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Monday, 14 October, 2002, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Digital download day: Your views
Music fans are being offered "the biggest ever official give-away of digital music" in a campaign to tempt them away from unofficial download sites.
A range of websites will offer each user £5 of free access to 110,000 songs by stars from Kylie Minogue to Elvis Presley for one week.
"Put simply, paying for music has to be a better option than stealing it. Any initiative that helps create that atmosphere is to be welcome," said Andrew Yeates, director general of the British Phonographic Industry.
But what do you think?
This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your comments.
Frankly, if I wanted to listen to trash like Gareth Gates, I'd dig out the original versions of his covers. I'd be more likely to find the music I want to hear at the local car boot sale than on the internet. And it'd only cost me 50p for a whole album!
It's still too expensive. If I pay for music I want to be able to copy it to CD, the fees quoted indicate a charge of £1 per song to enable you to do that. Albums costing £10 at the supermarket usually have more than 10 tracks so the maths doesn¿t add up. On top of that they have none of the CD manufacturing & distribution costs nor do they have to lose a cut to the record stores ¿ the record industry is still being too greedy.
These laws are made by record companies for record companies. If I buy a record it is mine, I should be able to do with it what I like.
A step in the right direction......
Record companies have to realise that if they want to make money in future they have to innovate new trends in music distribution. Perhaps encrypted bonus tracks in a CD will encourage people to buy the CD? Either that or encourage musicians to play live alot more to recoup their revenue.
Before I could do this, tired of albums having only one track that I liked on them, my album buying had dwindled to one to three
Now I buy 15 - 25 as a direct result of file sharing. I like music and the free sites gives me access to far more of it
than any other system.
No, why should I when I can get CD or even DVD quality for free with unlimited download? Legitimate sites also don't offer the huge variety that is available on peer2peer networks.
I think it is a great idea and would be happy to pay to download high quality digital recordings. I am not interested in illegal copies, and downloading is much easier than getting to a shop to buy the music. As it states in your article, people do not know such services exist, and even though I know they exist, I don't know which providers are reputable. More advertising is needed, and at £4.99 per month it is great value!
50 tracks - whoopee!!!!! That's how many I get on average in one night. Although I'd rather pay for my music, my current collection would cost thousands, even if downloaded from legitimate sites. Why the record industry is getting so uptight is slightly mystifying - all that used to happen was that the songs were recorded off the radio or TV. If the companies are going to persist with allowing stations to broadcast songs up to two months before they are commercially available, then there will always be a gap for the pirate - even the unknowing one (just ask Zoe Ball about the Nirvana track she played on XFM the other day).
They just don't get it do they?
When they finally get around to offering us the opportunity to purchase music for just the cost of the copyright and publishing royalties, they might finally hit on a winner.
Hang on, something's wrong: £5 buys 5 tracks burnt to CD. So to dowloaded and burn an entire CD of, say, 12 tracks would presumably cost me £12. Which is much the same that I would pay for the CD in a shop, and somewhat more than I would pay a cheap mail-order operation such as 101cd.com. But I am also paying for the disk and for the burner, the retailer avoids all their shipping and storage and handling costs, I don't get the liner notes and the music company does away with all their manufacturing and printing and shipping costs... Thanks, guys. Now I can pay more in return for less and reduce your operating costs at the same time.
Great idea, shame about the way it's being done. All of the participating "legitimate" sites complain that "the site you have tried to enter requires Internet Explorer 5 (or better) with Windows Media Player 7 (or better) on Windows XP, 2000, Me or 98". This is just one of the reasons people turn to unofficial sites - freedom of choice, and not being limited to running only software the recording industry wants us to run. No thanks, I'll stick with my secure browser and secure operating system, if you don't mind!
Why pay for music you can get for free? CDs are overpriced, if it was under £10 then I would buy more but £15 for a CD is a rip off.
Well, it's okey to use pay sites if they actually have the music that you want to download. The world is made up of a LOT more music that Britney Spears and Westlife, try and download anything that isn't mainstream from an official site and you'll draw a blank. The unregulated file share applications are the only place to find music and spoken word that the big labels don't advertise, the shops don't sell, or are so old that nobody has copyright on the material any more.
The problem with legal sites is that you have to subscribe to more than one if you want music from different labels ¿ it gets expensive. Perhaps if the music business got together behind a single legal site, users would be more likely to start paying for their downloads. £5 per month for 50 downloads from a single site is far more attractive than £5 per month each for downloads from half-a-dozen sites. Their arguments of better quality and service would then surely win-over customers.
Paul Senior, Liverpool UK
If CDs were realistically priced (as US and continent) people would be more prepared to buy them.
This is just another disgusting trick from people rich enough to know better.
I think it is great idea! I am a big fan of new indie music like The Idlewild and Coldplay, but it's very difficult to get hold of here in Brighton, so I just end up with the same old pop and urban nonsense. I don't see how this will stop me taping things off local radio though, another once-lambasted practice that never did kill the industry. Remember Home Taping is Killing Music?
Anyway, it's good to see Peter Gabriel involved! Sledgehammer? Rock on!
What OD2 are offering is to "lend" potential customers up to 50 tracks for 30 days in exchange for their personal details. Is this a great deal? I don't think so! I would rather use something like Wippit because at least I get to keep the songs I've downloaded and the artist still gets paid too.
Chris Hughes, Botswana
This is a good idea if there is a good choice. Try finding "Part of the Union" by the Strawbs in a shop or a swap site.
How much of the 4.99 goes to the groups?
This is an excellent move in the right direction, finally a media company taking a sensible attitude to online music - make a good, affordable service instead of pouring tens/hundreds of millions of dollars into expensive lawsuits against peer-2-peer services like KaZaA and Morpheus.
That the p2p sites have become so popular is not an indication that people want to steal music, it's an indication that there is a large and growing market for online music distribution. Lawsuits can stop one site, but several more can (and do) spring up in its place.
Why should I pay £5 for the ability to download five songs from a possible 110,000 songs, when I can download 110,000 songs for free elsewhere?? It is time for record companies to stop being greedy and reduce the prices of CDs, and pay the artists a larger proportion. Just look what happend to TLC - biggest selling female band, who had to declare bankruptcy.
I think this really is a sign that the music companies are fighting a losing battle against peer to peer networks. They whinge about losing revenue but at the end of the day people are still buying records. They've just stopped buying rubbish ones! Now that people can try before they buy, they only spend their money on stuff they like. And there's no social stigma attached to downloading a Westlife CD, as opposed to actually buying one...
It would make more sense to allow payment for what you download rather than a flat rate. i.e. set it up as pay as you go.
As if I'd pay for music when I can get it for free! I still buy music because I love the graphic design aspect and I like to collect vinyl, but at least when I download it, it gives me a chance to sample music which I would be reluctant to buy in the shop if I hadn't heard it before.
Useless - none of the sites work with Macs!
The legitimate sites need to offer unprotected files that people can do what they want with. I don't mind paying a modest sum for a download, but I'm never going to pay for something that is encumbered with "digital rights management" restrictions.
I have to admit it does sound tempting - as long as it permitted the music to be burned onto CD for listening to in the car etc and I could access the music I listen to (which isn't mainstream pop!) It still, however, won't cure the problem that most of the "popular" music being released is utter garbage.
I cannot imagine anyone on minimum wage feeling guilty about stealing a few songs from an industry that can pay Robbie Williams £80m.
We have been ripped-off for so long buying music, and now it has been fully exposed that Music Companies were operating a price fixing policy with music shops. Is it any wonder people are downloading illegally? I think it's time the Music Industry showed some respect for its customers. And embrace new technologies.
Many of the pirate sites stink - Napster came a cropper and many of the files are infected. I'm going to give the legal sites a go!
If the price was reasonable and there was a varied range of songs (including all available mixes and non-chart music) then it's a good possibility people would be interested.
So global music sales slumped by 5% in 2001? Is this because of illegal downloads, or because most of today's music is rubbish? Obviously the record companies will not agree with the second reason, therefore it must be the illegal downloads, QED.
With Kazaa screaming around the world the need for music over the counter really needs to be looked at. Piracy exists due to prices being set to high and the music industry seems to be the only group not to understand this and continue to set the price to high making the customers look else where for the music. The free download day will be a big let down due to the fact that the world and its brother shall be logging on and causing slow downloads or not giving the ability for people to log on. Again when this disapointment happens the world shall turn to the ever stable Kazaa.
Joe Whiteley, UK
Interesting. I tend to do all my shopping from bargain bins. I do without the CD until it appears for a price I'm happy with.
This offer looked quite appealing, so I browsed to two of the sites. They both require me to upgrade my system. I'm not willing to do that, so I guess it's back to old fashioned CDs for me!
Imagine the number of backing musicians/ engineers etc. on a piece of music. They will get paid a small amount for appearance plus royalties. If we allow people to steal music online this will be taking pennies from the pockets of many, many performers and musicians etc. who don't make millions or even thousands. They are hard working professionals trying to make a living. I don't think any form of give away is a good idea. How to stop it? Simple... Sue the ISP for carrying the data... they are aiding someone in stealing a product. ISP's can filter filetypes etc and block sites from being accessed.
I really like the idea, but it's too expensive. To download a 12 track album would be £12 - many back-catalogue CDs are £7.99, and that includes the cost of producing and distributing the CD! 35 - 40p per track would seem a more reasonable price.
What has become apparent is that the web is changing the way people buy music, but not for the reasons the recording industry thinks. Modern music listeners are much more web savvy, and have access to a potentially limitless number of reviews and opinion from a much broader demographic. In earlier years, if I liked a single, I had to buy the whole album to get a feel, or buy a specialist magasine. Now I can go to any one of the online music e-tailers, and get access to hundreds of reviews, plus 30 second samples, allowing me to very quickly differentiate quality from the large amount of generic pulp that assaults us. The industry should acknowledge that this is the real battleground, and stop trying to vilify ordinary music fans.
This could be a very cunning ploy to force Digital Rights Management onto unsuspecting peoples machines. There's no such thing as a free lunch.
I think people are avoiding the real issue here. This is all about publicity for Peter Gabriel's new album.
What a scam! You have to have the latest version of Windows, of Microsoft Media Player and give your contact details to them so they can spam you - I don't call that free. Why are the BBC plugging this? Please improve your research as I value your news service.
Record companies will pay a vast amount of money to researchers and info miners for information on their customer base and potential customer base. This is just a sly way round that while giving people a "free" taster of something they probably don't want that much anyway. Why don't the labels and the musicians for that matter (Prince? Britney? You don't live in the poor house do you?) Stop being so world beatingly greedy and face up to the fact that P2P services have made the music industry more democratic, not less so and that sales figures reflect only a decrease in sales for artists that were never much cop anyway. If they want to make a difference why not employ good a&r people at last?
When I see Peter Gabriel busking on the street for money, then I will stop downloading.
Although I do not disagree that there is a great deal of piracy we seem to be forgetting that there is no evidence that people buy less CDs because they download. Just because record sales are falling globally that can not be blamed soley on piracy. Piracy has happened for years, perhaps not in the same way. The issue is really that consumers are not finding the product value for money. Also we are forgetting that record sales actually rose by 5% in the UK last year. Yet we are one of the few countries plagued with this copy protection that prevents me from playing the cds I buy in my PC. Am I the only person who listens to CDs at work. The message to record companies should be deliver a good product and we will buy!
I agree that the net is a great source of songs, you can't buy on CD any more because they've been deleted (or were only available on Vinyl). Why not start a proper site and sell them on for 10p, 20p, 50p per song download? You could even price it by the quality of recording available. The costs involved for the industry must surely be less than pressing CDs, promoting and distributing them.
I think this is a great idea in principle. Only one thing bothers me and thats that I might be forced to download a newer version of Microsoft Media Player. The problem? Well, this incorporates "DRM" (Digital Rights Management) technology, which despite the propaganda about it protecting your music, actually allows the media giants to control how you listen to their products. So you download your music on Thursday, but do you think it will play on anything other than your PC? Do you think you'll be able to cut these onto a cut? Do you really think the music companies are really that naive?! You have been warned! :)
Marcus Sz, England
We tried to kill music with home-taping - but it didn't work. Now will the electronic-internet finally allow us to be rid of this annoying young-person's music? Let's hope so.
When will the record industry wake up and realise they can't charge 15 quid for an album that can be downloaded for free. Charge me 2 quid and give more money to the artist and then I'll think about it.
I'd be willing to pay to download tracks. As it is, I use Kazaa, Imesh, Morpheus etc, mainly to sample tracks by artists that I like. If I like what I download, I buy the CD. If I could download a whole album and not have to pay the for packaging costs, shop overheads etc, it would be a good deal. The music business has kept the prices of CDs high for long enough. If they can deliver a reliable download service that allows you to download an album for less than the price of a shop CD, I'll sign up for it. Somehow, I think they'll still find a way of charging too much.
I have a problem with the principle of illegal downloads because I think the artists deserve payment for their work. I use them a lot though because the industry still fails to propose a realistic alternative. I do not want to commit to £60 per year for my downloads, but I would consider paying a few pence for each track. I want to choose how much and how often I download music. I am also unhappy about entering my credit card details to any system that promises not to bill for the fist month but it is then up to ME to cancel the contract. The music industry has to understand that it is dealing with unlimited, totally free and high quality music from illegal sites. Deal with the issue seriously please.
Why pay £5 for a few downloads? You can download a new album within days of its release and then wait a few months until it appears in the sales at a reasonable price. Until the record companies realise that they are ripping off Joe Public this sort of practice will continue.
With some of the comments that have come through, it is little wonder that the music industry has been so slow to come up with a solution. I buy a reasonable number of albums every month and have continued to do so despite what I can download on the web. I like listening to music, rather than spending hours trying to find and download free tracks.
Music is a business and one needs to pay for it - it is a pity that those more involved with computers than music do not appreciate that. There is a lot of music that is difficult to get hold and providing a centralised way of getting these would be very useful and would mean only a small amount of time on the computer. The music industry needs to serve those who are committed to music not people whose only interest is freebies.
As long as there is DRM on the files I am not interested in a subscription site. I want to listen to the same album at work, at home and on my portable stereo.
Oh dear, what a complete waste of time. Buying a CD is now a very rare event for me, since I can find, download and burn pretty much any song out there for absolutely nothing.
The best part of that? Well now I have more money in my pocket to actually go and see the bands I like live!
Anyone with half a clue knows where to get as much free downloads as they want, films, music, anything! What the film and record companies fail to understand is that we do not want to pay exorbitant fees for something that might be rubbish. Therefore, we can download it for free, listen to it, and if we like it we go and buy it for our collections! I would never buy copies from markets or anywhere else, as I could make my own copies a 100 times better. If UK prices were on a par with the US then people would feel less inclined to "steal" free downloads!
"Put simply, paying for music has to be a better option than stealing it."
Then put Jason Becker's Perpetual Burn out so I can buy it. No? Then stop off moaning about people downloading for free.
Look at the charts at the moment... it's full of insipid manufactured RUBBISH. Maybe, just maybe that's why CD sales are down (nah, that can't be it!).
Andy, United States
This would be a good idea if the record companies opened all of their back catalogues and made them available online. There are many songs I want to have but simply cannot find, and the record companies refuse to rerelease them. I would be willing to pay to download such back-catalogue tracks, but the record companies are willing to offer tracks that you hear on the radio everyday.
I am convinced that the record companies would make more money from people who are willing to buy music rather than focus on people who will always want things for free.
The majority of the tracks on offer today are ones that have been about for a while, and have been pirated quite significantly. I'm sure if there were tracks that were exclusive to the digital download day, people would take more interest.
Another hopelessly flawed attempt to discourage privacy. I would like to see the music world wake up to the fact that the industry is now doomed. Whatever poor thought out prevention methods they devise, there is still the unavoidable fact that music is sound. Encrypt it as much as you like, add multimedia gimics but at some point a person has to listen to the sound which is then, at that point, easily recorded and distributed.
I look forward to the collapse of the industry and hopefully as the money moves away, so will all the money men in promotion and marketting and the manufacutered pap of current pop will die and decent talented artists will again be recognised - they won't be on big wages but why should they be?
Also I can listen to a broad range of artists that remain outside the mainstream, then I'll hunt out their album. And the cost of getting a song on these proposed legitimate file sharing services is ridiculous to the hilt. A pound for each track, no cover notes or artwork, no disc print, with the user providing their own equipment, surely a fair price taking into account that there is no shop, no staff, no printing costs and no actual physical resource that the record company is providing, about 35p per track with 25p going to the artist seems fair. I challenge someone to tell me that the artist gets more than this anyway.
Only the monumentally incompetent executives of the record industry could turn the greatest opportunity for them in the history of mass market music - the Internet - into their biggest threat.
Music sales rose through the coming of home taping and CD burning. In the UK, music sales rose more recently despite msic downloads. Despite the best efforts of the industry, music is now ubiquitous.
But just read the other comments here to see if the industry knows what its doing. If it founders on the doorstep of a new technology, then at least we will know that it deserved to.
I don't like downloading music, but I do it, and I'll carry on, simply because I cannot afford the extortionate prices the record companies charge. I will buy an album every 4 or 5 months, or on the day of release if it's one of my favourite bands, but otherwise, I'll download it & try it first. I don't have money to waste on CDs that could turn out to be a waste of time.
The music industry has brought this on themselves, and creating a download day which only serves to give them more addresses for junkmail and give Microsoft a greater foothold with inferior products isn't gonna work - not on my computer anyway.
Tried to log on, but it doesn't give you any free credits as promised in the story.
And it is far too slow to actually use.
Do the record companies really think that people won't copy, burn to CD, pass on to friends etc.? If I pay for a download then I will burn it to a CD in order not to lose it if my PC crashes. Also, I would want to play it on an audio system or in the car. Wake up to the real world, what I pay for is mine and I will use it for my own use in any way I see fit. Wake up to the real world!
If the record companies are still controling what they will offer us then this will be no use to me. I use the "illegal" services to find songs or versions that either where never released in this country or have been out of print for years. If the record companies would open up their whole back-catalogue I would be willing to pay for it. As long as this does not happen, they will not have me as a customer.
I have downloaded all of Coldplay's songs off of Kazaa - very high quality music (so I'm not really sure where people come off saying that you can't get CD-quality music on the web - just look for a 192 bit-rate, instead of a 128 bit rate) and I went to Coldplay's concert in New York that cost me $80 for two tickets. Record companies are still getting their money - they're just going to have to concentrate on getting better musicians that will do more live performances.
By the way, CD prices are exorbitantly high in the U.S. - typically around $15-$18 - so I'm not really sure why people are saying they are chepaer here than in the UK or on the continent.
Forcing the use of Microsoft's Digital Rights Management is a pain but all you users of Kazzaa and similar peer-to-peer software be aware that they contain "Spyware" which will send a lot more information about your computer and you, to people who may be a bit less trustworthy that Microsoft. Stay safe people!
Well... I decided to try it out... just out of sheer curiousity. It was so cumbersome, so awkward, so misleading and poorly interfaced that I left 15 minutes later after being totally lost in the maze of log-ons and subscription buttons. Why can't the labels make it simple? Not coming back, for sure. Back to the hassle-free alternatives until Mr. Gabriel and company suss it out.
Amy Quinn, UK
Let's remember the days when music existed only live and unmediated. Finally it's being shown in the marketplace that recorded music is a form of promotion, and only serves to inform you that it's worth your money to go experience a musician live.
Why do record companies treat mp3s as the big evil when they could embrace the technology and make some serious money?
Meanwhile I'm getting frustrated because I cannot convert my Sony CDs to mp3 to play on my Sony mp3 player.
The terms and conditions of these sites are very vague. I couldn't work out whether or not I get to keep the music after the month is up. I have a feeling that I don't.
I would use these services if: 1) We were charged by the song, not for a monthly fee; 2) Upon buying the song, I am entitled to do with it as I please (as long as I don't redistribute it). This would mean it is in a non-proprietary format (e.g. ogg vorbis).
Is it really that much to ask?
Steve, USA (Ex Pat)
So record companies are feeling the pinch are they - um £80m to Robbie - excuse me. Britney earning $40m so is hardly on the breadline. Make the cost of CDs more attractive and people will not download as much. As for paying for downloads £1 a track is just another example for record label greed.
The record companies claim they cannot afford to invest in new music anymore... so how can EMI justify paying Robbie Williams £80m for a 4 album deal? It's not like they seem to go round looking for new talent anymore, labels such as BMG putting all their faith in ready-made-popstar tv.
And if that isn't worse, they go and upset the REAL fans by re-releasing albums with more tracks, do they really expect us to pay for the album again to get the missing tracks?
The day record companies realise that they need to inprove value-for-money in purchases the better. The singles market is in decline (prob due to p2p swapping) so make singles more worthwhile purchases by adding extras such as videos etc.
Next time a record company claims they're hard done by, think about how much their executives are earning.
I disagree with the people who say they download music because they can't afford it. I can't afford a lot of things, but I don't steal them instead!
Just because the chances of getting caught and prosecuted or put in prison for copyright theft is so small it doesn't mean it's right to do it!
The new service is probably set up to attract novice users who still don't understand the workings of p2p. All others know that it is not a viable service anyway. Too expensive and not user friendly. Furthermore, if p2p would disappear we would start borrowing cds from each other again!! Bottom line is: set up a really good database (p2p) and sell at really low cost (max.50% of retail) then MAYBE people would become members!!!
The record labels are once again slow to grab new technology. They should have nipped this in the bud...but as it is they are now showing their greed. What about rectifying the pittance they used to pay some groups back in the 1950s? Some of that stuff we still have to pay full price for. OK so put a limit on free stuff - say it must be at least 40yrs old!!! That would satisfy my taste - partly anyways.
Don't know what it's like to use the service - since I saw the site five days ago I have been unable to get past the initial stages as the site is too busy, then I have left my details and nobody has got back to me, then I finally registered, but when I next visited there was no record of me registering (and I did fill the forms in correctly).
KaZaa worked first time every time - get a service that works if I am paying for it before you try and sell me something for a monthly fee that doesn't have any uptime.
Till then, KaZaa it will be; oh, and by the way, I have bought MORE albums since using P2P software as I have sampled a wider variety of music and found "new" artists that I enjoy. Sure beats London West End's policy of not having decent listening facilities.
There is a big flaw in record companies' logic - most people who download music online wouldn't have bought it ANYWAY, so you are not losing sales because of them, you are gaining free promotion! People get to learn about new music, and if they like it then they buy it on CD.
They simply don't get it, do they? £1 to copy one song?!
P2P is the only way to hear anything interesting. Radio, TV and stores seem compelled to sell me the latest vomit from this week's pretty boy. To paraphrase (I think) Crissy Hynde; Downloading music isn't killing music, rubbish music is killing music.
Record companies should look no further than their oun artists to see why we are all in this sorry state.
While I am in favour of artists being paid a reasonable rate for their work, everyone is aware that the record companies take the biggest slice and the artists themselves get only a small percentage. I am a regular user of P2P services, purely because a) it allows me a wider choice than is available in my local record stores, b) it's certainly a lot cheaper - £15.99 for a 2-year old CD I bought for £10.99 when it first came out is just plain wrong - and c) it allows me to sample music before committing to buying a whole album.
A common trend now is for record companies to put two or three good tracks on an album and fill the rest up with trash - the good tracks then go out as singles, we buy the album and are disappointed.
I won't be using OD2. I will not be dictated to as to how and where I listen to my music. The record companies need to grow up and realise that we're sick of being messed around and ripped off. As with many people who have commented here, I have bought more CDs since starting to use P2P than I ever did before.
Think carefully before you illegally download - imagine book downloading! People do not moan about the price of books now do they?! Just as much time and effort goes into recording an album as does writing a book - yet people don't photocopy whole books and swap them.
Money should be spent on finding new artists whom people will be happy to support and pay for music from. Copy protection will never work, as soon as you can hear a song, it can be pirated, and with peer2peer networks commonplace, only one copy has to become available. Also, people are much happier to pay for something real and physical, rather than something they see readily pirated.
Like the thriller-writer Steven King - his site was SO oversubscribed when he published a story online - £5 worth of free music seems to be close to the real and total amount of downloads that the swamped system could allow - come the day! It is a gesture of huge grandiloquence - and no doubt disgruntled downloaders will compensate for their disappointment by having an MP3-swap field-day!!! The net is all about quality of content - and technology getting better and better, means more demands being made, and met. Patron saint of the internet: King Canute
Over-the-counter music is too expensive but means royalty cash goes to artists; P2P file swapping is free, but is allegedly crippling the industry. Solution? Make the P2P sites charge a one -off "sign-up fee", say £20, with unlimited access to file sharing. The punters still save a shedload of money, whilst the artists and record companies get revenue that they're currently missing out on. With around 2m people using Kazaa alone at any point of the day, the maths does itself.
Hey music industry websites! What about this: Allow us to hear music via lower quality mp3s (say 64kbps). Then let us choose 12 tracks (from this selection) which we can have on a CD shipped to us for around £5. That is something I'm sure will work.
The music industry is on its last legs. Soon the file share sites will start to charge but it will still cost next to nothing, they should then start to think about paying royalties to the artists per download. It will give more artists a chance to reach a wide audience without having to pass through the commercial viability filter that the major labels apply to new acts, preventing us from hearing some of the more original stuff out there. It would be good to see these "stars" like Madonna and Peter Gabriel make money that is more in line with an everyday person's income. A trend I think the net will start which will move through more and more industries. Here's hoping anyway.
Thomas Yasin, UK
What is the problem? Recorded music should be free. Real music is live music. A recording is one peformance sold over and over again . That is NOT value for money. The recording industry has their come-uppance. Period.
When I see a single person such as Robbie Williams being given £80 million by these entertainment companies I can say that I honestly have not one shred of sympathy for these media conglomerates and would encourage teenagers to save their pocket money and share their MP3s on the internet with whoever they damn well choose.
I thought, "What a good idea." There is a single song I have been trying to get hold of. Unfortunately the site only works if you are using Microsoft software. Since I have no intention of "upgrading" my OS (LOL) or having which programmes I can use dictated to me I guess I'll have to give it a miss. Sorry guys - to compete you have to offer at least the same features as your competitors and that includes platform independence!
Like many others the music industry "does not get it", yet we do! You seem surprised people will pay for their music, why? Put the infrastructures in place and give people the choice. Investment is the key and companies like Napster, Kazaa and MP3.com have shown you the way. Like so many industries the record companies do not want change, because they only see the short term and associated cost, yet they have the means to make it happen. Technology is about change, video was the death of cinema and now the web will be the death of the music industry...... change your business model.
Finally the consumers are driving the market instead of the industry. This is the future of music distribution and the record companies have been too slow to see it. I would be willing to pay £5 per month for unlimited downloads, but like many others I am concerned it will just be dull chart music. If the industy got behind one site (I hear Napster is going cheap) and provided the full range of available music (maybe incorporating P2P principles) it would be a much more attractive proposition to consumers.
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