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Author Topic: Poll: Should Music Be Free?  (Read 9762 times)

Daniel Farris

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2006, 02:14:38 pm »

drgonzo wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 18:48

You only have to look at Arctic Monkeys over here in England to see just how successful allowing your music to be freely downloaded can be. They released about 16 tracks for free on their website, loads of people downloaded them, because they weer good. They played tem to their friends. Then, the band went on tour. Played to capacity venues everywhere they went. On their first ever national tour. Then, they released a single. It went to number 1. Straight away. They sold out Brixton Academy before they even released the single, which probably made them more money than the number 1. Now they have a new album out, I'm sure its available on the internet for free. BUT I bet it still goes to number one.


And yet, that's probably still not enough for them to avoid being dropped, had it all been done on a major label.

The problem is inflated budgets and inflated sales expectations. It's reached the ridiculous point where a record practically has to go double platinum to "break even" and, since you can barely get that many people on this planet to agree about ANYTHING, the labels need every last sale they can get to make this longshot pay out.

The highest imaginable level of success for an indie band barely meets the major label criteria for "not dismal failure," and it's entirely because of inflated budgets and unrealistic sales expectations.

DF
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drgonzo

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #46 on: January 04, 2006, 03:23:47 pm »

Yeah, that's kind of what I was meaning.

Major Label = Major Investment (i.e. major waste of the artist's money, for the most part) = Major Need to Recoup Costs

whereas, Arctic Monkeys have, up to a point, existed on the traditional small label side of things. They make a damn good living out of it (or they will be this year, certainly) and they can release whatever they want for free, because it all helps drive their market.

Babyshambles are a key example. I know a former member of the band, they were paid in excess of 28k for ten weeks of touring. I'm sorry, but that's a bloody marvellous years money, let alone a short space of 10 weeks work.

If I could that money for the same number of shows in a year, with album and merch sales while on the road, why would I want to bother with worrying over people downloading my music on the internet?

I know i earn a damn site less than that at the moment, I have a house, I eat most days, I go to the pub every so often and I play in a band that is just about paying for itself, nothing more. If, all things going well, I can earn enough to do all this without having a job, why worry about anything else???

Oh, sorry. I forgot about that one little thing that is the major factor here.... personal greed.
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seriousfun

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #47 on: January 04, 2006, 03:32:41 pm »

Kenny Gioia wrote on Tue, 03 January 2006 21:51

...
Air takes no time or human resources to make. Therefore it requires no compensation for it's creation. Unlike Music.

I believe that the air was here before us. It will probably be here after us and it's relation to music is derisory.

...



Artistic expression has been around as long as humans have been around. We have records of the visual and practical arts that have survived - we just don't have records of the music until fairly recently (written music from 800 BC - A hymn on a tablet in Sumeria, written in cuniform, recorded music from...well, you better know this...). The original inspiration was NOT money, and I don't think that has changed. Its existence is IMO air-like, and probably harder to destroy than air.

If someone compresses air into a can and sells it so you can blow cat hair from your computer or breathe underwater, they deserve compensation. If someone drags me to an open field and asks me to pay to breathe, I'd think they are nuts.

If someone hears me playing music through an open window, I wouldn't expect them to pay (if they didn't run away screaming...) If someone sells a spinning disc of my music, I'd want a piece of that!

It's all in the packaging and marketing. Unfortunately, the current music industry tends to compensate the creators last, and the packagers and marketers first.
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maxim

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #48 on: January 04, 2006, 07:08:21 pm »

bbbkong wrote:

" He's putting three daughters through Vassar. Something you probably won't have to worry about."

no

i don't have to pay for my son's education

there's FREE education available to him in australia

he also wrote:

"Maybe the next time you consult with your 'free' brain surgeon you two can figure out why you can't seem to master the 'quote' software in this forum so I don't have to clean up after you."

i'm an analog quote kinda guy

you know this was a much more pleasant place to hang out before you and kenny and the other marshmen showed up

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Kenny Gioia

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #49 on: January 04, 2006, 07:17:13 pm »

maxim wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 19:08



i'm an analog quote kinda guy

you know this was a much more pleasant place to hang out before you and kenny and the other marshmen showed up





Do you really prefer to avoid using quotes the way the rest of us do?

It really is difficult to follow your posts this way.
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Dave Davis

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #50 on: January 04, 2006, 08:15:40 pm »

Many times, when you're too close to something, you can back the wrong horse, or generate unintended consequences.  A good example is the label's response to iTune's success.  They greet their #7 retailer with sharp knives because they correctly surmise that Apples more interested in selling iPods than ICP.  

Setting aside the merits of either side's argument, the labels are in a great position to offer something at no extra cost, to increase margin, if they truly believe their darkest fears.  Let Apple sell as many AAC files as they can at 99 cents... offer MLP's or higher rate files, and multichannel formats alongside them for a higher price.  Whether that price is $1.50 or $2.00, it reintroduces iPod users (read: customers) to higher quality products.

This is important on many levels:
1) It makes more money for the owners of songs
2) It demonstrates real benefits, and value, in better sound.
3) It creates markets for new formats, and gives the market (fans) a vote on what they prefer.
4) It's a step back from the brink, and a timely vote of confidence in fans again, to give them actual CD quality music at CD retail prices online.
5) It sets an important precedent with Apple and other online retailers, whereby some legitimately

No matter what the labels do or don't do with Apple, artists must take responsibility for the products themselves.  If they're cool and desireable, people will want them.  The challenge on iTunes or anywhere else is loading the product with value.  Value is to the beholder, which means, give fans the things they want, and the market will define it's value.

As to the specific topic of the thread, I suggest that both sides take a deep breath, and stop exchanging the same old arguments that have gotten us nowhere.  We may be Americans, but we need not think like W.  It's not with the labels or with the terrorists.  

Expand the argument just a little.  Change the terms.  What if we make a critical distinction between "free" and "free-to-user"?  This, afterall, is the basis of network TV, which of course is anything but free!

With this subtle twist, the argument collapses.

In truth, many self-produced bands already DO give away music.  Anyone with the slightest ambition can get free music, any number of ways.  We're rapidly approaching a time where artists will begin to exchange music for in-kind payments of all sorts, from all kinds of places.  As I predicted in '99, anyone can get music for drinking Pepsi, already.  These trends have expanded dramatically.

I'm a mastering engineer by trade, and I'm not predicting the death of physical media.  Rather, I'm suggesting a shift in paradigms.  Artists have always paid their own way, but now they have a bigger say, and can effectively pay up front, selling finished products.  This is model allows artists to maximize what they make and how and where they sell... Anyone who's ever self-released knows there's real value of discs sold at the merch table (The fan gets a very special souvenier and you make more per/disc than anywhere else you can sell a CD).  But you still have to be on Amazon, CD Baby and iTunes as well, for the impulse and review buyers.  It's not either/or in anything we do today.

It's complex, and beyond a post in this thread, but my point is that directly paid-for and free-to-user music can and already co-exist.  In fact they necessarily MUST (don't get me started on radio... but you see where I'm going!).  I would argue the question, as phrased, is a false choice, a strawman.

Happy New Year!

-d-
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maxim

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #51 on: January 04, 2006, 09:07:58 pm »

dave d wrote:

"It's not either/or in anything we do today."

damn right

that's the trouble with absolutist thinking

imo, internet is the new radio, and as a content creator, a damn good one

btw, i used to tape songs off the radio (still have a cassette or two somewhere in storage)

when i grew up in soviet siberia, my brother had a huge collection of 1/4 inch tapes which were 'ripped' off the rare vinyl which made its way into ussr

sometimes, it was fifth or tenth generation

was it free?

sure

was it precious?

you bet

did any of the artists get a cut?

no fucking way

were they happy that their art made it past the iron curtain?

i've no doubt

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maxim

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #52 on: January 04, 2006, 09:09:32 pm »

kenny g wrote:

"Do you really prefer to avoid using quotes the way the rest of us do?"

afraid so

want to make something of it?

"It really is difficult to follow your posts this way."

sorry
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wwittman

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #53 on: January 04, 2006, 09:50:11 pm »

[quote title=drgonzo wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 13:48]At the end of the day, for the vast, vast majority of musicians out there, people downloading their tracks on the internet can only be a good thing, as far as I can see, as if by letting people listen to your music for free (as a taster, or an introduction to their music) then more people will hear about it, thus actually driving demand for their music./quote]

So then, with this increased "demand" for their music then WHAT happens?
Are musicians doing better than ever because of it?

Or are they simply being robbed blind by a new set of theives?

NO ONE is against your ability to make your music available on the internets for "free".
What people object to is having their music that is currently for SALE (not given away by choice) stolen on the internet.

What happens AFTER the "taster" when let's say you get lucky and millions of people want your recording?
Still free?
Now that it's no longer a "taster", where DOES the profit come in?
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William Wittman
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maxim

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #54 on: January 04, 2006, 10:14:21 pm »

william wrote:

"What happens AFTER the "taster" when let's say you get lucky and millions of people want your recording?"

if they want an actual recording, they can buy one

all you'd need is less than one percent to want to actually purchase something of value (cd box, t shirt, lock of hair..)

in my experience from playing live, the proportion of people who would actually, WANT to do that, is much higher that that

about 20-30%, at least, i think

obviously it fluctuates according to the act, the moon, the audience etc.

but all that's assuming that money is what i want

as i said, i don't need a job, i need appreciation, recognition, pat on the back, and all the other things that drive the artists (not the craftsmen, i might add)

a million people hear my songs?

who could ask for anything more?(break into song)
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rnicklaus

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #55 on: January 04, 2006, 10:47:42 pm »

maxim wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 18:07


when i grew up in soviet siberia, my brother had a huge collection of 1/4 inch tapes which were 'ripped' off the rare vinyl which made its way into ussr

sometimes, it was fifth or tenth generation

was it free?

sure

was it precious?

you bet

did any of the artists get a cut?

no fucking way

were they happy that their art made it past the iron curtain?

i've no doubt




Was it free?  Who paid for the tape and spent the time dubbing in "reel" time?

Sure the artists did not get paid but this is much different than manufacturing a 100,000 of these reels.

In file sharing, millions can be "manufactured" and "distributed" in seconds.

What would it have cost to make a million 1/4 tapes to give away?

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Tidewater

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #56 on: January 04, 2006, 10:53:52 pm »

What about cheap music? Should cheap music be free?

How about shitty music? Maybe music should cost as much as you like it. Maybe a never ending series of single-use playback licenses... and the stuff you don't like is free, and you can't lie about it, or something bad will happen.


M
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Charles Dye

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #57 on: January 04, 2006, 11:14:46 pm »

Kenny Gioia wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 00:51

Air takes no time or human resources to make. Therefore it requires no compensation for it's creation.

Kenny, tell me, precisely where do you stand on killing babies?
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Kenny Gioia

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #58 on: January 04, 2006, 11:15:44 pm »

maxim wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 21:09



afraid so

want to make something of it?




You really haven't had enuff?

A doctor, lecturing the rest of us on the Record Business?
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Charles Dye

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Re: Poll: Should Music Be Free?
« Reply #59 on: January 04, 2006, 11:26:32 pm »

maxim wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 19:08

i'm an analog quote kinda guy.

Yeah we know, they're much punchier that way.

But they also seem to lack clarity.
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