Fixing the broken music delivery model: how to pay musicians

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by kingsxman, May 24, 2019.

  1. JB_SC

    JB_SC Supporting Member

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    This is surely an issue for those whose egos exceed their talent, but no reasonable person can deny that: 1) truly great music is worth more than the current payment models are paying, and 2) in the US, government interference in the market is the primary driver of this inequity compared to all other forms of copyright protected creative works.
     
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  2. Radius

    Radius Supporting Member

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    Yikes! I'm not touching that "interference" topic with a 10 foot pole here on TGP.
     
  3. Daytona57

    Daytona57 Member

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    Internet killed the middle class, making jobs obsolete in photography, printing, music business, newspapers, magazines, journalism, television, manufacturing, etc,

    Streaming videos and music sharing developed at the speed of technology and the music business was caught unawares and could not cope or change fast enough.

    The economy tanked leaving consumers with less disposable income and streaming or free music was available on the internet.

    This model of online music removed the control of the music business to the Social Media, Cellphone mega corporations who make money on the hardware, data, telephonics, advertising, gaming, sale of music and cloud storage of your data, cradle to grave, making healthy profits.

    This trend will continue as technology advances, and musicians will make less money than they do today and the mega service providers will expand their revenues.

    You, as a consumer can decide to opt out of ads on your internet providers, social media and not to subscribe to online music providers and to purchase music in a manner that benefits musicians.

    This would resuscitate the income for musicians and acts would not have to tour until their last breath but continue to give us their best music.

    A thought problem.

    YMMV
     
  4. JB_SC

    JB_SC Supporting Member

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    To be fair, stating a fact about actual, undeniable economic market manipulation, which happens to be committed by the government, shouldn't (I say shouldn't, though I recognize that moderators might see it differently) be deemed a "political" statement. That said, if the mods determine that I've stepped over a line, then they will do what they need to do, and I can live with that.
     
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  5. Scafeets

    Scafeets Silver Supporting Member

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    Nicholas Negroponte identified the problem and offered a few solutions in 1995 when he published Being Digital.
    As he succinctly put it, the problem is "atoms vs. bits." The fundamental solution has been obvious to every other industry -- note Negroponte's book is available on Amazon in seven digital formats. So..why were the book publishing, videogame and movie industries able to protect their intellectual properties but the music industry was not? As a former member of the music industry tribe, I have to say the answer is greed, stupidity, conflicts of interest (between publishers/managers/agents/record companies, etc.) and a lack of knowledge on the part of the musicians themselves. Throw in a heavy dose of drugs and ego, and you had a perfect storm for ignoring the inevitable. Also - the fix was in at the corporate/legislative level, with the NAB paying enough lawmakers to keep radio performance royalties for musicians off the table in the U.S. while they were collected in most every other civilized country. Likewise, the U.S. never adopted a recordable media tax while Canada, Australia and the EU developed a system to compensate copyright owners and recording artists. It's time for musicians - or at least music lawyers - to look at how books, movies and vidgames managed to keep a piece of the action and to do a hard analysis on what it will take to keep the next generation of musicians out of the poorhouse.
     
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  6. JB_SC

    JB_SC Supporting Member

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    ^This, 100%. We can't (and probably shouldn't want to) go back. Now we have to figure out how to move forward towards more equity for music creators.
     
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  7. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Supporting Member

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    i wish more artists would do vinyl with a free high quality digital download coupon. i still like buy buy physical media but CDs are as much of a pain as vinyl since i dont have CD players in my cars anymore, so the CDs just get ripped to dvd. If a band sells vinyl on their website, and offers free digital downloads with it. for $20 or so i'll go that way every time. and i dont even have a record player
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  8. murph7489

    murph7489 Member

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    Thing is; When music became digital, or the internet evolved. Record labels failed to see it coming or ignored it. They lost their grip on distribution. That in turned changed the game money wise for musicians. Now the money is made by touring. Used to be that the bands toured to support an album, now they tour to support themelves and merch helps.

    While it's true that the value of recorded music has declined, the value of live music has grown by a large margin. I saw Rush in 1984 for 12 dollars. What would that cost today..almost a C-note I'm guessing. Some bands getting much more than that, check out the rolling stones prices, fleetwood mac, or even any newer band...at least 65 that's for less than premium seating..I'm not complaining, but that's what it is..I watched a video by Rick Beato he was talking about how bands need to learn how to be good entrepreneurs now. Using social media, youtube, etc. This is the new way to get your product out there, and the new model of making money in the music biz besides touring.

    I don't mind paying 60-70 dollars to see a show..I'd rather listen to a band live than a record anyway. I pay 10 dollars a month for spotify and don't feel bad about it..I can get exposed to something new that will lead me to their show. Things work different now. The record companies rested on their laurels and now are paying the price for their inability or foresight to see the digital music age coming and changing with it.
     
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  9. PRW

    PRW Member

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    Following up, to nobody in particular, on my earlier post about not running from the fact that we're talking about a business ...

    First off, I'm not a professional musician, I'm a woodshedder who loves music, listening to it, playing it and talking about it. I do have some friends who are professional musicians, who put food on their table and a roof over their heads with music, and are dealing with these issues. They know and accept that it's a business and are cognizant of the things that are being discussed here.

    I know a couple of other folks ... and probably you do too, if you're honest ... who don't want to worry about such things, who say if they'd wanted to concern themselves with such things they'd have gone into a normal line of work, who just want to make music/create "art"/jam and party, and see that the world has changed around them and are upset that they have to lower themselves to deal with such common bourgeois concerns.

    I'm saying don't try to run away that this is a business and you've got to educate yourself and be aware of things and, if necessary, be an activist about such things.

    I also understand intellectual property rights. As noted I'm an editor at a newspaper and I've had to make many a call to people to tell them to take down our stories/photos from their websites and blogs and Facebook pages, and have been cussed out because they think because it's out there, it's free pickins'.

    I also do think music shouldn't be treated differently than any other intellectual property.

    My point was that I think the market has spoken as far as the delivery method. I don't have a lot of patience with people who say that streaming is inherently bad and think if they close their eyes, holler and stomp long enough people will go back to physical media. To be perfectly honest, I don't stream. I still have a lot of CDs but I buy lots more music these days in high-rez FLAC downloads. However, I think people should accept streaming's existence and try to figure out a better compensation model ... while understanding that if you make it too onerous, people ain't gonna buy. I think the biggest change today is that for most folks outside of the mad monk squadron that posts on forums like this, Hoffman, etc. ... and I plead guilty to finding myself falling into that trap ... music is background noise these days, not something that you pursue passionately and can't live without and won't consider price when acquiring.

    There ain't a good or easy fix to this, folks.
     
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  10. JPH118

    JPH118 Member

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    Lots of great thoughts here, I dig this conversation.

    Personally, I pay for Spotify for the ease of use & accessibilty... even using it to listen to things I purchased on CD 20-30 years ago. Why deal with the hassle of syncing my phone if everything is on there already (for the most part)? It even sounds better now than some of the MP3s I originally converted from CD 15 years ago. Its great for the consumer, although the artist def suffers. It’s better than the free services, and I agree they should be gone.

    I buy vinyl of new albums I really like, and old favorites that I had on CD or cassette at one point. It’s fun, more satisfying than buying an mp3 album via iTunes, and hopefully the artists is seeing much more of the revenue. Makes me feel better as a fan and supported of art overall. And if they have a cool T-shirt too, I’m always a sucker.
     
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  11. JB_SC

    JB_SC Supporting Member

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    After reading about some of the changes due to come under the Music Modernization Act (MMA), we could be heading towards a future that is more equitable to the people writing and performing the music. While there will be numerous opportunities for this new system to fail (become corrupted) as events continue to develop, at least we can imagine the possibility of something better than what we have known for the past 20 years.
     
  12. twotone

    twotone Member

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    I see that as more of an issue of changing styles of music, not a change in the mode of distribution.
     
  13. Toosday

    Toosday Member

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    I do not think government should be involved in copyrighting and as far as I know there is nothing in the Constitution authorizing them to do so. Let musicians figure out how to sell their product.

    If you think laws helps creators and not corporations I can't help you.
     
  14. Toosday

    Toosday Member

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    It is always interesting when people use the term more equitable. What can be more equitable than supply and demand.
     
  15. JB_SC

    JB_SC Supporting Member

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    So do you believe in outright piracy, that is, unauthorized and unpaid commercial exploitation of creative works by people other than the creator? I suppose we can agree to disagree.

    Regarding your claim that the Constitution says nothing about copyrights, well, that's just incorrect. See Article I, Section 8, Clause 8. Or, for the short version, read this.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
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  16. JB_SC

    JB_SC Supporting Member

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    Your statement incorrectly assumes that we have a pure supply and demand system now. We don't. The details have already been set forth within the thread, so I won't belabor the point, but the information is there if you take a look.
     
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  17. JB_SC

    JB_SC Supporting Member

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    Some laws, specifically anti-protectionist laws that thwart the efforts of moneyed interests to carefully restrict the ability of more clever competitors or creators to access a free and open market, can help creators.
     
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  18. Toosday

    Toosday Member

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    It is a subtle point but this clause secures rights which I agree with. The confusion is that this under the Constitution becomes a civil matter not a criminal one. Which I also agree with. Thank you for clarifying though.

    I believe creators have rights to their productions for a limited time. If someone steals their property they have civil recourse. If it is too hard to take everyone to court then the creator must secure their property.
     
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  19. BigSB

    BigSB Member

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    Bingo.

    I, too, am a hyphenated performer (singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist). I live and die by the ability to get a positive response to my performances of my songs.

    The fact is that while people were right to not want their music choices curated by profiteers via labels and deals, they still need to realize that if they want other art, they have to subsidize it and help make it possible and available.

    If you want truly free choices in your hands, you have to help make opportunities possible for artists to see a benefit from their efforts.

    What people are doing now is paying for unlimited streaming or $1 downloads or whatever, and that money is still going to the corporations, not the artists.

    This is why grassroots efforts to create and maintain arts scenes are so important.

    The artists need to grind and hustle, but the consumers need to realize that they're not getting everything they could be if they're still assuming (and paying for) the bosses' ownership of the channels that are available.
     
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  20. BigSB

    BigSB Member

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    Only on the ground floor.

    Fact is, there are still doors that are locked to anyone who just doesn't have the chops, hustle, material and some amount of the "it" factor going on.

    There's a huge amount of space in the world between the U2/Stones bracket and Bob at the open-mic night.

    In that space, there are people making music that can't be underestimated or ignored.

    What needs to happen is a realignment of the priorities of the audience.

    If they want free choice, they'd better treat their local venues like they treat restaurants or grocery stores. In other words, when a store has what I want and need, I give them my business, and by extension, I get loyal to the brands that produce the flavors I crave, while i stay grateful to the store for offering other worthwhile options for me to try.
     
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