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The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:34 pm
by happytheman
The Era Of Free Music Is Upon Us. J-Ro

I can see the writing on the wall. The album is dying.
Highly successful artists have started abandoning albums as a way to make money. They are now giving away their music for free. Instead of selling albums, they are concentrating on building their fan bases, putting out quality art, and making their bread through touring and merchandising.

First, Prince decided to give away his latest album Planet Earth in copies of the British tabloid The Mail this past summer. Predictably, the record industry was scared, with music retailers launching lawsuits and investigations and pulling Prince’s other records from the shelves.

Next, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails urged fans to steal his albums, saying, “If I could do what I want right now, I would put out my next album, you could download it from my site at as high a bit-rate as you want, [and] pay $4 through PayPal.”
Finally, Radiohead has told the world that we should pay what we want for their upcoming album In Rainbows. The album will be available as a download and users will really be able to name their price, or even pay nothing at all.
Together, these artists have sold over 55 million albums. They have dozens of top 10 hits to their names. These artists arguably understand the record business better than anyone and they’ve collectively decided that the album isn’t for making money anymore. This isn’t an isolated incident. This is a trend.

Small bands have never made money off albums because they can’t get signed or get a distribution deal. Now, the big guys are foregoing the album as well, giving up what was once their major source of income. The fans aren’t moaning the loss either, being happy to download content piecemeal. In short, nobody has a use for albums anymore besides the record companies. It’s pretty clear to anyone following musical trends that the era of the album is over. The file sharers have won and the era of free music is upon us.
I hope the music industry is ready for this change. I’m sure they see it coming, as they’ve taken steps to deal with the changing marketplace by selling digital downloads and ringtones on one hand and suing their file sharing customers on the other. But I wonder if a record exec has ever seriously thought, “What if nobody will buy albums anymore? What if the album goes extinct?”
The record industry is mammoth, corrupt, greedy, and above all, slow to change. They’ve already been caught flat footed by the digital music revolution. For their sake, let’s hope they are looking a little farther into the future.
I personally won’t morn the death of the album. If it does become extinct, so much the better. Do you think the future of the record industry lies with the album?

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:32 pm
by Kalingzeye
Being 19, I'm smack dab in the middle of this "revolution" of sorts. I completely agree, whether the music industry likes it or not, the CD album is on its last legs. I rarely touch a music CD now, and only buy ones that are older / hard to find online. Which isn't often, but if I like an artist I will absolutely shell out the money. I've been downloading music for at least 7 years, and most other people my age have as well. I don't know a single person my age that hasn't downloaded music from somewhere. That was way back in the day, and as much as companies like Napster and AllofMp3 have been shut down and stomped on, there has been no stopping this trend.
And I'm quite happy. I think it's definitely bringing about a new musical revolution, as well as the industrial one- the music's getting noticeably better. Small bands have the new opportunity to get discovered online and gain a devoted fanbase long before they get signed to a label (if they choose to do that at all) and it's changing the tides from a time where money came first- then the music. Now, I don't doubt the industry is going to fight this tooth and fist till the bitter end, but I think they're going to have to admit sooner or later that there's nothing that they can do to stop this trend- they're going to have to follow suit sooner or later or risk losing everything. :eek:

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:16 pm
by tardistraveler
I always enjoyed the concept of an album . . . songs packaged together for some reason . . . and listening to them as a whole, rather than just individual songs.

The method of distribution isn't as important. I used to really enjoy the artwork that came with an album, but that has been less spectacular since the advent of the CD. I would download an album if that were the only way to obtain it.

But, there's something to be said about browsing a record store . . . all that music in one place . . . all the possibilities . . . it's easier flipping through the racks than trying to search the net for things you may not even know about . . . ;)

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:31 pm
by Kalingzeye
Yes, for me what I really miss about CDs is the album art and the pamphlet stuff inside... Man, I miss that. But starting to replace all those physical things is the loads of multimedia and web-iverse stuff that's getting popular now. Websites, podcasts, artist/video blogs, and all that goodness. Yeah, the vastness of music available online may be bewildering at times, but I get such a great rush when I discover something new and amazing. You never know what awesome music is out there till ya browse around and sample everything... :D

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:06 am
by child-of-the-light
This is so true. It really hit me when I read a recent John Wetton interview. He said that Asias upcoming studio album may very well be the last real album with a Roger Dean cover design. CD's are a thing of the past.

Video killed the radio star.
Mp3 killed the CD
Whats next?

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:13 am
by Kalingzeye
Hm... what can kill an mp3? That's just like... raw data. Can't imagine it now, but there probably will be something to take the mp3's place soon enough... :eek:

Well, as much as physical album artwork is declining, cover art is still a very popular thing. I don't see why Roger Dean wouldn't be able to continue doing artwork, just cause it's not going to be printed? I know I'm quite obsessed with keeping the album art on my iPod complete and orderly, even for random files that don't even have art. I just make my own. I think CD booklets are a thing of the past, but I sincerely hope that album art will be here for a long time. Just cause it's not printed on paper doesn't mean it can't be distributed, I guess~ :\
And ya know what, I've seen some really fantastic / artistic / timeless cover art coming out recently. The field may be changing, but I think there's still a lot of room for it to keep growing~ :)

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:42 pm
by child-of-the-light
Your optimism has made my day :)

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:49 pm
by Tomfoolery
My brother sent me this link this morning... check it out... an editorial on just this topic... quite interesting....

http://www.audioholics.com/news/editorials/radiohead-so-did-the-boot-work

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 12:26 am
by Kalingzeye
Yeah, Tom, that was quite the experiment on their part! I'm very proud of Radiohead for doing something so bold. And didn't it work out well for them! :O I'm super glad they were brave enough to do this, for the sake of all recording artists out there. And I do think it's going to make an impact- everyone's going to be seeing and hearing about this and who knows who else will follow suit.

This type of digital distribution would be a great new way of making money for certain bands who have been notoriously bothered by the economics and limitations regarding certain labels... *cough cough*... I mean.......
(Seriously, though. Us YESfans know ourselves, and we all know what we would be willing to give for another YESalbum. God knows I would pay. And HOW. I'd bet it would make em more money, hands down, than they'd ever get jumping through all the legal and monitary loops at the record company.)

:cool:

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:50 pm
by happytheman
Here is Gene Simmons take on the whole scene...


Gene Simmons: College Kids Killed Music Biz

Wed Nov 14, 2007 1:40 PM EST

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Gene Simmons is a busy man. The legendary KISS founder fills his time with a variety of projects. There's filming for "Gene Simmons Family Jewels," the reality show entering its third season on A&E. And there's an animated show on Nickelodeon called "My Dad the Rock Star."

Simmons is writing his third book -- "Ladies of the Night," a "personal and historical overview" on the profession of prostitution -- coming this spring via his own publishing company, Simmons Books. He also has Simmons Comics, with three comic book series based on characters he's created. The list goes on.

Simmons recently chatted with Billboard about KISS and the music industry.

YOU'VE GOT THE THIRD SERIES OF THE KISSOLOGY DVD COMING OUT NEXT MONTH. IS THERE MUCH MORE WE CAN EXPECT COMING?

There'll be 10. No one -- and that includes the Beatles and Elvis -- can touch our (KISS') merchandising and licensing. Nobody. Outside of the music world, it's only Disney and Lucas. But in the music world, they can't shine our shoes.

ANY TOURING PLANS?

We'll tour a few dates next year. We don't have anything to prove to anybody or do press to convince anybody we're important. We're doing KISS festivals around the Indy car racing series. Simmons Abramson Marketing (his business partnership with entertainment industry veteran Richard Abramson) markets and brands Indy cars. I came up with the I Am Indy brand, by the way. They go on the night before. We'll do 15 dates or so. We'll also go to Australia and New Zealand and maybe to four to six shows -- but nothing comprehensive until we feel like it.

IT HAS BEEN NINE YEARS SINCE WE'VE SEEN A NEW KISS ALBUM. ANY PLANS TO GET BACK INTO THE STUDIO?

The record industry is in such a mess. I called for what it was when college kids first started download music for free -- that they were crooks. I told every record label I spoke with that they just lit the fuse to their own bomb that was going to explode from under them and put them on the street.

There is nothing in me that wants to go in there and do new music. How are you going to deliver it? How are you going to get paid for it if people can just get it for free? I will be putting out a Gene Simmons box set called "Monster" -- a collection of 150 unreleased songs. KISS will have another box set of unreleased music in the next year.

The record industry doesn't have a f---ing clue how to make money. It's only their fault for letting foxes get into the henhouse and then wondering why there's no eggs or chickens. Every little college kid, every freshly-scrubbed little kid's face should have been sued off the face of the earth. They should have taken their houses and cars and nipped it right there in the beginning. Those kids are putting 100,000 to a million people out of work. How can you pick on them? They've got freckles. That's a crook. He may as well be wearing a bandit's mask.

Doesn't affect me. But imagine being a new band with dreams of getting on stage and putting out your own record. Forget it.

BUT SOME ARTISTS LIKE RADIOHEAD AND TRENT REZNOR ARE TRYING TO FIND A NEW BUSINESS MODEL.

That doesn't count. You can't pick on one person as an exception. And that's not a business model that works. I open a store and say "Come on in and pay whatever you want." Are you on f---ing crack? Do you really believe that's a business model that works?

SO WHAT IF MUSIC JUST BECOMES FREE AND ARTISTS MAKE THEIR LIVING OFF OF TOURING AND MERCHANDISE?

Well therein lies the most stupid mistake anybody can make. The most important part is the music. Without that, why would you care? Even the idea that you're considering giving the music away for free makes it easier to give it away for free. The only reason why gold is expensive is because we all agree that it is. There's no real use for it, except we all agree and abide by the idea that gold costs a certain amount per ounce. As soon as you give people the choice to deviate from it, you have chaos and anarchy. And that's what going on.

Post Extras:

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:04 am
by Kalingzeye
I suppose that Gene may not realize that this is NOT "one person" or band trying to create a "new business model". This is an entire generation, and whether or not Gene likes it, there is no way these changes can be undone by any means short of a massive, controlled lock down of the entire internet AND everyone who makes music of any kind. And even that might not stop it. So basically, what these artists are trying to do is adapt, and good for them for having the courage to try new ways of distributing their music. I also think Gene, however awesome Kiss was, is, as we all know, an extremely arrogant and greedy person who has always seemed to care more about money than anything.

I still think one of the great parts about this digital music revolution is that it's been bringing the love and attention back into the creation of music. Lessen the importance of money and constant struggle to get discovered / deal with record labels, bands can (and are) spending much more time creating music for the sake of the music. In the 90s, when the music business was at it's greediest, I felt there was such a huge decline in the quality of what was being released (especially for the price it was being sold for). I've been much more active in discovering new music lately namely for the reason that there's much better music to be discovered! Actual bands now, who write and play their own songs, and are extremely inventive in doing so- not just like... fabricated, fake pop stars who can't even write lyrics, much less compose an actual song, and who can't perform on stage without having to lip sync. (Not to say there isn't a niche in the music market for those people, but REAL music is always much more impressive and enjoyable to listen to.) Just from my personal experience, I do feel there's starting to be a renewal or renaissance of really talented and music-loving artists and bands out there who really put a lot of effort into what they make. And it really shows. :O (((I think I'm much more optimistic about this "era" than Gene is, and I guess I can see why. The poor multi-millionaire (is he a billionaire yet? I don't know) might make (GASP!) slightly less money in royalties than he's used to. Cause God knows he aint got in in him to make new or decent stuff himself anymore. Yeaaaah, "it's all about the MUSIC" my ass. :\ Just my opinion, though, heh. Sigh.)))

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:39 am
by Relayer
The Radiohead release made something between 1.2 and 5 million bucks the first week, says the New York Times, the idea of setting your own price intrigues me so here is the big question, given the choice, how much would you be willing to pay for the next Yes studio album?, if you knew there was no
record company involved in the marketing and or distribution.

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:39 am
by Relayer
The Radiohead release made something between 1.2 and 5 million bucks the first week, says the New York Times, the idea of setting your own price intrigues me so here is the big question, given the choice, how much would you be willing to pay for the next Yes studio album?, if you knew there was no
record company involved in the marketing and or distribution.

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:42 am
by Relayer
sorry about the double post, and the bad editing

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:05 pm
by Kalingzeye
Exactly. I know I'd pay at LEAST $20, but very probably more to support YES. Just for their trouble, if they ever did make another album. And that's coming from a money-starved college student. And I think a lot of YESfans would do the same, but could maybe afford more. Or at least download it, listen to it, and then pay whatever they thought the album was worth. I don't really think YESfans are a cheap bunch; we regard YESmusic very highly and understand the effort that goes into it. Or at least I do, there's always gonna be some cheapskates out there. ;)

EH! I just hope this digital age isn't too new to YESfans (who, you have to admit, might not all be computer savvy) so that they are turned off just by the idea of downloading. I would certainly hope that would never stop any real fans from downloading the album, but I do know some older people who just don't like to download no matter what I tell them. Some would still rather go buy CDs because they're not yet into the computer / mp3-player age. I'd be really interested to see what would happen and who would download if YES chose to go down this route. :)

How bout everyone else? You're obviously computer savvy enough to be online and chatting here, so how about it? Now I'm really interested on everyone's take on this. Would YOU download a new YESalbum if it were offered exclusively online without a record label? If not, why, and if so, how much would you be willing to pay? :D

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:30 am
by Relayer
The thing is this , the $25.00 I offered would be split five ways, in a perfect world, an equal share to each member, that $5.00 is probably at least $4.00 dollars more than they currently get.
Oh yeah, make the CD art downloadable too

N2 is this something we could do a poll on? maybe if we make this lucritive enough ...well, who knows?

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:30 am
by Relayer
The thing is this , the $25.00 I offered would be split five ways, in a perfect world, an equal share to each member, that $5.00 is probably at least $4.00 dollars more than they currently get.
Oh yeah, make the CD art downloadable too

N2 is this something we could do a poll on? maybe if we make this lucritive enough ...well, who knows?

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:44 pm
by Greenglade's Frog
I get a lump in the stomach if I start downloading some real commercially available CD...it is like theft really. If YES came out with a new album, I know where I could find it and download it easily, but I wouldn't do it-- that's going too far really. I could see the band members wince as I would do it...

I have downloaded old LP's which I bought before, but on a small scale.
I download rare out-of-print vynil records that you sometimes find in used record stores.

Mp3's are great, but is the sound really as good? I remember the old days of buying that large, floor tile-size LP record, with the big colorful album cover and sleeve, and the sensual pleasure of it all, and cleaning the album dust after a few days, and sometimes tacking the cover to my wall, and the great uncompressed sound of analog..and the hassle of buying new stylus needles...
Back then you didn't have the burden of 500 other songs to listen to. You had the songs on the album, and you'd get into them for several weeks, and they'd become a more integrated part of your life, along with the entire feel of the album; now it is sometimes like gorging on music, with so many songs...

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:55 pm
by kirk
Kalingzeye wrote:
I suppose that Gene may not realize that this is NOT "one person" or band trying to create a "new business model". This is an entire generation, and whether or not Gene likes it, there is no way these changes can be undone by any means short of a massive, controlled lock down of the entire internet AND everyone who makes music of any kind. And even that might not stop it.

Hi Kalingzeye, (& Hi Ammyyyy!:luv1 :)

It's not as difficult as it may seem.
A few high profile lawsuits places the burden on the ISPs
to monitor traffic closer, ban users or have them arrested.
Remember that warning at the beginning of DVDs...?
It's a Federal crime that carries some huge fines.
I'm sure the ISPs will want no part of that.

I still think one of the great parts about this digital music revolution is that it's been bringing the love and attention back into the creation of music. Lessen the importance of money and constant struggle to get discovered / deal with record labels, bands can (and are) spending much more time creating music for the sake of the music.


Agree about the love of music.
Hobbyists are making decent music, thanks to home studios,
the cost of recording equipment dropping, but that becomes
a rich boy's vanity project (God, i should know :( ).

It'd be great if Guitar Center gave equipment away as well
as us throwing music to the 4 winds after spending thousands
to record, package, replicate, distribute, promote.

I know you may not realize it, but Prog's going to be one of
the first to fall victim. Without sales, tours don't happen,
your favorite artist has to take a day job, the output
slows or vanishes....

W/o a record company's backing for the 1st 4 million-selling
records, Radiohead could've never pulled off that stunt.
Successful bands w/ cash in the bank can compensate, adapt.
New bands (or possibly old, not knowing the Yesmen's
individual finances) w/ no cash, no record company to advance things
like studio time, big name producers, sponsor a tour, are screwed.

That means, at some time in the future, Gene's proverbial
bomb goes off.
It's a long read, but here's a message from Nick Barrett
of Pendragon-


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Gender: Image
Posts: 32

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</TD><TD vAlign=top width="85%" height="100%"><TABLE width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=center>Image</TD><TD vAlign=center>Re: TO ALL PROG FANS!!!!
« Reply #74 on: May 14, 2007, 09:36:42 pm »



</TD><TD style="FONT-SIZE: smaller" vAlign=bottom align=right height=20>ImageQuote </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><HR class=hrcolor width="100%" SIZE=1>I thought as some insight into the effect of downloading you might be interested in the following:

What I can tell you is we are hurtin' because of the overall effect of
downloads. In 2004/05 we made a financial loss as we were busy writing, recording, resurrecting the record label, organising the tour/merchandise etc and generally getting into a lot of debt just 'living'.
Our end of year profit for year ended
2006 [Believe release financial year] was £30,000. 2007 also looks set to make a loss after high touring costs. So that's £30,000 total that Pendragon grossed, over 4 years which is £7,500 a year before tax, royalties to the rest of the band, council tax and I have 3 children and a mortgage......4 years that have see-sawed through terrible
debt for me personally and the band in the vague hope that "when
the next album comes out we'll be able to clear what we owe"....this is the only income I have. To run Pendragon is a full time job.

Just as a small sample, on Komodo alone , over 200 people potentially [we cannot be sure because they don't all "thank" the "releaser"...which is a joke in itself, like these guys wrote and recorded the frikkin album!] downloaded the soundtrack last weekend of our
new DVD Past And Presence as opposed to the 10 people who bought it from our
site, this weekend from our site we sold 2.
300 people have downloaded a sort of "10 album Pendragon package" from Pirate Bay which is a loss for us of between £15,000 and £25,000![depending on whether they would have been retail sales or from a wholesaler] And this is from this one site alone!

We are in a transitional period for this new epoch of downloading, and can
only hope that over time people will realise the damage being done to the
musicians. We accept that it's slow, but we are utterly at the mercy of
the goodwill of YOU the individual, if we are seen to antagonise this we
have heard of people who, in their indignance have gone and downloaded even
more just out of spite.......this, put simply is just bad behaviour, probably a throw back to childhood.."I want my toys, and I want your toys, I want I want....my rights.." utterly selfish f***ing behaviour!

On another forum there was one
guy who said he had downloaded one album and then gone out to buy 80 items
related to that artist.......GREAT, I wish we had 20,000 fans like that, I
am not gonna split hairs over downloading one album, today, tomorrow , 5
years ago or whatever, all we can do is hope that YOU will be responsible and respectful with something we have put our hearts and souls into....and got into shed loads of debt to make!

I hear a lot of psychobable about we need to change our 'business
model', we need to do this, we need to do that...everyone's an expert when it comes to other people's problems, [but usually total imbeciles with their own!]
Let's not forget Pendragon have survived
for 30 years [as a non household name!], if there is any way we can keep
surviving you can bet we've already thought of it!


It is very hard to keep going through this neverending cycle of yo-yoing debt, and play the 'will they, won't they get out of debt with the next album' game.

There is also a creeping new way of thinking, which goes along the lines of, "I download it, if it doesn't instantly entertain me/thrill me, I don't buy it". With this new "MacDonalds" mentality that people are starting to adopt, I am now wondering if I am part of a business I don't want to be involved with.
Some people are saying if a meal was not cooked in restaurant to their satisfaction they wouldn't have to pay for it, well actually they would if there was nothing "wrong" with it...particularly if you'd already eaten it!
This is just git mentality.
Music is not a commodity like buying a grey stark insurance policy, it is supposed to bring some colour into our lives, it raises questions/debate and inspires us, it just so happens that it costs us something to make for which we ask for some reasonable recompense.

Well, The Lamb Lies Down, Tony Banks Curious Feeling and Tears For Fears Seeds Of Love were all albums I loathed when I first heard them, but they were a challenge and I worked with them, listening to them often and carefully over the weeks, I remember where I bought them, when I bought them and they slowly became like precious stones , brilliant and bringing a quality to my life that I will never forget. To see the real value of something you must look much much deeper than you think, trouble is we are lazy.....and we're getting lazier, more selfish and want to make as little effort , sacrifice and cost to ourselves as possible with everything....the world cannot sustain that!

The trouble is, I might get lazy. Will the next Pendragon album be the last one? It's up to you.

Nick B xx
------------------------

Kirk



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Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:29 pm
by Kalingzeye
Hello there! :D Thing is, other than arresting EVERYone they catch, how are they going to stop this? They can shut down website after website, arrest person after person, but there will always be more websites and people sharing music every day. There's no way to wipe them all out, even a full-out crackdown on the entire internet will not stop people from just giving each other their music. Burning CDs for others was the beginning of this, not file-sharing; that just made it easier and allowed people to save money on CDRs. Here's some interesting numbers I found online here:

About 36 million Americans—or 27% of internet users—say they download either music or video files and about half of them have found ways outside of traditional peer-to-peer networks or paid online services to swap their files, according to the most recent survey of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The Project’s national survey of 1,421 adult Internet users conducted between January 13 and February 9, 2005 shows that 19% of current music and video downloaders, or about 7 million adults, say they have downloaded files from someone else’s iPod or MP3 player. About 28%, or 10 million people, say they get music and video files via email and instant messages. However, there is some overlap between these two groups; 9% of downloaders say they have used both of these sources. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent for results based on internet users. In all, 48% of current downloaders have used sources other than peer-to-peer networks or paid music and movie services to get music or video files. Beyond MP3 players, email and instant messaging, these alternative sources include music and movie websites, blogs and online review sites. There are several other highlights in the new Pew Internet Project survey:

----49% of all Americans and 53% of internet users believe that the firms that own and operate file-sharing networks should be deemed responsible for the pirating of music and movie files. Some 18% of all Americans think individual file traders should be held responsible and 12% say both companies and individuals should shoulder responsibility. Almost one in five Americans (18%) say they do not know who should be held responsible or refused to answer the question.
----The public is sharply divided on the question of whether government enforcement against music and movie pirates will work, but broadband users strongly believe that a government crackdown will not succeed. Some 38% of all Americans believe that government efforts would reduce file-sharing and 42% believe that government enforcement would not work very well. Broadband users are more skeptical about government anti-piracy efforts. Some 57% of broadband users believe there is not much the government can do to reduce illegal file-sharing, compared to 32% who believe that enforcement would help control piracy.
----Current file downloaders are now more likely to say they use online music services like iTunes than they are to report using p2p services. The percentage of music downloaders who have tried paid services has grown from 24% in 2004 to 43% in our most recent survey. However, respondents may now be less likely to report peer-to-peer usage due to the stigma associated with the networks.
----The percentage of internet users who say they download music files has increased from 18% (measured in a February 2004 survey) to 22% in our latest survey from January 2005. Still, this number continues to rest well-below the peak level (32%) that we registered in October 2002.
That's all well and good, till you realize that this survey is taken of "ADULT internet users". That freaked me out. If THIS many adults participate in file sharing, imagine the numbers if this were a census taken of people 25 and under- those IN the generation of mp3 sharing and downloading. Of people 25 and under, I wouldn't doubt at all that the percent of those who download music is at least like... 50%. Not joking. So what do you do, arrest half of the country's youth? It's just impossible. The closest you can get is just to shut down the distributors site by site, but that may never be enough.

I'm also not suggesting that people stop paying for music. Digital downloads are great- I buy a lot of music that way- and I see a big market for bands releasing their albums on flash drives and the like, so you can import them directly to your computer. (I think I heard about some people doing this somewhere?) But CDs and all the packaging that comes with them are just too bulky nowadays. Most of it is going to be digital- and I'm speaking for music and video alike.

So I do encourage people to pay for their music when they can, it's just the prices that still have yet to be set in stone. Yes, prices of music will drop, but will NOT bottom out. iTunes' prices are getting there, I MIGHT be willing to pay for their high quality files at 99 cents IF they were DRM-free. I would pay that. But they're not DRM-free, so I stay away from downloading there. The DRM wars happening right now I think are going to solve a lot of these issues. iTunes, as well as other companies like Amazon, are finally starting to offer DRM-free, paid downloads and I think that is definitely the way to go. But until those sites offer it at a REASONABLE price, I (and many others in the same boat) will probably not start purchasing. Right now, I think iTunes is charging like... 1.40 for their "special" DRM-free songs? Ummm no. Like I said, 99 cents I think is about the top price I am willing to pay for a song, but if it's not DRM-free I'm probably not going to buy it. Because then it's practically like you're not even OWNING the songs you pay for. It's a rip-off.

(((iTunes is also going to have to stop being exclusive. Seriously. Right now you can ONLY play songs you buy on iTunes if you own an iPod. Sorry for all you people who are interested in alternate mp3 players. And you can only register them to 5 computers total. So basically, if you ever have more than 5 computers (due either to simple passage of time or if you just really like computers), you will either have to rebuy ALL of your songs or resort to "illegal" means to convert the files you've ALREADY paid for. Which I think is horrible- I'm a big computer person- my family currently has 6 in the house and I'm on my 4th personal computer myself- so I've already gone through 4 of my 5 "allowances". Which is bullcrap, because I plan on keeping the songs I've bought on iTunes y'know... forever. And I will probably have to get a new computer every 4-5 years. So yeah, I guess I'll have to "illegally" convert my bought-and-paid-for files until iTunes gets itself straightened out.))) *grumbles*

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:59 pm
by Kalingzeye
ALSO! :p To clarify further, yeah, I do agree a lot with what you and Nick Barrett are saying. I totally understand his point of view. Music is supposed to be precious and treasured, something of high value that people should deeply respect. But like Barrett said, this sort of "McDonald's mentality" has already taken over. I see no way to stop it, and things are quickly spiraling. The best I can see happening is a last-minute save, something like DRM-free sales.
So yeah, all this being said, this whole thing is just one big mess, in my opinion. I can only just keep going on as I can and hope for the best. I do understand that these people- musicians I mean- still have to make money. It just not going to be through CDs anymore. Digital is going to be the way to go- and although there may always be people downloading and sharing songs, if record labels and companies like iTunes can offer reasonably-priced DRM-free files, I see no reason why profits can't continue just the same as always. :confused:

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:10 am
by kirk
Kalingzeye wrote:ALSO! :p To clarify further, yeah, I do agree a lot with what you and Nick Barrett are saying. I totally understand his point of view. Music is supposed to be precious and treasured, something of high value that people should deeply respect. But like Barrett said, this sort of "McDonald's mentality" has already taken over. I see no way to stop it, and things are quickly spiraling. The best I can see happening is a last-minute save, something like DRM-free sales.
So yeah, all this being said, this whole thing is just one big mess, in my opinion. I can only just keep going on as I can and hope for the best. I do understand that these people- musicians I mean- still have to make money. It just not going to be through CDs anymore. Digital is going to be the way to go- and although there may always be people downloading and sharing songs, if record labels and companies like iTunes can offer reasonably-priced DRM-free files, I see no reason why profits can't continue just the same as always. :confused:


Hi K,

As I pointed out to Nick, There's many factors affecting sales,
not only illegal downloads.
Obviously, Itunes isn't going anywhere, and they're selling
DLs by the truckload...if you're Chris Daughtry, Carrie Underwood.
Daughtry sold 3.5M units last year + D.L.s.
Underwood, 2.5M...but that crowd probably buys as many DLs
as they do dental floss :D .

One of the biggies, is the saturation of CDs.
Most of us have replaced all the key CDs in the collection long ago.
The huge wave that began in the late 80's is long gone.
They try and stimulate sales with "Remastered, added bonus tracks"
ect., but it doesn't last long.

Another thing, Prog isn't exactly mainstream.
On some music sites, it isn't even listed as a sub-category.
To compare Prog w/ Newage- the largest PRRN station,
Aural Moon, peaks at about 150 listeners.
There's sometimes 40,000 listeners on one large Live 365 NA station...!

Then there's the aging of the demographic,
Prog receiving very little radioplay, aside from a few classics.

In some ways, what we're feeling is the demise of Prog,
that was barely hanging on anyway.
If Yes is only selling in the 20,000 range (Magnification)
how can a relatively minor player survive?

I think Stephen Wilson has the right idea.
Be "Proggish", cast a wide net.

P e a c e
Kirk
(I have some catching up to do.."unread posts- 98,873" :confused :)

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:08 am
by Kalingzeye
Haha, yep you're right, there~ iTunes'll be around for a while, I think.

Well, from what I understand, I don't think prog was ever really mainstream. (...was it? I sadly haven't been alive long enough to know, lol. :p ) I don't think prog's going to die just because of all this music industry mess, I'm sure there will always be people making it and there'll always be people wanting to listen to it. It'll may just be more scarce, now that music is quickly globalizing (along with everything else). The more global music becomes, the more sub-categories are being created every day (I can't keep up with em, myself!)- who knows now where prog will fit in the big picture, but I'm sure there will be a place for it. But it will continue living, that's for sure- one of the real advantages of the digital age is that nothing really dies. ;)



...rambling, this sortof reminds me of like... art. Art used to be worth SO much back in the day, and it was highly revered, as were those who created it. But ever since the photograph and things like printmaking (and now digital copies), the value of art has gone down dramatically. Now anybody can go to a crappy store and buy a cheap copy of a Rembrant or Picasso for $10-20. So I've always been used to the idea of the "starving artist". I realize that some people can still make a lot of money in the visual arts, but that's mainly for original work. And few ever really get there. So there are just tons of artists who create, just for the sake of creating, because that's what they love. We may be starving or have various other jobs, but we'll always be doing what we love to do. Just as there are musicians who hold day jobs doing who-knows-what and by night they compose and play~ Just like writers and the demise of books. Just like actors. Artists seem to be a dime a dozen nowadays. I figure, hey, man, it's the arts. It comes with the territory. If you like music so much, make it. Do whatever it takes. Would you give up making music just if it meant you had less of a chance of getting rich? Not if it's what you really loved to do. ;)

God this is all so... bohemian... :p

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:40 am
by kirk
Kalingzeye wrote:
Haha, yep you're right, there~ iTunes'll be around for a while, I think.


Well, from what I understand, I don't think prog was ever really mainstream. (...was it? I sadly haven't been alive long enough to know, lol. :p )


hey k-

In a way. Maybe "common" is a better fit.
I'm sure there was something happening that could
be labeled "mainstream" during that period, I just
don't know anyone that knows what it was.

It's difficult to explain the culture of the day to
someone that wasn't there.
I couldn't tell you what was playing on AM stations.

I only listened to college radio at the time, growing
up during what is now fondly referred to as "the golden
age of FM".
I remember listening to WVUD, U of Dayton (Oh.)
one late night, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" had just
finished, and on came "Seen all Good People".
That was it, I was hooked.


I don't think prog's going to die just because of all this music industry mess, I'm sure there will always be people making it and there'll always be people wanting to listen to it.


I don't think it'll die, die... you can still find Celtic tunes from the
15th century if you're so inclined.
It's that a musician's going to really have to love it to
want to dive in, w/ no hope of ever being signed, a great risk of
dying in obscurity. Putting out a release is costly, giving it
away on the net means it's always going to be little more
than a (very) expensive hobby.



I've always been used to the idea of the "starving artist.
;)

I should've known something was up when the
transcript read "Major: F.ARTS". ;)

Degreed artist here, studied w/ DC comics Sr.Ed Joe Kubert,
apprenticed w/ Moorcock's "Elric" Graphic novelist Michael T. Gilbert
post grad.
"
Would you give up making music just if it meant you had less of a chance of getting rich? Not if it's what you really loved to do


The desire isn't making money, it's not going broke doing it...!
I'll change the avatar, show you a slice of my studio.

Part of being a musician or practicing any artistic discipline
is growing with it. I've made the decision to avoid the standard
Prog tools in composing (Rick Bass? check. Hammond? check...).
That's one of the things imo, that's killing the genre.
I think of it as "getting in touch w/ my inner Eno".

God this is all so... bohemian... :p


See above. ;)

P e a c e

kirk

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:26 pm
by yesman90125
ive really been into porcupine tree over the last 3 years or so
i know i can get all their music online for free but i want this great band to succeed so i bought all my cds from the band at the concerts or from the cd store
i miss the old analog lps too but cds took over
now we have come to downloading i must admit i do alot of it
sometimes i go to a bands sit and pay the 99 cents for a song
sometimes i download it for free but if i really love it i go andbuy the cd if i can get it at borders or amazon.com
if i cant get it i download it and convert the mp3s to wav's so i can play them in my car
i dont think anyone has mentioned it but downloading is changing the movie industry too
i had the simpsons movie downloaded b4 it hit the theaters same with harry potter and spider man 3 so downloading is here to stay and i dont think it can be regulated as soon as one file sharing site is shut down 5 more open up each with millions of subscribers
all agreeing not to download copyrighted and commercially available material
what a joke
downloading is here to stay and it started with the porn industry
it i9s nice being kind of poor these days to get movies and music for free
online but the conversion and downloading process is still a bit of a hassle
to get cd and dvd quality you really have to buy the stuff

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:02 pm
by psychopomp95
I think Kalingzeye gets it, completely!! The de-commodification of art will, I truly believe, be one of the best things to happen to humanity in the 21st century.
Art, when it gets down to it, is for us to be able to 'communicate' with one another, and create understanding, or at least cause an emotional response. Having money as a barrier for all of that, it can be argued, has held humanity back. Art being so much more accessible will be a boon to all of us!

In case anyone thinks I'm being callous, I will point out (standard disclaimer) that I AM a musician/writer, someone who has just spent some money putting together my first album. Did I HAVE to spend the money to make the album? No, I chose to as I thought it would be better for the end result. A labour of love, I guess! If I don't make a cent off of it, I can live with that... I've created something that will, with any luck, be around for a LONG time. Hopefully, in 100 years when I'm gone, my great-great grandchildren will still be able to hear my songs! Isn't that the idea, to "leave your mark" with your art, regardless of how financially successful you are?
Now, all of this said, I'd love it if I could become successful enough with music to do it for a living. Strong odds are, if that does happen, it'll be in the form of playing other songs, not my own. I can live with that!


I feel for Nick Barrett, and others like him, as it's been his liveliehood for many years. I like Pendragon, too, but the sad fact is change can have a negative impact on some while it benefits others. The strong will survive, in any case! And really, he IS talented enough to make it work, I think.
My last thought: why don't some bands put up a PayPal account on their page, or something like it, that lets fans leave outright donations? If you're not paying for their music, at least "leave a tip"... I'm not saying this would be a perfect solution, far from it, but it might help...?

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:43 pm
by Kalingzeye
psychopomp95 wrote:My last thought: why don't some bands put up a PayPal account on their page, or something like it, that lets fans leave outright donations? If you're not paying for their music, at least "leave a tip"... I'm not saying this would be a perfect solution, far from it, but it might help...?


EXACTLY what I've been wanting, too. I mean, some bands have ALL their music available for free but they don't have any donate button! It should be something all band websites have, I think, and they'll probably catch on eventually. Or so I hope. ...Like "Donations to help the next album" or something. Cuz I would totally do that. o_o

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:02 pm
by yesman90125
I wouldn't hit the donate button-sorry but as times change so must art.
the sorry fact is that for most people if you can save 15 dollars you will
it costs in gas and time and with the lost value of the dollar european bands can't compete in the american market
most of the music I like is from England and when new Cd's come out its too expensive to go pay for something I can get free
since my previous post the quality of downloads has gone up
and I'm sorry the internet is as big of a revolution as the automobile
many jobs will be lost or changed if they havn't Allready been .
and many new opportunities will be created
thats the reality of the free market
my state recently put a 5000 student PERMANENT limit on the amount of people that can attend online schools over the internet. thats the power of the teachers union in the democrap party
the milwaukee journal/sentinal just tried to pettition the state assembly to limit people from getting news to 40000 from the internet. so if I wanted to go and watch BBC if I was 40001 I would be blocked-fortunately enough Republicans Stopped it after it passed the state assembly And went to the state senate
free market must prevail keep the internet free
bands and many other businesses will be forced to adjust
kiss and metallica might end up dead bands of the past-oh well

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:14 am
by Kalingzeye
yesman90125 wrote:my state recently put a 5000 student PERMANENT limit on the amount of people that can attend online schools over the internet. thats the power of the teachers union in the democrap party
the milwaukee journal/sentinal just tried to pettition the state assembly to limit people from getting news to 40000 from the internet. so if I wanted to go and watch BBC if I was 40001 I would be blocked-fortunately enough Republicans Stopped it after it passed the state assembly And went to the state senate


Are you serious?!?!? Can they really DO THAT? That's seriously effed up.

yesman90125 wrote:free market must prevail keep the internet free
bands and many other businesses will be forced to adjust


Definitely.

Re: The era of free music is upon us

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:28 pm
by yesman90125
Kalingzeye wrote:Are you serious?!?!? Can they really DO THAT? That's seriously effed up.





not only can they do it but they did do it(PERMANANT)
that amounts to 70 people per county in Wisconsin that are allowed to attend online schools there are nearly 2 million people in milwaukee county alone where this sort of persoal attention to a student is most needed
the news paper thing was shot down by a narrow margin
this has been a huge topic of debate here for days now
though you wont read about it in the papers because the papers were trying to do something similar. this has hardened my resolve to NOT vote for any Democrat-this was a prospeous and succesful state under republican state assembly and senate with a GREAT republican govenor (Tommy Thompson) now we are falling apart.thanks to Crazy liberal Ideas
that restrict everthing they can get their paws into-I doubt most liberals outside of the teachers union would have even supported this had it gone to a refferendum vote rather than quietly passing through the state legislature and being signed into law by our incompotent govenor(Jim Doyle-big time Obama supporter)