up with real scarcities that give people or companies real reasons to buy and there are tons of business models that work.