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MP3 and Money

By MoxFulder in News
Mon May 01, 2000 at 07:54:14 PM EST
Tags: Music (all tags)

I have often wondered if MP3 actually causes music bands or the recording industry to lose money. In fact, I now strongly believe that MP3 is good for the music industry: it introduces listeners to new bands and builds loyalty without a high entry cost. When the RIAA cracks down on MP3 piracy, do they realize that they are probably losing a lot of (almost) free publicity for the bands that they represent? Am I the only person who buys CDs after hearing MP3s and liking them?

If my personal experience is at all similar to the norm, MP3 directly leads to a lot of CD purchases. A few years ago, I hardly listened to music at all. I only liked a couple of bands which I had grown up with, and never went out and tried listening to new music. When I first heard of MP3 about three years ago, I started downloading lots of music, trading it with friends, getting more of the stuff I liked, deleting the stuff I didn't like, etc. It was way better than the radio: when I heard a song I liked I could listen to it ten times, not just once, and I could get other songs by the same band almost immediately.

Within a few months, I started buying the CDs of my favorite bands. Now I have probably sixty or seventy CDs, representing a $900 investment. I'm not sure what made me buy CDs instead of just keep getting more MP3s. I had recorded and live MP3s of all the Dave Matthews Band songs before I bought a single album, but now I have all their albums, a couple of T-shirts, and a concert ticket stub. I guess that I just really liked this and other bands and wanted to support them by buying the CDs. Plus I liked the cover art, inserts, etc. I don't think I made a conscious decision to start buying CDs, it just seemed like the natural thing to do.

It seems to me that MP3 improves and promotes music just as survival of the fittest causes organisms to evolve. Listeners download songs off the internet before they buy CDs. If nobody likes a band's music, nobody will buy their CDs. If, on the other hand, people like a band (and I think that there is a niche for almost any band), they will go buy the albums. Thanks to MP3, bands acquire hordes of new fans.

I now buy music that I would not have heard of, let alone appreciated, without having downloaded first on the Internet. Of course, I have many MP3s which I listen to a lot for which I don't own the CDs. But I'd say I own the albums for more than half of my music. There will always be a few people who listen to MP3s but never buy CDs, but I think that, overall, both fans and the music industry benefit from an extremely fast and free exchange of music.

MP3 has made me more willing to buy music, and more satisfied when I do. I've noticed a similar sentiment in many of my friends, and I wouldn't be surprised if many other people share this attitude also.


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MP3 and Money | 38 comments (38 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Yes! More on this subject; the cha... (none / 0) (#18)
by heinzkeinz on Mon May 01, 2000 at 01:10:47 AM EST

heinzkeinz voted 1 on this story.

Yes! More on this subject; the changes in music distribution are the vanguard of new technology changing our world.

Fluffy and has been said probably m... (none / 0) (#10)
by fluffy grue on Mon May 01, 2000 at 01:18:46 AM EST

fluffy grue voted 1 on this story.

Fluffy and has been said probably millions of times already, but agreeable. Maybe if we have enough articles on this, someone with the RIAA will see it and begin to grok.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

Re: Fluffy and has been said probably m... (none / 0) (#31)
by rusty on Tue May 02, 2000 at 01:20:34 AM EST

I can just see it. Milton Hightower rushes into Franklin Moneygruber's office at RIAA headquarters one Monday morning, sweating pofusely:

"My God, Frankie! Did you see the articles on KURO5HIN.ORG today? Now they're getting serious about this..."


Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

I never really buy CDs. Before MP3s... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by nicktamm on Mon May 01, 2000 at 01:28:27 AM EST

nicktamm voted 1 on this story.

I never really buy CDs. Before MP3s I didn't buy many CDs, after MP3s I don't buy many CDs. I don't know if your argument that by being able to listen to music anytime you want works, since that defeats the purpose of buying a CD if you only like one song on it. I also don't know if being able to listen to other songs by a band helps sales, especially since many of the songs that become popular are surrounded by other songs on CDs that most people would never buy. I'm not sure if advertising what the other songs by that hot new band sound like will increase sales of CDs once people find out that there isn't anything else on the CD they want.

Of course, bands which you become fans of are the ones who do more than that one song you listened to and liked on the radio, and MP3s do provide a method for people to discover that they like other stuff by those people they heard on the radio, and provide a means to do this with no investment. This might let more people become diehard fans of bands, increasing sales of subsequent CDs and merchadise, but that just means that bands which do one-hit wonders won't make as much money, while good bands will make a bit more. Sure, this happens anyway, but now it will happen immediately, and record companies won't be able to recoup any of the costs of making the CDs for the bands which didn't do well other than that one song. You might argue that this is good for the consumer, since it will increase the chances of getting a good CD without having to risk the money on bad ones, but it would also promote the recording companies to take even less chances on new bands. Bands which might have become the next big thing if they had been given a chance. If the use of MP3s is widespread and legal they will then get a chance you might argue, in which case I direct you to the other thread up for submission to the front page, "The End of Music?".

The other idea you mention is that it will spread the word of new, good bands. I don't know about you, but if I download MP3s they are of bands I heard and liked on the radio. MP3s themselves don't spread the word of a good song. Sites like MP3.com is hoping to do that I believe, but compared to radio, it is far from gaining the trust of people as a valid critic. Perhaps its because MP3.com is also trying to sell the same music it is promoting, creating distrust of their opinion, but if record labels do decide to promote their music through MP3s, what are the chances of them doing the promotion and distribution themselves. Actually, I wonder if a site could operate as a sort of radio station, playing music they have found and like from indy groups off of sites like MP3.com. Is there currently anything like that? An ad-based, indy music web site? It wouldn't even have to use the radio (streaming audio) style of showing the music, and could then offer the benefits that are mentioned in this article, such as being able to re-play music over and over again.

Of course, all of the things I wrote in this comment are based on my own practices in relation to buying music. I buy stuff by bands which I know make good music, and once I buy the CDs I rip them and end up playing pretty much only the MP3s anyway.
Nick Tamm nick-k5@echorequest.net http://www.nicktamm.org

First, we al know that mp3s are a v... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
by Nyarlathotep on Mon May 01, 2000 at 01:36:48 AM EST

Nyarlathotep voted 0 on this story.

First, we al know that mp3s are a viable promotional system. This is why the RIAA wants to stop mp3s. The RIAA buddies like major labels, major radio stations, and MTV have a monopoly on promotion. They want it to sty that way. They do not want independent musicians. Second, this is a pretty common story, but I would like to discurage people from buying the stuff from major label bands. These labels really exploit the artists. Your "rewarding the sucessful artist" is incuraging the "we will sign you and just maybe we will promot you any make you famus" mentality that allows these labels to exploit artist. I like DMB too and I have most of their songs on mp3, but I would not buy their albums since I would not want to incurage other band to participate in the recording industry scam. I'll save my CD buying money for someone like Ani Defranco who promoted herself. Anyway, if you really want to be a socially conshious consumer you should support internet bands (like sunscream or negitivland), local bands, and socially conshious preformers like Ani Defranco. Third, we could make free mp3 distribution a viable means for artists to support themselves overnight. All we need to do is add an HTML (JPO, Flash, etc.) attachment feature to the mp3 players, i.e. the mp3 players have a button which unpacks the attachment and launches a web browser to view it. This would allow artists to include advertisments and links to buy the bands merchendice (or just ask for money). The artists would also add useful content like visual art, pictures, lyrics, and tabliture to prevent people from just stripping the attachments. Anywho, it seems like pretty safe bet that mp3 attachment could make the artists a lot of money, but no one has bothered to add the feature to the mp3 players, I'd love to see bands supporting themselves off of song attachemnt advertising. It's would just be band, advertiser, fan.. there would be no need of a label to bribe the radio station program manager to play the song.
Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!

I have also bought CDs that I would... (none / 0) (#8)
by Perpetual Newbie on Mon May 01, 2000 at 02:10:50 AM EST

Perpetual Newbie voted 1 on this story.

I have also bought CDs that I would not have otherwise bought if not for listening to mp3s beforehand, including some CDs where I already had mp3s of every single song on the disc. I feel that if you like the mp3 enough to keep it, you have a duty to the artist to buy their record, the legality of the situation never even crosses my mind. However, I can easily see a large number of people that don't feel any responsibility to give anything back to the artist who produced the music. They are proud of themselves for being able to get something for free, and don't seem to realize that there is an actual person making the music who needs to be supported to make more music. These people consider their unpaid for mp3 collections to be the correct choice as opposed to buying the CDs, as the fact that it costs them less makes the choice legitimate. It is the same mindset we see in warez doods.

While this topic is discussed quite... (none / 0) (#9)
by skim123 on Mon May 01, 2000 at 02:46:49 AM EST

skim123 voted 1 on this story.

While this topic is discussed quite often, once more can't hurt!

While I am glad to hear that you buy CDs (thereby using MP3s as a "try before you buy" tool), I think you are in the minority. I have virtually stopped buying CDs since I got a high-speed connection.

However I doubt I do too much "harm" since most of my musical interests lie in bands/musicians that no longer exist (classical, 60's, 70's music).

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

Re: While this topic is discussed quite... (none / 0) (#23)
by CmdrPinkTaco on Mon May 01, 2000 at 09:37:16 PM EST

I am goint to play Devil's Advocate here, so bear with me.
I also have a high speed connection and am of the frame of mind of the original poster of this story. I have found MP3s as the ever convenient "try before you buy tool," and have subsequently found more and more artists that I enjoy listening to.
I also have found it very good to find new artists that are making similar music to the style that I like, be it by a single band or a certain genre. Personally I listen to a lot of electronica/trance and I find it hard to find radio stations here in the US that play anything that is worth listening to (or that is not on during the wee hours of the morning when nobody really cares). There have been a lot of people who have put up live shows from BBC radio that were ripped to MP3. It has allowed me to learn of some of the newer DJs and their styles before I go out and buy their CDs (or their vy-null :)
As a wanna be DJ, I find that MP3s are an incredibly valuable resource for finding new talent and discovering that diamond in the rough that I would love to unload on the crowd at the next place I spin.
I realize that I am (more than likely) of the minority of people who use programs like Napster/Gnutella/ftp_sites etc. to learn about more music so that I can promote them when I am spinning. Unfortunately there has been a lot of abuse of the MP3 Format in that people are more than willing to download MP3s of an entire album, rip them to a .wav format (or OS compatible format) and then burn them on to a CD without ever buying a single thing from the artist. This is indeed unfortunate, but it is also yet another example of how technology has grown beyond another industry with too much momentum in one direction, thus making difficult/impossible to change into another direction.
I think that the very worst thing that will come of this new technology being embraced by the recording industry will be a significant drop in the number of one hit wonder artists that tend to emerge and then fall back into nothing. The record companies will (hopefully) become more fastidious about the bands that they elect to sign to their record label, so if you don't have a complete packge then don't waste the record industry's time.
Guess CmdrPinkTaco's .sig and win - nothing :)
[ Parent ]
Re: While this topic is discussed quite... (none / 0) (#35)
by chicmome on Tue May 02, 2000 at 12:59:32 PM EST

I have to agree with you. I've been listening to a lot of streaming mp3s in the
European Trance/Hi-NRG genre and am now trying to figure out where I can buy a
bunch of these import albums for less than $30. ;)


[ Parent ]
Re: While this topic is discussed quite... (none / 0) (#37)
by skim123 on Tue May 02, 2000 at 06:04:55 PM EST

Hopefully MP3s will have the effect of removing the record labels from the equation altogether. A little far fetched, I know, but what purpose would they serve? Web sites could offer to build a custom CD, containing various MP3s, or a set of MP3s from a particular band, and you could order that through the mail (get it in audio CD format if you'd like) or download the MP3s individually over the Net.

These bands could ship their CDs/MP3s to the radio stations on their own, and hire a single agent to book concerts and such. No need for an entire industry that does nothing but sell records and promote bands.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

[ Parent ]
I have bought albums after hearing ... (none / 0) (#12)
by buzzbomb on Mon May 01, 2000 at 03:10:27 AM EST

buzzbomb voted 1 on this story.

I have bought albums after hearing a few MP3s of an artist I like. But at the same time, I've been known to do some warezing. But I follow the same conduct as MP3s: if it's good software, I WILL go buy it. That will probably generate some flames...like I care. <shrug>

Re: I have bought albums after hearing ... (none / 0) (#30)
by Demona on Tue May 02, 2000 at 12:15:02 AM EST

Generally I like music that "the rest of the world" doesn't care for (sounds like most of us, hmm?). You know, Weird Stuff. Not Radio Friendly. Anyway, last week I downloaded an MP3 of Primus in concert, from their website's Bootleg Barn, and it guest-starred on guitar this strange person they were referring to as Buckethead. Intrigued, I did a little research and found there had been an album released. Well, I managed to find all the tracks in MP3, but here's the rub: This album is so damn good I went out and bought it anyway. But I'd have rather just sent Mister Buckethead some cash (or food, or whatever) and bypassed the label entirely, since they weren't the ones who informed me of his existence or got me interested in his music.

Also thanks to MP3, I made another little discovery, this time an old favorite instead of a new find. A band I LOVED as a teenager, Stormtroopers of Death, had actually come out with a second album last year -- fourteen years after their first! -- which somehow, I'd completely missed. And you can bet your bippy I went out and snapped that sucker up IMMEDIATELY. They have short MP3 samples from their albums on their website; Primus has full-length, variable quality live performances, usually complete concerts. Say baby, 'dja wanna lay down by my side?

So let's say that MP3 hasn't changed my buying habits -- I'd be homeless if I bought all the music I want! Rather, it's given me more options, for both buying music, and the storing and playing of it.

[ Parent ]

Re: I have bought albums after hearing ... (none / 0) (#32)
by Marcin on Tue May 02, 2000 at 01:20:56 AM EST

People will of course claim that even though you eventually buy the software it's still illegal. But I figure it's not illegal if you don't get caught ;)

And just as a general reply to the story, I have bought a fair few CDs based on MP3s i've listened to. I still find MP3 a bit inconvenient as it means you need the computer there, it's still not viable to have portable MP3 playing as far as i'm concerned. I could spend $500 (Australian) on a MP3 player that will play 30-60 minutes of music or get 60 CDs for the same price and carry a discman around. [shrug]

That probably doesn't make any sense, i'm pretty tired. :)
[ Parent ]

Re: I have bought albums after hearing ... (none / 0) (#33)
by Marcin on Tue May 02, 2000 at 01:22:55 AM EST

Yep, tired am I. Don't know where the heck I got 60 from :) I could only get 20-25 CDs for that amount of money. Still a lot of music.

I want work to be over so I can go to sleep on the train.
[ Parent ]

Good Point.... (none / 0) (#20)
by Saint Zero on Mon May 01, 2000 at 03:55:46 AM EST

Saint Zero voted 1 on this story.

Good Point.
---------- Patron Saint of Nothing, really.

I should say that it only helps you... (none / 0) (#5)
by Strange Charmed One on Mon May 01, 2000 at 06:36:14 AM EST

Strange Charmed One voted 1 on this story.

I should say that it only helps you buy the CD when you do not have entire albums on your LAN and a CD burner. *grin*
Feel the urge to put excessively cute little quotes into your .sig?


If you or one of your friends is frequently plagued by this tendency, Help IS available- Ask me how.

Enough about MP3s they way you guys... (none / 0) (#15)
by Commienst on Mon May 01, 2000 at 07:29:59 AM EST

Commienst voted -1 on this story.

Enough about MP3s they way you guys go on and on about MP3s you would think MP3 is a way of life....

reality check its not, its just a damn audio compression format.

Rounding up from +0.5. I think a l... (none / 0) (#11)
by marlowe on Mon May 01, 2000 at 09:35:20 AM EST

marlowe voted 1 on this story.

Rounding up from +0.5. I think a lot of bands today deserve to lose money. But then I'm old enough to remember when MTV was worth watching, so what do I know?
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --

I think that mp3's have drastically... (none / 0) (#21)
by flamingcow on Mon May 01, 2000 at 11:05:05 AM EST

flamingcow voted 1 on this story.

I think that mp3's have drastically increased my CD buying. I don't think that I ever owned a cd until I started getting mp3s.

I was going ot vote no, but the wri... (none / 0) (#14)
by YellowBook on Mon May 01, 2000 at 11:34:12 AM EST

YellowBook voted 1 on this story.

I was going ot vote no, but the writeup was a little more substantial than most.

+1 Good writeup. -0.7 Boring subjec... (none / 0) (#6)
by henrik on Mon May 01, 2000 at 01:06:36 PM EST

henrik voted 0 on this story.

+1 Good writeup. -0.7 Boring subject. Result: 0 (let's please see more than MP3 and microsoft stories)

Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!

too many of these. ... (none / 0) (#19)
by thelaw on Mon May 01, 2000 at 01:42:57 PM EST

thelaw voted -1 on this story.

too many of these.

is mp3 the pr0n of the next milleni... (none / 0) (#2)
by ramses0 on Mon May 01, 2000 at 03:30:41 PM EST

ramses0 voted 0 on this story.

is mp3 the pr0n of the next millenium?
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]

Re: is mp3 the pr0n of the next milleni... (none / 0) (#22)
by FlinkDelDinky on Mon May 01, 2000 at 08:09:56 PM EST

No, the more pr0n changes, the more pr0n you have!

[ Parent ]
-1 redundant, should be added to th... (none / 0) (#13)
by warpeightbot on Mon May 01, 2000 at 03:33:39 PM EST

warpeightbot voted -1 on this story.

-1 redundant, should be added to the ChuckD discussion.

This is redundant. Please post this... (none / 0) (#7)
by xah on Mon May 01, 2000 at 03:51:29 PM EST

xah voted -1 on this story.

This is redundant. Please post this as a comment to the "end of music" topic, which has already made it through moderation.

I don't know if I'm a `typical' MP3... (none / 0) (#17)
by Decklin Foster on Mon May 01, 2000 at 04:37:04 PM EST

Decklin Foster voted 1 on this story.

I don't know if I'm a `typical' MP3 user or not, but here's my story. I'm a Poor College Student(TM). I want, and have always wanted, more music than I can/could afford. I spend whatever I can on music (about 350 CDs currently). Since I started collecting MP3s, I still spend whatever I can on music. There's simply too much shit I want. A lot of what I have on CD is too much trouble for me to find on MP3. The vast majority of what I have on MP3 is either availible only on vinyl, or at a high markup from importers. My main `connections' for MP3s also typically supply dance music (see the comparison of dance and listening music later) ripped from vinyl. If I want to go find a pop album, I have to use Napster like everyone else. Arguably, this is making money for the RIAA. instead of spending $30 per import CD or $10 per 12" single (plus several hundred on turntables), I buy what I can find most easily at record stores and Cdnow-type sites. A problem with this is that I'm spending *less* money supporting independent artists. Sure, my money is mostly keeping artists that have just barely squeezed into a major-label deal in that contract, but it's still not something I'm 100% happy about. OTOH, it's very hard to get as much of my money to artists that are on indie UK labels, because I have to pay markups to whoever imports the music. Essentially, my criteria for buying CDs before MP3 was: (a) do i really want it? (b) if it's an import, do i really really want it? Now, it's: (a) Does this artist need my support more than that one? (b) are the benefits of physical media important? (for me, this is mainly using it to make mixes. so it's not important for `listening music', but is important for dancefloor stuff.) and (c) if it's an import, are (a) and (b) so important that I want to forgive supporting the next artist so I can afford the markup? I'm not sure if I'm really doing more or less good this way. Is it strictly illegal? Of course. Is there any way the RIAA is going to get *more* money out of me? No. (Theoretically, they could start dumping rips of indie recordings on the net wholesale... scary thought.)

enough already.... (none / 0) (#1)
by asad on Mon May 01, 2000 at 05:08:40 PM EST

asad voted -1 on this story.

enough already.

Assuming you paid 20 $ per CD, and ... (none / 0) (#4)
by Inoshiro on Mon May 01, 2000 at 07:54:14 PM EST

Inoshiro voted 1 on this story.

Assuming you paid 20 $ per CD, and assuming the band received 1$ from each CD (as 10$ goes to the store, 5$ goes to the shipment guys, and 4$ goes to the company singing them), you've given the band about 45$.

This is just one of the reasons why I cannot stand the RIAA and others from going after MP3s. It's hyprocracy -- blatant and complete. I'm not "robbing" a band of any meaningful amount of money, and I do buy CDs for the MP3s I keep and listen to often (I prefer to think of CDs as the backup copies of my MP3s ;-))..

[ イノシロ ]
Re: MP3 and Money (none / 0) (#24)
by Zarniwoop on Mon May 01, 2000 at 09:59:22 PM EST

Either way, its something that isn't going away. 

I see it as a try-before-you-buy thing.  Just like a demo for a computer game. 
I don't like not knowing what I'm going to be hearing, and if its good or not. 
I don't have that much money to spend on music (poor college student, no job,
whoohoo!) and I'd rather not buy something thats total crap (as I have many
times in the past).

Also, mp3s allow me to hear music and groups that I would have never heard of
before, listen to hard-to-find music and to check out new groups.  Otherwise, I
would have never heard a bunch of the guys I listen to now... I mean, who has
heard of, say, Poor Old Lu? :)

Re: MP3 and Money (none / 0) (#25)
by Louis_Wu on Mon May 01, 2000 at 10:50:04 PM EST

I also have bought CDs based on MP3s. In fact, I just got a package from Canada with the four albums the Headstones have put out. I live in central California so I doubt that I would have had the desire to buy 4 albums from a band from up north on the basis of the one song I had heard. BTW, I heard that one song on a soundtrack, so how does the industry expect me to hear music, and know that I like enough songs with enough fervor to justify buying a full album? I've also purchased all of the major albums, and several minor albums, from Sarah McLachlan because of the same album, and several dozen MP3s of hers.

[OK, there are two of you laughing, you've figured out that the above soundtrack is from Due South. Canada, who would have thought that they exported music; I thought that they exported niceness and snow. ;) ]

I think that RIAA & MPAA are being short-sighted when they come down hard on the 'little guy' getting some music (Napster), listening to music he's bought already (my.mp3.com), or trying to watch her own DVD on that unpopular OS (deCSS for GNU/Linux or OpenBSD).

So much for the rant.

Louis Wu

"The power to tax is the power to destroy."
John Marshal, first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

mp3 does encourage buying of cds.. (none / 0) (#26)
by mcc on Mon May 01, 2000 at 11:00:52 PM EST

and to prove that it does, here is a list of the cds i have bought as a DIRECT
result of being able to listen to them on mp3 illegally before buying them.

Radiohead - My Iron Lung
Moby - Play
Portishead - Glorytimes
Dr. Octagon - Dr. Octagynecologist
Oval - Systemisch
Fluke - Risotto
Chemical Brothers - Brothers gonna work it out (this and the Fluke album may
not count because the recordings were both realaudio and legally obtained,
directly from the Astralwerks record label, one of the few record labels
[others would be Matador and Warp..] that seem to understand that letting
people listen to the FULL songs before they buy-- not just 30 second clips--
actually encourages people to buy things)

And this list will expand to include N***A PLEASE by ODB and probably "the
virgin suicides" by Air the next time i get around to doing a cdnow order.
Anyway looking at this list the record industry has gotten somewhere around
$135 from me directly as a result of the existence of internet music
distribution that they would not have gotten otherwise. And that's counting
_only_ the ones i clearly remember, and not counting ones where the mp3s
influenced me but were not the final determining factor. And of course not
counting the countless number where partial clips i downloaded over the
internet allowed me to make my decision-- and of course while such clips are
perfectly legal, it's rediculous to suppose that a framework for distributing
such partial clips could be created without it facilitating music piracy.

And, of course, more or less the only mp3s i bother downloading are ones that
would be either impossible or near impossible to get legally -- i.e. bootlegs
and b-sides to european singles. While i do try to buy such things a lot of the
time, i don't really feel like i should be expected to pay $30 or more for this
japaneese import of the album "further down the spiral" just so that i can
listen to the one single track that isn't in the other versions. And of course,
in a lot of situations, there _is_ no legal source. For example, this bunch of
DJ Shadow tracks i'm about to have a friend burn to CD, which i have so far
been completely unable to figure out where they came from or how to get them
any way other than online, "illegally".

basically, i like mp3 not because i don't have to pay for things, but because
it lets me hear music i wouldn't get to otherwise.. i realize not everyone
looks at it this way, but such people probably wouldn't pay anyway. I find it
very, very difficult to believe that the record labels are actually losing
money because of mp3..


Aside from that, the absurd meta-wankery of k5er-quoting sigs probably takes the cake. Especially when the quote itself is about k5. -- tsubame
Re: MP3 and Money (none / 0) (#27)
by The Baptist Death Ray on Mon May 01, 2000 at 11:03:09 PM EST

Just wanted to take this moment to state my position on mp3's... in my "End of Music?" article I may have come off as somewhat anti-mp3 and anti-napster, etc... and that's not true at all.

I love the mp3 world, and I think Napster's great. I tend to think that, for the most part, if you're really a fan of a band you'll eventually wind up buying their music anyway as a show of support. The people who aren't really fan aren't going to buy your music anyway...

I think that music piracy, like software piracy, can be turned into a plus. Software companies regularly tolerate the piracy of software (to a certain extent) because it's free advertising. Anyone who wants to use, for example, AutoCAD in a corporate environment damn well better have a legit license anyway or risk being caught during an audit. Meanwhile, people who pirate software are being introduced to it... and are potential future customers.

So, to a certain extent, while Software companies make a big stink about piracy to the press they tolerate it.

It can work in much the same way with mp3s, and certainly works with bootlegs... people who buy bootlegs and download mp3s are potential customers for your next cd... or even the cd they bootlegged. All you have to do is win them over.

The Baptist Death Ray
"The urge to destroy is a creative urge."
- M. Bakunin

Can't count on everyone to do the same thing (5.00 / 1) (#28)
by auntfloyd on Mon May 01, 2000 at 11:05:37 PM EST

The problem with your argument is that not everyone is buying the CDs of songs that they like. It's a question of economics: why buy the CD when you can download it from Napster? Or maybe you only like a few songs anyway?

Everytime that the issue of Mp3s or Napster is raised, someone will bring up the point you make: many people do in fact purchase the albums of artists whose music they download. This is all and well, and benefits both the buyer and the seller.

But, while I don't have any figures available, I think it is well known, even to people who stress the benefits of digital audio, that the vast majority of Mp3 users simply want to get free stuff, the artists be damned.

Now, pretend that you are record company executive. Which is more important: stopping music piracy, or allowing some people to sample new music in a new way? When the bottom line needs to be protected, you'll see how much the music industry cares for Internet audio. While you might do the "right" thing, many others don't. You must suffer because they won't play by the rules.

Please note that I am not trying to condone (or condemn, for that matter) this viewpoint, but rather I am simply trying to articulate it (even if I may do so poorly!)
--- auntfloyd

Re: MP3 and Money (none / 0) (#29)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon May 01, 2000 at 11:53:46 PM EST

Am I the only person who buys CDs after hearing MP3s and liking them? Yes......quite possibly *wink* =P

Re: MP3 and Money (none / 0) (#34)
by goorala on Tue May 02, 2000 at 07:29:29 AM EST

Ironically, I had never listened to them much, but had found that I liked Metallica quite a lot through MP3's. I was about to buy at least two of their CD's when I read about the lawsuits, and immediately said, "screw them." Personally, no matter the encoder, I can hear the difference between MP3 and the CD and like to have the CD for the sound quality.

Re: MP3 and Money (none / 0) (#36)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue May 02, 2000 at 02:25:58 PM EST

Hm...  I'm sorry, but isn't this article somewhat old and redundant?  Oh dear,
this post is probably redundant as well.  Shame on me!	...  and you.  :-P

Phish interview (none / 0) (#38)
by fluffy grue on Wed May 03, 2000 at 01:49:58 PM EST

The Onion AV Club (The Onion's serious part, which is actually worth reading) has a neat interview with Phish this week where one of the things they discuss is Napster. Trey Anastasio first seems like he doesn't get it, since he's answering a Napster-related question with respect to the music industry at large, but eventually he shows that he DOES get it. I figure that he, of all people, would understand, though, given Phish's taping policy.

(Now let's see if people will actually SEE this. :)
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
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MP3 and Money | 38 comments (38 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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