April 30, 2008

Download This

About ten years ago, I remember a friend first telling me about music downloading. I was livid, I threw stuff, I screamed. Okay, maybe I was just a little angry. Angry for the artists. Their hard work deserves compensation.

Over the following few years; I wrote articles, had heated discussions with industry leaders and artists and all the while thought I was fighting the good fight.

But imagine this: your favorite restaurant opens every Tuesday between 7-10pm for a "free from the menu" night. Anything you want ...free. How often will you visit that same establishment on Thursdays?

Downloading has taken what they use to call “home taping” to a level no one could have ever predicted.

This week, I received the new Nine Inch Nails and Coldplay singles for free, via download, from each band’s website. Much was made of the Radiohead example months ago. That’s three examples of well-established bands giving their music away for free. Or is it?

All three now have my email address. I’m now in the database. If you ask most marketing people, they would say that each participant in a study is worth about $10-15 which is about the price of (say it with me) a CD!

I just got rid of the last few thousand of my CDs. I grew tired of looking at them, collecting dust in boxes. Of course, when the mp3 format is replaced by something far superior, my 25,000 mp3’s will be rendered useless.

The artists deserve to be paid for their craft. I am still livid, but the proverbial genie left the bottle a long time ago. I remarked at an impromptu CMW “bar meeting” that the appetite for music has never been stronger – we’re not hocking medical supplies, it's music!

The issue is the monetization of music for the artists and the labels.

Has anyone seen my soap box?

km


 
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