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Music industry accepts file sharing is a part of life
Monday 19 January 2009 17:51:51 by Andrew Ferguson

A few years ago people with MP3 players had very little choice for where to get their music, and the downloads available were far too expensive. The last year has seen more online music stores open, and a variety of other methods starting to emerge, though none appear to have fully stemmed the appeal of using file-sharing networks to get tracks for free.

The entertainment section of the BBC News website states that the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is to no longer sue suspected file-shares. This seems to reflect a wider acceptance by the music industry that things are not what they used to be, and the fragility of the physical media distribution system has been demonstrated by the problems Zavvi has had.

Some are backing a subscription model for music, with Sky expected to be the first to launch one for its broadband subscribers in the UK. Whether people will be willing to pay enough to make this viable at a time when stores are reporting a widespread reining in of spending is open to question. Some artists appear to have embraced the online model, to make their websites an extension of playing live gigs which are still proving popular.

Which model will work for the music industry is anyone's guess, but it may just find that the days of new releases proving a hit simply because of some clever promotion work are over, and that includes paying people to write blogs on behalf of artists. Making money from music has never been easy. For all the successful artists there are many more struggling along. The difference now is that the big record companies are perhaps finally seeing the writing on the wall for the industry model that has succeeded for the last few decades.


Posted by citizenx over 8 years ago
Think the nail has been hit on the head talking about the economic crisis. There vultures have been treating audiences like criminals for a decade..
Posted by citizenx over 8 years ago their bottom lines are suffering they're finally convinced to have a rethink.

Too little, too late. Their model is outdated, their material generally banal and limited..
Posted by shaunhw over 8 years ago
The music industry ought to also accept the fact that fewer records are being sold because younger people aren't listening to music as much as they used to. In my youth we bought LP records, to listen to, because we had no computers,no internet, and just three TV channels. Now time is divided between many pastimes and listening to music is just one of them. Even the telly in our house isn't on half as much as it was!
Posted by citizenx over 8 years ago
..lets hope amongst the retailers and banks going belly up, we lose some of there anarchic musical instituions and see some real innovation from contemporary and well regarded established acts. No more manufactured pap. Thank you and goodbye RIAA and BPI.
Posted by citizenx over 8 years ago
Not so sure about that Shaun, the average mp3 player holds more music than the bulk of individual record collections of years past!

Just no real need for the industry these days. An artist can represent themselves and turn a profit easily...
Posted by citizenx over 8 years ago
..if an audience can find them and they're good enough.

They might not make the megabucks of the past but to be honest, why should they?!
Posted by Mr_Angry over 8 years ago
I wasn't aware that the RIAA and BPI wrote, recorded or were even involved in the creation of "manufactured pap". They are, in fact, representative bodies as opposed to creative entities.

That said, I'm sure there are millions of artists worldwide who await, with baited breath, your explanation of how they can "turn a profit easily..."

Over to you.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
They're "backing off" sueing because they're trying to get three strikes implimented. They've simply changed tactics.

I'm pushing for a right of complaint, where any complaint means someone has to stop playing their music, even if it's not technically audible, exceptions only for liscenced concerts.
Posted by jchamier over 8 years ago
shaunhw - you're probably on the mark. I suspect also that digital music (either on iPods, or phones) has allowed all ages to re-experience music they'd forgotten about. I know I listen to a lot more album tracks than I knew I owned thanks to the search in iTunes. (Having ripped all my CDs)
Posted by KarlAustin over 8 years ago
They are about 8 years too late in their thinking. If they had embraced MP3/etc. when they first came on the scene in a big way, then they could have had it made right now, as it is they dropped the ball.

The other thing they could try doing of course, is producing music people want to buy and not endless copy-cat crap by people who have no singing talent but look pretty on screen. There are a great many bands/artists out there who do have talent and who could sell records given a chance.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"states that the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is to no longer sue suspected file-shares."

Like anyone with any sense believes anything that passes their dribbling gobs
Posted by shaunhw over 8 years ago

What I meant wasn't related to the size of people's MP 3 collections. I was talking about the time people spent listening to music. We did a lot of it, because we had little else to do at home, apart from watch TV. Admittedly there's probably a lot of listening when people go out and about, with portable devices. But how full would those MP 3 players be, if people had to buy the tracks ? Mine is quite full, simply because I've ripped my CD collection, music I've paid to listen to. Even so, I buy a CD now and then, gradually replacing my vinyl records.
Posted by ecc81a over 8 years ago
Consumers are just fed up with paying extortionate prices for garbage music. Maybe the time is coming where artists will spend less time in the recording studio and more in live performances.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
No, ecc81a, I'm tired of being treated like a criminal by the music industry. So far as possible, I'm pushing to make people playing music feel like criminals as a response.
Posted by KarlAustin over 8 years ago
One of the big problems today is the quality of the recording/mastering/mix - You can get a new edition of an album and the quality is worse than a copy from 10-15 years ago. That's one of the reasons I rarely buy any music these days, when they make highly compressed sounding tracks for no reason, when the earlier releases were fine - There seems to be no quality control or pride any more. If there's something worth it with a decent recording then I will buy it - Last CD album I bought for example was £15.99 - From a small band, Performance, fantastic original material and well recorded.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
Yah, recording quality has dropped in the last few years.

That and treating music like a commodity rather than art has pretty much screwed them up.
Posted by shaunhw over 8 years ago
Just as it seems that the UK Government might be planning a levy on ISPs and rights holders, to fight online piracy, according to

Posted by pcoventry76 over 8 years ago
Mr Angry, Gnarles Barkley made it and never used an agent or anything he did it through the net.

So it can and is being done.
Posted by t0m5k1 over 8 years ago
the USA has just passed the buck to the UK gov dept. thats all it is people.

file sharers will continue to be taken to court only this time by an english gov body using english laws.

even if every artist dropped their respective agents they would still need some reason to police the internet so this is never going to end & random innocent people will continue to be victimised for pointless crimes whilst the real criminals will be the ones sat in the house of lords wondering what they will discuss at tonight lodge metting!
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
t0m5k1? The Lords are very much not the criminals here! It's the commons which have consistantly worked hand in hand with the music industry, and the Lords on this any many other issues have stood up for our rights.

Another reason the Commons is looking to further gut the Lord's powers, of course.
Posted by scragglymonk over 8 years ago
currently listening to shoutcast, get a lot of free music from jamendo and of course have my current music collection. why need to buy loads like when I was starting out ?
if isp's have levies, then nothing to stop piracy as the levy would there to pay for it ?
Posted by Mr_Angry over 8 years ago
pcoventry76 - On a point of fact Gnarls Barkley is not a "he", it is a musical collaboration involving two, already major label funded and professionally represented, artists.

Posted by beeflin over 8 years ago
Long live live music! At last it has returned to the centre of the music experience. The centralised powers have lost their centralised channel. Online downloads and even CDs can easily be managed by bands themselves and Top of the Pops is dead. There is no one TV or radio channel that everybody watches any more. Now, music is where it belongs - with the fans actually able to see it being made, rather than only seeing it when it has been mined and exploited.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
People who listen to music are scum. THe "centralised powers" are stronger than ever, and they're forcing ISP's to wreck your connection and spy on you so they can protect their business models.

Music. Is. Evil.
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