Posts Tagged Music industry

1 Million free books give away – the music industry should take note

We’re all aware of how the Internet is apparently ripping the life and soul of the music industry. It’s as if every day there is a new news item about how the music rights organisations are chasing the little man for downloading a few copyright tracks from one of the many pirated websites.

I’ve always had a problem with how the main records labels, music rights organisations and lately some famous artists have come out complaining about how downloading music is killing their livelihood. The bottom line is that they don’t want or have the drive to change how the music industry works.

But music isn’t the only industry that is being threatened by the web and the easy nature of spreading copyrighted material through the Internet. With the massive growth in smart phones and other reading devices, it has become pretty much as easy to download illegal copies of some of the bestselling books.

Most people know that the book publishing industry has been pretty much on its knees for many years. Unless you are selling one of the top 10 best selling books, you’ll find it hard to make a fraction of what these so called musicians or record company directors are making. That of course is for a number of factors, but rather than rest on their laurels those in the book publishing industry has decided to make a concerted effort to come up with innovative ideas to help promote their industry.

The latest effort is the co-ordinated plan to offer 1 million free books to a select few people. The idea is simple, 20,000 pationate readers in Ireland and the UK will be given 48 books to give to their friends, family members or anyone they wish.

The idea is that if someone is given a book for free, they will recommend the book on to their peers and in turn this should increase the number of book sales. But the books won’t be any old books and certainly won’t include any books that are out of copyright. All books involved will be books that are still in copyright so that they can maximise the amount of money they can make back from the expected increase of sales.

What a great idea. Let’s transport that to the music industry. We can think of many examples of how the web brought acts such as the Artic Monkeys into mainstream pop. A band that, in fairness would probably never have got a break without the Internet. They’re the type of band that you see everywhere in the world in your local community centre, practising to be the next big thing.

We also have more successful acts such as Kings of Leon, who admit they probably would have been dropped by their record label if they weren’t so successful in the UK. Their success can’t be totally attributed to the web, but it was definitely used as a quicker route to the UK market and in effect kept them going.

I know from my own experience that there are a number of bands I listen to, that don’t ever bother visiting Ireland or the UK because they simply don’t have the following here – yet, I would buy their music. I would never have heard of them if I didn’t have the Internet available. Record companies seem to constantly overlook this fact.

Then of course the way we digest music has greatly changed over the years. I don’t particularly like buying CDs anymore, because the only place I use them is in my car. The first thing I do with any album I buy, is rip it to mp3 files so that I can listen to them on MP3 player, copy it onto my PS3 which I use for my sound system at home and the list goes on.

Yes, we have a number of sites that sell MP3s, but I can’t always find what I’m looking for as my taste is shall we say, a little underground. My only hope of getting my hands on some of the music I listen to is by listening online or ordering from the US.

Record companies seriously need to take a leaf out of the book industries book, if you pardon the pun, and come up with some innovative ideas that will help the “referral” nature of people to increase sales. Stop whinging about what’s going on and start to use your brains – although you probably lost them many years ago while living off your millions that you didn’t have to do to much to acquire.

For more information on the Free 1 million books – visit : www.worldbooknight.org

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RIAA win $1.92m from filesharer

Image representing RIAA, Recording Industry As...
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It’s no wonder the RIAA continue to their shameless strategy of targeting small-time illegal filesharers.

When they are making $1.92m from a mother of four who was caught sharing sharing files to a firm working on behalf of the RIAA, there’s certainly no other way of making this sort of money, that easily.

More here – http://go.theregister.com/feed/www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/19/copyright_victory_rich/

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TuneCore and Amazon Join Forces

I’ve been harping on for sometime about the fact that music industry doesn’t focus enough attention on utilising the web as a means to increase revenues from sales of their recordings. They seem hell-bent on chasing individual music downloaders and ISPs in order to stop them from sharing music illegally.

For the first time ever, we seem to have one innovative idea ready to roll online in a joint venture between one of the Internets leading websites and an indepent record label.

Amazon and TuneCore have got together to offer a CD-Pressing service on demand. What this means is that an artist can create an account on TuneCore.com at a cost of $20 per annum, upload their music at 99 cents per track and instantly have the ability to sell their records online.

Amazon will sell physical copies of the artists music in return for 60% of the sale price.To some not involved in the music industry this sounds like quite a large chunk of revenue gone from the artists pocket. However most newly signed artists would be lucky to get that sort of % deal with a large record company.

I certainly don’t think this is going to solve all the issues with the illegal downloading of music, but at least it’s innovative – a lot more than what the larger record companies and music rights organisations seem to want to do.

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No music videos for UK YouTube users

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Every executive in the music industry should be ashamed of themselves. It seems every day that goes by they get more ridiculous about this new thing – the Internet.

They probably all still sit around a desk with a pile of paper, with not a computer in sight. They’re main aim in life is to fight desperately to hold onto their crumbling piles of money. In the meantime they miss out on the opportunity to use the most powerful medium the world has ever seen to help grow their empire. That medium is the Internet. Yes I know I have said it many times here, but their ignorance to it continues to drive me insane.

I’m a musician and believe it’s only right that people pay for the use of any material I create. However, after working in the Internet industry for more than 10 years, I can see how beneficial the Internet could be to any existing artist or upcoming artist.

New artists dreamed of ways of getting their music in front of the masses for as little money as possible, in the early days, rock legends Metallica used to be happy for their fans to make bootlegged cassette tapes and give it to their friends, as it was a way to promote their music without paying any money. Now however, that is a different story altogether, they don’t like the Internet because it’s eating into record sales. Yet, they and their record industry bosses believe the only way to fight it was to bring lawsuits and prevent people accessing certain websites. For god sake – remember you all thought tape recordings were going to kill the industry???

For me it’s simple, if I could get my work out to millions of users through a FREE medium that promoted my work, I would personally see it as a God sent. The knock on effect to my music career would be immense and set me on a career for life.

Records bosses and bodies such as IRMA and the PRS feel that the only way to tackle the growing number of illegal downloads that is eating away at their bottom line, is to become censors or just be greedy.

In Ireland we have IRMA who have an agreement with Eircom to block any sites they want, which led to the start of the organistation BlackoutIreland.com and now in the UK we have the greedy PRS who want YouTube to pay them an “economically unsustainable” amount of money to be licensed to play their music. So pretty soon those poor souls in the UK won’t be able to view music videos through YouTube.

What a sad sad day…. Please grow up Record Industry and get with the times……

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Music Industry take note… How to increase record sales by 800%

Music is something close to my heart, I studied it in college and always felt my destiny was to work in the Music Industry at some stage of my life. I still have those aspirations, but need to get other things up and running first.

I have to admit though that my respect for Music Industry bosses has diminished since the introduction of the web and the advent of “illegal downloading”. I have yet to see any record company face this head on and be innovative in how they can turn their sales figures around. Record companies seem to think the legal route is the only way they can stop this wave of “Boot Legged” music. But quite frankly, it’s not.

Most people in my age group can remember Boot Leg tapes that were on sale on every corner in Dublin City Centre, but most real music fans, those that bought music, tended not to bother with Boot Leg tapes.

Why? Well for me owning a copied tape was never the same as having the original recording. Others will say it was all about the quality, but that’s not an argument anymore unless you have a really good ear for music as most MP3s sound exactly the same as the original.

The bottom line for me is if I hear an album that I like, I’ll go out and buy it, it’s as simple as that. When was the last time I actually bought an album? Late last year. Why haven’t I bought anything since? Basically, there’s nothing worth buying anymore. The lack of truly great albums on the market is shocking. But that’s another days work altogether.

There are so many ways record companies could increase sales if they embraced it as a marketing tool and not treat it as an enemy. For example, Blip.fm – make sure all you tracks are on sites like this so everyone can hear them. But that’s me thinking for 5 minutes. How much do they pay their marketing guys who are clearly missing this channel.

Sky News had an interesting report this morning about games like Guitar Hero. They suggested that if an artist has their track on one of these games, sales are likely to increase by as much as 800%. The theory around it makes so much sense. With game sales being bigger than record sales now, the tracks are being played to people who generally wouldn’t listen to their genre of music and in turn they are gaining new music fans.

If I think back to when I started using the web for music, there was one band who grew in popularity nearly overnight because of the Internet.

I was playing a game of Unreal Tournament when someone suggested I have a listen to a band called Limp Bizkit. At this time, you couldn’t get their records in Ireland, so I had to go and download a copy of their album. I was instantly hooked.

And guess what? I bought all their albums thereafter. OK bad decision on my behalf in the end, but none-the-less – if it wasn’t for the Internet, I probably would never have heard of them until they were in the mainstream and at that stage, I wouldn’t have been interested in them anyway!

So music industry, it’s time to stop wasting your time trying to ban downloads. Focus your efforts on how you can use the web to promote your acts – it’s the most powerful medium available to us today!

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