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File sharing doesn't hurt musicians

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by AaronVonRock, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
  2. I think that expecting people to pay to listen to music they've never heard before, in 2013, is ridiculous.
  3. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    I agree 100%. I'm surprised so many people still actually pay to listen to music these days, whether they've ever heard it before or not.
  4. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Those "101" ways to make money are basically all different ways to say:
    1: Play gigs
    2: Teach
    3: Sell CD's
    4: Sell your stuff online
    5: Win a contest
  5. FerK

    FerK Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2011
    Aaron, a clear differentiation must be made between bands. The file sharing may not hurt some big-labels that much (certainly to a very noticeable level, but it might not make the industry crumble for the next 10 years). But the overall attitude of all-music-should-be-free is not a sustainable model for everyone.

    I feel terrible when I see your black-or-white opinion on the value of music. In the previous thread you made your opinion clear in regards to how the industry should change (a sentiment that I fully share), but I'm surprised you don't realize that the musician must make money somewhere. Paying gigs are nowhere near enough for a 4-member band or bigger (unless you're a blockbuster...hardly ever the case for independent musicians). Let me ask you how you think this band will ever make a living without selling their albums ? They are a 7-piece, touring locally. Merch and gigs only ?

    How about other genres ? Do you see the next Michael Manring living off T-shirts ?
  6. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Not sure what exactly I want to say about this yet, but I believe our world is split in attitudes of people who knew what it was like when you had to pay for music, and people who grew up believing it is, and should be, free. I don't really believe there could be any argument that it would be a whole lot easier, especially with today's technology, for a musicians to earn their living if music wasn't expected to be free. As for the idea of it's ridiculous to expect people to pay for music they never heard, I disagree. You do anything and everything you can to GET your music heard and liked, and then people buy your collection of songs. If the rest of your songs live up to what you promoted, you make money. If not, you don't. I get a little perturbed when people act as if artists are asking a fortune for their songs. Getting pissed about $.99, to support what it is that you love, and do? Hmm...

    Nonetheless, I realize it is 2013, and those who don't rethink the old way only stand to lose. So I'll go back and read that article now. :)
  7. I still buy music, but I don't very often buy mainstream stuff. If I can hear it on Youtube, or Rhapsody I usually go there first. I only buy Mainstream stuff if I'm trying to learn to play it, and want to put it on my MP3 player.

    When I go to a concert, I always buy at least one of the performers CD's.
  8. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    Interesting, I was just reading an article about the pandora..dealio... I guess they pay artists like "fractions of a cent".

    The guy from Cracker said that 'he could make more from the sale of a single T-shirt than the $16.89 Pandora paid him for a million plays of the band's 1993 hit "Low" in the final three months of last year.'

    Now, he also said that he "made $50,000 in royalties last year across all streaming and sales formats"..etc.

    so, yea, kinda different, but kinda the same. I mean If ya pay $.99, you could play it a million times, and they made..well less than 99 cents after eryone is paid..so, I dunno.
    Heres the article:

  9. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    thread derail alert:

    I think we are approaching a golden age of independent music exactly *because* of the music industry's savage beating at the hands of file sharers. It has forced musicians to take things into their own hands, and at the same time, opened up the means of production and distribution to them. The result has been a complete landslide of bands, but also a really rich seam of very high quality, DIY and independent bands.

    I remember buying CDs in the 90s and being so disappointed that supposedly "great" albums by famous bands were just a couple of hit singles and a lot of filler. The big labels would crank out bland, over-marketed bands who would live the high life for a few years and then disappear after 1 or 2 mediocre albums.

    These days you get passionate, driven bands putting on their own shows, releasing their own albums, starting labels, putting on tours... and every penny you spend on their music goes straight back into the music. There are no boardroom execs and greasy A&R men hoovering up the profits. And many of these bands are very, very good because you *have* to be good if you want to get anywhere without a fat label marketing bankroll.

    Yes, we as musicians have to work hard as there is little money in the industry. But it has also weeded out a lot of the weak and the lazy - the image-driven bandwagon jumpers, the lame ducks who just wanted to "make it big" and be rock stars.

    So these are predominantly the types of musician that file sharing has *really* hurt.

    ...oh, and interesting article, ta ;)
  10. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    The record companies made a lot of greedy mistakes in the early days of digital distribution, to be sure. But the fact remains that many of the people who claim to be sticking it to the big labels when they illegally download music are the same people who will illegally download any music they like, be it from a major label or the smallest indie labels. They're not "sticking it to the man;" they're just selfish. Even now, the cost of a typical single from a major label is about as much as you would have paid for a single in the '70s.

    And the idea that "music should be free" - when songs start to pop into existence without any human effort, then music should be free. But as long as it takes time, effort and money, music should only be free when the creator of the music offers it for free. Otherwise, do the right thing and pay for it.
  11. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
  12. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I tend to agree with knumbs here.
  13. FerK

    FerK Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2011
    But then again, and just like I said before, that is NOT the solution. The conclusion of the whole article is:
    My personal belief (and the reason of my personal boycotting the big labels) is that the corporate music industry must disappear, and make room for a totally different business, which is the small label/independent musician produced album (just like knumbs mentioned yesterday).

    In this new industry landscape, a totally musician-centric one, most of the profit goes to the artist. The small label can offer single album contracts for production (mastering, engineering, print for a fee) or profit-sharing. Period. The multi-million contracts that slice sales profits to feed the marketing machine are doomed to die, and make room for the way "new" technology makes music available for people to discover on their own.

    In this "new landscape" though...people still must pay for the music. The big difference with today is that once the production is paid off (and lets be honest...production of a full album doesn't need to cost a million), all sales are >90% profit for the musician.

    But free music...the concept is impractical and insulting. Unless we all agree to condemn music making to the hobby realm.
  14. Jimtoonz

    Jimtoonz Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Imagine, if you will, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker - trying to make either Aja or Gaucho under a modern-day "inde" revenue structure and a "all music should be free" entitlement mentality. IIRC, there were ~35 crack session players on Aja and even more on Gaucho.

    Whether you like those records or not, they are generally acknowledged to be bona fide classics, still popular some 30 plus years after their release.

    I would submit that those records could not be made in the modern revenue system. Independent artists do not have the financial means to make such a record, and the very few artists who have standing with a record company that would allow them to obtain a production budget of the size required would still not be able to obtain the creative freedom required.

    Under the current model, your listening choices going forward will be at one end, independent artists with considerable talent but without the financial means to create a record with a true "big budget" sound - and, at the other end, Taylor Swift and Beyonce.

    This brings to my mind a quote from Woody Allen:

    "More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly".

    Free Music is NOT the answer. For more details read Free Ride: How Digital Parasites Are Destroying the Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back by Robert Levine.
  15. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Not to derail-
    Last week, I sat & listed to the entire Can't Buy A Thrill album...released in 1972...man, what a debut!
  16. And as I mentioned in the previous thread on this subject, why is making music the only industry in which it's okay to take the results for free? Where are the people saying "hamburgers are free" or "haircuts are free", etc.? When you get a plumber to unblock your toilet for free, then come talk to me about music. I'll betcha whatever the OP does to make money, he damn well gets his cheque every time. If you want music for free, buy a radio. Oh wait, shouldn't radios be free as well? :rollno:
  17. FerK

    FerK Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2011
    In Switzerland (where I live) everyone has to pay a quarterly tax to support the local public TV and radio. OK, both of them have very very very little advertising (in average 5 min/hr). But no, not only the devices are not free...the reception is not really free either. And I'm happy to pay my 30 bucks a quarter to barely get any advertising at all.

    Hey, maybe plumbers DO work for free in Thailand.
  18. LordRyan


    Dec 9, 2012
    Modern technology has devalued music. In earlier times a band or musician had to be signed to a label in order to record and distribute their music. Labels would would seek out bands that had the potential to be profitable which in most cases involved a certain level of talent. An artist had to record in a professional recording studio paid for with an advance from the label. The label had staff artists design packaging for the recorded product. Records were sent to distributors who placed them in store racks which was the primary method of distribution.

    Today anybody can make a record in their bedroom so there is so much more product to weed through much of it of questionable quality. Few stores sell music anymore. CD's are practically worthless since every band in existence has one to sell or more often give away. With so much more music available than in previous times the market is so flooded it takes considerable searching to find new music you might like.

    Many artists today seem to think they have an entitlement to make a living at music. Times have changed. It is still possible but with so much more competition than in the past it is very difficult for an artist to stand out from the rest of the pack.
  19. Who is expressing more a sentiment of unrealistic and selfish entitlement?

    A) An artist who as spent years mastering their instrument and the craft of song writing, and expects to be able to sell recordings to supplement his meager profit from touring and selling merch.

    B) A person who feels all music should be free in order to justify their selfish and greedy tendency to steal music.

  20. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Because hamburgers are food, food is a natural requirement for people to live and is a limited resource. Not to mention the amount of processing that is REQUIRED by most governments to adhere to standards for meat preparation, delivery, and cooking. You're discussing a limited resource with much much more overhead and regulation.

    This is a service, arguably in our society one that people find necessary for job standards and such. There are recurring costs such as equipment, building rent, utilities for the building, and again....health and sanitation standards to adhere to.

    Again, another service with a sense of urgency or necessity. People NEED plumbing to work in order to have proper sanitation in their homes/businesses. It is not a frivolity.

    The radio in my car was free :smug:

    What it boils down to is that music is NOT a tradeable commodity or a necessary service, it's a work of art and the value is not dictated by supply/demand, but what the individual is willing to pay based on perceived value. Music can be delivered in many different ways, but as you read up there with Cracker...we're not talking about a whole ton of money when you consider costs incurred, taxes, and splitting it between all the band members. To cite specifically, the guys from Scale the Summit (according to their frontman, Chris Letchford) make most of their money on merch sales...and according to them this is what most of the smart bands do when they want to turn a decent profit. They are on a major label (Prosthetic Records) and are in the upper artist tier. You gotta cover all the bases you can because pennies make dollars, but the ability to let people hear your music for free will make exposure much easier which may lead to concert and merch sales. It's your art, market it how you want, but I've always resented that "You're stealing from the artists!" attitude that major labels try to push out...you're not greasing their exec and marketing tool's pockets, they are who are robbing the artists blind, not people downloading their music for free. Just my $0.02