Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Piracy, Business Models, Fair Price and Amazon

Kevin Spacey shared his views recently on battling movie piracy. Spacey has the view that by “releasing films on line, in cinemas and on DVD at the same time would take a huge bit out of piracy.” He further stated that TV executives should “give “control” to their audiences or risk losing them.”

The line of interest is “Releasing films On Line and on DVD at the same time with the Cinema release”.

This is what Napster showed the music world (and at large the Entertainment world) back in 1999. It took the music business a long time to accept this. Fans wanted content and they wanted it straight away. They didn’t want the content to be released in the U.S first, then 4 weeks later in Europe, then 4 weeks later in Australia, then 4 weeks later in Asia and so on. Back in Eighties and Nineties (before Napster), there used to be an import chart. Yes that’s right. Fans of certain bands, had to pay $50 to $60 for a CD, because the music of that band was not available locally due to no distribution agreement or due to geo restrictions.

So the iTunes store came first in April 2003. Between 1999 and 2003, thousands of other illegal file sharing services appeared as the Record Labels negotiated with Apple.

Spotify came in July 2011 (for the US and 2008 in Sweden) after delays and years of negotiation with the four major record companies. In between 2003 and 2011, various other legal players came on the scene, only to be litigated into oblivion when the Labels demanded greater fees. YouTube snuck in the back door and became a streaming “unlicensed” giant. Sharing of music works kept on growing as the audiences expectations were still not met.

That is also what The Pirate Bay has shown the movie world since 2005. The funny thing is the movie business still hasn’t accepted this as fact. Once the movie is out, it is out. As soon as that movie plays on the cinema screens it is released. So why are the movie studios waiting months before the DVD version or the Blu Ray version or the Netflix version is released. If the movie is out, it is out and it should be available on all possible formats ASAP.

Piracy is circumvented by using ever changing, always evolving business models and strategies?

First and foremost, you need to make something that is quality. Then you need to make it available everywhere. You are putting the control and the distribution in the hands of the fans. Letting the fan decide how they want to consume it. For any artist these days, they need an entry point into the music business and that comes via your music. If it is great, opportunities will arise and you will be able to monetize it.

In this day and age, if a fan purchases a CD version of the album, this should result in an automatic mp3 download of the album as well. Amazon has this facility with AutoRip, however this shouldn’t be only limited to Amazon and on line shopping. If you purchase a CD at a brick and mortar store, the fan should be able to go home and go to a website and download the album with their key. All of the releases should be surrounded with perks. Musicians have to give fans a reason to buy. They are no different than an entrepreneur.

Once musicians give the fans a reason to buy, they need to offer it a fair price. I cannot speak highly enough of Coheed and Cambria. What they delivered with “The Afterman” super deluxe limited edition releases and the price they delivered it with was brilliant. Plus we all got to log in to the Transmissions part of the website, and could watch a track by track interview of each song, plus we could get the 320 or 192 rips of the album on actual release date including the demos.

When a Record Label is involved the “fair price” ideal goes out the window and so does any respect to the fans. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I purchased the new Karnivool album Asymmetry from Amazon in the U.S instead of Australia, purely because of price and I also get an AutoRip of the album.

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