For Duritz, who admits he collects bootlegs, bittorrent is being envisioned here as a promotional tool, not a distribution tool. Radio used to be the main promotional tool. Disc jockeys (once fully human, now often pre-programmed since radio stations have all been acquired by large corporations) could make or break an artist. And it's been this way for as long as the recording industry has existed.
Even if you were lucky enough to get time at Sun Studios in Memphis, if the radio did not agree to play your songs, "no one" would know you exist. And you would not become a cash cow for some record company.
No listener has to pay for radio. It's "free".
Duritz is smart. His band is also in need of some promotion.
Who is going to listen to radio at the point when everyone is connected to the internet and when the internet offers a more flexible way to get music "for free"? The answer is no one. That point is inevitable.
1. Assuming he's a reasonably serious collecter that implies he knows all about distribution of "pirated" content. Before file sharing became easy, this used to be the postal mail. People mailed cassette tapes to each other. As an artist, he also sees a side of the "pirating" issue many collectors of bootlegs (perhaps analogous to today's bittorrent addicts) do not see.
It's opinion not fact. No citation needed for opinions of the author.
Nevertheless I will rephrase for anyone who might confuse opinion for fact:
In the author's opinion, Duritz is, with respect to this decision, being smart.
Smart means smart in a business sense.
Time will tell if he is truly being smart in deciding to do this.
People listen to songs on the radio and then buy the recording so that they can play higher-quality versions of their preferred songs on demand.
Nobody rationally torrents a CD rip and then goes to the store to buy the real version.
Further evidence of Duritz naivete: they're releasing a 4-song teaser of their new album on BitTorrent. Exactly what is the advantage of holding back tracks in their official release? It is utterly, absolutely inevitable that high-fidelity versions of all their tracks will be on BitTorrent moments after they become available in any form. Partial teaser releases are a pantomimed form of control and a waste of time. If you believe P2P sharing is a real business benefit, you embrace it for real.
BitTorrent isn't a zero sum game. It's difficult to prevent and any action upsets fans. Why not embrace it and get free PR. Meanwhile, the people that will buy it (or request it on a radio station, or listen on Spotify) need to be aware of the music. And both groups end up attending concerts. So it's really a win for the bands. It's the labels that are at risk.
Neko Case made some comments to the effect of how much her returns were from touring _Middle Cyclone_. I went to that show in Chicago, which packed the large Chicago Theater. Neko Case was repeatedly featured on NPR and other media venues. She is anomalously successful. How amazingly lucrative do you think that tour was for her? Hint: if you're picking between being Neko Case and a senior engineer at Google just based on the money...
Of course, Steve Albini's famous "Some Of Your Friends May Already Be This Fucked" made much the same point about touring. He'd put it this way: if you're picking between being a midlist touring act and a senior manager at Wendy's just based on the money...
Meanwhile, the popular conception of how lucrative a label recording contract was is also mistaken, because it failed to take into account recoup rates and automatic per-sales royalties that are paid out even when albums don't recoup. In reality, the recording contract alone both financed the (very expensive) professional-quality recording of music and provided musicians with a base-level middle class income.
Except this behavior is commonplace. Probably as common as people buying music they've heard on the radio.
Maybe to you it isn't "rational" in some sort of twisted Homo Economicus model, but in the real world it happens all the time.
They followed up by asking why people pay for stuff when they have no problem downloading it. The two main answers were: "If I like it, it buy it" and "I expand my collection any way I can."
David Lowery would say that recorded music sales stats, especially when deconfabulated, bear out that assumption. I'd also suggest that common sense does the same: much of the mainstream market for music can't afford to buy every single track they want to listen to, and yet the suggestion seems to be that they have a monklike devotion to doing that when there is no practical benefit to doing so.
But, obviously, that middle ground still represents a transfer of wealth away from the people who actually produce music and towards a new breed of networked middlemen who capitalize on other people's work and couldn't give a damn about the future of music. Oops, I let my rant seep back in there. Sorry!
I think you are confused about which comment represents an unrealistic oversimplification that doesn't reflect what's happening in the real world.
† (substitute "the mass market" if you're hyperliteral and can't get past the fact that you yourself violate the rule)
Last purchases were Gotye, the vinyl edition of The Hunter, and Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes. He says he's going to buy the Silversun Pickups one at some point.
You've sparked a conversation down our row, and it's almost an even split between 6 people. Some people argue there's no point to buying the CD after download and that they feel going to concerts is payment enough.
There's also some discussion that some listen to so much that they couldn't possibly afford to pay for it all even though they'd like to, but they still want to listen.
Torrenting and then downloading from iTunes makes no sense either.
I do. As a music collector, I prefer to sample the music online before buying it. If the music is sufficient, I eventually buy a physical copy and add it to my collection. The CD is then ripped onto my hard drive.
By purchasing a physical copy, I support local record stores (great people); I also obtain the album artwork, which interests me as a former designer.
I do all the time. Well I don't go to the store, since I have this internet thing that's quite useful for buying stuff through, and sometimes I buy a legal digital download instead of a physical CD, but otherwise I do exactly what you describe all the time. If I find music I really like I want to pay the person who made that music, but I'll leave it up to other do decide if that is rational or not.
I have bought and given away music that I've only listened to pirated (more than once).
I also most likely wouldn't have been to two Bob Dylan and two PJ Harvey concerts if it hadn't been for Napster and BitTorrent.
I think the comparison of the article went a bit over your head. It's all about music/artist promotion, and nothing to do with sales. Otherwise we shouldn't be calling it "the new radio", but "a new radio". Unrelated: who is still going to the store to buy their music? and how often are they actually "CD rips" anymore?
The best example of this "radio" analogy is Dubstep. Soundcloud, free digital downloads, artists practically give away all of their music and leave the option for purchase on iTunes and Beatport. Most revenues are from touring and commercial uses of their music. And "cultural progress" is trotting on.
Revenue By Channel:
Torrent Yes No
Radio Yes Yes
Do you not recognize the train of logic that has led this far down a thread?
How does "but BitTorrent still drives merch revenue" even logically address that point?
Perhaps, but whether one promotional medium is more profitable for artists is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. Filesharing is an exploding cultural trend, and in that sense it is the new radio, not in the sense that the industry should like it or it should be economically efficient.
Eh? Teaser releases are to generate buzz and interest. To gather mindshare.
If you do listen to the sampler, that someone's objective is accomplished - now the album is in your head. Later on, when you think, "hmm, is anything good coming out this week?", you might think about it and buy it. (Of course, if you never buy and always steal, that means you'll steal it, but then you wouldn't have paid for it anyway.)
But some do do it, however irrationally.
HADOPI, a French antipiracy organization http://piracy.ssrc.org/hadopi-says-lets-try-cutting-off-nose...
Music industry lobby group IFPI https://torrentfreak.com/pirates-are-the-music-industrys-mos...
And apparently the Association for Consumer Research in Germany, but the report will never be published. http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&tl...
eta: a study done in Canada http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/2347/125/ and more analysis of the same https://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/article794638.ece
Frankly, I'd rather have Lowery on my side than Counting Crows. But, matter of taste.
Too busy to read? Here's the top line:
* Lowery is Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven; also, a programmer with a math background and now a recording engineering.
* Most musicians make fuck-all from concerts and merch and many live out of their van.
* Musicians were sharing their music for free long before file sharing sites started profiting off their work.
* Technology isn't making recording high-quality music cheaper, but is sapping the returns from doing so.
* When you factor recoup and automatic sale royalties into the picture, the major label system was giving midlist artists a middle class existence, which they've now lost.
* Studies showing an uptick in sales after file sharing are often rigged in obvious, comical ways.
* Youtube and Facebook have made it impossible for midlist artists to set up their own shops online.
You can dismiss Duritz' experience as an ad hom argument, but the fact that he has been able to keep his business going for over 20 years, long past his hit songs, including owning a record label where he guided other bands, shows that he is not stupid when it comes to this subject. I reacted to your cavalier dismissal of his point of view.
On an off topic note, your link gave me a new perspective on your attacks against one of the most important orgs of our times, the EFF. I'll just say that I think if the entire professional music industry disappears we will still, as a society, enjoy tons of music. As long as people enjoy making the stuff it will be produced, same with software and video. But if we lose the internet as a open democratic channel of communication that will take a very long time to replace.
Maybe the truth is that it has always been this way. Maybe musicians didn't ask to be paid for doing what they love. Maybe record companies just realised they could profit recording and distributing a musician's music. And the musicians were quite happy to be paid.
But once record companies give a musician this "easy money", musicians are unlikely to ever want to sacrafice that benefit. Eventually it becomes viewed as an entitlement.
Digital recording and the internet means we don't need record companies to distribute music anymore.
Will musicians stop making music? Will the quality of music decline?
These are very weak arguments with no evidence to support them.
The nice part about actual radio is that it can give unknown artists airplay (and people will actually listen to it).
What happens far more often is that the big labels that are paying (directly or indirectly) get to decide what gets played. And listeners are forced to choose between a handful of intentionally-overlapping stations, each of which is pushing, primarily, an unfortunately small number of "hits".
While bittorrent itself is not a medium that lends itself to discovery, it does at least serve any non-trivial subset of taste and isn't as easily gamed as radio play and shelf space.
Smaller bands advertising via internet route still have YouTube, Soundcloud, etc. I've bought a few albums as a result.
Also, with the proliferation of smartphones, a significant group choose to listen off their own devices rather than slog through yet another pop song + advertising.
Just looking at new uploads, looking at top lists, browsing by tags, and going through by genre yields new finds. It's easy to listen to new/unfamiliar artists risk free, and most passionate music lovers do find a way of getting money back to the artists. At least in my own experience this is the case. I'm sure there are people who are 100% freeloaders, but I wonder if they'd have bought anything ever anyway.
At Presto.fm we're working on a different solution to the problem, by creating a way to discover and stream new music using personalized radio stations seeded with the listener's existing favourite artists or genres. (A bit like some existing services but with a focus on niche artists and a deep catalogue of music).
Presto.fm currently uses music content from YouTube, which is licensed under Google's agreements with the major labels and the NMPA, so that artists can receive royalties from the ads included in player.
Many independent artists also upload their own music for free, just as they do with Soundcloud, etc, as they recognise it as a great way to reach new audiences.
Not to mention file sharing technologies such as direct connect and soulseek that lets you browse everything a user shares which is another way of discovering new content. You can search for something that you like and hopefully discover people with similar taste and find new stuff in their collections.
Never had that problem with torrents...