Boo Hoo – File Sharing Is Bad.

One of the issues that lights me up is the issue of file sharing. I am one of those who believes that file sharing is essential to the music business and it should be incorporated in the business models of today’s music businesses. I know that quite a few bands have tried file sharing with varying degrees of success. Here is a perspective from an insider :

My observation is based on a lot of trying and failing, as well as being a moderate user of filesharing myself — mainly to check out stuff I read about but cannot get my hands on in the local store back here in Norway.

My concern is about this argument, which has been seen in most any debate about this subject for the last 10 years, usually formulated roughly as below:

“Filesharing will provide massive marketing to new artists, and drive forward a new and more dynamic music market.”

I beg to differ.

Well, I think he gets it wrong right away.

Filesharing is not an outlet to massively increase the sales of a new artist at all. Filesharing is conduit for the new artist to introduce themselves to the world who would, normally, ignore the new artist because of prohibitive initial costs. Why in the world would I spend money on downloading songs from a new artist only to find out that it was money wasted? I would rather (and I often do) download songs, give them a listen and then pay a subscription fee. Not only that but the next time the artist releases their new album, I do not go to the filesharing sites at all and download their music right away.

I think the authour of the post is disappointed for some other reason :

But if one starts thinking about it, it has the ironic effect that TPB is a driving force of consolidating the market power of the major labels rather than driving forward any new music. The conclusion has to be that “pirates” are just as little resistant to the major label marketing as any other person. Even though there are thousands and thousands of artists out there that want their music to be shared and listened to, they are widely and effectively ignored by the masses

Well, of course the popular artists will get a larger share of the downloads. The popular music is heavily promoted by major labels and get more airplay than a small upcoming artist. It almost seems like that the authour of the post has assumed that the downloaders should download only new artists’ music, else they are “pirating” the music promoted by the major labels. That is just plain nonsense.  Here is an enlightening article on why the music industry is in the crapper. In other words, don’t agree to whatever the music/movie industry says. Quite a lot that they say is absolute shit.

The fact of the matter is that the business model that has worked so successfully for the labels/artists over the years is now in disarray because of the power of the end user. The future of music, as illustrated here, is “get to know the consumers needs and then make money out of it”…..and not shove the product down their throats whether they like it or not.

Those days are over and done with.

Update (21st April 2009) : Yup. Music piracy is a REALLY bad thing.

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