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Music Media

Sharing Increases Music Purchases? 409

darnellmc writes "See this News.com article which cites a study that shows file swapping increases music purchases. I guess it all depends on who is paid to do the study and how they carry it out, but this report would counter the study performed by an RIAA backed group, which noted that file swapping lowered music purchases. You would have to be one cheap individual to want to download all the music in your life for free and this study proves that. Because most people are obviously using file sharing to find new music to purchase. A concept the RIAA can not comprehend. If future major music releases are copy protected, it will be interesting how the RIAA will respond if they sell less." Well, if they sell less, it will be due to pirates, of course. A few weeks ago we mentioned Wilco, who released their album on their website for free. The strategy appears to have paid off.
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Sharing Increases Music Purchases?

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  • by ejaw5 ( 570071 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @07:28PM (#3460514)
    years ago when I wanted Free music I had to sit next to the radio all day until they played the song I wanted and recoreded it using the Tape Deck, crossing my fingers hoping the DJ wouldn't come on early before the song ended.
    • Re:I remember.... (Score:2, Informative)

      by xonker ( 29382 )
      hoping the DJ wouldn't come on early before the song ended.

      It's called "ramping" - and it's one of my biggest pet peeves. I used to work in radio and I refused to do it - people tune in to hear music, not some asshole talking over "Shine on Crazy Diamond." Many DJs, however, are so in love with the sound of their own voice that they think it sounds "cool." Let's start a movement - next time you hear a DJ "ramp" your favorite song, call the station and raise hell. Maybe within five years we can wipe the practice out. I've never met a non-DJ that thought it was enjoyable, but it goes on because people don't complain. People in the "industry" think it's a Good Thing.
  • Swapping? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I don't quite get the relation between music sales and my swapfile.
  • by Anomolous Cow Herd ( 457746 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @07:33PM (#3460544) Journal
    Because most people are obviously using file sharing to find new music to purchase.

    I'm glad that I'm not the only who's doing this. Just last month, I was looking around for industrial music and decided to download the entire "Downward Spiral" album off of LimeWire. I ended up liking it so much that I went off to Best Buy the next week and put the CD in my pocket while no one was looking before quietly walking out the back door and sprinting for my car. Man, what a rush.

    Anyway, more power to the music sharing people. I think it's about time someone ran an honest, non-biased study about this, and I'm glad to see these results. They just prove to me what I've known all along.

    • Re:Amen to that! (Score:2, Informative)

      by techstar25 ( 556988 )
      Agree. I downloaded most of the Ill Nino album, then I liked it so much, I went out and bought it. Typically I listen to underground metal/emo/hardcore music that never makes it to radio or MTV, so I find new bands by using kazaa, but I still buy CDs as much as I ever did. The problem is that radio and MTV are flooded with shitty acts right now, so lots and lots of people have turned to file sharing to discover new music.
    • > Anyway, more power to the music sharing people. I think it's about time someone ran an honest, non-biased study about
      > this, and I'm glad to see these results. They just prove to me what I've known all along.

      Yes, but when asked to comment on this report, the suits in the record industry claimed that ``people lie" & we shouldn't believe it.

      Sigh. Those people are deep into denial, & if it were a river, Fritz Hollings & his ilk would be buying first class riverboat tickets. They won't be happy until they have control of the contents of every last hard drive -- even that ancient 20MB drive you've used as a door stop for the last 5 years.

    • "I'm glad that I'm not the only who's doing this. Just last month, I was looking around for industrial music and decided to download the entire 'Downward Spiral' album off of LimeWire."

      If you are interested in real industrial music, versus that electrotechnoalternapop NiN shit, go buy some stuff on the Metropolis Records [metropolis-records.com] label. They have contracts or U.S. distribution rights to huge numbers of fantastic industrial/electronic/experimental/goth acts, such as:

      Apoptygma Berzerk
      VNV Nation
      Icon of Coil
      Das Ich
      Front Line Assembly
      Juno Reactor
      In Strict Confidence
      Kevorkian Death Cycle
      Leaether Strip
      Pulse Legion
      Suicide Commando

      They also have loads of stuff available from their online store [industrial-music.com]. They provide MP3 samples of their albums. They don't charge royalties for Internet radio broadcasts of material by their artists. They aren't RIAA members. Their CDs cost a more-normal $14-$16, versus the $19-$20 most major labels are charging.

      In short: these are the good guys. Go buy from them and support non-mainstream music.
      • Re:Amen to that! (Score:4, Informative)

        by TMB ( 70166 ) on Saturday May 04, 2002 @01:54AM (#3461766)
        A couple of points...

        - It is possible to both like NIN and like more traditional industrial. Trent's a great musician.
        - A good fraction of what Metropolis puts out these days is just re-licensed from Bloodline and a couple other European labels... which isn't to say that it isn't good, but they're not doing as much at advancing the scene as the labels that are really discovering the bands.

        Anyway, if people are interested in good industrial and goth, a few other recommendations (in addition to the many good bands Phexro mentions):
        - Nitzer Ebb
        - The Crüxshadows
        - Rosetta Stone
        - Endanger
        - Covenant
        - Recoil
        - OMNIbOX
        - And One
        - Einstürzende Neubauten
        - Collide
        - Flesh Field
        - Battery
        - Seabound

        Could go on for a while more, but that should give you a good start. :-)=

  • wilco (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sith ( 15384 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @07:34PM (#3460546)
    Listening to the new wilco disc as I write this. It's fantastic, anybody who's into bands like Olivia Tremor Control or Neutral Milk Hotel will definatly dig it.

    And, coincidentally, I downloaded the whole album off the net a few days before it came out, and still bought it the day it was available.

    My own music purchasing has declined substantially since napster went away and getting music got "harder" - limewire and the rest are ok, but nowhere near as convenient as napster was. I've purchased maybe 10 discs in the last 12 months or so since napster really died, verses probably 50 or 60 in the 12 months before that.

    Oh well, they want to shoot themselves in the foot, call us all criminals, whatever, I guess they can keep on doing it.

    Now I must go, as I have some commercials to fast forward through, as part of my evil scheme to steal television! muahaha!
    • Yep. For all my cable modem-having, morpheus/kazaa-using, cd-rom burning,
      I bought the album without hearing a peep of it before hand.

      Why? Obvious reasons! But it's pretty dope!
  • Music shareware (Score:3, Interesting)

    by saphena ( 322272 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @07:34PM (#3460548) Homepage
    An awful lot of commercial applications achieved the market share they got/have because they were released in some sort of try before you buy format, shareware, etc

    It's a proven business model.

    Why would anyone *presume* that it won't work for music?
    • An awful lot of commercial applications achieved the market share they got/have because they were released in some sort of try before you buy format, shareware, etc

      It's a proven business model.

      Shareware is a proven business model!?! If people were honest enough to pay for shareware then we wouldn't have crippleware, nagware, self-destructware, etc.

      Plus, how much shareware do you see these days anyway? It's mostly been replaced by open source.

  • I guess it all depends on who is paid to do the study and how they carry it out, but this report would counter the study performed by an RIAA backed group, which noted that file swapping lowered music purchases.

    And guess wich study will get the most attention in the mainstream media?
    No prices for knowing the correct answer to that one I'm afraid...
  • Internet music sharing is most common wide spread commercial that's possible. There are only two kinds of people, the ones who nuy, and the ones who don't. So if some performers songs don't reach buying public (mostly because of a poor commercial), they don't sell, this way makes it possible to push samples all over the world for free.

    RIAA is just bullshiting just like BSA. No common good, just turning a
    people away of buying products.
  • All my music... (Score:2, Informative)

    by ceejayoz ( 567949 )
    Every single CD I own I bought because they'd been suggested by a friend who sent me an MP3 (or told me to download one). Before Napster, I'd never bought music other than movie soundtracks...

    For example, my favorite group, Apocalyptica [apocalyptica.com] (rock'n'roll cellos) - I own all 4 of their released CDs. Were it not for Napster, I'd never have heard of them, let alone purchased their music.
  • As my business instructor was fond of repeating ad infinitum - a businessman's goal is not to make a profit - it's to maximize his profit.

    Music corps lose nothing if they can explicitly control music use. They could then choose to allow sharing as widely or as narrowly as they like.

    Watch for it - the DRM PC will become a reality.

  • I buy more... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AcidDan ( 150672 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @07:36PM (#3460568)

    When I was a student I shared and swapped a LOT of MP3s... Since I started full-time work last year, I buy all my music mainly because:

    a) I get the original CD
    b) I can play the music on the way to work in my car

    I still rip CDs into MP3 so I can just use iTunes rather than cart around umpteen hundred CDs... But it's kinda satisfying knowing that most of your MP3s are from your own collection...

    I think what the record companies need to do is no discourage music sharing by rather value add the CDs that they sell. I recently bought "Faithless - Special Edition" and the added value was a bonus CD.

    If they value add their CDs along the same lines as the difference between buying video or a DVD - think they they won't have a problem.

    Personally, I don't think they have a problem now.

    -- Dan =)
    • Re:I buy more... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by feldsteins ( 313201 )
      The latest "value" added by a record company really turned me off. I had heard that the I Am Sam sountrack (the one with all the Beatles covers by today's artists) was copy protected. At least I'm pretty sure I heard that.

      No matter. The coffee shop where I hang out was playing it yesterday and I went up to the counter and asked to see it. Popped it into my Titanium and ripped it no problemo. Wonder if the copy protection is Windows only?

      Incidentally the Sarah McLachlan rendition of Blackbird is pretty darned good.

    • This is not a troll. It's a serious question.

      I agree with your general point, that CDs should have value-added features. But "added" audio tracks will just end up online like the "regular" ones.

      Enhanced CDs with videos are a nice thing (videos can be file-shared, too, of course). Good cover art, packaging, booklets, etc. may be even better. You can download scanned cover art and print it on your color inkjet, but it will always look cheesy compared to the real thing.
    • I think what the record companies need to do is no discourage music sharing by rather value add the CDs that they sell. I recently bought "Faithless - Special Edition" and the added value was a bonus CD.

      Good thing no one ripped that bonus CD and posted it on the Internet. Seriously, last year people were suggesting that everyone would buy the original CDs just to get the cover art; now there are sites where people can scan in the album covers and post them. What's next? Buy the CD and get a secret decoder ring.

      If they value add their CDs along the same lines as the difference between buying video or a DVD - think they they won't have a problem.

      There is no doubt that people will buy DVDs just to get the bonus material. However, if a) reverse engineering the DVD encryption standard wasn't illegal, and b) bandwidth was a fair bit cheaper, don't you think that people would be "sharing" DVDs on the Internet? (or even just the bonus scenes)

      • Value Adding... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AcidDan ( 150672 )
        Good thing no one ripped that bonus CD and posted it on the Internet.

        I've no doubt it's prolly already been ripped. Like you said, anythng that's a value add can be ripped. but I think there's a bit more psychology there too:

        Person A: has a burned CD of Band X

        Person B: Has the limited edition Super CD of Band X.

        I guess it depends on the person but I think you'll find many people will want to be in Person B territory, especially if they think in term of collectability etc.

        I'll ask another question: Who do you think will get more value out of a game: Person A who has a rip & plays single player or LAN, or Person B who paid AUD$80 for a game where they have access to the online communities etc...

        Sure you can circumvent it, but why would you? I guess my attitude changed the day I got to talk shop with some game developers (Pandemic DR2), also the fact that local developer AURAN is just down the road (and I might add, going through tough times atm laying off ppl from what I hear...)

        I guess it all depends on perspective. I don't have too much love for the large top 40 manufactured artists etc. But I'd look like a hyporcrite if I bought locals/bands that I like and ripped the rest (not that I'd listen to their music anyway...), but it's a principle thing...

        -- Dan "Who really should stop posting on this topic and work on his paper" Thomas =)
  • They said TV would lower attendance at sporting events. Instead, it heightened their popularity.

    Jack Valenti's "Jack the Ripper" comments about the VCR have given way to a rental market that now generates 1/3rd of Hollywood's money every year.

    And now comes Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, an album released on the Internet in MP3 format (and still available on unnamed P2P services) that has sold fairly briskly in its first week out.

    The upshot, I think, is that the medium-sized bands can benefit greatly from file-swapping, and this only fills the coffers of the record companies all the more. I may or may not have been swapping files for two years, I cannot comment on this, but I can tell you that I have bought many more CDs lately, and this may be because I listened to tracks online before buying, or maybe I didn't. Anyway, the record companies will learn to adapt, because intense copy protection will only doom them in the end, esp. if said copy protection "requires" CDs to go to $20 retail.

    OT: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is one of the best albums I've heard in years. Buy it, or find one of those file-sharing things and check out their music there -- then buy it.

  • hmm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    I remember reading about a similar report a long time ago (like a while before Napster was shut down)....

  • don't get me wrong, i'm all for prereleasing albums on the internet, but, looking from a completely neutral standpoint, can the success of the album be attributed to it being released on the internet? How many of the 55,573 copies were purchased by people who had heard about the album on slashdot and wanted to try to 'help the cause.' If another band were to release an album on the internet first, but didn't get mainstream (as mainstream as slashdot can be, at least) attention, would it have as much success?

    just an opposing viewpoint to think about ...

  • Anecdotal Data Point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scotch ( 102596 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @07:40PM (#3460591) Homepage
    I have about 900 CDs, 100 vinyl albums, some music videos and DVDs, all of which I've purchased, some of it used. I have a couple thousand mp3s/oggs on a couple drives. Most of that is ripped from my own collection. Some of it is downloaded, though: of all that I've downloaded, I've bought albums for relatively little - maybe 10%. That doesn't include downloaded songs for music I already own (too lazy to rip, or my stuff is damaged - whether that is wrong is another topic). At the same time, I don't feel all that bad about keeping the other mp3s for stuff I don't own.

    Maybe I'm just getting older (I think I would buy less music no matter what - it's not such a priority anymore), but I can't help but look at the wall my music collection takes up, and think about all the money it represents. Add to that all the money I've spent on concert tickets, t-shirts, beer sales at concerts, etc. It works out to be just shy of mother-fucking-lot-of money. And 95% of that has gone to the middleman,labels, and the RIAA. The artists I like tend to be poor. My devotion and buying habits don't help them: instead I just line the pockets of some record company exec's pocket.

    I think any study should account for the fact that many people will likely buy less music as they get older. The trends with the kids (as in many things music related) is what really matters.

    At this point, the RIAA owes me free access to every thing they put out until I die. I've been a good consumer. I probably paid for some asshole's Porche.

    • I can't help but look at the wall my music collection takes up, and think about all the money it represents.

      And the sheer mass of it. My girlfriend's CD collection lives in one of those tall IKEA CD-holders. It nearly killed me last year when the jewel-boxes fell out as I moved it to take a furniture delivery.

  • "Music sellers should devote their limited resources to online marketing and distribution"

    Hahaha. Limited. I sure hope they we're being facetious.
  • I know plenty of people in both categories. There are many people who download music in order to hear things they aren't familiar with, and then buy the CD if they really like it (or at least buy some of the CDs they really like). But I also know many other people who no longer ever buy CDs and instead burn their downloade mp3s to audio CDs. If asked why they don't buy CDs, the usual response is something along the lines of "I already made the CD myself, why would I pay to get the same thing?"

    There's an increasing number of these "freeloaders," as it were, compared to say 3 or 4 years ago. By now the only people I know who still buy CDs are one of:
    1) obsessive fans of a particular band, who buy everything that band puts out (but still pirate everything else)
    2) music collectors (often self-described "audiophiles") who enjoy physically owning the CD because it increases the size of their music collection

    There also used to be people who liked the liner notes and cover art and such, but with cheap scanners you can find most of those online these days anyway (many mp3-release groups release the scans along with the mp3s), so the only people who still care about that are the people who already fall into category (2) above, and want an authentic physical copy rather than a printout of a scan.
  • by neurojab ( 15737 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @07:47PM (#3460630)
    Go to clubs w/live music (bands you like), pay the cover, drink lots of beer, score a couple of phone #s, then go home and download all the MP3s you want. Never feel guilty. You will have a MUCH greater impact on the state of the music scene by going out and drinking beer than buying CDs. In addition, you'll support the up-and-coming artists who just want to play music. Just remember, the more beer you drink, the more "in demand" that band will be, and the better the music scene in your city. It's guiness time.
    • as a member of one of those "promising local bands", i have to agree with this. if you want to support music, come out to shows. buy merchandise from the band directly as much as possible, otherwise the band gets next to nothing. and yes, drinking beer is important. clubs ask the bands that sell a lot of beer to come back... and we all know that any excuse to drink beer is a good one.

      there is so much good, honest, artful music out there that no one gets to hear.

      • This might sound like a strange request, but you should put your band name and a link in your .sig. I make a habit of going to small bands' websites to listen to thier music and buy thier CDs. The problem is most small bands don't advertise at all, probably do to a lack of funds, but posting on slashdot is free =). I don't go to clubs, I don't like the atmosphere, but that doesn't mean I don't want to hear you.

        best of luck.
  • ... with file sharing, specially music, were around these lines. First, a good friend of mine, who plays piano and is a sound technician, told me about this crazy sound from a band named Mahavishnu Orchestra. So I downloaded ~20 songs played by them, and I liked them all.

    At a music store the other day, I saw Mahavishnu's cds, and there were songs that I have never seen on AudioGalaxy, Kazaa, Gnutella, Edonkey, no single file sharing program. I could go back to my home and search for more Mahavishnu on AudioGalaxy (and I did a few days later, and there are much more), but there, standing with the cd at my hands, I thought: "I gotta listen to these songs".

    And this is when I paid 15 dollars for it. I bought a cd from a relative obscure band that, I confess, have downloaded songs from the Internet. But these moments at the store are what we call consumerism. I have to get this cd, the thought wouldn't stop crossing my mind. I have, because the band is cool, I have the necessary money, never heard these songs, and above all, they deserve.

    Of course, that's an single example, since this situation happened many more times.

    Moral of the history? If I couldn't download Mahavishnu's songs, the music industry wouldn't earn even these 15 dollars.

    Second moral of the history? File sharing can be profitable, all we need is a reason to spend the money.
  • by Jon Howard ( 247978 ) <howard.jon@noSpAm.gmail.com> on Friday May 03, 2002 @07:54PM (#3460670) Journal

    A study released this week by Jupiter Research reports that about 34 percent of veteran file swappers say they are spending more on music than they did before they started downloading files. About 14 percent of heavy file traders say they now spend less on music.

    The problem with this study is that it is contingent on the credibility of people who openly admit that they're breaking the law (though that's arguable). It'll be tough to make that point stand up against the numbers that huge law-abiding (right) corporate entities are backing.

    Oh, and I have pretty much dropped back to pre-napster music purchasing habits since it's become more difficult to find what I'm looking for without fear of penalty. I was spending easily 1000% what I am now.

    • Blockquoth the poster:

      The problem with this study is that it is contingent on the credibility of people who openly admit that they're breaking the law (though that's arguable)

      The studies quoted by the RIAA also rely upon self-reporting, a notoriously malleable form of data-collecting. 72% of all statistics are made up.
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @07:56PM (#3460677) Homepage Journal
    ... right now is that the RIAA has labeled me a thief. It wasn't all that long ago that I was downloading music and then making trips to the music store. Somebody'd say "Chemical Brothers is pretty good.." and I'd go find some CB songs and listen to them. Boom, found an interesting album, went and bought a CD.

    Now, though, I'm a thief because I download songs. That's it. No other definition. They don't care that the MP3's I had were complimented with store bought CD's. Hell, they even tried to take my rights away with the SSSCA. Did they even try to support me as a customer? Nope. They still sell albums but not singles (not enough singles I should say...). They still insist that I can only listen to the CD and not the MP3 version. They don't cater to my new demands that I'm willing to pay for. They assume that because I own an MP3 Player and a CD Burner that I'm automatically going to stop paying for music. They even use numbers based on that (fictional numbers I might add...) in order to grease up a politician into getting the Government to pass laws to keep their ancient business model going. I'm sorry, but I'm not giving any more money to the RIAA so they can buy legislation that takes my rights away.

    Right now, my only realistic approach to buy used CD's. Unfortunately, I feel bad because I really would like to support the artists out there. If there are any artists reading this article now, please... provide me with a way to pay you directly. I'll pay double what your royalty from a CD would be. At this point, I don't care about having MP3's legitimately anymore, but I do care about making sure the artists have incentive to keep doing their work.

    Here that RIAA? You're scaring off your customers! How long do you think that business model will last?
    • Right now, my only realistic approach to buy used CD's. Unfortunately, I feel bad because I really would like to support the artists out there. If there are any artists reading this article now, please... provide me with a way to pay you directly. I'll pay double what your royalty from a CD would be. At this point, I don't care about having MP3's legitimately anymore, but I do care about making sure the artists have incentive to keep doing their work.

      I'm not an artist, but try fairtunes.com [fairtunes.com].
      You get to support the artists directly, through donations sent to them. Fairtunes will hunt down the artist for you and pay them your donation.
    • (I know, I keep saying this stuff...Now it's a rant).

      This essay is a work in progress. It's a compilation of various rants of mine. If you have ideas for improvement (or critiques) they'd be welcome.

      My saga into the online music controversy began at CFP99 (the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference). A panel with both an RIAA representative and a rap-artist and a few other folks were talking (actually they were mostly shouting!) at/to eachother.

      The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is a very politically-well-connected music distribution cartel, consisting of five major record companies. The rap artist (whose name escapes me) had his own label, but he favored MP3s, too, because his music's popularity had grown in part due to online music trading. To summarize the arguments...

      RIAA side:

      You're a criminal, an ordinary thief! Taking this information is AGAINST THE LAW, even if you own the album/CD! The person who downloads music is stealing from musicians as much as a person who "pirates" software steals 'warez'!

      Unknown Rap-dude's side:

      No, you're a corporate shill, feeding enormous layers of middle men (who don't help our fans at all!) piled onto the backs of artists - who have 0 negotiating power against a giant cartel that's as powerful as the RIAA!

      Needless to say, the session ended with the panel still arguing, mostly right past eachother. Everyone wanted to talk about the artists and the fans, but if you listened it was all about money even though words like "money" and "payments" were rarely if ever mentioned! A 1950s-era payment system was assumed to be the only alternative to "100% free."

      I walked up, handing out business cards and quietly saying, "you know, I might have a solution to all this, it's called e-gold" to both sides, and both sides have been very slowly getting it (no marketing budget to speak of!) ever since! (Well, it's not been quite that bad, but it's close!) Now, I spend a lot of time asking artists to try e-gold, and some new tools have made it easier than ever to use.

      One fan has set up http://www.radsfans.net [radsfans.net] for The Radiators, a very cool bar-band that should be more popular than they are, IMO.

      I can understand why the RIAA dislikes the idea of e-gold. They hold onto their middleman position only because of the difficulty artists and fans have traditionally had in directly reaching or paying eachother. Some bands, like the Grateful Dead, thumbed their noses at anti-recording policies for years, though. I don't think Jerry's heirs are suffering now, despite the massive music-trading of recorded Dead shows which has gone on for decades. Despite the well known fears of bands like Metallica, there are a lot of subtle ways to make it in the music business, and my intent is to spread e-gold tipjars as another one.

      I want to jump in on the RIAA's game (and as a middleman, I may charge a lot LESS than the RIAA does, but I'd charge something!) so they're understandably apprehensive about losing the things Courtney Love mentions in http://www.hole.com/speech/ [hole.com] such as "trips to Scores" (a popular NY City topless entertainment club). I think e-gold can be a much more efficient and transparent 'middleman' -- but of course I'm biased as hell.

      I want small bands I've never heard of to be able to quit their day- jobs and play music full-time because of what I'm selling, and I'm not going to quit. Other people have said this better than I can, so I'm going to rely on them now.

      I would urge everyone reading this to read Courtney's whole rant, even though it goes on for pages...In it, she reveals things like a band declaring bankruptcy after they received less than 2 percent of the $175 million(!) earned by their CD sales. Toni Braxton sold $188 million worth of CDs, and went broke because of a contract that paid her less than 35 cents per album. We all know what CDs cost, and I'm pretty sure most of us imagine the artists getting a better cut than THAT! Anyway, please go read the whole thing so that you can see from Courtney's math that the examples above are typical. Don't despair, the good part about tipjars is near the end.

      Ok, now that you're back, let's get to the fun part and read some online comics about micropayments! First:

      http://www.scottmccloud.com/comics/icst/icst-5/ics t-5.html [scottmccloud.com]

      and then:

      http://www.scottmccloud.com/comics/icst/icst-6/ics t-6.html [scottmccloud.com]

      Whew. Ok, now look at what Courtney & Scott were both asking for, between the lines! First:

      http://www.fastsci.com [fastsci.com] -- which allows ANYONE, even someone who is VERY non-technical, to set up the e-gold shopping cart. Then:

      http://101574.clicktwocents.com/ [clicktwocents.com] -- which attempts to get two centigrams (about 19 cents worth, but two cents US is possible, too) donated to me for my long rant. Think to yourself, "I should ask Courtney & Scott to accept e-gold!" They were both asking for this, and Jim just demonstrated it!

      Well, I've already asked them, but more voices will have MUCH more of an effect than just mine, so feel free to help me, and thanks for reading.
  • Another report, yes, but no hard data. Sure, they asked people if they bought more music or less music. But, they didn't verify their statements, or track a person's buying habits, or rectify their statements with actual sales numbers. Sounds like a bunch of opinion to me.

    I guess the Truth is Still Out There.

  • You would have to be one cheap individual to want to download all the music in your life for free...

    People *are* cheap. How many people do you know who send off their income taxes with a smile, saying "I'm so glad to contribute to the causes which we citizens have jointly agreed to support"?
    • Of course people are cheap, but most people don't like wasting time any more than wasting money. Back when Napster was big, I installed it and went poking around for some of my favorite songs from back in the '80s. After a few hours of not really finding anything, I gave up and never went back. Online file-sharing may be free as in money, but certainly not free as in time.

      Now, as far as comparing a purchasing decision with paying income taxes, the comparison is ridiculous. If I don't feel like buying CDs, nobody will probably notice; but if I don't pay my income tax, there's a good chance somebody might arrest me. Income tax isn't even remotely voluntary. And no, don't give me that crap about "jointly agreed to support." I have never once voted for an incumbent, because I consider supporting any Federal budget passed since the beginning of the Cold War as essentially crime against humanity, with its huge military black budget. Seriously.

      (One last note: with Napster, I may not have found what I was looking for, but I *did* find some other bands that I liked. I probably own about a dozen CDs now that I wouldn't have bought otherwise. And, no, I haven't bought a single major-label CD since Napster was shut down.)
  • So what will it be ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tmark ( 230091 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @08:13PM (#3460757)
    A few weeks ago we mentioned Wilco, who released their album on their website for free. The strategy appears to have paid off.

    The hypocrisy and inconsistency of arguments on these matters stuns me.. When record industry execs point to apparently flagging CD sales and the rise of P2P file sharing/piracy, people snidely attribute the drop in sales to poor record-company product, and NOT to P2P, rightly pointing out that correlation does not point to causation.

    Yet when one band makes their album available for free, and coincidentally sell a lot of records/gets a lot of favorable press, people here (and the author of the referenced article) automatically attribute the PRESUMED increase (the numbers aren't in yet) in sales to the free availability of the CD. Yet they so willingly fall for the same statistical fallacy, namely in assuming that there is some causal relationship between the free availability of the CD and increased sales/buzz the CD is receiving. MIGHT ALL THE HYPE ABOUT WILCO BE ABOUT THE MUSIC, AND NOT THE DISTRIBUTION ?

    But what really perplexes me is that the author of the referenced article HIMSELF points out (while damning viewpoint contrary to his own) that "correlation is not causation", even though his whole thesis is BASED on that very fallacy.

    There have been lots of bands that have made their music freely available, yet I can't think of ONE that is successful BECAUSE they have done so. Certainly, if Wilco sells a lot of records, people will be cheering filesharing and deriding the RIAA, even though they may well have sold as many or more records without the free distribution.
    • You're missing the point. The point isn't whether it's Wilco's quality vs. Wilco's promotion method - obviously people buy because the like the music, not because they can download it and then buy it. The point is that the marketdroid dominated music monopoly decided that Wilco was NOT marketable, and allowed them to get out of their contract. That Wilco was able to make it to 13th on the charts in their first week of release, without having a huge-ass marketing budget behind them - that's the real point. Wilco is directly challenging the place of tradional music conglomerates, and showing that people will buy music because they like it, not because the marketers tell them that they should.

      On that note, I'd argue that the MP3 provided valuable promotional exposure in lieu of the huge-ass marketing budget, and even better, Wilco did not have to sign their souls away in exchange for those marketing dollars.
    • Actually, what struck me about Wilco's sales figures were that the entire album was free to download, yet people still paid for actual CDs. It's just a little evidence that MP3s don't automatically equal lost sales.
  • by gnovos ( 447128 ) <{ten.deppihc} {ta} {sovong}> on Friday May 03, 2002 @08:20PM (#3460789) Homepage Journal
    It's not about the money!

    As much as they pretend about the money, the REAL reason what "file sharing is wrong" is becuase it allows for a subtle shift in the societal mindshare concerning how music gets distributed. The "content industry" is a misnomer, it's actually a "distributiuon industry", producing either very little or NO new content at all. Allowing the public (PARTICULARLY the artists) to begin to think about alternative means of distribution as actual possibilities (not just pipe dreams) is the first step on the road to utter decimation of the status quo.

  • by grammar fascist ( 239789 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @08:22PM (#3460797) Homepage
    Status quo is what it's all about, in many things.

    The RIAA is afraid of things they don't think they can control. They don't want to lose the control, or even think about losing just a little of it.

    A lot of the Big Bands, the RIAA's best little moneymakers, are afraid of someone better than them but less known stepping up and getting popular.

    When authors objected to the idea of giving away books [baen.com], who had the most objections? The guys with lots of books already sold and lots of money did.
  • by God! Awful ( 181117 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @08:28PM (#3460817) Journal
    It still surprises me that even on a tech-savvy site like Slashdot, where most readers probably took some university-level math, most people tend to have a fairly weak understanding of logical reasoning, statistical analysis, and game theory.

    1. Anecdotal evidence is worthless in statistical analysis.

    Even if Wilco succeeds in this one particular case, that doesn't provide substantial evidence that releasing your album for free works in general. We don't even know for sure that it benefited Wilco. It probably did... any publicity is good publicity. But go to MP3.com and you will find a ton of bands who made $6 last month in royalties for the priviledge of allowing people to download their music for free.

    2. An effect observed in a small sample size (relative to the total population) may not generalize to a large sample size.

    Wilco's album appears to be selling quite well, and let's assume for the moment that that is due largely to their decision to release it for free on the Internet. Now imagine if everyone did that. Now Wilco would no longer stand out in the crowd, and they would lose the competitive advantage they gained from free promotion. Hype is a non-linear effect.

    3. You must not ignore the effects of statistical lag.

    Imagine a medical study where the patients who receive a new drug feel better immediately, but then die five years later. It is meaningless to compare album sales today to file "sharing" statistics today. It takes time for the effects of technology to affect the market. Take a look at the second derivative, and you may see that file "sharing" is in fact hurting album sales.

    • [Objections to the anaecdotal evidence deleted.]


      But the anaecdote may convince some other bands to try it. And if they also succeed - and get press - the third wave could be a flood.

      And Adam Smith's "invisible hand" drowns the RIAA. B-)

      (Assuming the SSSCA doesn't put it in handcuffs, of course...)
  • Help, I'm a Slashbot and I'm confused. Does this mean that to hurt the Recording Industry I have to buy more music?

    ~Chazzf (today masquerading as SlashBot#1138)
  • Why Buy CDs? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Joz ( 100708 )
    // Begin beating dead horse
    I find zero incentive to purchase CDs for a few reasons (most obvious first):

    1.) Why spend money on something you can get for free? "Because I want to support my favorite artist/band" Well you sure as hell aren't doing it by purchasing their CD. We all know by now that the artist makes around a dollar or less from each CD purchase.

    2.) Wahh, I want the album art -- almost always available in high quality on various CD cover & insert scan sites, and nice quality printers are cheap these days too.

    3.) CD audio is a dying technology. Not to get all the audiophiles on my case here (most of which would probably argue that CD quality sucks to start with), but a lot of people don't even care for CDs anymore. A lot of people just turn their CDs into MP3s as soon as they get them. A lot of people prefer to simply download the album in a format that they can put on their portable players easily, in their own mix preference, without leaving their seat instead of making a special trip to a store to buy a special round disc that takes up space, or order one and wait for it to arrive, then get frustrated trying to get the plastic off of it. To hell with CDs.

    4.) You're telling me that I'm supposed to go pay money for this album on a CD that comes out finally today in the real world, when I downloaded it 2-3 months ago and am tired/bored of it by now!? Yeah right.

    Wasn't this whole thing supposed to be to overthrow the greedy record industry!? The digital music revolution, remember? Not "Yes RIAA, we'll buy more tangible shiny discs if you just let us keep sharing our copies of them. Now leave us alone and continue abusing your artists." I don't think it's about being cheap, I think it's about convenience, and about NOT giving more money to fat guys that sit at atop skyscrapers in suits smoking cigars that don't know the first thing about music.

    I still say you're better off downloading the album and if you really like it, give the artist/band $5 at fairtunes.com [fairtunes.com]
  • by foonf ( 447461 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @08:32PM (#3460841) Homepage
    There are a lot of reasons for people not to get all their music via download right now. Most people still only have dial-up access, and if you want to pirate more than a few tracks per day, you'll basically have to leave it on all the time. None of the lossy encoding out there has reached real CD quality (well I've heard that if you run the ogg encoder at the very highest quality setting, it turns all of the compression entirely off, but that doesn't count), and this is compounded by the fact that most of the files on P2P services are very poorly encoded, and this is the channel by which most people obtain their pirated music (some of them even have upper bitrate limits, so even if you have high-quality rips they won't be shared).

    That being said, being on a college campus where very fast broadband access is universally available, I know of many people who listen to lots of music, and don't own a single legal, commercial CD. This of course is the future...broadband will become more prevalent, compression algorithms will improve, and little by little people WILL pirate what they can. Personally I do buy some CDs, but my reason is the exact opposite than what all these piracy advocates put forward...I buy not what I can find on the Internet, but what I CANNOT. This has to do mainly with my distinctly minority musical taste, most people really can find most of what they want to listen to through various channels.

    I think that if piracy of copyrighted music continues it most certainly WILL lead to the downfall of the commercial music recording industry as we know it. This is quantitatively different than VCRs...nobody uses Gnutella or whatever to copy what they already have (if you own the CD or DVD, and you want a copy on your computer, you'll rip it yourself with your own preferred quality settings, after all). I personally support this, and would love it if commercial pop music were to disappear from the face of the earth, but judging by what most people prefer to pirate on the Internet, I would say many of you probably feel differently.
  • The strategy appears to have paid off.

    Umm, sure. A headline mention on /. couldn't have anything to do with that now, could it?

    Obviously the RIAA is out of touch with the reality on the ground. But there's no need to mollify them by essentially saying "Look guys, if you get with the program, you can rake in the bucks just like you always have!" That's a lie. The economics have changed, and continue to change; and not in the RIAA's favor. Don't worry yourself about Hillary Rosen and Jack Valenti. She may have his panties in a bunch, but these lovebirds are doing just fine. Much better than you.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 03, 2002 @08:38PM (#3460871)
    ...is that people might start discovering and buying the wrong music. Instead of buying what they're told they like.

    Its all about control.

  • Maybe we can figure out exactly why the RIAA doesn't like file swapping. Note: I use "downloaded music" to mean music downloaded through a file-swapping system such as AudioGalaxy, not music downloaded from mp3.com.
    • What percent of music downloaded was from non-RIAA labels? Do music downloaders purchase more from non-RIAA labels than non-downloaders?
    • What percent of music downloaded did the downloader later purchase? How did purchases from non-RIAA labels compare to purchases from RIAA labels?
    • What percent of music downloaded was deleted?
    • What percent of music downloaded was played more than twice?
    • What percent of music downloaded did the downloader already own in a different format (e.g., on a CD)?
    • What percent of music downloaded was from artists who said it was ok to download their music through file-swapping systems?
    • What percent of artists downloaded did the downloader later purchase CDs from, regardless of whether the same song is on the CD?
    • What percent of music downloaded had the downloader heard on the radio? Heard in a movie? Read about on the web? Heard about from a RL friend?
    • Do music downloaders purchase more music as gifts than non-downloaders? Do they purchase less for themselves?
  • ``You would have to be one cheap individual to want to download all the music in your life for free and this study proves that. Because most people are obviously using file sharing to find new music to purchase. A concept the RIAA can not comprehend.''

    Right. They're too darned busy paying off the radio stations to play the latest ``hit'' from some boy band or Britney wannabee. Gotta sell those records to recoup all that expensive hype.

    Since the radio stations aren't actually playing any music from the other 99 percent of the artists that they distribute, just how the hell do the record companies expect those artists to be heard? Or do they expect those un-hyped bands to gain their sales as a result of impulse purchases?

    If I hadn't found a sample of a band's music (or the occasional full track) in MP3 format, there are bands whose music I wouldn't have purchased. Take note, Hilary, lest you wind up killing off the Golden Goose.

  • I've read through the comments here, and it seems most people have missed key sentences:

    Among those who own recordable CD drives and subscribe to high-speed Internet access--but don't swap files- -the report found that about the same number of people reported increasing and decreasing spending on music.

    Suprising that non-swappers are also buying more! However, we then get to the critical part:

    The Jupiter study did note that the average drop in an individual's music spending was larger than the average increase in spending. That effect could explain the overall drop in record sales, the authors noted.

    So there you have it, the survey shows that the wallets of people cutting down their spending outweigh those buying more.

    And of course, as others have pointed out, there's no information on how the data was collected, and no attempt to verify if people's responses were truthful or not, so any arguments either way should be taken with a pinch of salt.

  • Here in L.A. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Newer Guy ( 520108 )
    Here in L.A. the radio SUCKS! There are about five hip/hop/R&B/top 40 stations, a couple of classic rock stations and the rest pretty much is spanish. I listen to the music I love by going to a couple of stations' websites (wxrv.com and wbos.com)., looking at their playlists and downloading the music. If I find an artist that I like, generally I buy that CD. So far this year, I've bought perhaps 15-20 CD's due to my ability to listen to the songs this way. There's no other way to hear this type of music here in L.A. as it's not played on the radio. For me, downloading music is an alternative to listening to it on the radio. Let me state this again, as it's an important point: Downloading has replaced the radio as my preferred (ne' my ONLY way) way of discovering new music.
    Now, I can't understand why the RIAA is so clueless as to think that all of us want to listen to Mary J. Blige and N'Sync. My 17 year old daughter doesn't even listen to that stuff (though my 14 year old does).
    The reason that that music sales are down is simple: the recording industry isn't serving the consumer! If I get a bad meal at a restaurant I don't go there any more. If there's a TV show that I don't like, I don't watch it. If a store rips me off, I don't shop there. None of these receive govt. assistance. THE MARKETPLACE serves them, and they live or die based upon it. Why should the music industry receive special treatment from the Government then? If the record industry is producing a poor product that I have no desire to buy, why should Congress stifle their competition to try and force me to buy their product?
    Can anyone explain this to me...like I was a six year old?
  • Price Elasticity (Score:2, Interesting)

    by elb ( 49623 )

    Possible reasons for falling RIAA sales:

    • Piracy
    • Economic downturn, in which discretionary entertainment spending is one of the first things to go
    • RIAA increasing the per-unit price of a CD. Based on, for example, these statistics [riaa.com] (PDF)

      $6.2B/488.7M = $12.69/Unit (2000)

      $5.9B/442.7M = $13.33/Unit (2001)

      (a 5.04% increase, with 2000 US inflation at 3.4% [cia.gov])

      i definitely wouldn't put it past some biz-school smartass to say in a boardroom meeting, "hey, let's bump up the price a little, decrease our sales, and create the data that will convince courts to shut down file traders."
    • by elb ( 49623 )
      Also note that 1999 was a record year for just about everyone, RIAA included. betwteen 1998 and 1999, the largest category increase in consumer spending was in entertainment, an 8.3% difference [bls.gov] (PDF) according to the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average US citizen spent $1,891 on entertainment in 1999. In 2000 (most recent year for which stats [bls.gov] (PDF) are available), there was a -1.5% change from the previous year -- avg. total of $1,863.

      Gee. People spend less on entertainment -- because of a bad economy or because of file trading? Your guess is as good as mine, but file trading sure as hell was around in 1999 -- a record year for the RIAA.
  • by jcsehak ( 559709 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @09:25PM (#3461036) Homepage
    Okay, after some google searching, I finally found Wilco's site [wilcoworld.net]. But WTF? Where the hell can I download the album? I don't even see a place to preview the songs, except for a live show. It says they released it on April 23. What, was it only free for a week? Where are all the informative-link-putting-up karma whores when you need them?

    Heh, linux users will love the blurb at the middle left: it says "got quicktime?"
    • Where the hell can I download the album? I don't even see a place to preview the songs...

      I was wondering how they meant "free" -- apparently (judging from that site) it was free-as-in-beer, and only for a limited time. Maybe that's a good way for an artist to encourage future sales. Maybe it doesn't make a difference once the horse is out of the barn. Either way, it would've been nice if they'd released it (or even just a track or two) as Open Audio [eff.org], to clarify that yes, it really is legal to pass around. (Since I missed out on the "free" download, it's possible they did use some license of that nature -- but I see no indication of that now.)

  • by buss_error ( 142273 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @10:02PM (#3461149) Homepage Journal
    Warning: Rant mode engaged!

    Don't like RIAA or MPAA, then QUIT PAYING/LISTENING/WATCHING THEIR CHIT, or at least pay EPIC, EFF, and GeekPAC some bucks to offset the profit you are stuffing into Jack and Hillery's pockets. I haven't paid to go to a movie, buy a CD, or paid AOL/TIME/WARNER/CNN/DISCOVERY this year, nor will I for the rest of the year.

    I'm in protest mode, and RIAA/MPAA/Sony/Warner/MGM et al can kiss my rosy red behind as long as they keep acting like spoiled children. Frankly, I don't miss the drivel so far. I listen to CD's I purchased in the past, swap CD's, books (and electronic books) & movies with friends & family, and all other legal things I can do to not PAY them. 'Course, Turner Broadcasting CEO Jamie Kellner is a mite shy [slashdot.org] on common freaking sense [2600.com], but that's no more than to be expected from IP control freaks.

    Look, put up or shut up. Do something that hits IP profiteers in the pocket book, vote, and give money to those that are fighting for your rights, or shut up and drop it; you'll get what all cowards get sooner or later.

  • First off, i never downloaded napster. call it the desire not to follow the trend, but I didn't. Besides I believe in supporting the artists I like, as my 800+ cd collection should attest.

    I have dabbled a little with gnutella, and find it handy. mostly i look for two things:
    • bootleg stuff the record companies don't sell,
    • extra snippets from records besides the aor song of the day from a band/disc i like, or
    • enough tracks of a disc to tide me over until the order arrives (ever try finding your favorite Apocalyptica disc at Best Buy?)

    In most cases, if I like the tunes, I buy the disc. If I only like the radio track, I won't buy it.. and in most cases I won't even keep the MP3. Figure the stuff will be crap enough before long.

    So, for me, sharing helps me make a more informed decision. And (probably to the record company's chargrin) I won't buy their crappy disc of crap for only one track I would like. So, I guess it does suck for them..
  • "Because most people are obviously using file sharing to find new music to purchase. A concept the RIAA can not comprehend."

    I don't comprehend it either, because I downloaded a lot of MP3's via Napster and Morpheus - but I wouldn't go out and buy them afterwards. A 192 RIP was good enough for me.

    In this way, the RIAA is right. You download the MP3 - you are far less likely to buy it.

    There is, however, a very different consequence which comes with MP3 sharing. And it's one which the RIAA, on reflection, has decided it does not like much either:

    Overall music purchases dip a little. People who download Mp3's, however, ultimately consume more music. They eat more music, pay less for it, and spend their dollars in a less market efficient fashion.

    It's a "hobby effect". You begin to "get into music" more, and you will buy music - just usually not the specific music you downloaded.

    The effect is then to redisribute the proceeds of sales from the "leading group of the day" to those who aren't in the spotlight, but come to your attention and you buy it.

    So what's in this for the RIAA? The more they market a band, the more airplay the band gets, the more the music is likely to be pirated and the more net sales from that band are adversely effected by music sharing.

    Small consolation to the recording label when they find out that - yeah - the kids really like Sum41, and they end up so inspired that they go search out Sum41 "influences", go to the music store to buy some old Green Day EPs.

    THe RIAA may be engaged in a vain struggle, they may disinform and lie and distort the facts, but they aren't *stupid*.

  • The music industry hasn't gotten a single fricking penny out of me since about 1994. Before that I bought album after album, only to discover that some record company/lazy artist bastard RIPPED ME OFF! Yes, that's right. I would buy a CD, listen to it, and then discover that out of the 10 songs on the CD, nine of them were complete stinkers.

    So, I protect myself now. I just got a DSL line and installed Kazaa lite. I'm discovering that I've missed a lot in music since 1994, and that there's some pretty good stuff out there.

    BUT I warn the record companies: I will check out every song on the record before I buy it. If there is more than one crappy song on the disk, I will keep my damn money. If the CD is filled with good songs, then MAYBE I will actually buy it.

    That's the deal, Mr. Record Company, take it or leave it. I'm content to go back to just not buying any music at all. I did it for 8 years! You've sold me so much garbage in the past, that if I insist on previewing everything that I might buy from you, I think you ought to just sit down, shut up, and ask me nicely to please please buy your record.

  • I scare the RIAA... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by inquis ( 143542 ) on Friday May 03, 2002 @11:33PM (#3461415)
    ...because I will clearly state what exactly a song is worth to me, because I want to be able to do whatever I want to do with the content I purchase, and because I am not afraid to tell others the value I place on content.

    For .50$US a song, I would like permanent, fast access to a low-bitrate lossy copy of the song for my portable device (128 CBR mp3 would be reasonable), plus a high-bitrate lossy copy for my personal music collection on my hard drive (--alt-preset standard would be acceptable) from fast, reliable servers. These copies must be in an "unlocked" format.

    For 1$US a song, I would like everything I get for .50$US a song, plus a losless copy of the song (in whatever format the RIAA decides is cheapest to distribute in, as long as the format is as unlocked as .wav) from fast, reliable servers.

    For 2$US a song, I would like everything I get for 1$US a song, plus access to a few streaming videos of the band performing the song, and access to a streamed music video for the song (if it exists) from fast, reliable servers.

    For 5$US a song, I would like everything I get for 2$US a song, plus access to downloadable copies of said video in unlocked formats from fast, reliable servers.

    For 10$US a song, I would like everything I get for 5$US a song, plus what I like to call "all access" to the song:
    -If I want a copy of the song in a specific format in a specific quality, there is a service that will automatically generate that copy for me and deliver it to me like automagic.
    -I get access to any demo recordings of the song.
    -I get access to all the materials I would need to reproduce the song on instruments (guitar tabulature, etc.)
    -I get access to a multi-track recording of the song, where the individual tracks each represent one musical element of the final song when mixed together; i.e. one is the bassline, one is the lead guitar, one is the drummer, etc.

    With a scheme such as this, I can "buy in" to a song to a level equal with my enjoyment of that song. I also have incentive to buy in to levels above .50$US: I'd gladly drop a dollar a song to have fast access to lossless copies of songs that I want to make a mix CD of, and I'd gladly drop another dollar on top of that to have fast access to some videos with maybe the band talking about the song, the music video, and maybe a video of them playing the song live. Let's say I decide to show said videos to my friends: three bucks on top of what I've already paid, and I get a VCD mailed to my house with SEVENTY MINUTES of video footage about my favorite song: the video, live performances, artist interviews, the works. If my band wants to try to learn to play the song, just pony up five more dollars and there you go. I know I'd pay five dollars for the bass tabs for Tool - Intolerance + an mp3 of just the bassline.

    Hell, I even have some CDs where I'd gladly drop 10$US a song for the entire CD if the distributors (the RIAA, natch) would GIVE ME WHAT I WANT.


    And put this in your pipe and smoke it: since the middleman is cut out (record stores), the artists can get a larger cut. If I buy a 12-track entire CD at .50$US/song, and the artist sees 20% of what I spend, that artist has pocketed 1.20$US of what I've paid, which is about as much as the artist makes if I were to buy the CD retail. If I buy Tool - Intolerance at the 10$US level, the artist pockets 2$US -- more than Tool probably makes for selling the entire Undertow CD at retail. If I turn around and buy the rest of that album at .50$US/song, then I'll have paid 14.50$US (less than what I would pay retail) and the artist will have pocketed 2.90$US, which is probably much, much more than they make per disc now.

    Since when did the customer stop being always right?

  • Perhaps music sharing is the successor to radio. After all, you can hear music on the radio for free. But the selection is limited. Music sharing opens up the world of music, because there's no scarcity of channels.

    The right balance between the rights of listeners and the rights of creators may be making nonprofit use legal. You can copy music for your own use now (Audio Home Recording Act [hrrc.org]). You should be able to pass music around for free, but not charge for it, add advertising, or do anything that generates revenue.

    This means hobbyist sharing only - no Napster, no MP3.com, no Kazaa. Gnutella and Freenet, yes. Now that's worth lobbying for.

  • Tom Waits' new label Anti is streaming both his upcoming releases [anti.com] for the days before they're released next Tuesday. I listened to the first one and after two songs I was on CDNow placing my preorder.

    Now that's what I call increasing music purchasing. I haven't bought a CD since February and it took 8 minutes for me to go buy two that aren't even out yet.

    They're great records too, if you're into Tom Waits.

  • by F8336 ( 133192 ) <f8336@aSLACKWAREol.com minus distro> on Saturday May 04, 2002 @12:23AM (#3461524) Homepage
    This is free for the RIAA et al. to adopt:

    They allow high quality streaming of ALL the songs from the albums. Then sell HIGH (196kbs) Quality mp3 downloads of the songs for a fraction of the cost of the cd.

    Do not worry about people who will never buy, Don't worry about people who only buy CDs. There are many others like me who would rather buy just the songs for a cheaper price. Of course now they will be providing songs that can transmitted to friends and etc. Don't worry about that; those people who would like to download them from friends probably will download them from filesharing utilities.

    But what about those who download and then buy the album? If you sell them online cheaper you lose some money right? Yes, yes you do. However, you make a lot more from people who want to pay for the music but can't justify 18 dollars for a cd.

    Trying to clamp down and stop honest people from using the music fairly BENEFITS NO ONE. Trying to stop filesharing is like trying to push unused toothpaste back in the tube.

    At the risk of sounding cliche don't alienate your base and don't sweat the small stuff!

    Were things better for you all along time ago? Maybe. Have things changed? Yes yes they have. Was it overnight? Nope. Will it change back? Not only no but hell no.

  • by thumbtack ( 445103 ) <thumbtackNO@SPAMjuno.com> on Saturday May 04, 2002 @01:02AM (#3461616)
    The actions of the RIAA have driven me away from mainstream. Last year I purchased 53 CDs, and NOT one was from a RIAA member label. When I started boycott-riaa.com in July 2000, I quit buying mainstream music, and it hurt. I really enjoy music, of all genres and was somewhat lost, as to what to do. Soon I discovered that there is a huge amount of music available from independents. Soon I was visiting CDBaby every payday, visiting indie artists websites, buying from the artist rather than the cartel.

    Over the years I've usually purchased 1 or 2 CDs per month. Last year I purchased about one per week. The reason? I heard the music beforehand, not after I got the CD home. Every CD from every artist let me hear not just 30 second samples but most often full tracks, or the full CD. Many let me download MP3s of those tracks. Damn right the RIAA sales are down, they got not one cent of my money, in a year I bought more CDs than every year before.

    In the ongoing "Chicken Little" scenario presented by Hilary Rosen and her band of thugs, they neglect to tell you that Sony Music was UP last year, that Warner Music was UP last year, and that EMI as down a scant .4 of a percent. I wish I could say the same for my 401K.

  • by 3Suns ( 250606 ) on Saturday May 04, 2002 @04:42AM (#3462002) Homepage
    • Dream Theater - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: I found some DT mp3's somewhere a couple of months ago and have liked them ever since.
    • Jeff Beck - Truth, Beck-Ola, and You Had it Coming: Truth is one album I've always wanted to own. I found some mp3's from the new You Had it Coming and I decided it was time to get some Jeff Beck albums.
    • Bob Dylan - Love and Theft: Heard a Dylan mp3 I hadn't heard before, from this excellent new album I just had to buy.
    • Metallica - S&M: Had these all on MP3 but decided to get the CD anyway.
    • Godspeed You Black Emporer - all their CD's. Never would have found out about them if it weren't for their online mp3 releases. and I am anxiously waiting for them to begin touring in the US again.

    I also went to a kickass Guster concert very recently. I have all their albums on mp3, but probably wouldn't have wanted to go if I wasn't familiar w/ their music. Which I heard first... as an mp3 sent by a friend.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I find that music distributed over the net has greatly increased my exposure to music that is worth my money - hence, I am more likely to purchase it. I'm not going to buy most of the crap they play on the radio these days. How else am I supposed to hear music? I think the RIAA's problem is that we who listen to mp3's are less likely to buy what they want us to buy: the crap. They make tons of money selling radio-promoted albums and they are scared shitless that we're going to find something better to listen to.

    I have no moral qualms with downloading mp3's, or sending mp3's to friends. Sure, there are selfish people who don't pay for any of their music. But just as information wants to be free, good music has to be heard before it is bought.

  • Not a new idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Saturday May 04, 2002 @06:21AM (#3462120)
    The Dead thrived on "file sharing" pre-MP3 and there model seems to be a good one for today:

    1. Write music that people like;
    2. Give great concert and let people tape your shows:
    3. Realize its cool to trade concert tapes;
    4. Develop a fan base that is loyal and doesn't think its cool to rip you off by pirating your albums cuz they feel you aren't ripping them off;
    5. Sell a bunch of merchnadise and concert tickets
    6. Make a lot of money.

    Bottom line - you develop a connection with your fans who want to support you because (horror of horros) they like your music and want more. Of course, with mp3s and file sharing, you'll cut out a lot of the middle man - something the RIAA fears more than anything, except maybe a musician with bargaining power.
  • by 3seas ( 184403 ) on Saturday May 04, 2002 @01:29PM (#3462909) Homepage Journal
    Before all this stuff came up about napster, a few co-workers had put together some CD's of older music.
    To my supprise what they had put togther just so happened to be songs I liked.
    This got me into considering going out and buying some of these CD's that contained some of these songs.
    Being that they had put these CD's together and I have a hard time remembering song names and artist, I could ask them.

    This was really helpful, except for one thing.

    The napster crap started up in my consideration that had it not been for napster I'd never had thought about these old songs.

    Giving the music industry what they want, I put what I had gotten out of these co-worker CDs oyt of mind, like it never happened.

    Hell, The way I figiure it, the music industry doesn't want people to remember the older stuff.

    Ok, and that helps the artist how?

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.