Young ‘prefer illegal song swaps’

From a BBC story ,BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Young ‘prefer illegal song swaps’ :

Jupiter analyst Mark Mulligan said: “The digital youth of today are being brought up on a near limitless diet of free and disposable music from file-sharing networks.

“When these consumers age and increase spending power they should become key music buying consumers.

He added: “Unless the music industry can transition these consumers whilst they are young away from free consumption to paid music formats, be they digital or CDs, they may never develop music purchasing behaviour and the recording industry could suffer long-term harm.”

I think part of this is because the music industry is seen as a large cold faceless glob of evil, which much of it is. My friend, jazz artist David Gibson, has suggested that as we move to more independent production, that the artists will become the face of their music (instead of a many major labels that seem like they would prefer to sue you, or ruin your computer, as much as sell a CD to you), and people will be less likely to steal it. That seems to make sense.

Canadian artist Jane Siberry has a digital music store that seems to run on that theory. There is a nice description of the principle in this Boing Boing post.

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One thought on “Young ‘prefer illegal song swaps’

  1. Good points, I agree..
    I think if we can re-establish a healthy, functional relationship with everyday listeners, the revenue streams will follow- even if we can’t predict how they’ll actually work right now.
    Web 2.0 is underway. With open-source software, free distribution portals and cooperative community weblogs (like this one), resources are being spread around for the greater good as never before.. They’re mostly free and they’re much, much easier to find these days.
    These tools are gradually bringing an open and energetic new music business 2.0 into focus, none too soon…
    The transition is challenging on a number of levels; most of our previous models have gone out the window. Funding new projects with a shrinking pool of investors (labels) is a major issue- and the music shouldn’t have to stand still.
    Then again, catering to those dysfunctional companies with hopes of winning the label-lottery hasn’t been the most productive pursuit, either. Here’s to focusing on music and to breaking out of plantation mentality.
    For the future, we need more tools to make it easier for musicians to barter sevices on spec, to split revenues and the like. Not hard to do, but it’s shift in the way we think about our work. I mean, musicians who know how to set up cooperative royalty-tracking deals? If your statements are calculated online, it’s not a problem.
    I know that the company you mentioned has strong online accounting tools, it’d theoretically be possible to have the service digitally split their sales distribution for artists who are working cooperatively- which would mean your band could just track and then collect via direct deposit in perpetuity, how cool would that be?
    It’s not something they offer out-of-the box, but I find that kind of idea exciting and it clearly could push the music ahead in a big way… If you hear of other companies providing services along these lines, keep us posted.

    Beyond that, I’m noting that most of these services are pricey to deal with- there’s a whole cottage industry offering paid services to musicians.
    But hopefully, as things develop, we’ll see more robust, flexible (and supportive) models online- either fully-automated ones with a low overhead, or perhaps some motivated entrepeneurs who want to fund and facilitate using existing webtools (labels with no offices)

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