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View Full Version : Alan McGee - downloading has murdered the music business


John Eppstein
February 10th, 2011, 12:12 AM
http://www.nme.com/blog/index.php?blog=146&title=emi_s_plight_proves_it_downloading_has_m&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

digiengineer
February 10th, 2011, 12:47 AM
Downloading has killed the music business, but it's because of the record company's failure to recognize change and act accordingly. When the kids of record executives were downloading music on Napster, Limewire, and others pre-iTunes, it was too late to put the genie back in the bottle, but not too late to buy into the current infrastructure during it's infancy. Had they acted, the music business may have a few more major players than just Apple, Inc.

nobby
February 10th, 2011, 01:09 AM
The comments are depressingly clueless.

Typical

ivmike
February 10th, 2011, 01:34 AM
The comments are indeed, clueless.

I love these idiots; "the music industry sucks, so if they're getting ripped off, so what?" and then they slide over to some torrent site and steal music, software, movies and anything else available.

It kills me; typical pirates scream about how "today's music sucks" and they "hate Beyonce and Lady Gaga" and that the "labels should jut die" and "I'd laugh so hard, hahaha" ... and follow up their righteous indignation by stealing Wilco's latest album....yeah, that'll show the record companies, you idiots.

Dave Perry
February 10th, 2011, 01:55 AM
I've learned from the comments that "the power" has been put back into the hands of emerging bands. Thank God they have the power now.

Just so I'm sure to get this straight...what exactly is "the power"? :Confused:

vocalnick
February 10th, 2011, 01:55 AM
Alan McGee's dictionary must have a fairly radically different definition of "proof" to mine.

Not that I disagree with him, but as a piece of journalism I'd suggest it's getting about the standard of comments that it warrants.

Tim Halligan
February 10th, 2011, 02:07 AM
Alan McGee's dictionary must have a fairly radically different definition of "proof" to mine.

Not that I disagree with him, but as a piece of journalism I'd suggest it's getting about the standard of comments that it warrants.

Indeed.

Not a well thought out piece at all.

Cheers,
Tim

ManRoom Studio
February 10th, 2011, 02:12 AM
I've learned from the comments that "the power" has been put back into the hands of emerging bands. Thank God they have the power now.

Just so I'm sure to get this straight...what exactly is "the power"? :Confused:

I believe this is what they're referring to:

The ManRoom

Dave Perry
February 10th, 2011, 02:31 AM
So, then this would be the big ugly labels?

http://www.maxtoons.com/skeletor08.jpg

John Eppstein
February 10th, 2011, 02:51 AM
Downloading has killed the music business, but it's because of the record company's failure to recognize change and act accordingly. When the kids of record executives were downloading music on Napster, Limewire, and others pre-iTunes, it was too late to put the genie back in the bottle, but not too late to buy into the current infrastructure during it's infancy. Had they acted, the music business may have a few more major players than just Apple, Inc.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/6149082-post1.html

Bob Olhsson
February 10th, 2011, 06:33 PM
Downloading has killed the music business, but it's because of the record company's failure to recognize change and act accordingly...This isn't true at all. Record labels needed to renegotiate their contracts with artists in order to have permission to sell files. That took a while because, understandably, lots of artists didn't want to go first.

You can blame plenty of problems on the shortsightedness of labels during the '80s and '90s in not adapting to the massive consolidation of retail, venues and broadcasting that killed exposure. The labels had nothing to do with being used by the personal computer industry to take over the consumer electronics market by allowing a looting free for all.

The sad part is that the devastation of catalog sales has killed financial investment in today's generation of young artists and in solving the massive exposure problems.

ivmike
February 10th, 2011, 07:38 PM
The sad part is that the devastation of catalog sales has killed financial investment in today's generation of young artists and in solving the massive exposure problems.

There it is; what downloading has done; eloquently written, Bob.

meLoCo_go
February 10th, 2011, 10:16 PM
This isn't true at all. Record labels needed to renegotiate their contracts with artists in order to have permission to sell files. That took a while because, understandably, lots of artists didn't want to go first.
I guess it's true. But IMO labels were completely naive to the digital distribution.
They hadn't foreseen the threat of the Internet. IMO they very quickly found that it is useful promotional tool, but Napster was a surprise.

Bob Olhsson
February 10th, 2011, 10:28 PM
...Napster was a surprise.What was a surprise was Napster's multi-million dollar legal defense from the Silly-Con Valley investment bankers. The head of the RIAA, a first amendment free speech expert, assumed that a court injunction would immediately shut Napster's illegal activity down. Napster's lawyers argued that artists had to individually sue Napster and that the RIAA didn't have "status" to sue them. Napster eventually lost but they delayed the injunction long enough to cause serious harm.

meLoCo_go
February 10th, 2011, 11:12 PM
What was a surprise was Napster's multi-million dollar legal defense from the Silly-Con Valley investment bankers. The head of the RIAA, a first amendment free speech expert, assumed that a court injunction would immediately shut Napster's illegal activity down. Napster's lawyers argued that artists had to individually sue Napster and that the RIAA didn't have "status" to sue them. Napster eventually lost but they delayed the injunction long enough to cause serious harm.
Interesting, didn't know about that.
But, of course, somebody had to be behind them.
I wonder where it came from (the rift between Silicon and RIAA)?

nobby
February 11th, 2011, 01:45 AM
Interesting, didn't know about that.
But, of course, somebody had to be behind them.
I wonder where it came from (the rift between Silicon and RIAA)?

Follow the money (or lack thereof).

I think Bob already mentioned something to the effect that hardware devices have a lot of extra value when they come with "free music".

meLoCo_go
February 11th, 2011, 11:28 AM
I think Bob already mentioned something to the effect that hardware devices have a lot of extra value when they come with "free music".
Sure, but IMO that is only one side of the problem.
iPod appeared after Napster, and all frash-mp3 player thingy really took of couple years later.
HDD capacity also steadily increased before and after Napster.

I think Napster had some backing because some folks with power feared RIAA taking hold of Internet freedom. Generally it is true that RIAA and all the recording industry does not have a good rep.

Maybe that is the problem. Of course all the argument "I don't like Lady Ga Ga so I steal music" is insane, but why and when did it happened that record industry became associated only with "pushed by marketing" acts?

ivmike
February 11th, 2011, 05:36 PM
Sure, but IMO that is only one side of the problem.
iPod appeared after Napster, and all frash-mp3 player thingy really took of couple years later.
HDD capacity also steadily increased before and after Napster.

I think Napster had some backing because some folks with power feared RIAA taking hold of Internet freedom. Generally it is true that RIAA and all the recording industry does not have a good rep.

Maybe that is the problem. Of course all the argument "I don't like Lady Ga Ga so I steal music" is insane, but why and when did it happened that record industry became associated only with "pushed by marketing" acts?

"Internet Freedom" is a misnomer; a lot of people seem to have the belief that the Internet is a great, free place where you can espouse any view, freely download some movies, fill up your hard drive with songs, add to your software collection, all without penalty nor impact to others. We know that this to be untrue.

Piracy on line is similar to this: place a box filled with cash in the middle of a shopping mall; leave the top open and walk away. At first, you'll get a few people that might consider calling security, fearing that someone has lost a lot of money. After a while, if security doesn't show up, more people will gather around the box and eventually, the thought of being a good samaritan is replaced by people helping themselves to the cash. Once a few people start taking money and justifying their actions, a large part of the rest of the crowd begins to do the same. A similar study has been done with something as simple as jaywalking; once someone "breaks the ice" then human nature is to follow that example and do the same, even if it is illegal.

Napster put the idea of having all the music that you could possibly want, without the bothersome aspects of paying for it, into people's homes. After all, when Napster began, it was peer-to-peer and you shared your files with others around the world. So, the rationalization was that people believed they were sharing something that they themselves owned. When the RIAA came in to quash Napster, they played the "record companies are greedy and are trying to screw you over" card; people believed them because they simply didn't like paying $15 or $20 for a CD and the consensus was (and still is) that the record companies make money hand-over-fist whistle screwing everyone in sight (such as the artist, the local record store, and the consumer).

As for the current business decision of "let's push what sells and nothing else", that's a sad reality because of the high piracy levels. Labels are not going to re-invest their profits into something that might do well in a few releases, they want something that is going to work now and return on any investment. The days of development deals and allowing a band/artist time to work through a few albums to build a following are long gone. Labels are going to find what works now and squeeze every nickel out of it; labels are also going to comb through back catalogues and re-release albums that sold well; this is another way to get a good return on investment and spend little money, as compared to finding a new artist, developing said artist, promoting said artist and then hoping for this artist to break.

Bob Olhsson
February 11th, 2011, 06:02 PM
...I think Napster had some backing because some folks with power feared RIAA taking hold of Internet freedom. Generally it is true that RIAA and all the recording industry does not have a good rep...The record industry only has a bad rep because of consumer electronics industry PR spin and whining by people who were never successful enough at building a fan base to get themselves a record deal. If it were true, every single recording artist would have sued and gotten out of all of their recording contracts with public corporations decades ago.

Napster was backed to the tune of millions by people who were selling investments in start-up companies whose business model was based on "the public" being able to loot intellectual property. The founders of the EFF were a millionaire former software developer turned investment banker and a rich hippie who never needed to work a day in his life.

meLoCo_go
February 11th, 2011, 06:03 PM
"Internet Freedom" is a misnomer; a lot of people seem to have the belief that the Internet is a great, free place where you can espouse any view, freely download some movies, fill up your hard drive with songs, add to your software collection, all without penalty nor impact to others. We know that this to be untrue.
No argue about that.

As for the current business decision of "let's push what sells and nothing else", that's a sad reality because of the high piracy levels. Labels are not going to re-invest their profits into something that might do well in a few releases, they want something that is going to work now and return on any investment. The days of development deals and allowing a band/artist time to work through a few albums to build a following are long gone. Labels are going to find what works now and squeeze every nickel out of it; labels are also going to comb through back catalogues and re-release albums that sold well; this is another way to get a good return on investment and spend little money, as compared to finding a new artist, developing said artist, promoting said artist and then hoping for this artist to break.
The way I see it, it started quite before Napster.

Bob Olhsson
February 12th, 2011, 07:10 AM
Consolidation of broadcast, live show promoters and record stores in the U.S. had indeed devastated development of new artists before Napster but Napster killed catalog sales which could have financed some new paths to breaking artists.

The tech industry killed the goose that laid the golden eggs whereas it had previously only been ill.

Dave Perry
February 12th, 2011, 10:27 AM
The sad part is that the devastation of catalog sales has killed financial investment in today's generation of young artists and in solving the massive exposure problems.

But that's alright because, instead, we got Bieber fever.

Tim Halligan
February 12th, 2011, 10:35 AM
...we got Bieber fever.

Isn't there a pill for that yet?


Cheers,
Tim

Dave Perry
February 12th, 2011, 10:52 AM
Hoping it's in development. I'll take it even before FDA approval.

I've been immune so far because of my cave-like existence, but have just been examining this over the past few days via YT.

Very hard to understand, but then again what is there to understand about hysterical 14 year old girls? Millions of hysterical 14 year old girls.

Bieber himself is alright, from what I've seen. His ego is surprisingly uninflated, at least by appearances. He's probably just as confused by all the insanity as you and I.

I think this goes to show that, lacking an actual great band like the Beatles, there will always be a Beatlemania, at least at fairly regular intervals. It sort of generates itself almost out of nothing, it seems.