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Old 02-11-2011, 10:47 AM   #1
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Music, Digital Downloads and Piracy

Interesting talk by Pete Townsend on the subject of file sharing and digital downloads and one of the only times I have heard an artist speak about what illegal downloads means to an artist.

Highlights include:
  • urged Apple's iTunes to use its power to help new bands instead of "bleeding" artists like a "digital vampire".
  • "It's tricky to argue for the innate value of copyright from a position of good fortune, as I do. I've done all right."
  • Creative dilemma And he added: "A creative person would prefer their music to be stolen and enjoyed than ignored. This is the dilemma for every creative soul: he or she would prefer to starve and be heard than to eat well and be ignored."

Article: BBC News - Pete Townshend calls Apple
Iplayer: BBC - BBC Radio 6 Music Programmes - The John Peel Lecture

Looking forward to watching the whole thing later.....
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:21 AM   #2
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digital downloading is the best thing that has happened to the music industry for decades..even the illegal stuff.
Artists should embrace it and break the hold of corperations determining what we get to listen to ... and as metallica found out, you take on the file sharers at your peril.
research seems to indicate that if an artist has a liberal attitude to copyright then their sales proper benefit
a case in point..were it not for availability of very cheap album downloads from a russian site i may never have got to discover my now favourite band that i went on to buy every single one of their back catelogue through a source where they get the best loyalty cut...and just so happened their back catelogue was about 25 albums...so they did ok out of it
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:30 AM   #3
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And thats exactly what townsend is saying, artists will always embrace the ability to distribute their music but for fair reward.

His argument is that iTunes (controls 75% of all legal downloads) needs to embrace new artists and take a more proactive approach in nurturing talent.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:35 AM   #4
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I think he raised some good points.

I love my music and if its something I like I will own it. for testing the water for artists a dip into dodgy downloads helps you decide to buy.

Apple amazon or Hmv track pricing all over the place. as for supporting bands well don't we get to much feeding via the radio playlists! .....not that they are fixed....

Free sample tracks are good these days good for finding new talent
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:36 AM   #5
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I've always thought itunes should allow you to download an album for free and listen to each song once without charge and then you can purchase fully if you enjoy.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:39 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by WiggyDiggyPoo View Post
And thats exactly what townsend is saying, artists will always embrace the ability to distribute their music but for fair reward.

His argument is that iTunes (controls 75% of all legal downloads) needs to embrace new artists and take a more proactive approach in nurturing talent.

gawd no, thats just substituting one bunch of corperate donkeys for another
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by HLR Milo View Post
I've always thought itunes should allow you to download an album for free and listen to each song once without charge and then you can purchase fully if you enjoy.

You get a min and half or 90 seconds in new money on previews, I don't think thats a bad service
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:42 AM   #8
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Thats an excellend idea Milo, there is certainly the technology to allow this and its modern day equivelent of this:

Click the image to open in full size.

Thats a 1920's Manhattan record shop complete with listening booths, you go in and request the record to listen to before deciding to purchase or not.

Originally Posted by nudger1964 View Post
gawd no, thats just substituting one bunch of corperate donkeys for another

His point (townsends) is that does iTunes do anything to actually go out there and listen to new bands, find new music and push artists that are not established. His argument is that as the market leader in digital sales they have a creative responsibility to do this, whether they are a bunch of donkeys or not is a matter of opinion but they should at least try?
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:43 AM   #9
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Yes you do get 90 seconds, but I dont think 90 seconds of bohemian rhapsody would do it justice
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by WiggyDiggyPoo View Post
His point (townsends) is that does iTunes do anything to actually go out there and listen to new bands, find new music and push artists that are not established. His argument is that as the market leader in digital sales they have a creative responsibility to do this, whether they are a bunch of donkeys or not is a matter of opinion but they should at least try?

yeah thats his point, but how is that any different to record labels of old? he seems to want to maintain the status quo and is only embracing the method of delivery rather than the new culture of dgital download.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by nudger1964 View Post
yeah thats his point, but how is that any different to record labels of old? he seems to want to maintain the status quo and is only embracing the method of delivery rather than the new culture of dgital download.

But would you rather they do nothing? Surely any action by them to try and address the issue is positive?

How else do we find new music? Gone are they days of John Peel opening a an envelope to find a handwritten C30 of songs that he might play.

I just went to iTunes to see what they are recommending as 'new music' yet the first obstacle I met was I had to donwload and install iTunes. That in itself is a barrier preventing people from hearing new music.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:08 PM   #12
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The music I listen to many of you won't have heard of the bands nor like the music they make but often when I go to their gigs (only small venues in London and around the country), What they have said many times is we don't care if you download our music or not just keep coming to our shows and buy our merch.

Record companies take almost all of the money from album/single sales.



Thrice, a band that has been around for AGES!! but never really made it big is because they want all profits of their music to go to charities so the big 5 (is it still 5?) record labels wouldn't touch them. Sad really
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:09 PM   #13
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well, you could try not going to itunes.
i find new artists to try out by various means...one of which is amazon where i use the reviews to see what people who just listen to music rather than make a living from selling it say about it, and can see what other things they are buying.
with the internet, you can be your own john peel...thats the point

if you have a particular genre you enjoy its very easy to find an online community that will happily give you all the latest lowdown and recommendations and usually a way to sample a good ammount of material without paying anything untill you know you want to
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WiggyDiggyPoo View Post
His point (townsends) is that does iTunes do anything to actually go out there and listen to new bands, find new music and push artists that are not established. His argument is that as the market leader in digital sales they have a creative responsibility to do this, whether they are a bunch of donkeys or not is a matter of opinion but they should at least try?


Why do they have a creative responsibility? They sell music. Nothing more, nothing less.
If a t-shirt shops sells t-shirts does that have a responsibility to go out and find new types of cotton, thread or printing methods?
No, they sell t-shirts at a price they deem fit and in a way that they best can.
Should HMV, Amazon and many others nurture and find novelists, new bands, new comedians, new shoe designers and all that jazz? Well they do very well at selling their products too.

Maybe Townsend could invest some of his vast wealth in local bands and venues. The knob.
Townsend is a (very rich) peado anyway. Wouldn't want to look through his computer for his iTunes playlist.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by nudger1964 View Post
well, you could try not going to itunes.
i find new artists to try out by various means...one of which is amazon where i use the reviews to see what people who just listen to music rather than make a living from selling it say about it, and can see what other things they are buying.
with the internet, you can be your own john peel...thats the point

if you have a particular genre you enjoy its very easy to find an online community that will happily give you all the latest lowdown and recommendations and usually a way to sample a good ammount of material without paying anything untill you know you want to

Nudge I'm going to say this again as I think your missing what Pete Townsend was saying:

As the market leader for legal digital downloads Itunes has a creative responsibility to nurture and develop talent. They themselves should be seeking out and funding new artists rather than continually pushing the same 'money makers'.

I completely agree BTW that there are alternatives but that isnt the point Pete is making although it may be part of the solution.

Originally Posted by scuppy182 View Post
...gigs....merch....

All good points matey and I know of Thrice, havent listened to them for a while but glad to see they are still going.

Gigs and merch are again a good revenue stream, it would be nice to have that supported by a fair legal download system that works for the bands not just the labels.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:36 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Senna s1979 View Post
Why do they have a creative responsibility? They sell music. Nothing more, nothing less.
If a t-shirt shops sells t-shirts does that have a responsibility to go out and find new types of cotton, thread or printing methods?
No, they sell t-shirts at a price they deem fit and in a way that they best can.
Should HMV, Amazon and many others nurture and find novelists, new bands, new comedians, new shoe designers and all that jazz? Well they do very well at selling their products too.

Maybe Townsend could invest some of his vast wealth in local bands and venues. The knob.
Townsend is a (very rich) peado anyway. Wouldn't want to look through his computer for his iTunes playlist.

Ah senna I always love your reasonable and non judgemental arguments


Ok sorry sarcy mode off, I'll put to you the same question - should itunes help to nurture new talent, investing profits in new artists and seeking out new bands?

OR

Should they just repackage adinfinitum established bands records?
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by WiggyDiggyPoo View Post
Ah senna I always love your reasonable and non judgemental arguments


Ok sorry sarcy mode off, I'll put to you the same question - should itunes help to nurture new talent, investing profits in new artists and seeking out new bands?

OR

Should they just repackage adinfinitum established bands records?

They are a business, they should do what keeps their shareholders happy. It's the job of record companies to look for and develop new talent. Looking for and nurturing new talent is not done by retailers in any other industry so why should the music industry be any different?
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:45 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by WiggyDiggyPoo View Post
Ah senna I always love your reasonable and non judgemental arguments



Originally Posted by WiggyDiggyPoo View Post
Should itunes help to nurture new talent, investing profits in new artists and seeking out new bands?

OR

Should they just repackage adinfinitum established bands records?

Like i said before they are just a shop, who has a near monopoly on the digital download market.
They have no responsibility to the music industry - the record companies do.
It's them who's to blame for not finding any new talent or lack of investment - not the guy selling the shite that's foisted upon them!
The may re-package old stuff and sell it again and again, but the record companies are the ones responsible for this, not iTunes.
They used to do the same with Vinyl, cassette and CD - re-release all the old stuff from bands back catalogue. How many Greatest Hits has Elvis released? Probably in the hundreds - not iTunes fault for selling them though is it? That is Warner/Sony/RCA whoever who are re-polishing old turds.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:47 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Slim View Post
They are a business, they should do what keeps their shareholders happy. It's the job of record companies to look for and develop new talent. Looking for and nurturing new talent is not done by retailers in any other industry so why should the music industry be any different?

Because people dont go out and make shoes for the benefit of others, I dont manufacture my own brand of egg whisks at home because I want you to be able to enjoy their unique design and understand my feelings. I'm not building sets of stepladders in the hope that it will inspire and influence you.

Your not wrong BTW with the shareholder comment, just the music industry has a rather unique business model and we should recognise that?
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:52 PM   #20
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i really havnt missed the point wiggy...honest...i do get it.
My point, that i am not expressing very well, is that is maintaining the importance of the "middle man", When i talk of the "culture" of digital download, part of that culture is the absense of any middle man.
when you rely on something like itunes to bring forward new music...what are they going to do, give you creative and artistically important new acts, or what they think will appeal to the biggest number of people?
Its the nature of the beast when you allow a seller of music to be the promoter of music. So itunes employ a dozen new A and R men...you going to get anything different? nah, it will be the same as with record labels 30 yrs ago.

i agree about thrice (remind me a bit of Tool)
and their story very simular to my fav band (porcupine tree) that would never in a million yrs get promoted by itunes...and i doubt they would want to be
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:52 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Senna s1979 View Post




Like i said before they are just a shop, who has a near monopoly on the digital download market.
They have no responsibility to the music industry - the record companies do.
It's them who's to blame for not finding any new talent or lack of investment - not the guy selling the shite that's foisted upon them!
The may re-package old stuff and sell it again and again, but the record companies are the ones responsible for this, not iTunes.
They used to do the same with Vinyl, cassette and CD - re-release all the old stuff from bands back catalogue. How many Greatest Hits has Elvis released? Probably in the hundreds - not iTunes fault for selling them though is it? That is Warner/Sony/RCA whoever who are re-polishing old turds.

I think were Pete is going and definately were I am is that itunes is in this unique position where they can influence and control your listening habits, and also be able to lock out that which they dont want you to hear. itunes is itself a record label now, they need to do more.

Ps Elvis - I watched some of BBC2 'Elvis Night' a while back, certainly helped me appreciate him more as an artist and it helped dispell some of my apathy towards him for (like you say) the 500+ hits albums that kept getting pushed out
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:55 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by nudger1964 View Post
i really havnt missed the point wiggy...honest...i do get it.
My point, that i am not expressing very well, is that is maintaining the importance of the "middle man", When i talk of the "culture" of digital download, part of that culture is the absense of any middle man.
when you rely on something like itunes to bring forward new music...what are they going to do, give you creative and artistically important new acts, or what they think will appeal to the biggest number of people?
Its the nature of the beast when you allow a seller of music to be the promoter of music. So itunes employ a dozen new A and R men...you going to get anything different? nah, it will be the same as with record labels 30 yrs ago.

i agree about thrice (remind me a bit of Tool)
and their story very simular to my fav band (porcupine tree) that would never in a million yrs get promoted by itunes...and i doubt they would want to be

No worries

I wonder then were iTunes will go with this, again your right with the 'appealing to the greatest number' statement. I just hope they can do more with new guys.

TBH I do share your pessimistic view of them, but we can always hope!
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:57 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by WiggyDiggyPoo View Post
Because people dont go out and make shoes for the benefit of others, I dont manufacture my own brand of egg whisks at home because I want you to be able to enjoy their unique design and understand my feelings. I'm not building sets of stepladders in the hope that it will inspire and influence you.

Your not wrong BTW with the shareholder comment, just the music industry has a rather unique business model and we should recognise that?

No, the music industry needs to realise that it's in a cut throat market place that is being squeezed from all sides for peoples cash. iTunes has enabled the whole world to buy peoples music at the click of a button. The music industry and bands should be falling over themselves to make sure their artists are available on iTunes.

If a person or group of people choose to pursue a career in the music industry then it's up to them to make a success out of it. If they do it as a career then they are exactly the same as anybody else making a product to sell. They are exactly the same as the company that makes the whisk. They need that product (album/whisk) to sell so they can pay their wages. Why should they get special treatment for their product?
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:04 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Slim View Post
No, the music industry needs to realise that it's in a cut throat market place that is being squeezed from all sides for peoples cash. iTunes has enabled the whole world to buy peoples music at the click of a button. The music industry and bands should be falling over themselves to make sure their artists are available on iTunes.

If a person or group of people choose to pursue a career in the music industry then it's up to them to make a success out of it. If they do it as a career then they are exactly the same as anybody else making a product to sell. They are exactly the same as the company that makes the whisk. They need that product (album/whisk) to sell so they can pay their wages. Why should they get special treatment for their product?

Of course and none of what you say is wrong, but many established artists later go on to to themselves form labels to push and support up and coming acts. Why cant the retailers do more?

I know they dont have to, I know its profiteering etc but what happend to just being nice?

Even as a middle man that just sells the stuff, surely itunes would want to be finding music they can sell themselves?
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:09 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by WiggyDiggyPoo View Post
Of course and none of what you say is wrong, but many established artists later go on to to themselves form labels to push and support up and coming acts. Why cant the retailers do more?

I know they dont have to, I know its profiteering etc but what happend to just being nice?

Even as a middle man that just sells the stuff, surely itunes would want to be finding music they can sell themselves?

The nice world we live in was lost a long time ago Wiggy, sad but true. There is no way back. You want to be nice and you will just get walked all over. The rich keep getting richer and keep demanding more. I can't believe for a second that iTunes shareholders and investors would allow anything that is going to affect their bottom line. You see if they do invest in upcoming bands it would benefit the music industry as a whole, including their competitors and there is no way in this day and age that a company would do anything that helps a competitor. The only way I can see them doing it is if they get these bands to sign an exclusivity deal. And would we really want to go there?
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:17 PM   #26
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Does anyone know what sort of cut (Cr)Apple take from each single/album thats sold on itunes?
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:19 PM   #27
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Nice? lets just keep this sensible.

Apple want to destroy android aka Google, Samsung wage war on apple, amazon Im sure they upset a few. Nice no sorry your optimism could be one step to far.



The Current iTunes Business Model
Music
Over 13 million songs (Apple.com, 2010, Purchasing Music)
Introduced three tiered pricing structure in April 2009, to have tracks priced at either 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29 depending on popularity of the song (Adegoke, 2009)
Breakdown of a 99 cent iTunes download:
Retail Price: 99 cents
Wholesale cost: 69 cents
Network fees: 5 cents
Transaction fees: 10 cents
Operating expenses: 5 cents
Ergo: Operating profit per song: 10 cents (Savitz, 2007)
On 25/2/2010 iTunes celebrated 10 billionth song download (Apple.com, 2010, iTunes Store Tops 10 Billion Songs Sold)
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:19 PM   #28
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im not as cynical as that...there is still a "nice" world, but its only really found by people power...where people are not making any money.
That is why IMO you should look to the benevolent corners of the internet to promote new music.
look at the whole RATM christmas number one thing...ok the guy who started it sold out a bit, but it was still the people who said...enough of this garbage
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:26 PM   #29
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Heheh I won't turn this into a 'back in the day' thread* but as Max points out the attitude of Apple does stink especially towards its competitors. I like this quote from Bill Gates in response to Steve Jobs accusing him of stealing ideas:

“Well, Steve, I think there’s more than one way of looking at it. I think it’s more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.”



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Old 02-11-2011, 01:59 PM   #30
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A lot of the stuff I listen to sell it themselves or give a lot away. Like someone said earlier they make more money from gigs and merch. I think its the same with the big boys/girls too. Itunes is a great but they do want the lions share. As for finding new music last fm for me
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