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Music Industry Staggers While Film Industry Blooms 461

GLX writes "The LA Times is running an article that explores the idea that while piracy has been the (supposed) bane of the music industry, it has yet to be felt in the video industry..." "Yet to be felt" might be too strong, but DVD sales are booming, and don't seem to be much crimped by illegal copying.
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Music Industry Staggers While Film Industry Blooms

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @08:36AM (#3813416)
    I'd take a DVD over a DivX any day. I like the extra features on them and the quality is noticeably better.

    MP3s offer the same quality (almost) as CDs and the music industry has no extra offerings on their discs except a bunch of songs that you haven't heard on the radio, usually with good reason.
    • I'd take a DVD over a DivX any day. I like the extra features on them and the quality is noticeably better.

      I never understood why people make DivX rips of their DVDs for backup purposes. The loss of features and quality (as you're are technically transcoding) in the conversion process seems to far out weigh the convenience of not getting out of your chair to find that DVD disc.

      Mind you I must admit I wouldn't mind a DivX copy of AOTC and/or FOTR to tide me over till the DVD releases later this year, but I am prepared to wait and support films I enjoyed.
      • I never understood why people make DivX rips of their DVDs for backup purposes. The loss of features and quality (as you're are technically transcoding) in the conversion process seems to far out weigh the convenience of not getting out of your chair to find that DVD disc.

        What "features" are you talking about? The FBI warnings and other crap you are not allowed to fast forward through? The menu systems that freeze if you click the wrong sequence of buttons? The Foreign language soundracks I don't understand? "Special" features that are not compatable with my machine?

        I specifically remember the moment I knew I would have problems with DVDs. I wanted to watch the DVD of "office space", but when I put it in my machine, I saw a screen that looked exactly like a computer desktop with a download progress-bar.

        Annoyed, I tried to fast-forward, but I couldn't. The bar inched across the screen, making disk-drive noises, but just before it was finished the computer "crashed" and displayed a message that said "press enter to continue". After freaking out for a minute, I realized there was actually an enter button on my remote, so I pushed it. That took me to the main menu.

        A harmless joke, right? Well, in this case, yes. But it made me realize that when I put a DVD in my machine, I am giving up control to the author of the DVD. He can tell me when I can fast forward or not, and he can put any other arbitrary barriers to watching the movie he wants. Once I became sensitive to the issue, I have noticed hundreds of little examples of this phenomenon. The possibilities are endless, and I shudder to think what will happen when the big corporations really start taking advantage of them.

        When I rip a DVD, I am taking back control. I choose the track, I rip it, and then I can do anything the hell I want with it, just like I could with VHS. If the makers of DVDs were not so fixated on taking control of my "viewing experience", maybe I would just go with the flow... but they have already gone too far, and they are only planning on going farther.
    • by Wylfing ( 144940 ) <brian.wylfing@net> on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @09:05AM (#3813571) Homepage Journal
      This is a very good point. Mod parent up.

      The enormous difference between MPAA and RIAA is that MPAA devised a new format and put it into the market and then let consumers decide whether or not to buy. People opted for DVD on their own [1]. It just so happens that DVDs won't let you make copies, but frankly few people ever make copies of movies (and the movie rental business has proven very successful).

      The RIAA on the other hand does not invent a new format. Instead they just go to government and try to get copying ruled illegal, or try to quietly slip copy-resistant CDs into the market (no new features; same quality). If RIAA could come up with a new way to package music with a bunch of new features that just happened to be copy-resistant, well, maybe consumers would opt for it.

      [1] The DMCA surely helped the DVD push, but it didn't require anyone to buy them. The market could have opted away from DVD.

    • Rentals (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cpt_Kirks ( 37296 )
      You can rent a DVD for a couple of bucks. You watch it a couple of times and that's it.

      Music is different. You listen to it over and over. Most people don't watch movies dozens (or hundreds) of times.
  • by dzym ( 544085 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @08:36AM (#3813419) Homepage Journal
    A music CD ripped to MP3 typically takes somewhere around 60 to 100 megs of space, with individual tracks averaging around 5 megs each--and can be downloaded separately. A movie of good-length typically takes around 600-700 megs in DivX ;-) format, currently the most popular "moviez" format. This cannot be downloaded and subsequently enjoyed in chunks. Pirating movies takes a substantially higher amount of bandwidth per movie than small-time MP3 warezing, and the bulk of the music industry's loss comes from the high amount of 'small-time" MP3 pirating.
    • by R2.0 ( 532027 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @09:02AM (#3813558)
      "the bulk of the music industry's loss comes from the high amount of 'small-time" MP3 pirating."

      Beware of assuming the precedent. Your statement about the industries "losses" assumes a tie to sharing over P2P networks, which is a fallacy (or at least an unproven hypothesis)

      Attn Hillary Rosen et al:

      First prove to me that the losses (if indeed there are any real losses in an industry notorious for cooking its books) are caused definitively by sharing and not by a combination of crappy music and poor management.

      Then prove to me that file sharing networks are illegal per se, and not just that the actions of individuals are illegal.

      Then prove to me that the industry's distribution plans are not monopolistic and illegal in themselves.

      Then you can cross the bridge to the Holy Grail. Until then, argue about the air speed velocity of an unladen african swallow, because it's just about as relevant.
      • "the bulk of the music industry's loss comes from the high amount of 'small-time" MP3 pirating."

        Beware of assuming the precedent. Your statement about the industries "losses" assumes a tie to sharing over P2P networks, which is a fallacy (or at least an unproven hypothesis)
        It would be interesting to see, if there was some way to get a statistically valid survey performed, how much money people spent on entertainment over, say, the last three years, broken out into spending on movie theatres, videotapes, CDs, and DVDs. Without numbers to prove it, I can't say with any assurance, but I'd be willing to bet that a significant fraction of the 'loss due to MP3 pirating' the RIAA claims is really a loss from people walking into a media store and deciding that their $20 is better spent on a DVD than a CD.

        I haven't seen that disposable income has taken any abrupt jump in the last year, so with the amount of money available to spend on entertainment, if DVD sales are surging, that means that other forms of entertainment are going to have less money spent on them -- and that means that CD sales are going to take a hit. But the RIAA won't accept that; the premise that the market will provide them with monotonically increasing sales is Holy Writ to them, so any drop in their sales must, a priori, mean that piracy is the reason people aren't buying CDs.
      • by Kibo ( 256105 )
        But even more importantly, there is a cost of pirating vs a cost of buying. I can walk into most stores, and get almost any DVD for less than $20 bucks, including special child-proofed editions of Memento with extras all over the place. CD's? Whoa! Maybe, is it on sale? And further more when I buy a movie I know for a fact I'll be getting around 2 hours, give or take, of enjoyment. With music, I suppose I could sit there and listen to the whole album before I buy it, after all it might only take 20 minutes, on a 74 minute cd.

        I'm forced to observe that music costs as much as movies, occasionally more, provides far less entertainment for that expense, and for your trouble assumes you're a criminal just because that's one of many choices a person has. With the music industry so quick to screw me, and music downloading being so cheap and convienent, I sometimes wonder why I don't do it.

        Not that I'm happy with companies like Disney, buying up movies like Kiki's Delivery Service and then not making them available on DVD, or making only vastly inferior versions of eXistenZ available forcing me to get the canadian import. Damn region crap.

        Those businesses who choose not to serve their customers take a page not from Adam Smith's book, but from Lenin's, and they deserve all the mercy and compasion the free market reserves for such businesses.
      • head in the sand (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Trepidity ( 597 )
        You have to be wanting to blame the music industry and wanting to exonerate filesharing to not think that mp3s are negatively affecting music sales.

        Have you talked to people recently? Do you know anyone except for audiophiles who still buys a significant number of CDs? Of the people I know, I and one of my friends are the only ones who still buy more than a few CDs per year -- everyone else downloads mp3s and burns them to audio CDs. Most people I know haven't bought a single CD in the past two years. And it's not because they don't like the music that's coming out -- it's because they already burnt their own CDs. "Why should I pay $12 for something I can get for free?"

        Certainly the music industry is pretty crappy, and most of its solutions to the problem are unworkable and hurt legitimate customers, but I don't think you can blame everything on them. People's tendancy to not pay for anything unless they absolutely have to (or are forced to) is the cause of a lot of the problems.
      • We don't have to "prove" any of your requests. Sharing MP3s without the permission of the copyright holder is illegal. Period.

        Does it hurt the music industry? The question is irrelevant.

        Does the music industry use monopolistic practices? The question is irrelevant.

        Are file sharing networks illegal per se? The question is irrelevant.

        If you don't like the copyright laws then work to change them.

        Stealing music is illegal. Period. End of story.
      • There's a fundamental flaw in what you're asking. They don't have to prove any of what you say. Even if everything that they've said is just FUD raising banter (as well it may be.)

        The law is on their side and no matter how much we scream about "fair use" or "...but I wanna!" the facts remain that the U.S. is run by industrialists who have a sympathetic administration in power.

        Feel free to take the high moral ground, but in this country you have no rights to ask the things you ask. Period. Sure I want to know the answers too, but you should really spend your time fighting the fight on the same field of play where the battle is actually occuring as opposed to in some theoretical sandbox where everybody plays by the rules of a gentleman.

        In the power struggles of corporations perception=reality. No contest. Look, all hackers are Kevin Mitnick and he is evil. CNN said it so it must be true.

        If Hillary says the music industry will collapse unless the U.S. Congress enacts a bill that denys Common Carrier status to ISPs then it will happen. You can hold your breath waiting for that to happen because you won't be going blue in the face waiting.
        As soon as the trial runs of "we're doing what the consumer asked and selling our music on the Internet" fail that will be all the proof your elected official needs to roll over. Now he'll have some tangible evidence that people want to steal and won't buy at any price. Then it's all over.

        So fight the fight on the terms on the table or be prepared to be a casualty.

        You're going to be reamed out and cross-threaded by Big Brother and don't even know why.

        As always YMMV.
  • Slashdot does not condone piracy of music, videos, or software. The above information is presented for entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as approval of any illegal action.
  • My take on it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rattler14 ( 459782 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @08:38AM (#3813429)
    IMHO, there is very little difference between mp3 and CD quality. Yes, there are differences, and audiophiles will point this out every time. But the fact is, most users don't care.

    Now DVD's vs DIVX. Not only can the quality suck (artifacts all the time), but the sound can be totally out of sync, which is really really annoying. Plus, unlike mp3 CD's which can be played in just about any new CD player, DIVX does not play in standalone DVD players without hacking the hardware.

    But, this could change...

  • by Cutriss ( 262920 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @08:38AM (#3813435) Homepage
    "How are people going to justify stealing a movie by saying it isn't any good after the movie's already a $100-million hit?"

    There's a difference between earning $100M in the box office, and *spending* $100M to make radio stations and Top 40 charts play music that doesn't have public appeal behind it.

    "Urie says his company doesn't heavily research consumer attitude, noting, "We tend to ask how can we make more money and sell more product, not deal with consumer gripes."

    And therein lies the problem.
    • How are people going to justify stealing a movie by saying it isn't any good after the movie's already a $100-million hit?"

      Single counter-example. "Wild Wild West." Made $113,745,408 according to the all-time box office numbers [] at IMDB. I'm sure there are other examples.

      Making $100M, especially nowadays when the hype is enough to get a few people to go to the opening and pay astronomical ticket prices, doesn't really say anything about whether the movie is "good" or not. "Good" is an issue of personal taste, not earnings, be they at the box office or at the record store.

      I'm not too shocked that Mr. Urie doesn't seem to grasp this.

      • A good movie will still make $100,000,000 if it's re-released 5 years down the road.
        (without any tarting up), no matter how many people own pirate coppies.
    • by einTier ( 33752 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @10:17AM (#3814003)
      Urie says his company doesn't heavily research consumer attitude, noting, "We tend to ask how can we make more money and sell more product, not deal with consumer gripes."
      I think GM did the same thing in the 70's, 80's and arguably well into the 90's. Maybe Urie should ask how it's working out for them -- they used to have a greater than 50% share of the automobile market.
      And then they got cocky. "Those stupid consumers will buy anything we put our name on! We don't have to make better cars, we're GM! We know what they want better than they do!" Seems like a real good way to do business to me.
      The RIAA is falling down the same trap. They've gotten so used to being the only outlet that they got used to telling us what we want instead of listening to what we want. You've got to focus on making the customer happy, then you can sell more product and make more money in the long run. By treating your customer like an idiot, you'll make more in the short term, but you'll lose brand loyalty, and ultimately, your customer base.
    • Good Grief! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by beleg777 ( 551987 )
      "Urie says his company doesn't heavily research consumer attitude, noting, "We tend to ask how can we make more money and sell more product, not deal with consumer gripes."

      Ok, being out of touch is one thing. But openly saying that he doesn't care about his customers, just how much money he makes? It makes me sick that a person like this can be taken seriously. I know American business is all screwed up, but when people can actively ignore the desires of the customers and expect to prosper, ugh, something needs to be fixed.

      And for that matter, how can anybody not realize that satisfying customers IS a way of making more money?
  • Funny... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AcidDan ( 150672 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @08:40AM (#3813439)
    I thought the music industry was doing bad because everyone is sick of the manufactured market juggernauts that are now the market norm...

    I've bought more CDs this year than ever before, but, like most of my friends tell me "we've never heard of them"...

    Ironically, they also say I have great taste in music and love it when I play my collection. Of course my taste prolly isn't yours so a statement like this one could be completely wrong if you heard the stuff I'm into.

    -- Dan, who is DJing J00lz's party this weekend: Happy 21st Birthday Julie! =)

    P.S. Support your locals whoever they are - see them at concerts, buy their CDs and give them your support - THIS is where we should be as music enthusiasts, not lining some corporate pocket that dictates to us what is 'Hot' and what is 'Not'

    P.P.S. Sorry for the rant but I have a big thing for music...
    • Frankly, I haven't seen more than 2-3 movies the past year that hasn't sucked. OTOH, there's probably a good dozen more CDs I'd like to buy.

      If you think movies aren't suffering because they're somehow better than the CDs being released you're sadly mistaken.
    • I agree... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Andy Dodd ( 701 )
      Much of what I hear on the radio is crap.

      I first discovered artists like Chemical Brothers, Orbital, and such from MP3s in my dorm a few years ago. Needless to say, they get little to no radio play (Except for on Solid State - Do a Google search for Liquid Todd - K-Rock lets him spin midnight-4AM Saturdays, and it's a great way to hear new and unique music.)

      I'll admit, I've been mostly downloading MP3s until recently - I was a poor college student. But now that I'm working and have money, I've begun hunting down various CDs by the above artists.

      Actually, the record industry shouldn't be worried about MP3s - They should be worried about - That's where I'm going for most of my music.
    • P.S. Support your locals whoever they are - see them at concerts, buy their CDs and give them your support - THIS is where we should be as music enthusiasts, not lining some corporate pocket that dictates to us what is 'Hot' and what is 'Not'
      Exactly right! Right now, I live in Yokohama (Japan...about 30km south of Tokyo), and I tell you, the best music in this place is the local stuff.


      To tie this in with the article...well, I'm only one person, so my individual contribution probably doesn't add up to much, but the reason the recording industy hasn't been making as much money recently is probably because of people like myself and the parent poster who aren't buying their junk. Meanwhile, I have discovered a many independent groups who have either gotten my money directly or through their independent labels (which I can only assume don't rape them like the major labels do). If any of you are interested in Japanese music local to Yokohama and Tokyo, check some of these out (warning, all of these are Japanese, but I'm sure you can babelfish them)(warning#2 some of these groups need some serious lessons in web design ;) ).

      Takako Fujimoto [] - I saw her playing in front of Yokohama station my first day in Japan, and was amazed by how talented she is.
      The Sooners [] - Saw these guys playing w/ Ms. Fujimoto a few months ago, and they were a LOT of fun. Also, they gave me permission to distrbute their MP3s, so if anyone is interested or willing to spare a little bandwidth, let me know.
      ju:dzu [] - This is a cool duet I saw in Shibuya last week. The girl has an amazing voice. Good lyrics too, if you can understand Japanese. ;)
      The Pillows [] - Some of you may recognize these guys as the group that did the soundtrack to the anime FLCL.
      and finally, most of the bands under the Delicious Label []. This includes "The Noodles", "Scarabee" and more...

      So, anyway, I guess the point is...Let the RIAA hurt. Support the local groups (especially since most of them have more tallent in their little fingers than all of the Backdoor Boys put together).

      Incidently, if anyone wants any more info about the above listed bands, feel free to drop me an email (remove the SPAM protection).

      Cheers. :)

  • Economics 101 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jweatherley ( 457715 ) < minus math_god> on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @08:40AM (#3813440) Homepage
    Perhaps people don't rip off DVDs so much because they see them as fairly priced unlike music CDs? You can even get DVDs of a movie that are cheaper than the soundtrack! Considering how much expense it take to make the average movie then the price of a DVD isn't too bad - £16 at release in the UK quickly dropping thereafter. But I'm not paying £16 for a CD that may or may not work in my computer/car/DVD player to keep some studio executive's crack habit going.
    • The costs to amass a considerable music library are small in terms of everything from hardware to time to bandwidth. An entire CD can be had and burned within the half hour by adding a free file sharing program, a sub-US$100 burner, and a dead-cheap blank CD.

      The costs to obtain and transfer movies (assuming end use on a home theatre) are drastically higher. You must dedicate bandwidth, a large block of your time, a DVD burner that will set you back a few hundred, plus the cost of media and/or storage.

      There is no instant gratification element to sharing movies of any considerable length and quality.

      So you're right when you bring up pricing. The effective cost of "sharing" a CD is extremely low, let's say $2 when you figure in blank media, bandwidth used, the value of your time, etc. So that's $2 vs. $16. The effective cost of obtaining a DVD that way is much higher at least to the point where the individual decides "it's not worth the time" when compared to the price of the retail product and heads to the local shop.
    • Re:Economics 101 (Score:2, Insightful)

      by RazzleFrog ( 537054 )
      This is such a great point and it was mentioned in the article briefly. How many remember when videos (VHS and Beta) first came out. Movies were selling for obscene prices - like $75. The industry quickly caught on and prices dropped to $20-25. Now you can get classic movies for $5. DVD's also have come down over the years. The music industry on the other hand has increased prices consistently even though physical production costs have come down considerably.
    • unlikely (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Trepidity ( 597 )
      While this may be what the "MUSIC IS TOO EXPENSIVE THE RIAA SUX0RZ!%#" crowd would like to believe, the relatively low cost of DVDs will ultimately not save them. The only reason anyone I know currently buys DVDs is because it's cheaper and easier than pirating them. When bandwidth and hard drive space gets to the point where it's as easy to download a DVD rip as it currently is to download a CD rip, then you can bet that even the reasonably priced DVDs are going to be pirated.
  • In related news... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jon Abbott ( 723 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @08:40AM (#3813441) Homepage
    Vivendi Universal and Sony Corp. are preparing to sue individual song swappers []... I'm curious how this will be done.
    • My moral impulse says that it would be a horrible idea. My Machievellian side says it's a terrific idea - have them incur public backlash by dragging the neighborhood 14-year-old song-swapper before a judge and maybe get these insane laws overturned in the process.
    • by Cpt_Kirks ( 37296 )
      Isn't Vivendi Universal circling the bowl? They are about to join the ranks of Enron, Worldcom and Martha Stewart...
  • by jhines ( 82154 ) <> on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @08:41AM (#3813449) Homepage
    When the CD soundtrack costs as much as the DVD withe the movie and more, that explains a LOT.

    DVD movie prices are going down, and consumers feel they have value. They don't feel the same way about overpriced CD's.

    • by Zelet ( 515452 )
      Something that people have to realize is that movies come out in movie theaters first and make big $$$. Then they come out on DVD and it is just a bonus for the studios.

      Music doesn't have that initial money from a movie theater type situation. I think that is why the record companies are more scared and more affected by piracy.

      (Although, I feel that CDs are overpriced and DVDs have much more value per $)
      • by Tune ( 17738 )
        > Music doesn't have that initial money from a movie theater type situation.

        How about concerts, festivals and movie sound tracks? In your line of thinking, shouldn't life recordings, sound tracks and "best-of collections" be far less expensive?
        • But life recordings, sound tracks and "best of collections" don't make 150 million in a single weekend.

          I'm not saying that the music industry is right in their pricing. I think CD are overpriced by about $9 a piece. But, at the same time you can't compare the price of a DVD with the price of a CD because there are movie theaters and video renting to help fund the production of movies.

      • Something that people have to realize is that movies come out in movie theaters first and make big $$$. Then they come out on DVD and it is just a bonus for the studios.

        So? I'm a consumer, and I don't recognize the inherent right of any company with a flawed business model to deserve a profit. I If I can buy a DVD for less than the soundtrack, I've got issues. The DVD has the music on it- I could legally get on LimeWire and download backups of the music I just bought without neeeding a soundtrack.

        CDs are overpriced, plain and simple. Yes, artists are underpaid. They deserve a larger piece of a smaller price. The labels and the RIAA are the problem, and I'm not going to subsidize their abuse of the consumers- or our radio choices.

      • You have that wrong. Movie companies only make 25% of their income from theaters. Movie companies make more money renting the movie out in terms of DVD's, etc.

        Check the stats...

        The movie industry now wants to get into the rental business by selling 4 Euro DVD's that only allow you to play the movie once. After that it is garbage. The home market is MUCHO BIGGER for the movie industry.
      • The cost of "developing" the content is far smaller.

        A lot of artists can barely get a middle-class income for their efforts - Whereas Hollywood spends millions just to produce the movie.

        If CDs sold for $5 and artists got only 25% of that, they'd STILL be making far more money than they do now.
    • And that is the entire crux of the issue.

      The movie industry is based on the concept of making new movies and then "renting" them. They have diversified their income that no one thing can hit them too hard.

      Movies make money from sales at ticket office, sales to rentals, sales to individuals, sales to hotels, sales to TV stations and movie channels. What do radio stations sell? A CD and some sales to Radio stations (even that is the other way often).

      The point is that the music industry screwed up in not figuring out how to make money elsewise.

      The movie industry simply were better business people....
    • by fishlet ( 93611 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @09:14AM (#3813626)
      I know not everybody does the same thing that I do, but when CD's first arrived I was eager to replace many of my favorite cassette tapes because of the CD's higher quality and convenience. I wonder if DVD sales aren't for similar reasons. Now that you can get many older movies for less than 10 dollars... I bet many people are just upgrading their collections. Like CD's, that'll probably drop off as people for the most part have what they want and the only thing left to get is new releases.
    • I agree with what you said.

      Think about it: here in the states, the price of album length Compact Discs have reach US$18 per disc--an outrageous price in my opinion! CD's should be priced more like US$10-US$11, which would cut down the incentive to pirate CD's.

      Meanwhile, the price of Region 1 DVD's are amazingly cheap: you can get most discs for anywhere between US$15-US$25, and even large sets are reasonably priced for what you get.

      With the price of console DVD players dropping under US$100 and with DVD-ROM drives so cheap nowadays, no wonder why DVD's are exploding in popularity.
    • The sad thing is that most record companies and movie companies are just arms of one bigger company- see Sony, Disney, AOL Time Warner, Viacom, and so on. Is this a case of the home video division being determined not to repeat the mistakes of their music division brethren? Or are they playing "drug dealer", trying to get us hooked on their DVD crack?

      I think it's just a case of inertia on the part of the recording execs. They can't see how lowering prices could boost sales. Or rather they can, and realise it'd help the little guys more. They don't care about the music, the musicians, or even the "Industry". They just care about their empires.

      (BTW: when you see a really cheap CD amongst a lot of high-priced crap, don't you instictively think that it must be even crappier? It takes effort to overcome their conditioning.)
  • Bane (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @08:42AM (#3813451)
    The LA Times is running an article that explores the idea that while piracy has been the (supposed) bane of the music industry

    Oh, I'm pretty damn sure that piracy is the bane of the music industry.

    It's just that they sell truck loads of absolute rubbish to 14 year old Britany Fans/N-Sync/Backstreet Boys/etc who don't go and download their music.

    This is what makes up a very good proportion of the vast amount of money they make.

    • Pink Floyd and the Beatles continue to sell well 20-30 years after their release.

      Don't blame teenie boppers only for a large number of sales.
  • Ummmm....Price? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the Man in Black ( 102634 ) <> on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @08:43AM (#3813459) Homepage
    I'm impressed that no one mentioned the fact that I can get the new Collector's Edition of "The Evil Dead", complete with 4 hours of extras and a special "Necronomicon cover" for ~$20, while Britney Spears most recent 65 minutes of suck costs about the same?

    • Scares me and intrigues me at the same time...
    • Where can I get a DVD with 65 minutes of Britney Spears sucking?!? Dammit, man! Provide a link!
    • by TheGreenLantern ( 537864 ) <> on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @09:05AM (#3813572) Homepage Journal
      The problem is, many more people out there (read: teenage girls) would rather have the Britney Spears CD than the 8th "Special Edition" of Evil Dead. Even with the Necronomicon cover.

      If Sam Raimi was a teen heart-throb, you'd better believe you'd be paying over $20 for that DVD.
    • How many hours of watching does that collectors edition get? Most people watch a movie 3 maybe 4 times tops. Add in a watch of the 4 hours of extras and that's 20 hours total.

      How many times do you listen to an album? I've listened to some of mine over a thousand.
      • Yeah, but here's a good example of a DVD that I thought was worth the purchase: Almost Famous. Now, say what you will about whether you liked the movie or not, because it's a moot point.

        The DVD, for ~USD$25 came with:
        • One DVD with theatrical release, plus directors narrative audio track
        • One DVD with "directors cut" of the film, before it was titled
        • An audio CD with six songs "by" Stillwater
        Now, that audio CD is in my car and gets listened to frequently. I've watched the theatrical release and the "Untitled" version several times each, and listened to the aggrandizing directors audio commentary track.

        More importantly, you couldn't buy the audio CD elsewhere...(that I know of). Point being: the movie studios are generally better at understanding what it takes to make the experience and packaging the whole thing for the consumer. It makes it a better buy. Your average CD is one to three good songs you'll soon be sick of hearing because of heavy rotation and seven to ten you'll never hear on the radio and be thankful for it.

        It's natural that one will sell and the other will falter without artificial rules and restrictions to prop it up.

        That being said, The Eminem Show my friend let me borrow is a good listen (mostly because it makes me laugh) but something I would never buy because to me, it's not worth USD$18.
    • Re:Ummmm....Price? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Titusdot Groan ( 468949 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @09:10AM (#3813606) Journal
      How about comparing apples and apple sauce:

      Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Full Screen Edition) DVD $15.99 []

      Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack $13.99 []

      The full DVD with the movie, games, deleted scenes, a 360 view of Hogwarts, etc. etc. is only $2 more expensive than the soundtrack for the same movie.

      • Try

        Harry Potter DVD - £16.99
        Soundtrack CD £17.99

        Truly Bizarre!!!

      • The full DVD with the movie, games, deleted scenes, a 360 view of Hogwarts, etc. etc. is only $2 more expensive than the soundtrack for the same movie.

        That's the full DVD including the soundtrack. So, buying the soundtrack on its own, without the movie or special features only knocks $2 off the price. As an added bonus it comes in a cheaper, more breakable case.

        • So, buying the soundtrack on its own, without the movie or special features only knocks $2 off the price.
          That made me think: Perhaps the problem is the sheer arrogance of the music industry. They think that of all the content on a $16 DVD, the music contributes 87.5% of the value! The actual movie, extras, etc. are relatively unimportant at only 12.5% of the value...Shit! I get it now! The only reason we watch movies is FOR THE MUSIC!!!
  • by NotZed ( 19455 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @08:44AM (#3813464)
    ... people might buy more of it.

    Get off the "pirate" crap, the music is shit (and overpriced, esp in USA, thanks to your protective trade policies), and thats the real reason nobody is buying much of it.

    Large corporations (the real pirates) making carbon copies of the latest plastic fad, trying to guide the public tastes, and mostly just getting it plain wrong.

    The only guy I know who copies stuff all the time, copies movies just as much as music. And I can't imagine him with a sword cutting your legs off - some pirate.
  • Music piracy has been going on en masse for several years. Video piracy is newer. It's just a matter of time and technology . . .
  • It's that simple..... I got computers right-left and center.. I'm considering making one of them my PVR, but having a simple CD/DVD player that I could just pop in a burned CD-R into would be so much simpler, for good and for bad. But I suppose hardware MPEG4 decoding is coming (the card for PC is already here) so I suppose there's only a matter of time before a standalone player incorporates it, well that is if anyone dares...

  • Simple Math (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @08:50AM (#3813498) Homepage
    Would you rather pay $20+ for a half hour of music (when was the last time you bought a CD that was actually near 74 mins?) or pay that same $20 or so to buy a 2 hour DVD that also has extras? That's what I thought. DVDs are actually worth the money they cost, while CDs are grossly inflated. IMHO of course.
  • by uncoveror ( 570620 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @08:50AM (#3813501) Homepage
    Hollywood made more money the Memorial Day weekend of 2002 than at any other previous time. Piracy is no threat to them. People who watch pirated movies on their computer are just sneak previewing, and will go to a theater. People who buy pirate DVDs at the flea market for fewer than ten dollars won't pay full retail for legit ones. People who do pay full retail for legit ones wouldn't be caught dead in a flea market or with DVDs from one. When you boil it all down, piracy is a non-issue. Shutting it down would not get Hollywood or the recording industry any richer. They are wasting their resources fighting it, and would waste our resources if Congress gives them tax money to combat piracy. This is all true of the recording industry [] as well. They are not interested in anything but protecting their power over artists.
  • DVD's generally are priced pretty good compared to CD's. I spend an average of $12 for each new DVD. I have found some for $6. Most these DVD's come loaded with extras and multi-disc sets. CD's are priced way too high, with no extra's. I usually get my CD's from a used CD store. $18.00 for a new CD is outrageous.
    Of course maybe the DVD industry has not been able to get together and fix prices like the CD industry.
  • Dvd's have been around for what, about 4 years? Anyone find the back to the future dvd yet? No. But many other movies out of the past and present are coming to dvd. Music has been on cd for at least 10 years.

    Now here's the clincher. Music now-a-days just sounds like carbon copies of everything. Remember bands like Bush, Motley Crue, Metallica (before they sold out), Rob Base, Run DMC and the likes? Today's day and age seems more of a rehash of everything that's already been done. Why buy crappy music much less rip it?
    • "Dvd's have been around for what, about 4 years? Anyone find the back to the future dvd yet?"

      Why don't you do some research and find out? The reasons wht this movie have not been released yet (and the officially annouced DVD Region 1 release date) have been available for some time now []. The non-appearance of this film on DVD so far is not an evil conspiracy.

      FYI: There is currently a DVD BTTF available but it is a bootleg of the chinese laserdisc. The real product is coming.

  • That's hurting so much.

    Maybe, just maybe , it has something to do with that a DVD costs almost the same as a CD these days...

  • This appears to be more of a function of consumer dollars shifting to something that IS coming out with new and good material.

    The music industry has been so stagnant that new material worth the gas to drive to the store is rare. There are GOOD movies on DVD that people want to watch. They can claim piracy is killing them but until they wake up and realize that they have to market stuff the record sales are going to fall.
  • There is a very simple line of logic industry leaders seem to forget. People will often spend more money on things they enjoy then something they don't.

    The sad fact is, the quality of main stream music has continued to fall, and yet the industry seems to continue to put greater and greater restrictions into what can enter into the market.

    The quality of movies seems to fluctuate, but at the very least, one can say that every year we get quite a few movies that are highly entertaining. This is despite the fact that the market already has quite a few restrictions as to what can enter.

    Simple solution? Stop making music that is'nt entertaining, start charging prices that are out of sync with the quality of the product.

  • by Ride-My-Rocket ( 96935 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @09:07AM (#3813592) Homepage
    When you buy a DVD, you usually get higher quality output, less volatile / damage-prone media, and the quality won't crap out with extended use. In addition, you usually get a bunch of extras / goodies tossed in, such as interviews, Easter eggs and deleted scenes. Plus, you're able to rent a DVD first if you don't wanna buy it outright, sample the goods, and then decide if it's worth it to buy it.

    With music CDs, you can't conveniently sample the music before you buy it. Or maybe you can, if you go to a Virgin MegaStore and stand at one of those kiosks for 90mins, but that's not for me. Music CDs don't have any *bonus* features beyond what you hear on the radio, and it's rare when you ever hear more than a single song or two on the radio, to give you an idea of whether the price of the CD is worth the quality of the entire album.

    So am I surprised that the music industry is faltering at a time when video is booming? No. Piracy does and will continue to happen -- you can bitch about it, or you can improve your legit product and/or change your business model to make it more attractive.

    Do I have a good solution for how the music industry can solve its woes? Nope. But I don't feel sorry for them -- they've been dragging their feet for decades, exploiting the lack of choice of musical options by jacking prices way up for shoddy, over-produced sound. And they continue to do it......... and so, I continue to pirate most of my music and only buy those items I deem worthy of my hard-earned greenery.
  • by r_barchetta ( 398431 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @09:08AM (#3813593)

    I'd suspect (though I have no proof) that a significant factor here is that a good number of people do most of their music listening on their computer (at work or otherwise). This is certainly true for me. Thus the mp3 format is so popular. Small files that sound good. And they're easily accessible right at your desk.

    A movie is a totally different experience. I will always choose to watch a movie on my 27" tv rather than a smaller (even 19" is too small) computer monitor. Screen size is important. And in addition to that my couch is more comfortable and my stereo speakers are better than my computer speakers. Why on earth would I watch movies on my computer? (OK, maybe while travelling but that's a different environment anyway.)

    Not to mention what others have already brought up: Divx quality is noticeably lower than DVD quality, while mp3s can and do approach CD quality.

    There. Those are my pre-coffee thoughts on the matter.

  • Renting of movies? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by taeric ( 204033 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @09:09AM (#3813602)
    I would think one of the major differences in the movie versus music debate would be that you can rent movies.

    Sure, this doesn't mean any difference at all to the high tech computer user who would be willing to download anything. However, for the average layman who isn't sure about a movie, it can be picked up for rent at the local video store for relatively cheap. Especially if you go in with a few friends for a cheap night of entertainment.

    Compare this with music CD's. If you aren't sure about an album, you have very limited choices. You can buy it and hope it isn't horrible, you can not buy it, and finally, you can download it. In all cases, the price is either non existant, or at least 14 dollars (US).
  • Take for example, a CD. $20. Now, all DVD's (whether you buy them in store or on a place like Amazon) are, at the most, $20. Old classics, such as Airplane! and the like, can be had at some places used for as little as $6. The quality of the product is higher, and the price is right. As long as Hollywood can keep putting out some decent movies, the same fate that befell the music industry should not happen.
  • Some points:

    - The Divx format is getting better all the time - it is currently far better than VHS, for a 1 disk per movie rip. 2 Disk per movie films are generally of very high quality. Not DVD quality, but not far off.
    - Broadband is slowly getting cheaper and more prevalent. Within a few years I can't really imagine more than 10% of the net using dial-up.
    - Some p2p apps are VERY good. Edonkey, for example, pretty much maxes out my 1024 downstream when a new release comes out. It's relatively simple to get working - about as painless as Napster was.
    - People are slowly getting DivX capability in their living room, be it through a PC connected to the TV, a DreamCast or no doubt fairly soon a ps2/xbox.
    - The releases are coming thick and fast. Especially if you dont live in the US. dvd rips are often out before the film is in theatres here in the UK.
    - CD burners and Blank CDs are ridiculously cheap.

    Put that lot together and I'd say the movie industry should be pretty worried.
  • "How are people going to justify stealing a movie by saying it isn't any good after the movie's already a $100-million hit?"

    Lots_of_money_made != good_movie

    Heck, by Urie's logic Phantom Menace was good. *shudder* ugh. Jar-Jar. */shudder*
  • With so many ISP's now capping usage and a half decent quality movie going at around 650 megs it's quite obvious why the movie industry isn't getting hit as hard. I am capped at 5GB allowing for less than 8 movies total leaving no room for MP3's and pr0n.
  • Maybe because (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BrodieBruce ( 575127 )
    people see a movie, like it a lot, and then buy it. For many, movie piracy is just a way of obtaining an early copy of a film before--and only until--they can purchase it on dvd. And of course, a way to avoid paying to see a movie that doesn't look like it's worth the money.

    On the other hand, there are very few cds that I like completely. I listen to less than half the songs on 90% of the cds I own. I'd be willing to pay $1 per song in .wav format, but I can't do that for every song I want. And I really don't give a darn for paying $20 for a cd half full of songs I don't like, songs which I think the artist may have recorded only to fill the rest of the cd.

  • by 3seas ( 184403 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @09:16AM (#3813637) Homepage Journal
    That during times of social stress, such as war and/or poor economic times, the film industry does better.

    The reasoning is quite simple. People want to excape the harshness of reality, even if only for the break of 2 hours.

    I suspect the record industry wouldn't had noticed any decline, but perhaps even a boost, had they not pissed, moaned,
    and called consumers pirates in general (which doesn't help the consumer excape anything).
  • DVD Sales Booming (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Te1waz ( 453498 )
    Doesn't say much about VHS sales.
    I'd say a fair percentage will be people re-buying what they already have on VHS.
    The fact that the re-released movie will often have a load of extras and 'collectable' packaging and it's the consumers choice to rebuy makes it a valuable retail adition.
    Meanwhile the Music Industry trying to lock-down usage with copy-protected CDs that are incompatible with the Compact Disc standard hoping to cash in like DVD and you can't get more out of touch than that...

    I'm sorry, I've forgotten what my point was...
  • by jht ( 5006 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @09:21AM (#3813674) Homepage Journal
    It's not like the Hollywood studios "get it", either. The reason the DVD format is booming is because it actually delivers reasonably good value at a reasonable price. Most CD's do not. It's also a lot more trivial to rip tunes than it is to rip a movie - and as a playback device the computer today is well-suited to MP3 playback but today is only really a movie playback device for the truly hardcore geek.

    Remember, in many cases the record companies _are_ the movie companies (Sony, AOLTW, etc.). It's not like they've seen the light or anything. These are the people who fund the MPAA (MPAA vs. 2600, anyone?). They just got lucky with DVD and hit a consumer sweet spot. For now.
  • I am an avid punk rock collector. Now with more than 400 compact discs in my collection, I have never bought into the idea that the Internet causes music piracy. I have more than enough bandwidth and burners to download what I want, but purchase the CD to get the liner notes and silk screened art on the compact disc itsself. Did I go buy a CD with the two "Major Tom" songs when I just wanted to hear them once? No, I downloaded them and have since deleted them, but I think the majority of rabid downloaders wouldn't buy compact discs regardless. They are the type that bug people that have purchased the CD in order for them to make a copy.

    Now, I also like movies. My DVD collection is not impressive by any means, but I think piracy will be COMPLETELY different in the movie market, so long as the industry keeps in mind value-add. DVD movies can come with so many extras that you wouldn't get if you ripped just the movie. Even with an exact duplicate of the DVD, some movies contain information booklets in the DVD jacket. If you marry the purchase of the content with the need for the packaging, you will end up with less piracy (IMHO).

  • Well, the most obvious reason I can see, ignoring everything else, is the fact that to get acceptable quality video, a movie is going to take up several gigabytes of disk space. This may not seem like much to the average slashdotter, since we no doubt have our cable modems and 100 gig hard drives, but a lot of consumers are still working with their 4-20 gig hard drives and 56K modems. To these people, the size of these movies are inconceivable and the time it would take to download them is just too long. And DVD burners are still too expensive (and they probably don't let you copy DVDs anyway) to justify purchasing one instead of a legitimate copy of the movie.

    Then there are the P2P apps which just aren't reliable enough for consumers to download the entire movie that they want. You can usually get a song with minimal trouble, but try downloading a 1200 megabyte file - they're rare enough that you can't usually download from multiple sources, and there's a really good chance you'll lose the connection anyway.

    We've got the technology, but we don't have the critical mass of users with broadband and huge hard drives who also share movies on the same P2P network and leave their computers running all the time. There isn't much point in considering the other reasons people are listing here because the difficulty of digitally pirating movies is enough to eclipse other motivating factors. Although, incidentally, I agree that DVDs are much more worth their price for the quality of the product.

  • by Thagg ( 9904 ) <> on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @09:32AM (#3813749) Journal
    I was surprised to read in the article that one of the most important reasons that DVDs do so well compared to CDs is that so many extra features are included with DVDs. It makes sense, you can't see this extra stuff any other way -- it's not in the theaters. On the movies that I work on, the compilation of extras for the DVD has gone from being an afterthought to an integral part of the production. As DVD sales become a larger part of the 'box-office' for films, it wouldn't surprise me if the extras became as big a job as the original effects (we're an FX company, and so far the extras have focused on FX).

    For some albums, there could be wonderful extras. The VH1 Behind the Music show on the making of the Graceland album, for instance, was absolutely wonderful. It had Paul Simon going through the various elements of each song on the original 24-track tape, describing what each element was, where it came from, and what it was meant to convey. He also talked about the lyrics, in a wonderfully honest and reflective way. I'd be happy (ecstatic, even) to pay $20 for a CD if it came with that kind of stuff.

    Unfortunately, much of the pop music today probably doesn't stand up to that kind of in-depth analysis. But these 'extras' might really help distinguish high-quality well-thought-out music from the pap. Well, one can hope.

  • by sixdrift ( 238204 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @09:38AM (#3813785)
    It is easy to blame somebody else when you have a problem. When you monopolize an industry and then crank out near clones of the same basic beat and rhythm over and over and over, why should you wonder? Could it be that over-saturation of the market is taking place? Could it be that people think your product sucks? Could be.
  • of a MAINSTREAM band that is ORIGINAL? I have yet to find many. No originality, no passion, nothing that I want.

  • Aside from the fact that there's not good way to have an enjoyable experience with a downloaded unauthorized copy of a movie right now, there one difference that throws off this whole comparison.

    The quality of video available to the public is increasing, and the prices are decreasing.

    The quality of music (both the audio quality and the quality of the product) is decreasing, while the price is increasing.

    As an aside, has anyone noticed how the variety of music available in music stores has decreased tremendously lately? It's almost impossible to find something specific if it wasn't a top 40 hit in the last 30 years.
  • Two Words (Score:3, Funny)

    by st0rmshad0w ( 412661 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @10:18AM (#3814007)
    There are only two words that need to be said to explain why the music industry is tanking (if it is indeed, which I doubt):

    American Idol
  • by dcavanaugh ( 248349 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @10:40AM (#3814173) Homepage
    Compare a DVD movie to an audio CD. At Walmart, a DVD costs maybe $22, whereas a new-release CD costs $14. Then again, you can rent the DVD at Blockbuster for a few bucks, whereas there is no such thing as audio CD rental.

    The movie is 2 hours of audio + video, with production costs running into the millions. The CD is maybe 1 hour of audio (15 minutes of good stuff diluted with 45 minutes of filler), with a production budget that is a tiny fraction of what the movie costs to produce. The blank media & burning cost of the DVD is probably 5x the cost of the CD. I'm ignoring the promotional costs of both because the hype machine runs at full blast for both anyway.

    There is at least 10x the amount of data on a DVD compared the CD. At $22, it's just not worth finding a way to download & store all those gigabytes. If you can rent the movie for $5 at Blockbuster, it's not even worth considering the piracy alternatives. On the other hand, saving $14 by waiting 10 minutes to download & store 30 megabytes (for 15 minutes of audio)is a much more attractive proposition.

    In my unscientific little survey, the CD price is roughly 65% of the DVD price. For 15 usable minutes of audio??? Which can be easily ripped, burned, and shared??? This would be like the bicycle industry pricing the average bike at $5000 and then wondering why (a) nobody is buying bikes, (b) motorcycles are selling just fine at $8000, and (c) there are these patent-infringing criminals who copy our designs and make bikes for themselves with parts from Home Depot. We must stop the criminals because they are killing our business!

    Emulate the orignal (uncrippled) Napster. Collect $5/month from every customer for unlimited MP3 transfers. Watch the piracy problem disappear. It's that simple. My current budget for CDs is $0, which would increase to $60/year under this arrangement. RIAA, it's your choice: do you want me to pay you $60 or $0 per year? Hint: If you choose $0 you will have a revenue problem.

    The audio piracy problem exists only beause the recording industry's business model encourages it. The DVD industry survives because the prices are not so high as to encourage the pirates, and there are low-cost rentals to make sure they get some money from all potential customers. On the other hand, the audio industry sells only complete albums at inflated prices, without meaningful low-cost options for those who pass up the chance to buy the whole enchilada at full list price. These idiots will soon be getting 100% of nothing, which is precisely what they deserve. If there was an economic category for the Darwin awards, the RIAA would get my nomination.

  • by techstar25 ( 556988 ) <techstar25 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @10:44AM (#3814208) Journal
    DVD Movie: usually over 3 hours of audio and video
    The movie itself (widescreen and fullscreen)
    The movie with a directors commentary
    Isolated score
    Deleted scenes
    Music videos
    "The Making Of" Featurettes and Documentaries
    Actor bios
    Production photos and notes
    DVD-Rom material for your computer

    Music CD: usually 30-50 minutes of audio only
    8-15 Songs
    Sometimes some multimedia to view in your computer
    Sometimes will not play in your computer at all

    The American consumer isn't that dumb.
  • Unit price? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by camfucius ( 549001 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @11:23AM (#3814503)
    I don't know about all of you but my mp3 collection is pretty diverse. I have a song or 2 from hundreds of different 'artists'. But rarely do I have more than 3 songs from the same 'artist'. And more than likely those 3 songs aren't even on the same cd(and yes I have downloaded other songs from their cd's...I just don't keep them because they suck). What do you suppose the chances of me going to buy a $16 cd with 1 or 2 songs that I like on it? Indeed, not very good. Now when I buy a DVD I watch(and like) the whole thing. To me $16 isn't bad for 2 solid hours of entertainment. But in the case of most cds the entertainment lasts around 15 minutes. Not such a good deal. DVD: $8/hr CD: ~$60/hr Just a thought. --------------- Sometimes I feel bad about 'stealing' the music, but that feeling usually passes when I actually do buy a cd and find that 3/4 of the songs are terrible. You can't tell me that the 'artists' don't know that most of the music that they are putting out will never want to be heard. They have to know. And if they do know, why don't they release a cd 1/2 as often and have twice as much good music on a cd. Then I would consider it a better deal. Otherwise aren't they sorta stealing from us? Also, I'm just curious: Has anyone else ever tried to return a cd because the music on the cd was so terrible? We would do it with any other product, wouldn't we?
  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @11:42AM (#3814629) Homepage
    While the movie companies try to entice us to buy by adding extras like deleted scenes onto their discs (thus improving the overall quality of the disc), the RIAA is more concerned with starting lawsuits and draining every last dollar out of consumers than improving their product.

    See these quotes from the article made by Jim Urie, president of Universal Music and Video Distribution:

    Urie says his company doesn't heavily research consumer attitude, noting, "We tend to ask how can we make more money and sell more product, not deal with consumer gripes."

    (Actually, if they dealt with consumer gripes you'd probably sell more product and make more money.)

    Urie argues that lowered prices won't make a dent in downloading, saying, "The fact that consumers can steal music sort of trumps anything else we can do."

    The article makes the very good point that most people have a certain amount they'll spend on entertainment. If CD's and DVD's cost about the same, then the consumer is going to look at how much "bang for the buck" they're getting with each. A DVD is typically packed with extras. A CD, if you're lucky, might have some tiny pictures and lyrics on the insert. No wonder consumers would rather buy the DVD than the CD.
  • McMusic (Score:3, Funny)

    by mrseth ( 69273 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @12:32PM (#3815017) Homepage
    I recently joined a gym that constantly plays what I am guessing is currently popular music (or perhaps what the RIAA would like to ram down our throats). If this is the case, then I would say they're suffering because the music plainly sucks. It all sounds the same, the videos look the same and there is hardly a distinction to be made between songs. It is what I call McMusic. It generally consists of a constant thumping synthesized base drum and not much else in the way of instrumentation and the lyrics are never about anything more imaginitive than about who she wants to fuck or who has fucked her and dumped her or some other relationship psychodrama. On some "songs" they sample other songs that weren't even good when they were popular. I would be happy to NEVER hear "Jack and Diane" again but some idiot thought it would be a great idea to sample the fist few chords and make a sappy, crappy, syrupy love song out of it. Then there's another idiot that ripped off the theme for "The Young and the Restless" that is pure torture to listen to. Perhaps the worst of all though is the one where they've taken the main theme from Pachelbel's Cannon in D minor and put another set of sappy lyrics to it. I mean, am I the only one who thinks Brittany Spears' voice sounds a lot like an infant crying? It's awful. What happened to real music that is interesting to listen to? Where thought and inventiveness of the music can take the listener to places they've not been yet? I can only name a few recent bands that are entertaining to listen to. I am hard pressed to name any that I think are truly musical pioneers. Probably anyone who is doing great things musically either doesn't look like a model and can't dance like N'Sync so the music industry doesn't want them.
  • by KoshClassic ( 325934 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @12:39PM (#3815053)
    If there was a format similar to DVD but more analagous to the way CD albums are packaged, you'd have a format like DVD only each DVD would include 10-12 movies (only 1 or 2 that you actually wanted to see) and cost 10-12 times as much as a current DVD (so more like $200 instead of $20) - No one would buy these, either.

    On the flip side, if there were an audio format packaged in a way that was analagous to DVD's, you'd have CD's with just the one or two good tracks on them, the video for the song and maybe even an interview with the artist, and they'd cost maybe $3, I suspect consumers would nab them up in droves. The funny thing is that we almost have this, they're called CD singles, only they don't cost $3, they cost often $7-8, and the available selection primarily corresponds to the mindless dribble that gets programmed on most FM radio stations by the corporate drones at Clearchannel and their ilk.

    Any industry that doesn't listen to the "gripes" (as Mr. Urie stated) of its customers ought to consider a) how long it will be before it simply has no customers, griping or otherwise and b) Why it would, in turn, expect its customers to give darn about its own gripes - after all, who needs whom more?

    Now, granted, no one can blame Urie for being upset - while he and his cohorts were busy ignoring customer "gripes", others who have paid attention (read: Shawn Fanning etc.) have empowered Urie's customers to do something about it since he himself was unwilling to do so.

    More ominously for Mr. Urie, I think, is that at the same time an unintended side effect has been that all his competition has been empowered - by this I mean the small unsigned bands (who, until now, have been forced to adopt a "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude towards the record labels and their dubious policies) are now achieving previously unheard of levels of promotion and public awareness.

    In fact, I would not be at all suprised if the next Napster or AudioGalaxy is created by a group of artists who are willingly providing their own works for free or for a small fee - the only thing they'll need to achieve critical mass is enough artists, who, by all rights, should eventually figure out who they're better off with, each other or the record labels.

"Remember, extremism in the nondefense of moderation is not a virtue." -- Peter Neumann, about usenet