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Music, file sharing, record labels, artists...If you're really interested, read this!

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posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 03:31 PM
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I rarely do this.

The debate regarding the effect of technology on the music industry and who's cheating who out of profit is wildly robust.

Not being in the business, it is hit-or-miss that I might understand fully when statistic about profit-loss or artist-compensation come up. And I have heard many here spout off some wild things... very wrong things... but knowing my limitations, I didn't want to challenge anyone; I have a lot to learn.

But I have found an article that I think most of you will agree deserves a prize for the way it brings the whole topic into one cogent thought.

Meet The New Boss, Worse Than The Old Boss?
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It takes about an hour to go through it all... but I promise if you care about this topic, I'm certain you will not consider it a waste of time.

Rather than try and repeat everything in there... .I will offer a small sense of what I believe I understood.

The music industry, recording labels, studios, and ancillary enterprises served to distribute music for artists across the globe. They themselves profited most when they instituted a "risk/sharing" model that allowed them to maximize the profitability of their business by accepting that a certain number of artists they sign weren't destined to be profitable. Essentially pooling the money in such a way as to engender profit for all...

The digital revolution changed all that, as technology started to allow artists to minimize their costs to create and produce, as well as allowing individuals to access their music track-by-track; instead of the packaged albums that had made for the bulk of sales.

As a result, statistics became muddled, and the real situation became increasing difficult to gauge.

Now we have an argument about how downloading music doesn't really hurt artists... but it does.... or that the recording industry sort of profiteered to greedily using the product of the artists... it did. In the end, it appears that - as one might think is usual for artists in society - everybody is hurting them.... including themselves.

Please enjoy the read.. and come back here and tell what I may have misunderstood....

edit on 4-6-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 03:44 PM
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The entertainment industry was never designed to benefit the artists, they barely make anything and to be honest with you I'm only in it for the sponsorship, free clothes, creating awareness etc.

The record label always wins even if the album doesn't sell over 100k. Those rich lists they put up on forbes..well don't buy into the hype. You can sell 3 million records and not even come close to having a million dollars in net worth.

Albums are also leaked on purpose by the record labels themselves for reasons I don't yet understand maybe to lower sales and keep artists under control.



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 03:56 PM
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reply to post by DeadSnow
 


I suspect you will like this article. I hope you have a chance to read it.

Art and commerce, from a purely ideological perspective is tragically misunderstood. And "getting rich" i suppose goes hand in hand with wanting to be 'a star' or celebrity; so I'm not sure there's a lot of room to argue for or against the idea of who deserves what and why. It's all a matter of choice... I suppose.


I’ve embraced many of the things that those on the tech side of the music business want musicians to embrace. But what many of you forget is that IT IS MY CHOICE whether I choose to give away my songs or sell them. IT IS MY CHOICE how and where to distribute my songs. IT IS MY CHOICE to decide which websites get to exploit my songs. Like it or not, the right to control one’s intellectual property (like songs) is a constitutional right. It is also part of every international human rights agreement. Technology company funded blogs that think there should be no song copyrights are actually advocating violating my constitutional and human rights!

Many in the digital music industry rightfully condemn the past exploitation of artists by record labels. But at the same time they seem to be doing the same thing. Trying to bully artists into giving up their rights so that companies like MegaUpload or YouTube can make money is the same thing.

With exploitative record contracts The Old Boss tried to take your songs a dozen at a time and pay you pennies. The New Boss wants to take ALL of your songs, past present and future and pay you nothing.



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 03:58 PM
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i wish they'd bring back the day of $27 cd's.

do people still buy cd's.

and really, blame apple. without the ipod, filesharing would be 1/10 of what it is now.

music is sound, how can you steal sound.

if someone dug up their old boombox and starting walking around playing music and heard it, did i steal it since i didn't pay for it.

if i watch an official youtube video of an artist (which doesn't cost me a dime) its o.k., but if i burn it and hear it on the road its not o.k.

why is something you're letting me hear for free on youtube wrong to hear anywhere else.

edit on 4-6-2012 by randomname because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 03:59 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


In general, if artists are good at what they do, fans will take care of the artists. The problem is that albums are overpriced for little quality. Let people pay what it's worth, they will. Radiohead did it.



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 04:00 PM
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reply to post by randomname
 


Advertisement.



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by Mr Headshot
 


so it isn't illegal to download off youtube since the song is already payed for.

the advertisers bought the song for me.

what a world we live in, self-less marketers and advertisers.
edit on 4-6-2012 by randomname because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by randomname
 


One of the points of his title "New boss..." etc. is about how YouTube and Google are funding the very blogs that promote the idea of not having to pay ... while they reap the benefits of the free traffic they get... but not sharing it with the artists at all.

Apparently... artists are the perennial losers in the distribution of their creations.



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 04:11 PM
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reply to post by randomname
 


Too long, didn't read?

*chuckle*

Reflex posting aside, this article pretty much sums up the independent artist situation in 2012: Play the iTunes game, and if you are really really lucky, you'll be robbed and gang-banged by a bunch of self-proclaimed "innovators" with less respect for you than David Geffen ever had for his roster of artists.

Or don't, starve anyway, and hope that sometime, long after you are dead, somebody, somewhere hears what you have done, and actually gives a $*!@.

Grim, but essentially truthful, in my humble experience.



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 04:21 PM
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Originally posted by DeadSnow
The entertainment industry was never designed to benefit the artists, they barely make anything and to be honest with you I'm only in it for the sponsorship, free clothes, creating awareness etc.


Yeah that's why all the Beatles, all the guys from Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and all others are filthy stinking rich. Michael Jackson had hundreds of million and blew them away on crap.
A lot of musicians are just idiots, they reach the top, make some money and suddenly want to live an expensive, over the top lifestyle, everything crashes and burns and they are bankrupt, the perfect example for this is MC Hammer, look his story up and see how much money he spent on gardeners and other people. It's insane. Then they complain they were ripped off by the label. It's a joke.

There are poor musicians, but it's mostly because they either play in a Genre the broad majority isn't interested in or are just crap. First: 90% of the people on this planet just follow the mainstream, they listen to the 'hits of today' and the charts. Show them Black Metal, Jazz, Blues, Death Metal and they aren't interested in it, they even may hate it because it isn't as easy listening as your standard crappy 3 minute Lady Gaga bull#song.

Thing is: It's not the fault of the record labels, they could advertise the hell out of this and maybe bring one album of this genres into the charts. A fine example is the Blues Brothers, thanks to the movie they become incredible popular but except for the soundtrack to the movie, all other live albums and studios albums didn't sell. Is it the fault of the record label or the band? No, it's the fault of the people who lose interested quickly and generally want whats simple.


Originally posted by DeadSnow
The record label always wins even if the album doesn't sell over 100k. Those rich lists they put up on forbes..well don't buy into the hype. You can sell 3 million records and not even come close to having a million dollars in net worth.


Yeah, the record labels win so much, that today we have 5 big record labels, a couple of smaller beneath it and a very bad situation.
Look at the 70's or 80's and look what labels were back then. Labels like Casablanca, Geffen, Polydor, Capitol Records, Island Records, Def Jam, Columbia, RCA, MCA, to name a few either went under or were bought. And some of those were powerhouses. Geffen was probably the biggste label in the late 80's and early 90's thanks to bands like Guns n' Roses, Nirvana, Tesla and others.
Which also leads to: Less big labels means less competition, less various styles who can become big. Until the 80's the Charts were usually quite a diverse potpourri of everything. Especially here in Europe. Then came the 90's, labels went under and since then 90% of the charts consist of either crappy female voiced pop music, whiny emo 'rock' or rap and nothing else.

And of course the musicans don't make most of the money. Why should they? The labels do:
- provide them with money in the first place to buy some instruments (when they sign a contract)
- help them finance their album so it doesn't sound like it was recorded in a garage
- provide all the advertisement
- release the album to the stores, produce the records, usually are behind finding cover artists, booklet autors, producing the whole package
- export it to the world
Do you think this can be done with 5 dollars? There are hundreds and hundreds of people involved in helping a group of 4-6 people to release their music to the public in every part of the world...and gasp...those humans want to make some money too. I know it's a weird concept you may not understand, they aren't robots and while CDs and cases may be prroduced in a factory it's not done by Androids and Robots.
The majority of the money needed to release an album is spent by the record company.
There's a reason that when a band launches it's own record label it either fails horribly or they never, ever reach their audience because they are extremely limited in funds and thought it was an easy job.

I know this, because quite a few bands i like went into "we do it ourselves". Toto was once one of the biggest bands on this planet. 20 years later they went into "We do it ourselves and licence the album". They thought they would make more money this way. In the end, the album wasn't available in north america, they had problems in japan and even though they had the help of EMI in europe (who invested quite a sum in advertisement) it was a complete failure. After that horrible botch, they returned to a standard record contract with Frontiers Records and their next album was 10 times as successful.

It's sad that most people don't have a clue about how it works, but still think they know it and talk about it



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 04:44 PM
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“Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive”-Stewart Brand

So very true, and so poorly understood.


Was the old record label system better?

I mean it didn’t seem like the artists were literally starving and living in their vans like now? I mean even the independent bands seemed able to stay in a hotel every once in a while and being a “Freegan” was a lifestyle choice, not a necessity.

Sadly I think the answer turns out to be yes. Things are worse. This was not really what I was expecting. I’d be very happy to be proved wrong. I mean it’s hard for me to sing the praises of the major labels. I’ve been in legal disputes with two of the three remaining major labels. But sadly I think I’m right. And the reason is quite unexpected. It’s seems the Bad Old Major Record Labels “accidentally” shared too much revenue and capital through their system of advances. Also the labels ”accidentally” assumed most of the risk. This is contrasted with the new digital distribution system where some of the biggest players assume almost no risk and share zero capital.


Again.... it's all in the article...
edit on 4-6-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 04:51 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowAngel85
Yeah that's why all the Beatles, all the guys from Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and all others are filthy stinking rich.


Don't know about the others, but I know The Beatles didn't become stinking rich until they sued for it. Epstein was ripping them off royally, among others. They got most of their wealth late in their career.

Also a lot of musicians apparent wealth is not all it seems to be. For examples houses and cars owned by the record company, not the musician. Huge millions dollar advances, that are ultimately really loans that are paid back.

Those that do have real wealth have other financial interests that they invested in. However rich they are though it is still only a small percentage of the wealth they actually created. The income created by the musician ultimately pays for everything.

Musicians are not idiots, it does take some intelligence to learn to play an instrument, write songs, most are simply naive, have big egos, and ignorant of the music industry. Most are just happy to be wanted by the industry, to be idolized, it's all based on ego. We idolize them because we ourselves wish to be like them and idolized. Some people will give everything away just to be recognized and famous, it doesn't matter if the glitz is all fake, and you're still getting a weekly wage, as long as the perception is there...



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 05:04 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


The recording industry is a scam and all these pop up companies, that are put in place by the government to feed big dollars to their friends, like Resound, the CMRRA and SOCAN try to screw many of these artists from the get go. I have a friend who was playing every day in Europe on the radio, SOCAN refused to pay him until he threatened to take them to court. They had to pay him back 3 years of royalties at one time. Point is he had to threaten to go to court, well he hired a lawyer and started the ball rolling. One of my companies deals with 4 large record labels and the company has re-cut, rendered and rerecorded over 2000 songs under license. Well, the CMRRA is supposed to pay distribution royalties on those songs and are also supposed to pay royalties out of the blank CD levy (extra charges for blank CD's) in Canada. Our company has submitted the paperwork 3 times, the first 2 times the CMRRA lost our paperwork, the third time they admitted getting the paperwork but to date (it's been 5 years) have never released a cent in royalties or a percentage of the CD levy.

As far as I am concerned, the entire thing is a scam that enriched politicians friends so they can kick back money to the politicians. I have owned a recording and artist management company for a about 10 years, so I am in the business and this is what I see happening, simple as that. Now funny thing, with my book (published) I get a royalty check every three months, something is seriously wrong with the recording industry. Like we all do know, the recording industry is parasitic, it feeds on artists and talent and by profit comparison, it barely pays the artists anything while retaining the lion's share of profits for itself. Like bankers and politicians, the established commercial recording industry needs to go the way of the dinosaurs.

What's really kind of stupid about this lot, is if they took every artist they could under their "wing" and marketed them on the internet at reasonable prices, their profit margins would probably increase by 100%. But the greedy little bastards would rather try and control a situation than just allow it to work and be productive for them. If they want to be parasites, they should remember that the object is not to kill the host.

Cheers - Dave
edit on 6/4.2012 by bobs_uruncle because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 05:27 PM
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reply to post by ShadowAngel85
 





And of course the musicans don't make most of the money. Why should they?


Well, since the record companies can't sell blank albums for mass profit, then the musicians actually provide the most important part....the music and even if they don't get the majority of profits they deserve far more than they get under the old "dinosaur" model.



The labels do: - provide them with money in the first place to buy some instruments (when they sign a contract)


Most musicians have their own instruments. They may not be the best and most expensive, but they are good enough to practice and perform with. The main reason the recording industry may even give them instruments is because of backroom deals with instrument makers for product placement in the first place anyway. This musician uses instrument brand xyz model xyz etc.



- help them finance their album so it doesn't sound like it was recorded in a garage


Yes, the recording studios provide of course studios and sound engineers, which I agree is a valuable service provided, but worth as much as they take in profit? maybe, maybe not.



- provide all the advertisement


The funny thing about advertising is the recording studios don't really provide that much advertising; unless you are an established multi album artist, radio stations do. Now you can argue that the studios try to get stations to play certain songs, but it doesn't really cost them anything, after the payolla scandal in the early days legally they are not suppose to be bribing djs and radio stations anymore, so no money out of their pocket.




- release the album to the stores, produce the records, usually are behind finding cover artists, booklet autors, producing the whole package
- export it to the world


Yes, they use to do that, but since we now have digital files and file sharing across the net all of those things are no longer necessary and those services have lost their value. Much like blacksmiths who use to make a fortune shoeing horses really don't make a fortune from that anymore in the age of cars; their service has lost it's value, just like the recording industry.




Do you think this can be done with 5 dollars? There are hundreds and hundreds of people involved in helping a group of 4-6 people to release their music to the public in every part of the world...and gasp...those humans want to make some money too. I know it's a weird concept you may not understand, they aren't robots and while CDs and cases may be prroduced in a factory it's not done by Androids and Robots.


Actually it USED to take all those people to do that job, unfortunately for them it doesn't anymore. It used to take far more people to produce cars as well, now with automation it takes far less people on an assembly line to produce a car. The fact is technology is streamlining music and is making all those people and the recording industry in general redundant and useless. The funny thing is people can cry a song for the recording industry if they want; I won't, but it won't change anything, their time has passed, their service is no longer as valuable as it was, the genie is out of the bottle. They will just have to grow up and deal with it. Just the way it is; technology in the form of vinyl created the music industry and now in the form of digital will destroy it.

The only hope that the recording industry has for a future is to cut the services no longer needed like production of physical cds and distribution of the those cds and focus on the services still needed, recording studios, sound engineers, producers and advertisement. AT the same time they probably should realize those services alone are not going to garner them as much profit as the old production model which is now archaic and should go away.

Just my opinion though.
edit on 4-6-2012 by prisoneronashipoffools because: typos
edit on 4-6-2012 by prisoneronashipoffools because: typo
edit on 4-6-2012 by prisoneronashipoffools because: typo



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 05:51 PM
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The upfront money the record company gives the musicians is a loan, an investment in the band, used to buy new equipment, often to finance recording and producing the first release, the first tour etc. It has to be paid back. Often when bands split up when they still owe money, the company will not release them from the contract until it is paid. That means the musicians can't release any new material on other labels, which keeps them from joining other bands on different labels etc.

When a new band is first signed up it is often left to itself and its management to actually record, and then provide the record company with the finished recorded product. Then the record company decides if it is suitable for release, and will have a say in how it is presented.

Musicians get sponsorship deals to also help pay for tours and recording and get free strings etc., and even instruments, for endorsing products. Not all do this.



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 06:00 PM
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I have bookmarked the link for a rainy day read, but I did see this little gem of a pic the other day that is relative to the OP. I am sure the question will be answered once I have concluded the reading.




posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 08:11 PM
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Artists that should or will do well are the ones that adapt.

I for one would like to see a ‘donate button’ on the bottom of every artist webpage and a statement along the lines of........

“If you have received our music for free by any means, we don’t care - we hope that you enjoy it! Please donate directly to us what you can afford to give. The money you donate will not go to our recording company but directly to us and we thank you for your support”

Many artists give away creations and seldom ask for anything in return. A portal for people that have downloaded or copied songs & wish to give something back is way to go - IMO of course.

I think it is correct to assume that if someone directly donates $1 to an artist for downloading a full CD, it’s probably more than what the artist would receive from the recording company on the sale a full retail price CD.

Yes, Radiohead did it, all others can too.

Mickierocksman



posted on Jun, 4 2012 @ 08:29 PM
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Originally posted by DeadSnow
Albums are also leaked on purpose by the record labels themselves for reasons I don't yet understand maybe to lower sales and keep artists under control.


Many companies do this, or they just simply track releases. Other times, it's to set people up for the fall, and they hold that sword over everyone's head in the event that they'd like to go on legal raids for government sympathy, propaganda and money. Most of all though, it's to further propagate their campaign for dominance over the internet.

They hate the internet, they don't like that we can get on it and do what we want, and get our content as we want it. What they really want is to turn the web into a glorified cable TV package, i.e. "Sports Package", "Alternative News Package". Among other things, they just want to control everything, it doesn't need to be elaborated on for any sake. Of course, none of this is ever going to happen, because the web is too strong and the people will go into a frenzy if it's changed.

What they can do is just be stubborn pricks about their dying empire founded on greed and extortion, basically just doing stuff to make everyday use of the internet or media miserable. Like buying a computer game and having to deal with obtuse software and enforcements. Or getting "licensed" a song "for a little while" when you buy it, instead of actually "owning" it. Stuff like this.
edit on 4-6-2012 by SyphonX because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 06:09 AM
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It is a good article and part of the complex mess with how convergence, copyright and social functioning is affecting the world. Another problem is just the growing body of laws trying to micro manage and account for every little thing we do. With so many different laws and standards in different regions, determining what is black and white is becoming more difficult with so much grey around. Transparency with accounting is one important part so all the interested parties can sit down and work out a fair arrangement.

Another problem, someone I know is trying to start up a Photo DVD service for weddings, parties, funerals and such. At the moment with including music in video production it is hugely cost and time expensive to track down the owner and sort out permissions and pretty much makes the whole production non-viable with such a small viewing audience for each product. Either royalty free music or else the client accepts copyright and ownership with any future liabilities that may present themselves are the two main options.

For someone's funeral it would be nice to play their favourite song, but the risk of a copyright lawyer showing up is enough to scare anyone off. It would be good if there was some reasonable way to achieve this, but as soon as that iPod gets in hearing range of someone else risk of business failure starts to set in as there is no reasonable approach to legally comply with this issue. Either get a $1 song that one person can hear or pay thousands so just a few people to hear.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 06:30 AM
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Originally posted by Maxmars
reply to post by DeadSnow
 


I suspect you will like this article. I hope you have a chance to read it.

Art and commerce, from a purely ideological perspective is tragically misunderstood. And "getting rich" i suppose goes hand in hand with wanting to be 'a star' or celebrity; so I'm not sure there's a lot of room to argue for or against the idea of who deserves what and why. It's all a matter of choice... I suppose.


I’ve embraced many of the things that those on the tech side of the music business want musicians to embrace. But what many of you forget is that IT IS MY CHOICE whether I choose to give away my songs or sell them. IT IS MY CHOICE how and where to distribute my songs. IT IS MY CHOICE to decide which websites get to exploit my songs. Like it or not, the right to control one’s intellectual property (like songs) is a constitutional right. It is also part of every international human rights agreement. Technology company funded blogs that think there should be no song copyrights are actually advocating violating my constitutional and human rights!

Many in the digital music industry rightfully condemn the past exploitation of artists by record labels. But at the same time they seem to be doing the same thing. Trying to bully artists into giving up their rights so that companies like MegaUpload or YouTube can make money is the same thing.

With exploitative record contracts The Old Boss tried to take your songs a dozen at a time and pay you pennies. The New Boss wants to take ALL of your songs, past present and future and pay you nothing.


We'll this is only true for artists that release records independently. If for example you sign to a major record label you cannot release material or collaborate with other artists unless you receive permission. This is the reason artists are always in and out of court as well as the unjust use of samples.





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