We Don't Want Everything For Free. We Just Want Everything

from the kids-today dept

Recently, I gave a Sita Sings the Blues talk to a roomful of 15-to-17-year-olds. Near the end I explained Free Culture and my stance against copyright, which led to some interesting discussion. Turns out most of them are manga fans, and familiar with publishers’ complaints about scanned and translated manga shared freely online. They all read them anyway (except one, who prefers to read entire manga in the bookstore). I asked them how they would choose to support artists they liked (once they had some disposable income) and they said:
  1. Donate buttons – with the qualification that they want to know as much as possible about where the donation is going. They said honesty and transparency are important.
  2. Kickstarter – They all knew about it (which was notable because none of them had heard of Flattr) and valued pitch videos that explained how the money would be used.
  3. Custom drawings
  4. Merch
  5. Physical copies
  6. Live Shared Experiences, including ballet, museum exhibits, and concerts. The event aspect was important; they wanted to be able to say, “Remember that one time when that awesome show was here…” They agreed seeing things in person is a more powerful experience than seeing things online, and worth spending more on. One said she would buy CD at a live show because “it reminds you of the show.”
  7. One said he would support artists by promoting their work to his friends.

Semi-related, I took an informal poll of how many would prefer to read a book on paper vs. an e-reader. The vast majority said paper, but what they really seemed to want was dual formats: paper copies to read comfortably and collect, and digital copies to search and reference. Makes sense to me. Only two of them had iPads, and none used them for “enhanced eBooks.”

My favorite quote of the afternoon, from a 15-year-old girl:

“We don’t want everything for free. We just want everything.

crossposted from ninapaley.com


Filed Under: artists, copyright, culture, free, honest, support, teens, transparency

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  1. icon
    Rikuo (profile), 24 Mar 2012 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Perception problem

    "Basic marketing 101 goes out the window when your product is easily stolen and distributed for free, without consideration to the costs it takes to make it."

    Tell me - when was the last time someone came up to you offering a product at $X,000, justifying the price because he said he sank the GDP of a small nation into developing it? Did you agree with the price?
    I wouldn't. The market WILL NEVER care how much money you've sunk into a product. You can spend $300 million making a movie. To you, that's a fortune you've spent and you want to get it back, plus a profit.
    Me, I don't care. I didn't spend that fortune. The movie will last on average two hours and I will base its value on that. I am not willing to pay both an exorbitant price in cash (such as 20 euros and up for a single disc edition of a newly released movie...what's the difference between the newly released one disc movie and the one disc movie further down the shelf for a fraction of the price?) and in my civil liberties.
    Your customer values your movie FAR LESS than you do, and is willing to pay only so much. Just the same with any other product. In fact, just by complaining about me not considering the costs is more likely to make me pass you over. I don't care. Those millions of dollars mean nothing to me. My life won't change one iota whether you're telling the truth about your costs, and if you are, whether or not you make your costs back.

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