Now don't get me wrong, I think that selling music in the internet age is a fundamentally broken model, so much more than the donate one. At a time where distributing media is as simple as one click, trying to make money off of distribution is just wrong. Take into account how widespread internet access is today, and do the most basic ecnomical analysis, take "Porter five force" for instance and you'll quickly realize how non-viable this model is. Labels who act as middle men between the artist and their audience might have been needed 20 years ago, but today, what are their added values?
Now, if I do not believe that selling music is profitable, that doesn't mean that musicians cannot make money. Here's a simple business model for you: Make money off concerts and use your records as promotion units. Give your music away for free, hope for success, give a concert, make money.
Labels want to scare you into thinking that their distribution model is the only guarantee that music/art will survive. Let's not forget that musicians existed and made money long, very long before technology allowed businessmen in suits to make money off of them.
Would people here be as enthusiastic if the only way to get paid for writing an app was to sit down and type it out in front of each customer?
I am not arguing that musicians should not make money, far from it. I am merely saying that any business model that relies on "pretending Internet/Technology cannot do this" is flawed, no matter how many laws and regulations you throw at it.
Technology can be very disruptive for some businesses. The 'backspace' button on your keyboard cost a lot of typists their jobs. Machines are driving cinema clerks out of jobs and fridges make ice-hunting obsolete (there was an article featured here on HN about a guy whose job is to get ice off the mountain and distribute it to villages).
To answer your question: I don't know about people here, but if it were up to me, programmers should be held to similar standards I suggest for musicians.
Or figure out another way to make money aside from working for a company and selling products. Since you don't like the app store, you should exclude that from your possible sources of income as well.
I've lost track of the music business, but have they even moved past the "making it difficult for people to buy music digitally and randomly suing young music fans while cheating the musicians" stage yet? Maybe they should try just selling music online directly from artist to fan for a while (and sack anyone who's no longer contributing materially to that goal) before moving on to the giving it away for free stage.
An app store for musicians I think is a fantastic idea and I don't understand the babarock's distaste for that. It seems some people are just opposed to any way of profiting from digital creative work whatsoever (although conveniently their personal source of income always seems to be ok). I find it hypocritical. It is very, very difficult to be a musician for all but the hugely successful.
I read something about the RIAA having stopped their lawsuit strategy http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/05/riaa-bump/. I don't know if that's actually true or not.
If you are into mainstream music perhaps, but if you are in the United States and like music from a Dutch group you won't find it on iTunes in the US music store, it will be in the Dutch iTunes store. But you can't purchase the music from the Dutch iTunes store because it requires a Dutch iTunes account.
There are so many times now that I have looked for legal ways to purchase music, particularly music from Europe (where I am from) where the techno/trance/electronic scene is so much bigger and I just can't get it legally. I start searching for various different websites that might sell it to me and there are restrictions because I am in the US. Then I try to find it on Amazon or other sites and get physical copies and I end up on shady looking websites where I am not even sure I want to enter my credit card credentials.
I feel much more secure grabbing a .magnet link from The Pirate Bay than I feel inputting my personal information on various different websites while hunting for the music I want. The worst is when you follow a "Download here" or "Purchase here" link and you end up on yet another website that sends you to yet another website and so on and so forth.
These days pirating simply isn't an option for me due to my job, and I don't like to do it, so I find the music on Grooveshark, or Spotify or hope that it comes by on Pandora again, until the next time when I am in The Netherlands and I can walk into a record store and purchase the stuff on a CD.
I apologize if I'm projecting an attitude into your comments that's not there, I may be reacting to a general trend and not your comment specifically.
People implicitly (or explicitly) believe that changing this behavior will cause them to fail, but the main point isn't about their failing. In fact, the best outcome would be the label's succeeding despite giving up on the current business model.
How are they trying to create this artificial scarcity? Many if not all the major labels have a lot of their artists music available via digital formats like iTunes and Amazon, etc. They just have the crazy idea that if you want to listen to their artists music whether it be via a CD, 12" or MP3 that you should pay them for it.
Secondly, it's artificial because they're leveraging the government to enforce it. If they took no action, there would be no scarcity. Therefore it is artificial.
Contrast this with, say, physical goods: even if the manufacturer does nothing about limiting the distribution of whatever you purchased, it would still be scarce because making copies requires significant resources.
Fundamentally, economics is about managing scarcity. The main reason you pay for some resource is because it is scarce. So their "crazy idea" is exactly that: creating scarcity.
You are arguing that nothing digital should ever be sold.
I disagree, and would assert that information does not magically lose its value because of the support medium being easy to copy. Just because you can copy information easily, has no bearing on whether you should. Society has rules to enforce not copying the intellectual labour of others, and has done since ideas could be copied easily on bits of paper.
A. High demand, low supply raises prices. If I reduce the supply, I can increase the price (up to a certain limit).
B. Music has high demand. Music labels have controlled supply for years, giving us the "normal" pricing for CDs.
C. With the Internet, the incremental supply costs go to zero. Supply is also infinite (anybody can create a copy), so the price drops to zero.
D. The only way to keep the price above zero is to create a scarcity that doesn't actually exist. The labels have done this by fighting putting anything online, suing people who copy files, getting the government to criminally try a class of people who copy and using DRM to prevent copying. The whole goal of all of this is to introduce a scarcity into the product so people will pay.
tikhonj then attempted to clarify what she or he meant, but rather than explaining that your interpretation, while reasonable, was different from what was meant, just went ahead and explained the economics definition of "scarcity". Based on this later reply, you appear to have read that as tikhonj disagreeing with you on what scarcity is, rather than clarifying what she or he meant. Your reply at the time "I still don't see how", however, doesn't make this clear at all.
Now, SoftwareMaven and tikhonj both interpret your reply as you not seeing how the music industry has, in fact, created "scarcity", in the technical sense, and proceed to reason through exactly how the actions of the music labels resulted in a phenomenon that satisfies the technical definition of "scarcity".
Isn't it amusing when humans try to communicate?
This is not hard to understand. You may choose not to understand it, but you're playing a game with yourself that the rest of us are not obligated to accept.
If I build an app and sell it for a $1 and someone purchases it for that amount and then makes a copy for his friend I have simply missed out on revenue, but my time wasn't stolen nor was my app.
Without these restrictions you would be able to make an effective unbounded number of copies because each copy has a resource cost of basically zero--there would be no scarcity. With these restrictions, you can only make as many copies as the labels allow you to, which means the number of copies is bounded.
I should note that this is orthogonal to whether you think they are justified in seeking to be paid for their songs: in either case, they ensure being paid by making the songs more scarce using copyright.
Nowdays, it's even easier for software guys to say that MP3s and so on should be free when the dominant modes of end-user software delivery are restricted somehow (with the exception of business software, but businesses are easy to sue). It's not their information that wants to be free, just someone else's.
All the best developer tools (Linux, Emacs, compilers...) are entirely free. They even go beyond simply being free to access--you are free to do whatever you want with them, and, moreover, there are guarantees for a lot that nobody can take that freedom away.
It is completely reasonable to basically only use free software. The only non-free software I have at the moment is probably Flash, and that's becoming increasingly less needed every day. Additionally, a lot of programmers get paid to work on open source already--even my current internship involves writing open source software. Additionally, a lot of developers work on software that does not get distributed as a product--they're being paid to solve a problem for some business rather than being paid for a copy of some software they wrote.
So really, the reason it's easy for developers to ask this is because it works for us already.
There's nothing wrong with paying for stuff that you want. There is something wrong in stealing (okay, pirating) stuff you want for free. I don't understand why this is controversial, and I do not believe in a fantasy world where everything is free. Ever since there was civilization, there's been no free lunch.
(My comment made more sense before the parent was edited)
ummm, here maybe? - http://www.arcemu.org/about.php
If you want to know how much money an artist makes from selling a CD in a supermarket, you can find a large number of handwavy blog posts, but the conclusion is consistently "probably not a lot, but depends on what they could negotiate".
If you want to know what an app developer makes from selling a $0.99 app? The answer is $0.70.
I think that makes a lot of difference in trust in the channel from both sides of the table.
Independent music on Itunes, for example, has a fixed royalty. From what I gather, a 0.99 song has the same 0.70 royalty you're talking about for apps.
The CD example you're talking about is more like boxed software, which suffers from the same transparency issues.
The big difference between the two are that store shelf music is basically the same product as downloaded music. Unlike apps, which are on different devices, serve different purposes, and have a very different price point than boxed software.
While music is routinely pirated (and this action sanctioned in many communities), apps aren't (and it's not because of jailing - this is also true for Android apps). While I'm sure pirated apps are available, I've just never come across them, it's nowhere nearly as conspicuous as pirated music.
The consulting model works for some software, but not all. (obviously, there are people who disagree and think it can.) it seems like a mistake to take a model that works for some software and decide it will work for all music.
Sounds like the music business does have a lot in common with app stores.
I left it out because I'm not 100% confident that there's solid economic theory to back it up, but it's strange that my gut instinct is 180 degrees from yours, where you welcome the lottery aspect of the market.
You have music pouring out of every speaker on earth. Its kind of hard to ask for money for that. Its like selling sand in Sahara.
I can honestly tell you that if all the record companies would die over night, I wouldnt even care one bit. The artists would find other ways to get together and put out their music, and without getting screwed.
EDIT: my point is don't complain that people aren't buying your product if you're charging them a price that's waaay above market value
25 cents, really? That's what a second rate pickle costs. A lifetime of enjoyment is only worth a bite of a pickle? I happen to think music is way undervalued, because people just aren't very good at evaluating the long term value of it.
Now wait a minute there. What about an eBook? What about a movie or TV episode?
If Angry Birds for $1.99 is the price standard for everything, you're setting up a trap that most everything is going to fall into.
I've tried Angry Birds on demo tablets in stores -- and countless YouTube videos demoing tablets -- and I don't see the appeal. Even free, I wouldn't want it. Most games simply don't appeal to me. I'd rather read or listen to music or watch video.
Angry Birds might be worth $1.99 to you, but to me it has negative value.
And added what to human productivity and betterment? Never use money as a measure for anything except money.
It may be practically difficult to enforce, but asking people to pay for the effort involved in creating content is not wrong. There's nothing wrong with asking for contributions for the effort involved in creating a song, and nothing wrong with respecting that. Some artists don't want to perform in concerts, but like recording and sharing their music.
Personally I don't feel the donate model is strong enough to support music because given the choice most people won't donate, but if you tell people they are expected to pay some small amount, and make it easier than not paying, the majority will be happy to pay for content.
The current system of big labels is not required for creating and selling content, and is not the only way to do it - for example artists can sell direct via the internet. There's never been a better time to sell content digitally.
> It may be practically difficult to enforce, but asking people to pay for the effort involved in creating content is not wrong.
Parent not argue that paying people for the effort involved in creating content is wrong. Parent argued that demanding money for the negligible effort involved in distributing content is wrong. Parent went on to suggest ways to make money from creating content.
In another comment, parent also pointed out that she or he, personally, makes plenty of money from creating software, without anyone attempting to make money off of its distribution. I personally am hopeful a similar sustainable business model may be found for music, some day.
The comment was quite explicitly arguing that selling content (music) is fundamentally broken and can never work. I disagree. Additionally, distribution is not always easy or straightforward, and charging money to host content and process payments (i.e. handling distribution) is not wrong either (morally or functionally).
If someone wants to sell their own music that is fine (and quite possible nowadays), but arguing that selling music via a store is fundamentally broken is proved wrong by the popularity of stores like Amazon and iTunes, and I see nothing wrong with those intermediaries who take a cut for providing a service (storefront). You can argue with the cut, or particular terms, but distributors will always exist because not everyone wants to deal with the hassles of distribution/sales. Some people just want to create and make some money from that.
That either of the above two things can be done badly, does not make them wrong or impossible.
Maybe our society should develop something similar for art? Although the current crisis/capitalistic atmosphere is kinda counterproductive for such causes.
If it were always that simple, wouldn't everyone be doing it? You'll never see an unsigned band making its fortune off an arena tour, for one. It wouldn't be able to afford to organise it.
A lot of bands that want to do it for a living will gig the usual local circuit until some label rep picks them up and funds an LP and bigger tour.
People will like to think they're no longer relevant, and a response to the old-hat ways of the biggest labels (Sony, EMI, etc.) has been an upsurge in indie labels. Much like game and book publishers, they do serve a purpose in giving bands they like a break, thus allowing them to put out a record or two and gig on the wider circuit. Those bands might never have had the finances to do that originally.
Hell, I was in one such struggling band a few years ago.
Anyway, I don't think selling music is a broken model. But I do think that other ways to empower fresh, unsigned bands are necessary. Much like technology has empowered entrepreneurs and helped many a startup scene to flourish.
Who owns the copyright to the LP in this scenario?
I'm just wondering if there's much difference between giving your music away to fans and giving your music away to a label, except the fans won't use obscure accounting practices to make it seems like you owe them money.
I think the distribution of rewards will be a bit different than the traditional one, though, which may be good or bad. Casual listeners aren't great for monetizing via merchandize. You either need a good base of real fans, people who want to wear your band's shirt, have an album-cover print on their wall, own the special limited-edition whatever; or else you need to appeal to a genre/niche with a strong collectors' market (or both).
The make-money-from-touring model is working very well for artists who already made a name for themselves under the old model. However, there are artists who can't or don't want to perform live. Arguably the Beatles' best work was done after they gave up touring and concentrated on recorded work. Must every electronic artist whose medium is `tape' be forced to contrive a live show or take up DJing if they want to eat?
The ones that threw drummers, violinists and piano tuners and all kinds of instrument makers on the historical scrap heap in favor of drum machines, synths, midi keyboards and samplers? And dispensed with producers and sound engineers and session guitarists in favour of a home "studio" that's basically a macbook pro?
And now you tell me they don't even want to employ roadies and tour managers and support live music venues? My God, it's practically cultural genocide...
...or it's opened up a whole new world of musical opportunities that perhaps weren't obvious to those who would have fought to remain in the past if they could?
A whole different palette of sounds and techniques (musique concrete, acid house, detroit techno, …);
a means of enabling independent artists to realise their musical visions without big budgets (drum machines and synths enabled underground artists to keep the disco vibe alive after it died commercially, the budgets for big string and horn sections having disappeared); or
a means for cost-cutting and putting people out of work (much of current pop music fits into this category, I wish all those pop stars who profess to be so influenced by Michael Jackson, when they mean that they dance and have music videos as well as singing, would mean rather that they have great producers and arrangers and songwriters and session musicians and sound engineers create their recordings with them, of the calibre of Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton, Bruce Swedien, …).
...which may or may not work for some genres of music.
Why do you imply that artists cannot sell content by themselves? Where is the connection between that particular business model and middlemen? Artists who make money off concerts might have a middleman as well.
Or the other way around, music that is sold does not need a middleman (unless you count iTunes).
iTunes couldn't be more painless - search, click, password. It's true that the death of scarcity makes it hard to compete with hundreds of other sources offering it for free, but many people, myself included, find it worth the $15 AUD to get it legally without having to dick around with seeders, shitting ID3 tags, album artwork, and deleting original files after an iTunes import.
What Alphabasic is doing is fantastic. I love Bandcamp. I wish everyone used it. It has lossless files, and all the music is streamable.
Convenience is a big deal, it's why iTunes, and hotel room service, is popular and profitable.
That is the best of both worlds: easy to download, easy to pay for (when the label has the easy money transaction thingie going on). Not far away from a simple donate button.
Maybe musicians should "sell" their album through kickstarter :)
A band could record a few songs as a sample of their work, maybe sell them on bandcamp or distribute under the donate model, then have a kickstarter for their next album.
If enough people like their music and want to hear more of it, or if a few people _really_ like their music then the band will be paid and they will make their new album.
If they don't gather enough fans then they are either unpopular or can't gather the exposure, both of which would also be problems under any other model, but this time are discovered before any money is spent/lent up front.
but: counterexample! dwarf fortress! this unique game finances one dedicated full time developer since (felt) decades (though i'm not on top of developments in recent years). it works because it's a niche product with an incredibly dedicated fan base. and the developer puts them under pressure: he'll work on the game as long as he can live off the donations. as soon as people stop donating enough ...
Granted, copying isn't technically theft yada yada, but it sure as hell isn't a donation when you pay the content provider a set price for the content.
After searching around (which, to Benn's point, probably took longer than illegally downloading) I found it listed on Amazon. After I downloaded their ridiculous download software (just give me a zip?), I got right up to paying, when I was told that they were not licensed to sell to countries outside the US. Great. I can't buy my country's own product on Amazon. Nice one music industry.
At that point I gave up.
The first couple of downloads (I don't know how many, maybe the first 100) of a track/album are usually free, and after that you pay for the music. So when you suddenly go all Lady Gaga as an Indie artist you get at least something out of it, but when nobody knows you the can have a free listen.
If the free downloads are out, you have to buy the music. Some artists have a steady price like 8-10$ per album or 3-4$ for an EP (which I find very reasonable and am totally willing to pay if it goes directly to the artist, and it mostly does!) and some let you choose the amount you want to pay for the music. And if that wasn't enough, if you have paid for the download, you get the audio files in almost every possible format existing.
Ah, bandcamp. Music distributing done right.
Some more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandcamp
- Pricing model: Set by artists
- Available audio formats are MP3, FLAC, AAA (aka .m4a), Vorbis and Apple Lossless and even more
- About 4 million songs online, including music from Sufjan Stevens, Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls) and Coer de Pirate, and game soundtracks from Minecraft, Machinarium and Plants vs Zombies
And last but not least: http://bandcamp.com/faq (yes, they do cover all questions who could possible arise)
(And no, I don't work for them. I just love them, as do many others: http://bandcamp.com/testimonials)
When someone buys an album, the money goes to our Paypal account immediately. Not only is the sales stats updated in real time, you can even play Defender on the graphs. Other digital retailers like iTunes take months just to get a sales report, let alone get paid.
I'd say 90% of our digital revenue comes from Bandcamp, which is surprising.
It's the same price as a CD if you count out one and a half links in the retail chain.
It's expensive enough to make one hesitate.
IMO it should cost what it brings the artists today, +15% for distribution and everything would be fine, we'd all buy tons of music @ 1.15 bucks a CD and everyone would be happy.
I want to know what I'm buying and iTunes previews, shareware trials, demo versions, movie trailers or what have you aren't nearly good enough to decide if I like something or not. Or someone just drags an MP3 on my Skype icon: "Hey, did you hear this song? It's really good!" -- "Wow, yes it is." (I'm a naughty pirate now, but if it weren't for piracy I'd never have listened to that song).
So when I do find something I really like, be that music, software or a TV show, I often _want_ to give the creators some cash. And it's incredibly frustrating to do that. Maybe the band is on iTunes, but that album with the nice song isn't (and as they pointed out, you'd end up giving cash to people who contributed nothing to the process of creating the stuff you like). Or the movie isn't available as digital download and you're supposed to buy a little plastic box with a disc in it that you have to dust off regularly and modern computers don't even have a slot for anymore. Plus, you already have the damn thing anyways, so all you really want to do is throw some money at people to show that you appreciate their work and want them to be able to pay the rent so they can keep making cool stuff. So why not make it as easy as possible to give you money?
Speaking of easy, my only problem with the above page is that I have a beef with PayPal and would greatly prefer them not profiting from anything I do (well, actually I would prefer for gaping holes to simultaneously open underneath their offices and suck them down straight to an equivalent number of burning, spiked pits in hell, but that's another story). So maybe provide some options here. Other than that, best of luck, and please let us know how it works out.
This happened years ago. After hearing about it and trying the demo, I downloaded what I thought was the full copy over a P2P network.
The downloaded game behaved like the full copy and contained the first 2 levels as far as I remember. After that came a sequence spoken by the scientist that went a bit like "Let's be honest. You and I know that this isn't a legal copy and I don't blame you." and went on about how supporting the developers was important. After that no further levels could be played.
Introversion seems to have leaked this version on P2P networks themselves. I bought the full copy a short while later.
It's strange that I have yet to find any online sources or Youtube videos about this on the web. I guess no one wants to admit having pirated Darwinia.
Such a poor choice of words.
However, I'm actually surprised they didn't mention their Bandcamp presence, where I bought something a few month ago and was very pleased with the experience. But then again, I don't know from when the "Hello Downloader" document is.
Also, don't kid yourself. It is a crime (morally wrong, if not outright encoded in law) to download someone else's work for free so that you can enjoy it without paying a dime to anyone (even the artist), unless they're giving it away. You don't even see that page unless you tried to acquire their artists' work for free.
Other people have gotten into moral arguments here, and I'll leave them to it, but I should point out that downloading a file is not, legally speaking, a crime. Its not a felony, its not even a misdemeanor. Its just a civil infraction. Just like breaking the speed limit isn't a crime.
Well, if you exceed it by 20 mph where I grew up it becomes "criminal speeding", a misdemeanor.
EDIT: I wonder if we wouldn't all be better of if we started talking about copyright infringement as "trespass" rather than "theft". You are, legally speaking, trespassing on someone's copyright when you pirate an mp3, and it nicely conveys that people are doing something wrong that isn't as wrong as a felony like stealing.
I'd say exactly the oposite. It's illegal (= prohibited by law), but might not be morally wrong - I don't feel bad for downloading movies/music when any of the following are met:
(i) the content is not readily available (e.g. movies right after release, movies and music in non-G6 countries)
(ii) the content is of shitty quality or atmosphere (e.g. low bitrate, CDs, cinemas)
(iii) I would not pay for content (i.e. even if it were readily available in supreme quality, I would rather not have it than buy it) (e.g. albums that I'm not sure are good).
When something is stolen, the owner no longer has it. This is not the case with copyright infringement.
This may or may not be morally right or wrong in certain situations. But it is definitely different than "stealing", and just applying our same moral and ethical precepts about theft to copyright infringement does not work. They are fundamentally different and must be considered separately.
I belong to the second group. Let me try to explain it to you... Would you rather that I stole your car, or just copy it?
First, you're attacking me/my intellect. Then, you make an assertion without providing even the slightest proof/argument for it (I'm not a native English speaker, but I'd say that the dictionary definition of stealing disagrees with you), and you're ignoring my real argument completely (i.e. that copying is different from depriving someone of a physical item which I just called "stealing").
Lastly, humans didn't just invent a new way for things to exist, humans also invented concepts such as property and intellectual property. The last one is actually quite new! So, stealing is a concept that is completely defined by the society, and I think it's in our best interest to talk about it, discuss how we should define it in the future.
where is the loss of profits?
Only assuming that I would otherwise (if I hadn't copied it) pay. Which is often a false premise. Especially for people like me, who simply cannot pay, even if we want to (I don't live in the US, so much of the online content isn't available to me).
I agree that not paying sometimes is stealing. E.g. when you don't pay a masseuse/prostituta after they have delivered their service. But, that is a completely different situation (you agreed to a exchange time<-->money, then you essentially broke the contract).
Car stealing/copying is the best comparison I could think of. Maybe a better one would be, stealing a car from the company that makes it, vs. building an exact copy at home. The second one might be objectionable (infringing of patents & copyright), but they are most certainly not the same.
I hope this clarifies my earlier argument a bit.
@Tomp - Well it's hard to compare digital products to physical products since you don't have to create the item more than once for a digital good. Just because you didn't plan to pay anyway, doesn't make it any less "stealing" You can't use the argument "I was never going to buy it anyway" as a valid reason for stealing something.
And that still leaves two other arguments. Personally, I downloaded a lot of music and movies when I was a poor HS/college student and there was literally 0 chance of me purchasing them as an alternative. The lost profits argument just doesn't apply.
1: An album is available for $10. It is worth $5 to me. I don't buy it.
2: An album is available for $10. It's worth $5 to me. I pirate it and obtain it for $0.
The second set of circumstances is better for everyone: I have gained total welfare of $5 and no one has lost out. I don't see how this is worse than the first option, or morally wrong..
It isn't your right to choose the price you'd pay for something and then copy it if you feel so inclined. You either pay the asking price for a good / service, or you don't pay and don't enjoy the benefits of the service / good. This is why copyright infringement which subverts this system is illegal.
Even if you do think copyright is still appropriate, it needs to be carefully managed. In general, the purpose of copyright was never to ensure authors have some 'right' to control their work in perpetuity, as is commonly assumed today --- you can see that at work right there in the US Constitution 'To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries'. There's some interesting discussion here http://rufuspollock.org/economics/papers/optimal_copyright_t...
I'm sure that the artist getting a new fan, and becoming more popular for free is a very dangerous process indeed :-) ...
I think most people underestimate the effect that file-sharing has had on our society. Music is so popular, not because of MTV, but because of napster&ThePirateBay&YouTube. If it weren't for these services, most people would probably listen to at most 10% of the music they listen to now, more likely 1%.
So, stop supporting these products, and instead, support products that are meeting your needs.
The tongue-in-cheek of that didn't register? He wasn't being insulting. He was using the terms the music industry itself uses. And the "pseudo" preceding "criminal" should have been seen as tongue-in-cheek in that context.
Also, that's an excellent electronic/idm album to work to.
But I clicked the link. I read it. No fancy HTML. Strong points.
So I clicked donate anyway. It might not be much, it won't last, and I wont donate to them every month, but hey, for me it's more of a way to say "I support your point of view".
There's some interesting things that you could build off of this:
- Media players could show a little badge whenever you're playing a song you've donated to. They could also remind you (if you wanted) when you listen to a song frequently but haven't supported it.
- Hook into Facebook - when someone downloads a song, they can see which of their friends have donated to it.
- An additional metric for music suggestion services. What better way to show you like a song than by putting your money where your mouth is?
What's wrong with the current style?
How much is a label spending combating piracy? How many labels have actually prevented an album become available via bit-torrent?
Few albums actually flop because they can be pirated. I think a viable strategy is for the label themselves to upload the album with a message like this. Its going to be pirated anyway. These people aren't going to go to iTunes or buy the CD. Why not just have a simple message which says something like:
"If you enjoyed this album please consider making a donation to the artist. The artist will receive 85% of your donation. The other 15% helps cover the cost of production."
I mean, its worth a shot isn't it.
Contrary to popular belief, music labels are NOT (for the most part) middle-men (i.e. content distributors). In reality, they are INVESTORS. They bet on a number of artists (providing them with managers, tour opportunities, studios, promotion), and only a small number succeed. It's actually quite reasonable for them to expect a huge payoff (= a large cut of the profits) from the ones who do.
Once someone has made a name for themselves, it would seem perfectly reasonable for a label or a venue to approach them about doing a concert or a tour and taking a cut of the proceeds.
Perhaps the problem is that bands or artists want to fast-track their road to fame. In signing with a label, it seems like they are giving up a lot to get there faster. The question is, can artists who are willing to work their way up more slowly or organically able to, or are certain doors closed because they aren't signed with a label?
“People always ask us, ‘You own it, right? No? Why’d you sign that deal?’ And I have to say, ‘Because I was sleeping on my friend’s couch.’ ”
I looked into adding one to a site, but the PayPal terms seem to make it pretty clear they're for non-profits or giving money for a specific cause. If you get >$10k in "donations" they can/will even hold your money and require "proof" it's going to the cause you tell people it's going to.
I've seen the buttons on a number of sites, and they rarely seem to match up with the PayPal TOS for donations. Does PayPal not enforce that requirement?
In my case, I've decided to go with a small, one time signup fee, but I'm still curious.