In an interview from the music business annual Midem, we speak to John Kennedy, chairman and CEO of the IPFI, the international trade group representing record labels. (Later in the week we'll hear the view from the independent sector – presenting a very different picture.) Here he talks about the new ISP strategy, and the …
Listen to the whinge
Oh look, its a parasite looking to maintain his place in the sun.
The sooner this type die a death the better off everyone will be. They have stolen extreme amounts of money over the years, and now when they are of no point or interest any more they will try everything to keep that money flowing.
"Oh we support so many struggling musicians"
"Without us there would be no new music"
The truth is everyone realises they have commoditised, commercialised and dumbed down what they offer to the point were not ever 8 year olds are fooled any more. They don't support new music, they look to exploit when they can, while they can, with terms that make them rich. They have removed themselves from having any point or place. Artists can keep 90% of their earnings in future, not 10% and can make a good living by creating good music that others want to hear and are prepared to support.
The era of big business as the music business is ending - and that's a good thing.
[PS ISPs paying these parasites? Get lost you waste of space]
Where is the Court Order to even look at my packets
This is such an obvious invasion of privacy and illegal search that for once I am glad I am in America. All evidence found after illegally tapping my internet would be instantly thrown out of every Court, but Gitmo(and not even there once Bush is out).
Its hilarious that Europeans throw a fit about US lack of data protection, yet the US government isn't the one leaking personal data left and right. Now your government wants to snoop on every packet you send or receive.
Music has never been more dull
Yes, when the prosecution warnings came out four years ago, I stopped my sharing. Howveer, there is nothing new in the mainstream music world that inspires me to listen to it. I'm still converting my old vinyl and listening to that. Free or at 99cents per track, I don't want it.
They just don't get it do they.....
If we make it hard to download illeagally, then people will buy the tracks.
Wrong, no they won't.
A kid gets £10 a week pocket money. He currently spends that on a game a month for his Nintendo Playbox. He download 10 track a week from his fave artist.
Now illegal downloads are stopped.
a) Give up his games
b) Give up his music
c) Compromise and buy a game every 2 months
d) Ask parents for more cash
Buy dodgy games and cd's of the car boot for £5 each, thus killing off both industries
What this idiots don't realise, is there is a finate amount of money around. People won't suddenly buy 500 albums a week beaucse piracy stops.
The biggest issue is that the Music Indutry big wigs are very slow at embracing new technology and have this arrogant "We want everything and you will pay for it attidude", there is a tradtion of little compromise.
1. Downloads. They at first said: Lets ban this, stop it, we loosing 500million sales a minute. Then a few years later when they realised they had lost the battle, they decided to sell downloaded tunes. But "hey what we'll do is make it so they can't copy it to anything, then they'll buy the same song 10x over, for each device they own". Wrong! Only now are they realising that this is a shit model as well.
2. Subscription model: They want everything to expire. So can I rip to cd? I guess not, so I want to listen to it on my car player, my hifi (no shit Mp3's on their thankyou very much), the stero in the kitchen etc etc. And here's a thought....ever thought the kids may get around it in about oooo 5 seconds?
Here is my 3 thoughts.
1. LOWER your prices. 1million x10p / track DRM freee is better than 0x£1
2. Ever thought that much of the music you are pushing is bland, uninspiring shit, hence falling sales? Try not pushing over processed cockeny-governor face book sound alikes on us. Actually get off your asses and take risks, find new bands that can (shock horror) sing live and play live!
3. Now this may come as a shock...but many people who download Mp3's actually then go onto buy cd's. i have done this with about 5 artists so far, leading them to about 20 cd sales, that I would've never bought (see above about taking risks), no crap publicity campaigns , no telling us how cool they are etc etc.
As for your suggestion, I will take a look at the "Atalantic Story" DVD as soon as I can find a torrent :-)
"Fifteen customers like Nokia ..
... gives me 150 per cent of where we are now"
But where do you find 15 customers like Nokia?
Interesting to a certain extent
An interesting read, and it's certainly good to see that someone involved on the record companies' side is aware that they have to provide an incentive to consumers in order to get them buying again, but I can't help feeling that he's either inadvertently or deliberately avoiding 2 particular ideas:
1) It's the larger record labels that have created the scenario of 12-track album with full price tag, of which only 2-4 tracks are actually worth a damn. Music may be more popular than ever now, but the majority of music out there is cruddy filler material, at least when it comes to the more famous/succesful artists. The easiest way of addressing this is to remove the pressure on the artist to release an entire album, and shift away to releasing individual tracks as and when they are ready for release. There's something to be said for the notion of an album as a complete package, but there's also something to be said for a consistent quality level. What alternative systems to the "get artist on contract, lock them in a room until they've got an album, release album and hope it does well" method are they considering or trialling? Or is this just another example of looking for a bigger stick with which to beat people back into the habit of paying for a full album when half of it isn't worth listening to?*
2) For all the talk of "Value for money", there's remarkably little talk of adjusting the existing mechanism for distribution of money when shifting from physical product to digital product. If people feel that an album priced at £15 is too expensive and they only want 5 tracks, why should they still be paying £5 for those 5 tracks when they don't get a physical copy or any of the stuff that allegedly contributes to the £15 cost of the album in the physical world?
3) How is the music industry going to adapt to the shift away from physical media, given that there have been several instances of shifting from old to new media which allow them to artificially boost sales by re-releasing their old back catalogues in the new formats? Presumably this is why they're so terrified of DRM-less digital music sales with implicitly perpetual licensing schemes, but they're going to have to address this sooner or later....
* Personally, I'd like to see something like a subscription-based channel mechanism. You pay your x per month, you get a new track every 1-2 days with a perpetual ownership license attached, and the incentive is that the artists involved in this channel are being commissioned to create individual tracks. Sort of like a singles club, really. You could even have a tiered mechanism - lower tier gives you a time-limited version via stream or something, higher tier gives you the perpetually-licensed downloads. With an option if you're on the lower tier to upgrade individual tracks to the perpetual license.
bit of a rant but...
They still don't get it. The entertainment industry cannot blame the decline of their business models on anybody else but themselves.
ISP's cannot and will not filter if they want any hope of still being in business, and why should they? Is the IPFI offering to compensate them for the loss of customers? Are they going to compensate any legitmate users who's traffic gets blocked incorrectly by overzealos filters?
Besides how can you have technological solution to something that can't be fully stated and defined? how can the filter correctly know whats copyright, or whats fair use? when the highest courts in the various countries can't?
Btw where is the news about films & TV being canned or artists being dropped? Why are they still producing content if they keep telling us its not making them enough money? Surely thats a bit daft?
Consume Music ??
I always believed that you LISTENED to music. You don't consume it. What's this guy doing? Eating Vinyl or CDs?
Or has he started to believe his own marketing departments super-crap jargon.
To repeat, Boyo, YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC, YOU CONSUME CORNFLAKES!
I'd be more inclined to be sympathetic to the industry IF the fatboy directors of the recording industry were earning £20 K or less and the truly artistic musicians (by that I don't mean the rubbish generated by EX-Factor and Pap Idol) were earning 90% plus of the income generated by the sales of their music.
A title is required
Nope, i'm still waiting for the middle men to die a horrible death.
The internet makes them redundant and all they're attempting to do is find a niche where they can still exist and leech monies.
I want to pay but I only want to pay the artist. So as a consumer i'm stuck in a catch 22. Ninety percent of my money goes to the gatekeeper who beats up the artist because they have the keys to the gates to mass market (MTV/Radio/etc).
As a consumer it is difficult to make the right _moral_ choice when considering this.
Do I give money to the price-fixing, gatekeeping, promoters of principally the music that makes them the most money? Can I live with myself if I do the 'right' thing and blithely prop up such a regeime with ITunes and CD purchases?
Can I live with myself as a consumer? We're still owed the discount from the tape->CD transition. At what point do we get the "you aren't buying a physical product anymore" discount? I don't see any concessions at all.
This is why I go to gigs as opposed to buying recorded tracks and will continue to do so unless I can find another means of directly re-imbursing the artist.
I don't think they get it. I know that I _owe_ the artists. It's the principle of repriocation that is inherent within human nature. The fact that through current mechanisms we pay the labels means that we don't care about stealing because there is no human representation there. We don't know the labels and we don't care about them. We owe the artists though and want to pay them direct.
New world in spite of ourselves
It's a question of reproducing a work of art. So we need to look at where art is today. And it's not where it can be controlled by rich guys controlling expensive hardware that gives them a monopoly on reproduction. In some niches, like big bronze reproductions of big prestigeous statues, this is still a bit true, but in terms of music and performing arts, not at all. So we're back to the origin - it's the performance and the collective experience of music, theatre etc that's real, and all the rest is reproduction.
Painting has given us a lesson here. The "original" - say a Van Gogh or a Titian - needs to be monopolized like mad, surrounded by security and all the signals of wealth and power involved at that scale. The reproductions scale all the way from a real artist's recreation (expensive, and jealously watched over) via a decent print to a cheapo postcard. And the postcard only costs what it does because of the material labour required to get the image on the card and into the shop.
The labour required to reproduce a piece of music at the decent print level is thoroughly socialized today. Masses of people can record that well, more can put it online, and almost everyone can download it.
Same goes for words in a book, of course, except that the process of reproduction is perhaps more zealously protected by publishers and scanning is still a bit of an art. Once the basic transfer of ink to electrons has been done though, the bat is out of the cage, and flits where it likes.
In a nutshell, our technology in relation to art is way ahead of our social competence in managing it - cos we live in a crappy decaying capitalist system that's outlived itself by at least five decades.
Time to see ourselves as one collective, the human race, working for and with one another. From No holds barred to No bars hold.
I want highish-bitrate, DRM-free music, at a reasonable price, say $5-$10 per album (since the cost of duplication is miniscule it must be cheaper than physical product). I got used to this thanks to AllOfMp3, with whom I spent $100s, but am now unable to do this because of payment restrictions,
I could buy and rip CDs, but it's a PITA, I don't want the clutter of discs, and they are too expensive to just rip and discard.
So I have stopped buying music. Apart from the Radiohead album, for which I paid £10 for the download, on principal, because they trusted me.
Then yesterday, I tried to buy mp3s from Amazon, but was told I could only do that with a US credit card. So I tried to subscribe to Napster, but since I happen to be in Italy temporarily, I was not allowed to sign up (country detection by IP?).
This is bullshit. They treat us like criminals, they put up trade restrictions to screw us on a country-by-country basis, they offer $99c per track on iTunes with DRM and shitty bitrate.
Dear Mr Music Industry Arsehole, Give Me The Fucking Music How I Want it, or I Will Not Buy.
Let's see who blinks first. The real music industry cannot be destroyed, unless people stop singing and playing, which will never happen. The only thing that will be destroyed is the market value of the record companies. In which I hold no shares.
"Why are they still producing content if they keep telling us its not making them enough money? Surely thats a bit daft?"
I work in the automotive industry. For many years there has been over production in the industry.
New technology and production techniques have lead to cheaper production costs and higher production quantaties, hence fueling over production.
To survive all manufacturers have had to downsize big time, like a number of the big 4/5 cutting production plants by 50%
Although a different industry, the same applies to the music industry, there is no spare room for the fat cat's anymore. They have to adapt and embrace the new technology rather than trying to block it.
The ISP providers are now taking over the role of the 'old' distribution side of record companies, why don't the record industries invest in ISP's ?
Or even better the ISP's buy the record companies, much like the hardware manufacturers did with the music/video industry after the betamax/VHS wars of the past. (Sony buying CBS & Columbia etc etc....)
lets face it, the ISP's want us to spend more and more on the network connection. They will need to safeguard content for us to keep wanting to download. Without the content we don't need big bandwidth or speeds.
It's abundance not scarcity. There's never been so much music being created and listened to. What has happened though is the decline of the star system and the Short Head. All the interesting new music is buried down in the Fat Middle and Long Tail. This changes the game for the big music publishers. They're now in a volume of sources, algorithmic business not in a monopoly volume of product business. And their competition is also coming from artists doing all the production and distribution themselves. That puts the record companies into a very different role of being VC and Marketing consultants for artists and not owning them.
The value of music has dropped drastically. And it's not just P2P that has done this by undermining the price but also the supermarkets and online CD retailers. Music is just not worth $0.99 per track any more. (or £.0.79). However there's been no official test of how much price elasticity there is in online sales. There's really only 3 data points. Free P2P, AllOfMp3 and iTMS.
Free P2P is a misunderstanding. It's only free because you don't charge yourself for time and materials. There's significant pain in finding, downloading, tidying, renaming, re-tagging P2P music. Relief from that pain can be charged for.
So there may be a way out of this and that's for a retailer to build a site to copy the AllOfMp3 interface and pricing and then stuff it with every bit of audio that's ever been recorded. It's at least possible that selling 192Kb VBR MP3s with no DRM at $0.25 (£0.10) per track and $0.50 per track for lossless would make more money in total than the record companies currently make out of iTMS and Amazon.
Same old wheeze
The music biz has to understand that you can not sell to customers who HATE you.
You also can not sell crap like the manufactured talent that has been oozing out of the companies studios of late. The old habit of leeching a band dry until they could break free and start their own label should be long gone.
It's not in the best interests of ISPs to have their customers HATE them too.
Why should an ISP cut it's own throat and disconnect a paying customer without due compensation.
The music biz will need to recognize that you can get more flies with sugar than you can with salt.
If they could muster up a blitz that competed with free by offering quality at a reasonable rate with some tolerance they could get back the average user and then leave the hard core d/l's to the law or tech.
And your solution is... ?
We've put kids into focus groups [...] they said make it more difficult, close down our connections, hey, why not put us in prison. FFS, what kind of kids say this? Give us a break.
Breaking encryption / DPI has been done to death. Yes there are companies out there that claim they can do this [in real time] and they are wrong, the net would come to a complete standstill.
[...] is that if P2P goes they will go to legal? [...] This I think will be the main stumbling block. The music industry would be happy but how would the "video" industry feel? It seems pretty clear that one solution to getting timely video around the net is using some kind of P2P [bittorent?] based technology. Unless of course the content producers are as one on getting all "media" off the net and just forgetting about it - which I very much doubt.
The "video" industry seems to be a lot more forward thinking than the music industry in looking at the net as "just another medium" (downloadable, legal TV episodes for example)
You have to wonder how long any alliance against ISP's or particular technologies would last.
[...] If P2P is licensed and legal [...] it is legal and doesn't need licensing. This demonstrates the problem with the music industry, a lack of understanding
surrounding net technologies and hence a desire to "ban it". I'm sure that in the narrowest legal terms the whole Internet is based on file sharing so what's next?
Don't get me wrong I have sympathy for the music industry in the sense that they are stuck with no easy way out as far as the net is concerned. Performing DPI on my traffic, cutting my connection when I exceed a certain data volume or banning the use of certain technologies is not the way to get my support.
I have some bad news for the music industry, you are not important, I don't consume your product in any form so leave me [and my ISP] out of your plans.
All in all I'm sure a lot of Reg readers are familiar with the whole attitude of the interview - [XYZ] doesn't solve all my problems in one go so I'm not going to entertain any of it. Very negative - we can't see an easy solution so we are going to make puzzles illegal.
Real Indie Music Only
Real Indie Music only (recorded, released and owned by the artist). The Power of the internet gives the recording a Black eye every day as they shove their crap in the faces of the public and then think that the we're too stupid to understand what is going on. Major, Minor and all the way down to mom & pop Records do not help artist to make a living all they are just looking to make as much money off of the Artists' work as they can and his own quote proves it.
"Record companies have to get a return, and the people in between need big investments. One of the unfortunate things with the way the music market has gone is that companies spent all this money but only took a return on one stream, the recorded stream. And now the 360 degree model, which is a necessity of the current market, means that artists will have to share all these streams to get the investment. But that's always a healthy choice - they can do it, or not do it."
Well what this is telling us is the labels not only what all the money the artist would make from selling their recorded music, they also what all the money when an Artist does a live performance and from the sales of merchandise i.e. Concert T's.
The record industry is the only industry were they own the copy write on the sound recoding of an artist. But, then charge the cost of the recoding, it's promotion, the manufacturing cost and all the administration cost back to the artist. In the end everyone gets paid but, the artist. Now, the labels what a sizable chunk of all live performance money and of the artists' merchandise sales too.
One of my favorite quotes is this one:
"I never made enough money from my records to be able to buy anything. I made everyone else really wealthy and I never saw a dime ... so that's life. That's why I took off eight years. I made millions of dollars for the songwriters, the record company and everyone else who had a piece of me... and the artist has to rent – it's a sin." - Alannah Myles.
The music the record labels is shoveling out these days is tripe trash. We hate it the first time but, they cram their crap into everything and over time it's not that we hate it any less we just become accustomed to hearing it, but we still don't go out and buy it.
If the music industry want to survive I'll give them some pointers:
1) move all digital downloaded music to a lossless format and make standardized (i.e. FLAC or Applelossless (We don't care but, pick one and the industry world wide stick to it and insist on it.)
2) we want DRM - Free ONLY. Subscription Music is a waste of everyone's time it over and start working on business that works.
3) we want really good artists, that make really good music. The Labels' producers and engineers need to stop dictating & manipulating what the artist does and just record what the artist is and is producing.
4) we want the artist to get fair and reasonable contracts from the labels, because fair and reasonable contracts attract better artists and better artist mean better music. (i.e. The label is getting ownership of the artists recorded work, therefore the label needs to pay for that recording, they need to pay for the promotion and they needed to pay all the costs, plus they need to pay the artist a fair royalty rate on 100% of all the recorded works that the labels sell.
5) Invest honest money in A&R and stop just trying to crank out the same formula music with just different artists names. We're tired of the Britney, JayZ, .... formulas. It just doesn't work.
6) The Labels destroyed their physical retail channel and now they are doing it to their digital channel too. I have one word and a statement on the subject. STOP! Treat all the retailers fairly and equally, Let the customers pick the retailer they what to use, But, the product that all retailers sell must be the same and it must be of the highest quality. The customer in the end is going to make the choice so, make the call establish a solid online channel or Free P2P will replace the labels.
7) The labels have tremendous value in their back catalogs or recordings and Videos. But, much of it will never see the light of day again. I'm an old fart myself and I have 3.5 to 5 thousand major label CD's and records and 5 to 8 thousand minor label CDs and records and another 8 to 9 thousand indie CDs and tapes. I could digital encode all the CDs, tapes and records which I'm slowly doing into a lossless format or I can just buy them in digital format. Which I would do for the label releases but MP3's sound like crap on my stereo. Like I said I'm and old fart and the on-line retailers don't have the much or the music I'm looking for.
So, it looks like I'll be ripping my music collection for some time to come. The Music Buyers need to telegraph this dislikes for the labels and their whining. How you say, well it's call supporting the indie artists year, Which by luck happens to be 2008. Take the pledge that in 2008 you will only purchase and listen to music from independent recording artists.
Completely the wrong way round
"They say, it's too easy. You've got to make it more difficult for us"
That's not the answer. The answer is to make it EASIER to download legal stuff -- which, amongst other things means that it should NOT cost more to download legal stuff in the UK than it does anywhere else.
After that, it means that if you want to use it on more than one device you should be able to -- no matter what the device is -- up to say a maximum of 5 such devices. And if you want more than that, then pay just a nominal charge of 10p for each device. No restrictions, no £500 minimum as twits like MCPS are imposing. Just 10p for every copy you make, and have some mechanism for doing it and legalising it. And no restrictions on whose material you can copy.
Above all, it means dealing with ONE copyright licensing organisation not a proliferation like PRS, phonographic performance, MCPS, RIAA etc etc etc.
Another reason why record sales are falling..
There is a new revolution going on in music, I don't know if any of the bigwigs in the record industry have noticed that a lot of people are writing their own music - Ok, its not all great but at least 50% is better than the crap coming from the major record labels.
They do it because they can, and its fun, and most release it for free. There is plenty on MySpace, just do a search for a little-known genre such as trip-hop and you'll find 1000's of artists releasing their own music.
The same is true of other user-generated entertainment, look at youtube and other video sites, loads of great content there.
When you're dog is dying, you've got to put it to sleep, don't let it suffer any more..
The same is true of the record labels.
@Martin - Court Order
"This is such an obvious invasion of privacy and illegal search that for once I am glad I am in America..."
"...Now your government wants to snoop on every packet you send or receive."
Now you are having a f___g laugh!
Clearly you've not heard of the Eschelon project. Your slimy government listens to yours, mine and everybody elses phone and network traffic every day thanks to its listening stations dotted all around the world. Court order? Durisdiction? Rights? Oh those - no we're the American government, those don't apply to us - if you complain we can just shit on your economy unti you shut up.
Land of the free my arse.
I got as far as reeding the bit about the "focus group" and after that the ass was beyond credibility....
kids these days will run rings around the assholes trying to block P2P, they are more skillfull with a mouse that the music industry is with lawyers....
if they put all the effort into shutting down p2p movies and music into catching all the kiddie fiddlers then i am sure there would be no child pornography on the internet.... the reason why they dont is there is no profit to defend doing that.
the UK gov. can't do anything about the kids hanging around the shops in all our towns and cities bullying passers by, in effect, putting shops so close to going out of business, that the only customers they have are the scum outside the shops... are they gonna stop selling them cheep booze? no, or they will just rob the damn shop.... if they cant do anything about that, are they gonna pick on the kid sitting at home, doing there homework, downloading a few tunes to listen to while they have a go at self improvement....
DAMN BLOODY RIGHT THEY ARE.........
One More Thing
Like I said I'm an old fart my kids love music and respect the artists. But, my kids have found the music of Indie artists much more interesting then the commercial tripe . They support indie artists by buying their music and going to their shows. Old fart dad is not so, uncool that they don't listen to and rip his old media to a hard drive to put on their iPods. Nor, do they role their eyes when dad asked them to go with him to see a indie artist at a club. I fact they invite their friends along.
EMI's Guy Hands has the right plan and I'm glad to see the IPFI chief understands it. As he said, "So what Guy Hands is doing is absolutely right in pruning, and you need that expertise."
Guy Hands plans to prune the expense of the IPFI and RIAA membership fee vacuums right out of the wallet of EMI. Once EMI does it the other major labels will be following suit. With UMG being the last to holdout. John Kennedy and Mitch Bainwol will have to check out of their big money (million + dollar) jobs at the IPFI and RIAA as the remaining labels will need to cut expenses at the trade groups. If they try to raise the member fees the minor labels will pull out too. Which will leave UMG, and they'll have to turn off the lights.
Let the pruning commence (I love to see over paid executive who know their asses are going on the chopping block, start to talk all kinds of trash as they know the end is nearing and the gravy train is running dry).
10p a track would get me buying....
10p a track with no DRM seems to be about the right price for me as well. I gave up on ITunes. 79p was just too much. But I would happily spend plenty if I thought I wasn't getting totally ripped off.
just make subscription like radio
Why don't they do this : wanna listen to music ?
Pay 5 $ a month for a music service service.
And just in the old days if you liked a song , pop a cassette in the taperecorder and record it. ( that was perfectly legal . right ?)
The limitation would be a max of 450 songs a month.
This is based on the following idea :
In a day there are typically about 4 to 5 hours a day where a person would listen to the radio. If listening to his favorite station maybe half of that music he would actually like. And yet another half of that he would like to have in his collection.
That boils down to about 60 minutes a day of music a person wants to have. At an average of 4 minutes per song. ( i know it's probably less then that ... and i'm not counting repeats here either ). That would end up being a max of 15 songs a day you can 'grab'. Multiply that with 30 days in an average month, and it gives you 450 songs you can add to your collection, each and every month.
Now there's a service i would subscribe to !. 450 songs for 5 $ . And perfectly legal. They can add that anyday to my broadband connection fee. Where do i sign up ?
Imagine. 50 million people paying every month 5 $ . Are the studio's drooling yet ?
blah blah blah
Speaks like a spin doctor, smells like a spin doctor - well f--k me it is a spin doctor.
You can keep your s--t music, and your s--t films. We don't want them. Music has been about since the dawn of time and these leaches have done nothing but suck the life from it. F--- them and their antiquated business model.
And don't forget kids - home taping is killnig music!
Speaking of morals
ISPA, stop and think for a second FFS. If you do a deal to start filtering one type of content you will end up in a situation where your members aren't neutral information carriers any more and people will be able to take you to court and sue you because you have the ability to filter this or that thing but don't filter something they want stopped. If you go along with this voluntarily you are making legal exposure for your members. How long before someone commits suicide after visiting a suicide website and their grieving relatives sue you because "you could have prevented it if you'd blocked those sites."
If ISPA sign up to this filtering/disconnection BS I will drop my current provider and move to a non-ISPA ISP. I think a lot of people will do the same too. The ISPA logo will become a warning rather than an indication of a good ISP. Thankfully ThinkBroadband.com tells you if an ISP is a member or not.
Hearing this parasite trying to lecture us on "morals" makes me want to vomit. I have never in my life seen a more corrupt and dishonest business than the music industry. These people think nothing of bullying 12 year old girls and routinely bribe, sorry... lobby and make campaign contributions to, our elected officials and so pervert the democratic process. They are purely selfish and don't stop for a second to think how the systems they are forcing on us may be used to hurt the public later. I am horrified by this behaviour and am acutely aware that every time I buy a Big-Music or Hollywood release that I am funding it. I consider it my moral duty not to give these people money for the good of my country and I will be teaching my children the same.
I buy music from CDFreedom.com. The artist is fairly rewarded for their work, the prices are fair, the files are a reasonable bit rate and are DRM-free. I can enjoy the music wherever and on whatever device I choose for as long as I wish to. I have been treated fairly and wouldn't think for a second of giving away any of the files to friends. They can buy them if they want them. If you gave me a huge pile of Big-Music MP3s I wouldn't feel the slightest guilt for handing them round to all my friends. This is the problem the music industry have made for themselves: When you treat your customers like crap they won't feel any loyalty or sense of moral obligation to treat you fairly. If you go further they will feel an obligation not to treat you fairly. This is also a problem for society; When the people see the Government publishing laws bought by big companies for their own benefit it gives them the impression that it's OK to disobey laws they don't think are just, eroding respect for the law.
To give you an idea how bad this has got: Someone in my office asked the other day how to download videos on iTunes. "Why don't you download them illegally off Bittorrent like a normal person?" came the reply.
The music industry can cut all their crap about piracy harming the British economy too. Most of them are based in other countries so giving them our money siphons it out of the economy. They talk like money will disappear in a magic puff of smoke if we don't buy their music. It won't. People will spend their disposable income on something else, jobs will be created in that business and the Government will still make their tax money.
How many times do they have to be told that a download is not a lost sale. There are plenty of things I would accept as a gift for free that I wouldn't pay my hard-earned money for. Also people only have so much money spare at the end of the month. If someone has enough left to buy 2 CDs and would have bought them then illegally downloading 6 has still only cost 2 sales.
I would happily pay 10-20 pounds a month extra to my ISP to be able to download what I like without fear or prosecution as long as it didn't have DRM and the only consequence of me stopping paying was that I couldn't download any more legally. ISPs can give people different host names that show they've paid the extra and the music industry can leave decent people the **** alone. Think... If 50% of households with broadband in the UK would give you 10 pounds every month it would be a shed load more than you're making now, you wouldn't have to pay for distribution and we all win.
The attitude expressed in the interview that it's part of the business model that we have to rebuy all our stuff again every 3 years when our players or phones get replaced is disgusting. That is totally unacceptable to me and I will never accept any service where the material "times out" or ceases to be playable like he wants if I give up the service. We all effectively have free music now in the form of radio so we're only really paying for the convenience of being able to choose which track we listen to next.
Pirating a free album?
"But what we learned from Radiohead is that so many people won't pay for anything. It would have been really clever of the P2P community to show that when music is for free, there's zero piracy. They should all have paid something sensible, two pounds for the album, and look at what a message that would have sent."
Forgive me if I am being silly, but weren't Radiohead offering the album for a minimum fee of the bandwidth cost? To me it makes sense to download the album from bittorrent first, that way you aren't paying for something you wish you hadn't downloaded. If anything they should have distributed it on bittorrent with a link to donate included in the torrent. That way people aren't paying for bandwidth and may donate more. It's disturbing that he tries to turn Radiohead's experiment into an example that everyones a pirate. Either this guy is desperate for reasons to hate file sharers or as a businessman he is awfully bad at spotting what the money is doing.
Of course, one alternative is that he views not paying for something that is being offered for free as piracy.. which is even more disturbing.
"...You can keep your s--t music, and your s--t films. We don't want them...."
So why is everyone downloading them?
The problem is that people do want the bland tat that is being pumped out by the mainstream ents industry, the industry is rightly pissed off that people are getting it for free, but saying it's all shit and not worth it doesn't wash. It also says to the ents industry that the stuff they are producing is good and wanted by the general public, giving them the impression that the only problem is that they need to stop it being downloaded illigally.
I suspect it'll change soon, like the late 80s where the Indie scene first popped up, you can see, just by going to somewhere like Glastonbury, that there are plenty of really good acts, many on mainstream labels, who look like they are about to make it big. There are also loads of old Indie acts playing it on the gig scene. Hopefully the mainstream will not contest it this time, like they did in the early 90s with Take That et al.
The Problem with Music
A thoughtful article, although as John Kennedy claims to be speaking/working on behalf of "The Artists", I would have loved to hear his point of view on the idea, apparently held by many in the industry, that the artists have been ripped off by the record labels in the first place, as described in Steve Albini's famous essay
"The Problem with Music"
As for previous commenters here, I agree with many of them. I would eschew my own self imposed moratorium on digital downloads if I could legally purchase MP3s at around ten pence a track, or perhaps a little more...
CDs are overpriced, but at least they don't disappear if my computer fails. My CD collection is still growing at the moment, but at a slower rate than in the past, IMO if the record industry wants consumers and recording artists to take them seriously with their future activities, they must start taking us seriously, and stop ripping us both off...
Music Industry = Fail.
That's the wisest comment on music we've ever had, thank you :-)
"There's significant pain in finding, downloading, tidying, renaming, re-tagging P2P music. Relief from that pain can be charged for."
It's a real pain.
Music is a service now, we need to be having a discussion like this next one on what service levels we'd like to see, viz-
"Why don't they do this : wanna listen to music ? Pay 5 $ a month for a music service service. The limitation would be a max of 450 songs a month."
That sounds like a very expensive radio service. Can't we keep the songs? Can't we exchange them (within reasonable and mutually understood parameters)?
"I have some bad news for the music industry, you are not important, I don't consume your product in any form so leave me [and my ISP] out of your plans."
They'll really miss you too, when they see your contribution to their bottom line. Er, so why are you here, then?
The music biz needs genius logic like this.
Scariest comment by an AC:
"Or even better the ISP's buy the record companies, much like the hardware manufacturers did with the music/video industry"
And how shall we all welcome our new AT&T/BSkyB insect overloads?
"How you say, well it's call supporting the indie artists year"
It's interesting how so many readers can't distinguish between the two.
"But I would happily spend plenty if I thought I wasn't getting totally ripped off."
Don't look now, but your utility bills have just gone up 15 per cent, and over a decade have risen several times over the price of inflation (or the cost of raw materials).
You'd better put a woolly jumper on.
"This is such an obvious invasion of privacy and illegal search"
So is filtering email. Get over it.
@ Chris Beach
"bit of a rant but..."
How did I guess?
"ISP's cannot and will not filter if they want any hope of still being in business"
ISPs filter in order to stay in business. See above.
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