Saturday, November 21, 2009

A teen comments on the future of the music biz

Why the Music Industry is Going to Die

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November 20, 2009 – Comments (2)
As I sit here typing, a phenomenon you may or may not be aware of is occuring in electronic media. Contrary to what you may of have heard, or what some people have said, this phenomenon is not going to go away, and in fact, will be the defining characteristic of the new era in the technological world.
I am talking about illegal downloading.
In the past 10 or so years, the spread of file sharing programs has rendered the conventional business model for selling music and software programs obsolete. Some of these programs you may of heard of, programs and websites like Bearshare, Ares, Frostwire, Limewire, Bittorrent, Pirate Bay, Isohunt, and others are now the dominant way for the acquistion of both music and software.
At this point, 95% of music is downloaded online without paying. The CD is dead. Online music stores like iTunes and Rhapsody are hardly hanging on to a sliver of the music market, and everyday others leave for aforementioned programs. The music industry doesn't want you to know this. They have spent a fortune trying to sway public opinion that this trend is only temporary, and that with the proper government regulation and a healthy public awareness campaign, they can end this problem.
OoohHH, how wrong they are.
No one in my high school, and hardly anyone below 25 pays for music anymore. There is actually a huge negative stigma on those that purchase music. You're seen as "paying the man" for something you can and should get for free. The public ad campaign launched by the RIAA is absoulouty laughable. They are never going to be able to stop it.
The arguements that the RIAA makes against downloading are laughed down by anyone even mildly familiar with downloading.

1. Downloading music will give you viruses.
Response: A decent firewall or anti virus program will keep you clean, and you should only download music that is "at the top of the list". Many viruses, trojans, and malware are planted by RIAA agents to discredit download sources, and this only stirs up anger towards them.

2. Downloading hurts artists.
Response: Large artists with high volume songs are hurt the most, but music downloading helps smaller bands by increasing their exposure. It's hard for people to feel guilty about this when they know only a few cents on every download goes to the artist.

3. It's stealing and uncool to download.
Response: With a product that can by duplicated for no cost, it's no wonder that people will take it for free. Coolness is and always will be fighting against the man, and thumbing your nose at big companies is something every kid loves to do.

The music industry is petrified about the future, with good reason to be. The future of music is going to be bands realeasing their music for free, and making their money on merchandise and touring. In other words, the middle man is cut out and the large music companies are left cold.
The newest trend is downloading software from the internet. This is an emerging problem that has the potential to hurt companies like EA and Blizzard.
For anyone with holdings in companies that rely on conventional methods to produce and distribute software, music, and movies, please be aware that the future is going to be very perilous for your investment. Regardless of wheather it is right or wrong, a whole generation is growing up used to not paying for electronic media. The older customers are dieing out, and they will take the old music industry with them.

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