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  #1  
Old 03-31-2008, 06:30 AM
jjjonston1 jjjonston1 is offline
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Default Provoke Change

This thread was posted in response to the frequency of music being pirated today. Almost everyone in the United States knows someone who illegally downloads music. Some people however, do not realize the effect piracy has on the music industry. Free distribution of music can ultimately hinder the production of music. When people don't pay a fair price for their music, the bands don't get a sufficient profit from their investment. Musicians not getting paid results in failure to continue making CD's, or touring. Granted, CD's are priced at an unreasonable amount, but with the new technology available; a decent compromise can be reached for both parties. Pay sites such as iTunes or Rhapsody are readily available to the general public, but their use is limited. In summary, the belief is if people use pay sites as their primary medium, the music industry and musicians won't lose money and can keep making music. I leave this topic open for response in some form.
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

I agree to an extent, but it isnt as simple as buying music from the right places. Even with paid music, the majority of the profit does not go to the artist anyway. I say this needs to be remedied before anything else.

There many performers (some major) who prefer free distribution of some of their material.

From some of the artists I have spoken with, many of them are happy to offer some of their music to the public, but when its offered, not when its STOLEN from them.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

[solution]

Well, then maybe the music industry should start putting their money behind music that people will actually WANT to pay for.

[/solution]
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

Even before the days of digital music, very few artists/bands saw any sizeable income from CD sales. Only the very biggest acts could negotiate terms which gave them a half decent percentage on unit sales. Acts still make the majority of their cash as they always have done - playing live and merchandise.
The worst effect is seen in the shrinking of the major labels resources to invest in new bands and take risks. That said, it's all a good kick up the arse for these labels which have enjoyed decades of disproportionate power and wealth. Music making is back in the hands of musicians.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

I'm honest enough to admit that I hae a lot (!) of music that I didn't pay for. I got it from a local area network in and around the university of Twente, so it's actually legal to download but those sharing are responsible for what they share. I don't share music so technically I'm good. But still, I know where it's all from.
However, if everyone would buy as many cd's as I did, the music industry wouldn't have to suffer much. I have quite a collection.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

So you joined the forum just to say "Pirating is bad, mm-kay?" Gotcha. Look, we don't allow discussion of illegal activity here, so even if someone wanted to argue with you they couldn't do it here. If you are against pirating music then don't do it. Anonymously preaching to a bunch of strangers might not be the most productive way to forward your personal viewpoints.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

With the up and coming importance of Independent Record Labels who are able to adjust to the market much more flexibly than the Major companies (because they don't work on a salary basis and generally work piecemeal) there will hopefully be a resurgence in an actual tliason between the label and the artist rather than through largely lawyers and those who don't understand music other than as a business.

The Majors have shot themselves in the foot by charging so much for CD's. In the UK it costs on average around 10 to buy an album, it can be significantly more and realistically ranges from 5 (which is reasonable) to 16 (which is not). A large percentage of those downloading are teenagers with little or no income and as a result the prices they are willing to spend are reflective to the income they have. In a lot of cases, this is simply nothing.

Radiohead can go and offer an album for free, they have the kind of financial resources to be able to do this, but even so, they probably made FAR more money on the sales of their last albums than the sales of even OK Computer as a result of the royalties going DIRECTLY to the artist and not to the corporate middlemen. This solves two problems: first the price of the music in the first place and secondly the artist income doesn't suffer as a result. Obviously Radiohead are an extreme example because of the profile they have built is largely reliant on their marketing from EMI in the first place - but with the popularity of the Internet, for the first time, Independent artists and labels have the same marketing power as the Majors. There is no problem with publicising bands provided it is done properly; and the Independent Label model allows for this with great flexibility.

Essentially, I'm saying two things. Firstly, I hope the majors die off soon and take their business models and greed elsewhere, maybe the ice cream market for all I care; they are notorious for screwing the Artists in their rosters and distributing money away from the creative element on which they rely on in the first place. Secondly, the Independent market is the way forward and there is no good reason now why this can't be so. In theory they could charge less by cutting out the middlemen of music and still make a healthy profit to sign and promote new acts and STILL provide the artist with a fair royalty deal.
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

Not to dig in my heels and take a stance, but instead, to offer my perspective as to some people ( read here lot's of people, OK, most people) and business in general;
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjjonston1;... [I
Some people [/i]however, do not realize the effect piracy has on the music industry.
Firstly, I think most people are good hearted and want to do what is right. When confronted with technology they do not understand in an era where they want everything made simple, and for the most part,they will continue to do what is easy ( and take the path of least resistance) until given credible evidence that it is wrong and harmful. I realize I will take a lot of hits here regarding my perceived naivete but that's OK.

Quote:
When people don't pay a fair price for their music,
What, kind sir, would you consider a fair price to pay for a CD and how do you substantiate that fair price?
For me, I do not evaluate the price of a CD or DVD as expensive or cheap. If I want the music I pay the price. I do not, for example, shop Best Buy and think to myself that I might be able to save a couple dollars by shopping the Internet or by traveling to another retailer down the road. I have decided I want the music and believe (thru visiting, at sometime. the other retailers) the prices are similar everywhere. If the cost of a CD or DVD is beyond what I am willing to pay, I do not think it is too expensive, rather, that it costs more than I can afford at this time. The responsibility to buy or not is all mine. I do not place blame with the 'greedy business'. Believe me, if there was something I really wanted to have, I would afford it. Just look at how may DW's are sold or Mercedes auto's or pay attention to how many people by dinner at Ruth Crisp who won't go to Mc Donalds.

Quote:
Granted, CD's are priced at an unreasonable amount
What do you consider reasonable? No offence meant here but when I hear this statement in my line of work it usually is a way of saying " I can't afford this at these prices". Instead of taking personal responsibility for the possible embarrassment of not being able to afford something, one turns the semantics of the situation to infer it is the Sellers fault one can't afford something by inferring that the something is too expensive even though a great many others are buying the something at the current prices.
This is just a different perspective and not meant to viewed as attacking.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

Lol, you're a capitalist's wet dream, oneyellowdrum.
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

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Originally Posted by jonescrusher View Post
Lol, you're a capitalist's wet dream, oneyellowdrum.
Lol, no, jonescrusher, I am a full blooded capitalist.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:00 PM
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I consider a fair price to be one that covers both the artists and the record company's cost with a profit substantial enough to encourage and develop the artists signed to the company and to further interest in the artists in order to obtain a sustainable market and the companies' self-perpetuation as a result whilst still being affordable to the consumer at which it is aimed - teenagers being the baseline. It's also in the interest of the record companies to lower their own prices, but this won't happen with the current market - luckily it's in a state of revolution. Independent labels CAN lower the prices if you understand the general business model of independent as opposed to major labels and this influx of independent labels will hopefully not only cheapen the production of records (using smaller studios rather than those owned by the record companies - which are cheaper but of equal quality) but also the promotion with the use of the Internet.

Unfortunately, the record companies are charging far too much due to the fact that they have to pay a lot of salaried middlemen which have nothing to do with music. Not the case with independent labels. Read my post and this is all explained; I like a good debate and I firmly believe in a more direct financial lines from record sales to the artist, rather than the convoluted system we have now.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat View Post
I consider a fair price to be one that covers both the artists and the record company's cost with a profit substantial enough to encourage and develop the artists signed to the company and to further interest in the artists in order to obtain a sustainable market and the companies' self-perpetuation as a result whilst still being affordable to the consumer at which it is aimed - teenagers being the baseline. It's also in the interest of the record companies to lower their own prices, but this won't happen with the current market - luckily it's in a state of revolution. Independent labels CAN lower the prices if you understand the general business model of independent as opposed to major labels and this influx of independent labels will hopefully not only cheapen the production of records (using smaller studios rather than those owned by the record companies - which are cheaper but of equal quality) but also the promotion with the use of the Internet.

Unfortunately, the record companies are charging far too much due to the fact that they have to pay a lot of salaried middlemen which have nothing to do with music. Not the case with independent labels. Read my post and this is all explained; I like a good debate and I firmly believe in a more direct financial lines from record sales to the artist, rather than the convoluted system we have now.
The experience I have with taking a recording project to the completion level is only that of my bands experience.
Here is a shameless plug: www.codered.ws or www.myspace.com/coderedws
We are as indie as you can get. We own the studio allowing us to take as much time as needed and as many takes as wanted to record. There was no charge for the guest artists (friends of band) There was no charge for the original producer and engineer (friends of band) and a small fee for the final editing and mastering. I don't know what those costs were as they were all handled by the leader of the band. I don't know what the actual costs for the pressing were but I can now buy my CD from me for $10 each. That is how much, according to the leader of our band, they each cost him for pressing 500 of them. We sell them at our gigs for $15. I regulary purchase CD's of 'legit artists' from the $12- $18 range.
We don't have any distritution deals so the CD is only available at a few local stores and on the internet site of Baja Records (friends).
We don't have an advertisemet budget so no one outside our playing schedule will know about us.
We aren't about to go on tour to promote the record (and recoup some of our costs)
In today's world I can't see the argument that CD's are way to expensive or that Indie
labels have an financial advantage over Big Label's. Just the opposite, I believe the Indie labels would love to grow into a major label.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:48 PM
Mediocrefunkybeat
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In theory, a 'large' Independent label (eg. Domino) WOULD be able to significantly lower their prices as opposed to a major label. It's an economy of scale as much as anything else.

The fundamental difference between the Independent model and the Major model is that of salaried staff. The Independent labels tend to employ people piecemeal. That is to say that they employ staff for only what they need them for. For instance, if I wanted to promote a record, I could employ a promotions manager for three months and three months only to do that. A Major label would have their own in-house promotions manager who they have to pay regardless of whether they're being used to promote a record or not. This is the same for most aspects of record production and release, even down to studio costs - everything is paid for as and when it is needed and this allows much greater flexibility (read: survivability) in what is ultimately a very hostile industry.

Depending on the amount of CD's and the projected sales of that CD, I could either press 500, 1,000, 2,000 or even 100,000 and each CD becomes cheaper to press when a higher number are ordered. So in theory, popular records (those which the teenagers are more likely to buy - using them as a baseline) could well be cheaper than less popular records, but this would enable the Independent labels to negotiate better deals for the slightly cheaper pressing of other CD's, they develop economic clout, but do NOT become a salaried major label; the salaried part IS the key difference. As a result, the less popular records could in theory become cheaper.

So your model, whilst absolutely apt in your situation and is the case for some bands, wouldn't necessarily be the case with all such bands. Marketing can be done cheaply and freelance advertising executives can be hired to sort that side of the coin out.

Ultimately the difference between Independent labels and Major labels (and I'm repeating myself importantly) is the fact that the Indie labels have the flexibility to hire freelance staff only when they see fit, potentially saving them money and making it so that the campaign for each record is custom-tailored to that release, on the basis of projected sales and the like. Major labels pay salaried staff all the year around whether they are working or not - there is much less flexibility and ultimately there are holes through which money can leak.

Last edited by Mediocrefunkybeat; 04-02-2008 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

I am torn over this topic. I have never pirated music and I pay for everything, as the artist and other people involved in delivering the music should be paid.

At the same time, the traditional model of the music business, built up over the past century, emphasizes bigness, fewness and sameness. That is, get a few big acts, milk them for all they are worth and stick to the formula for what generates the most income. If a new artist doesn't make a big hit immediately, drop them.

Technology is blowing that model to smithereens and I'm happy about it. Anyone can now make good quality recordings, put them on a Web site and sell them for whatever they can get. I like that approach. When tens of millions of songs are available in your PC or laptop, what use can record labels possibly have, except to obstruct something? Clearly, they are obsolete.

Record labels used to get thousands of demo tapes and CDs and email songs from people wanting to get signed. I look forward to the day when no one cares enough to send them anything because they're so irrelevant.

Thousands of songs that no one has ever heard before are being put up on the Web every day, from dozens of countries. A new industry of critics is sprouting up to sift through all this for listeners, as is an industry dedicated to criticizing the critics.

It is an exciting time in which to enjoy music.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathMetalConga
At the same time, the traditional model of the music business, built up over the past century, emphasizes bigness, fewness and sameness. That is, get a few big acts, milk them for all they are worth and stick to the formula for what generates the most income. If a new artist doesn't make a big hit immediately, drop them.
...And there, in one concise sentence, is one GREAT reason why the music industry model is failing.
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
When tens of millions of songs are available in your PC or laptop, what use can record labels possibly have, except to obstruct something? Clearly, they are obsolete.
Record labels are also responsible for World Tours, stage productions, promotion, and the majority of the negotations when it comes to these kinds of things.

I hate major labels as much as the next guy, but their representatives do hold the keys to some pretty big doors. In my experiences, unless you were a MASSIVELY successful band, you probably couldnt get yourself into some markets of the world without help from said labels or individuals.
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamoSyzygy View Post
Record labels are also responsible for World Tours, stage productions, promotion, and the majority of the negotations when it comes to these kinds of things.

I hate major labels as much as the next guy, but their representatives do hold the keys to some pretty big doors. In my experiences, unless you were a MASSIVELY successful band, you probably couldnt get yourself into some markets of the world without help from said labels or individuals.
Hmm, I hadn't thought about that. You raise some good points.

On the other hand, you could see mega-concerts as an artifact of mega-labels. If gigantic record labels (man, even the phrase "record labels" sounds so archaic) ceased to exist, and if people really wanted the experience of world-touring bands, some small-scale entrepreneurs would no doubt find a way to pull it off. A bunch of cavemen could accomplish what the dinosaur used to do.
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

I wish they would drop the prices just a lil. I'm tired of going to a store and seeing an album from the 70's(The doors for example) which I'm sure has definitely already made it's moneys worth for 19.95. If they dropped the prices just a few dollars I would buy a plethora of CDs.

The radio has become a big friend the past few years.

That and vinyl...
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
The fundamental difference between the Independent model and the Major model is that of salaried staff.
and
Quote:
Ultimately the difference between Independent labels and Major labels (and I'm repeating myself importantly) is the fact that the Indie labels have the flexibility to hire freelance staff only when they see fit, potentially saving them money and making it so that the campaign for each record is custom-tailored to that release, on the basis of projected sales and the like. Major labels pay salaried staff all the year around whether they are working or not - there is much less flexibility and ultimately there are holes through which money can leak.
I am salaried, I hire hourly employees and I hire Independant Contractors. The Independant Contractors are far more costly than my employees by a far margin. I use them for liability reasons. I am salaried and whilst I enjoy a tidy salary, I earn it. My favorite saying is this; 'Become self employed and work only half day's. You decide which 12 hours.' I am a salaried boss and I do not punch a clock. I work at least 10 hours each day, sometimes 7 days a week when needed. It is called WIT (whatever it takes)
To generalize that salaried employees don't earn their keep is just wrong. It just isn't my experience in any business I have been involved with. Yes, there are, in some businesses, lazy, unproductive and overly paid salaried employees but, except for the State of California, they do not last unless they earn their keep. It is a business after-all and there should be some bar for performance.
To hang your argument on the salary issue is just weak and needs no repeating. I respect you and your other arguments and agree with many and enjoy this conversation.
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:43 PM
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I'm not saying that; salaried staff do earn their keep - but it stands to reason in the music industry that having too many salaried staff will cause you to start making a loss, it's happening and it's pretty obvious what's happening. Universal, Time Warner and EMI are all starting to work on losses and it's only going to get worse - whereas Independent labels are actually starting to make larger sums of money than the Majors! It's a case of too many salaried staff as much as anything else. Maybe freelance contracts are more expensive, but in the music industry there are so many freelance workers out there (usually staff who actually left creative positions from disillusionment in the Majors!) that the work can be contracted reasonably cheaply and for a small operation it IS cheaper for them to employ freelance temporarily.

I would also suggest that the Independent labels actually feel closer to the music - after all, they're not usually founded on the basis of making a lot of money they are instead founded on the principle that they'd like to offer new and exciting artists a record deal. A Major label would look at an artist from a perspective of monetary potential, whereas typically Independent labels do NOT expect to make much money from the outset. Again, Domino Records is an example of this. They operated for ten years with tiny profit margins - barely enough to keep going; but then got lucky with an act that sold big. However, in order to produce and market that act (Franz Ferdinand as it happens - big in the UK, but I don't know about America) the man in charge of Domino Records had to actually remortgage his house! He had that much belief! In the end, he also managed to sign the Arctic Monkeys, but he took a major risk the first time around. A Major label would never even consider that kind of risk; indeed for every such 'lucky' incident for an Independent label - another fifty would probably go out of business. They just don't work on the same incentives as the Majors.

Last edited by Mediocrefunkybeat; 04-03-2008 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 04-03-2008, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

this is a good debate and i like the quality of the points. the futre of music is very unclear.

but there are some things that can be changed.

for example did you know that if you got 'signed' recorded and realeased, your royalties would NOT be based on your album sales. not 100%. the artist's percentage is traditionally calculated on only 90% of sales. why? because when all there was, was vinyl, the average truckload of vinyl records - which are quite fragile - would be expected to have 10% cracked or scratched. and so returned after sales. when the change over to CD and other less breakable media occoured, the record companies just conveniently didn't change policy.

j
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NUTHA JASON View Post
this is a good debate and i like the quality of the points. the futre of music is very unclear.

but there are some things that can be changed.

for example did you know that if you got 'signed' recorded and realeased, your royalties would NOT be based on your album sales. not 100%. the artist's percentage is traditionally calculated on only 90% of sales. why? because when all there was, was vinyl, the average truckload of vinyl records - which are quite fragile - would be expected to have 10% cracked or scratched. and so returned after sales. when the change over to CD and other less breakable media occoured, the record companies just conveniently didn't change policy.

j
Wow. Even the record labels' ways of ripping people off are archaic! I hope they all go down fast like the dinosaurs they are. They've fought every technological change that's ever come out and I hope they keep losing.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

"The musicindustry is undergoing very big changes and nothing stays as it was before.

So music will be available for free for everybody and the only way to earn a little money will be to go on tour."

Stated by James Taylor this week..

Bernhard
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: Provoke Change

The only music I have bought in the last three years, I bought from iTunes. Either song by song, for .99, or by the album for a varied price. I must say however that most of that is older stuff, and some "oldies" if you will. In my opinion, if the record industry wnat to sell music then they have to start recording music. There are only a few bands around now that I would even lsiten to a little bit, and maybe buy a single or two, but hardly any full albums. Stop producing garbage and I will start buying again. I have plenty of equipment to play CD's but it sits idle for the lack of decent stuff to buy, much less download or steal. After I buy them from iTunes I may burn some to play on other machines, but that also is rare. I realize that ones taste, is ones taste but I cannot get my self to buy anything current. And why pay 15.00 for 8 or 10 songs when I can buy 1 or 2 for .99 each.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
The only music I have bought in the last three years, I bought from iTunes. Either song by song, for .99, or by the album for a varied price. I must say however that most of that is older stuff, and some "oldies" if you will. In my opinion, if the record industry wnat to sell music then they have to start recording music. There are only a few bands around now that I would even lsiten to a little bit, and maybe buy a single or two, but hardly any full albums. Stop producing garbage and I will start buying again. I have plenty of equipment to play CD's but it sits idle for the lack of decent stuff to buy, much less download or steal. After I buy them from iTunes I may burn some to play on other machines, but that also is rare. I realize that ones taste, is ones taste but I cannot get my self to buy anything current. And why pay 15.00 for 8 or 10 songs when I can buy 1 or 2 for .99 each.
I really like this idea of paying only for the songs you want. Currently, though, my CD player in my truck and the one in my home will not play computer CD's. As such, I would need to replace my equipment and I am not ready to do that. Because there is still such a vast amount of 'oldies' music I still don't own I don't mind paying for the CD or DVD.

Quote:
So music will be available for free for everybody and the only way to earn a little money will be to go on tour."
When this happens we will all be debating how the concert promoters are ripping us off. Oh wait, they are presently ripping us off. Lol. Just imagine how much a ticket for a show will cost.

Quote:
or example did you know that if you got 'signed' recorded and realeased, your royalties would NOT be based on your album sales. not 100%. the artist's percentage is traditionally calculated on only 90% of sales. why? because when all there was, was vinyl, the average truckload of vinyl records - which are quite fragile - would be expected to have 10% cracked or scratched. and so returned after sales. when the change over to CD and other less breakable media occoured, the record companies just conveniently didn't change policy.
All of this is 'negotiated' and agreed to by both parties. If this is not a good business deal then shame on the artist for signing on. I suspect that at the time of the signing there isn't really any whining about what a bad deal the artist got.

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I would also suggest that the Independent labels actually feel closer to the music - after all, they're not usually founded on the basis of making a lot of money they are instead founded on the principle that they'd like to offer new and exciting artists a record deal.
No doubt and probably a more close relationship with the one (or few) in the Indie Label who has/have the most control and say about the operations of the company. Few hoops to jump thru to get results etc. That being said, I would think that at a major Label an artist has, at the minimum, a project manager of sorts as the go to person. A close relationship would be necessary. However, what business would want to spend on a project without wanting to see a return on investment? (read here big return) I know you said, 'from the outset' but their goal and the reason to take the risk is the same as the Major labels. To generate a lot of profit so they can spend on other risks and attract other artists. The Indie's just seem to take more risk.
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  #26  
Old 04-04-2008, 02:39 AM
Mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: Provoke Change

It must be said though, that not all Independent labels are there to make big money. Some get lucky, but most just survive and tend to sign bands that already have made albums themselves and in those cases, the labels really act as a means for promotion and distribution rather than record development. Making a record can be very expensive and if this can be done without the label's involvement (as is often the case) then a lot of money can be put into the other sides of the business. Thereby allowing their (small) profits to go towards signing other bands in a constant stream of self-perpetuation.

In a similar vein, there's a local promoter around my part of the World who tends to make very little money but began his business as a means to promote local talent; rather than to make money. Sometimes the money really is just a by-product of (sometimes) lucky successes rather than calculated business moves.
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:40 AM
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KLittle123 KLittle123 is offline
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Default Re: Provoke Change

Yellowdrum is on top of this. Laying the smack down.
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  #28  
Old 04-19-2008, 12:44 PM
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DamoSyzygy DamoSyzygy is offline
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Default Re: Provoke Change

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"The musicindustry is undergoing very big changes and nothing stays as it was before.

So music will be available for free for everybody and the only way to earn a little money will be to go on tour."

Stated by James Taylor this week..

Bernhard
Haha!

Bernhard, you actually just gave me a great idea for my next few shows - Gold coin donations for my band! Itll be like busking, but with lights, PA and working musicians :)
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