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
    The Infamous Joe (profile), 24 Mar 2012 @ 6:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    After all this time you can't figure out the difference between value and price. So sad.

    But you do want it for free. How much is the streaming service worth to you if the music isn't there? What if they were just streaming Marcus Carab rap songs all day? Where is the value?

    You start out somewhat sensible (assuming, of course, that a variation of this question hadn't been explained to you a hundred times already) and quickly degrade into senselessness. I do want music for free. I never claimed otherwise. Although I value music, because otherwise I wouldn't listen to it, it has a price point somewhere around a fraction of a penny, to me. In fact, I detailed how, if I so desired, I could get all the music I wanted, relatively conveniently for the overhead cost of a smart phone, a computer, Internet access for both, and electricity! The problem is that there is too much music to sift through. (Thanks, copyright! /s) I have a hard time discovering new music that I like. This is a service that has value to me, AND a price point of around $10/mo. Without music to go along with it, it wouldn't be nearly as convenient, and it's true that it would probably cause me to stop using it, or at least my price point would go down for it, but at no time would my price point for copies of music go up.

    See, you don't want streaming - you want the music.

    I do want the streaming, and I'll tell you why: It was beaten (Figuratively) into my head that I don't own music. So, why the hell would I pay $1.29 for something I don't own? I'd much rather pay a flat monthly fee, since either way I end up owning nothing. Trust me, I listen to way more than 8 new songs a month. (My cell data usage is usually around 10 - 12 GB, mostly music.)

    The "price" you assign to the content is incorrect, because without it, none of the services would have value.

    The price I assign music is correct, because I get to set my price point, not you. If our price points differ, then I will be forced to go elsewhere to get my music. I know, I know: you don't think there should be competition to go to. I know, that in theory, I should be forced to pay what you demand or go without culture. However, in reality, there is direct competition, with a far better grasp of economics. It's high time you face reality, it will make this all very simple.

    I don't want everything for free, I just want everything.

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