Thread October 16, 2010 editorial: comments
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Dear Fellow Audiofanziners,
So, does anyone really care about download discounts? In an effort to get more people to pay for tunes, prices are coming down to 50 cents per track, for example on AmazonMP3. Still, this is not helping much. Similar efforts are being taken in France, whereby the government is subsidizing the purchase of downloads. Crazy you say? I kid you not.
I believe that these noble efforts are a bit too late. Maybe 5 years ago this would have been more successful. Today, I believe, it is not the cost that's deterring people but the action itself. Streaming is the way to go. Instant delivery. If I want to hear the new Linkin Park single I can just go on their official YouTube channel, or any other number of music streaming sites. Why bother registering someplace, putting my credit card info, creating an order, purchasing, confirming.....arrgh.
I am not sure if the music industry is ever going to recover from the digital revolution, and maybe the goal is not to recover but to discover new avenues for revenues. But the main problem is psychological, once you've had something for free, for a long time, it is impossible to get people to accept paying for it. It's like watching network TV (not cable). Imagine all of the sudden we had to pay to watch Big Bang or Sunday football or the local news on TV?
I agree with your thoughts, however, you wondered what it would be like if we had to pay for Sunday football or the local news. Well, people still pay for those channels when they pay their cable bill each month. Yes, they could be free (with crummy reception lol), but most people have a cable bill.
What needs to happen (and I know that most of you will grunt when you read this) is that big corporations (Best Buy, Pepsi, Hewlett Packard, etc) pay the record companies (Geffen, etc) to have exclusive advertising rights inside each and every label release.
For example, you (the consumer) get a CD for almost nothing (or free). The labels are making their money from the companies mentioned above advertising inside the CD case (having flyers, coupons for discounts, etc), the corporations are getting exclusive advertising (which they pay top dollar for anyway), and the end user gets the CD for free. That way, everybody wins.
How is Google free? How does NBC make their money if their shows are given away for free on network TV? Advertising. Well, Google has other revenue streams, but you get the idea. Anything that's free is such, due to advertising.
"But Steve, how could you suggest such a thing? Isn't that going against everything that we...." NO. We (Americans) live in a capitalist country with capitalist people with their materials and their consumption.....and everybody is subjected to it anyway......so if you want something for free, you get the advertisement version. If you want no ads, you buy a paid copy. Pure and simple.
You also mentioned that you could go to somebody's myspace page and listen to the whole record for free, which is true. However, in between certain songs is a commercial break! That's how it's free, ya know? Again, advertising. I can't believe it's taken them (the labels) this long to figure this out!
P.S. How do bands like Coldplay sell 10 million+ copies of each album that comes out? Why aren't everybody downloading Coldplay for free? Something to consider. Perhaps it's a quality control issue.
I was trying to think of anything else that could be done for the industry to save themselves in times like these.
The only other thing that I could think of is to cut costs of making records. When the producer costs $100k and the mixing and mastering guys charge $100k, you've spent around a quarter million dollars and haven't done anything yet. Give the [insert big name producer here] a paycut first, and if they don't want to work for a pay cut, so be it. There are plenty of up and coming producers who are extremely talented, who don't charge insane amounts of money to show up twice a week, hang out for a few hours, give you a few pointers, and then leave.
The labels are spending too much money getting the record made. No record should cost more than $150k to make. Every dollar over $150k would be better spent on advertising the CD......wait, did I just say advertising? It's ironic that people accept the advertising of the CD in magazines, TV, internet, radio, etc to further along an album's success.....but find it taboo to have advertising inside that very CD case to further along it's success.
I heard Tom Delonge (of Blink 182 fame) recently say in a Guitar Center interview that it used to cost a million dollars to make a record. He then goes on to say that now adays, it ONLY costs him $300k. Only? Wow.
Something has to change in terms of budget and spending, now that DAWs own and everything is a gazillion times cheaper to make than it was a decade or two ago.
The Industry will survive but it will undergo a makeover of such magnitude that where we are at now will seem ancient by comparison - RK
It cost's me almost nothing to make music, bar the equipment, which I get second hand anyway. But I agree with the point that when people can listen to a song without downloading it there not going to bother. I have a single that's trending (i.e. people are listening to it) at No 1 in the Electronic /Dance charts on Musicforte.com, but that's in no way reflected in download sales. Ferom an artist perspective I think sites, like radio stations need to get there revenue from adds, and pay artists a nominal value for broadcast rights. I mean isn't that what there doing?
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