Paytards and Freetards are both equally good at missing the point.
When the bin man who arguably does a far more crucial role for the public good is paid the same as Lily Allen then I'll actually think about buying music again, for now it's Last FM for me until their sued for some reason or another :/ .
I mean think about it, Lily Allen's most recent album has already sold 815,000 copies worldwide and will go on to at least double that in the next two years. In the UK it sold 355,000 copies(1).
If we estimate that the average price in the UK is £8.99 then the sum total of money before deductions is £3,191,450, If we then take the worldwide sales to average around £3.99 per CD then that is another £1,835,400 (£5,026,850 in total).
Now we must consider the current industry cost of production. So what is that we must consider, well there are production fees, media fees and of course the percentage cut take by managers and record labels. If the artist is a cash cow like Madonna then they will receive a bigger cut than usual. Overall costing the rent of a sound studio, a producer, DJ and 4 backing musicians over the period of a 100 hours@£1000 x 6 staff & rent the cost is £100,000 As the industry does not make it's invoices public this is just a poor estimate even so even if you were paying 10000 per hour it's still only £1,000,000.
Obviously the cost of server space and CD imprinting will be minimal if they have made 1,000,000 physical copies @ 50p per CD and case then we're looking at £2,500,000 which sounds a lot, but I am probably over pricing the manufacturing costs (anyone know better?).
So whats left ? A media campaign, managers' fees and the Record Company cut.... factor that in at around £1,500,000 and your looking at an overall cost of £5,000,000 leaving about £26,850 for the artist, and that to be fair is more than the majority of people in the UK get paid for doing arguably more vital jobs. The even funnier pat about this is that the Record Company actually "loan" money to the artists in the first place to cover the costs of the work and then the artists pays it back with interest. Of course we are only looking at the first 8 Weeks of sales as well, so think of all the lovely dosh that's wending it's way to her (at least an extra £3,000,000 by the end of the year).
This is the current system, a system that relies on fleecing the average person to turn a profit. It is a centralized system in which the profits garnered are used to promote already profitable artists or to promote new artists that are deemed fit for profit by company executives. In this system competition, creativity and a fair chance are simulated for media affect.
Shows like Pop Idol/X-Factor in turn are media constructions that perpetuate the myth of a democratized music industry that prides itself on inclusivity and and real creative freedom for musicians. The majority of musicians who win rarely make it big, not because they can't sing but because they don't conform to industry fads/norms. The truth is that the system is a fad generating self fulfilling revenue stream that excludes the majority of bonafide musicians and exploits the majority of the few who it does promote.
Because the system is inherently corrupt people are not bound to agree to it's stipulations. The music industry is a monopolized system that doesn't offer true choice. Many people cite the fact that file sharing is theft, It is true that in Law in many countries it is illegal.
Was the Stamp Act of the 1860's not a legal mandate ? was it not a law ? Of course it was and considering that the average American at the time was taxed at 1/25th the amount the of the average Englishman there was little reason one would feel to transgress such a law. Never the less enough Americans felt the Stamp Act was impinging on their freedom to do basic things like write invoices, take writs or make copies of books. The act and other legal mandates led to the democratic revolution that was mother to our own system of government. In short a Law is only a law if the majority of people believe it to be moral, acceptable, or reasonable (also see the folly of prohibition in America).
Thus the system is wrong and the laws that protect the system are not respected. So a change must be made. I would put forward that artists should club together into local communities receive lottery funding and other grants to build community studio's, produce their own music host it on a government backed but not controlled independent music servers, they are then paid through live shows and a national subscription fee, all artists are paid according to a basic wage of no more than £30,000 pounds increasing with inflation. They make extra money from how many times their music is downloaded from the server.
Any comments ?