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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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Do Amazon Sales Count As U.S sales?

I purchase all of my music via Amazon. I live in Australia and I refuse to pay $20 for a CD when I can get the same product via Amazon for half the price. Even when shipping is added on, I still save. What I normally do is purchase 8 to 10 CD’s at the same time and I really save. From time to time I chuck in a book or a DVD from an artist that I like. I recently did a few pre-orders and along with them I purchased “Shut Up and Give Me The Mic” from Dee Snider from Amazon for $9.99 in hardcover. In Australia the hard cover book is retailing for $32.99.

I also purchased “Hail To The King” from Avenged Sevenfold from Amazon. So the actual price of the CD/DVD deluxe edition came to $13.99. The postage cost was $2.04. The total cost of the CD/DVD delivered to my front door was $16.03. I also got an Amazon AutoRip of the album. So the total cost of the CD/DVD deluxe package with an MP3 rip was $16.03. To buy the deluxe edition of the album in Australia, the prices range from $19.99 to $28.99. Seriously, that is dead set ridiculous and a rip off.

Another thing, Karnivool is an Australian band. Their new album Asymmetry is priced at $19.99 in Australia. That is at Brick and Mortar stores. Online the CD is even more expensive. On Amazon it is priced at $11.99. So I purchased it from Amazon.

But piracy is hurting the artists, screams the RIAA.

No, piracy is not hurting the artists. Stupid record labels are hurting the artists. It is the labels that have failed the artists. It is the labels that have failed the music business.

So as a purchaser of entertainment products from Amazon (a U.S company), do my purchasers rank as U.S sales or Australian sales of the purchased product. Does the place/country of delivery get factored in when the purchases are reported to Soundscan?

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A to Z of Making It, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

Karnivool – Progress is Derivative and what Does Different Mean These Days?

I follow Tesseract on Spotify and I was going through a playlist that Tesseract put up. When I heard the new album Altered State, I immediately made a comparison to an Australian band called Karnivool. So I am going through the songs on the playlist and I come across Karnivool. They are on the list. It is a form of validation, that my senses are correct. It makes you feel good that you are in tune with the artists that you like. So I go onto YouTube and do a search on Karnivool and I find two new songs posted,  “We Are” and “The Refusal” from the album called “Asymmetry” that is due out on 19 July.  14 songs in total.

The songs are different.  Different in the way that the two new songs are not in the same theme as the preceding album.

How?

In the same way that Sound Awake is different to Themata, if these two songs set the general theme for Asymmetry then I would say all three albums have their own individual unique theme while still holding on to some bits of the bands character, which is pretty good coming from the one band.  They are still playing to their core audience and improving, growing and experimenting. That is all we can ask for in the artists that we like.

Definitely interested in hearing more of the new album now. I remember first listening to Sound Awake and I was like these guys have changed, but the more I paid attention to it the more I thought it wasn’t in a bad way, just unique, I think I’ll be having the same feeling when listening to this album, and I reckon for a band to do that is pretty cool.

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