Thursday, April 26, 2012

Is Music Piracy Hurting Artists?

I sat on the computer today and watched a complete argument unfold on Facebook over music piracy. One person had the stance that people need to stop pirating and start buying, and that piracy is the reason music is so shitty. The other person took the stance that piracy has virtually no effect on the artists income.

Here’s my opinion based on both knowledge and assumption.

Piracy doesn’t do shit to anybody but the labels, and labels are the very thing that people complain about when they’re not bitching about piracy. If you took percentage of sales taken by labels, managers, PR, booking agents, and the other random job titles that can be done by a smaller team if not the artists themselves, and redistributed to the actual musicians and producers, they would be making money from albums. But never in the history of big business music has an artist relied on album sales to live. They have NEVER made any money from albums sold. They made money and continue to make money from live performances, merchandise, use licenses, books, reality shows, and other random ventures you can pursue once famous.

Granted, a label put the advertising out there for the fame in exchange for the money from albums sold. But artists can do the same publicity themselves if labels can’t meet demand.

Here’s my first rule of working in the music business: NOTHING is EVER the fans fault.
If they want to pirate music, find another way to make money.
If they aren’t coming to your shows, figure out a way to bring them.
If you have tried everything and still no fans, then realize that you suck and change yourself. If you really didn’t care about money and fame then you wouldn’t care that nobody wanted to support you.

A record label getting mad that people pirate music is irresponsible. It is a labels responsibility to use creativity and initiative to find a new product or a new way to market an old product that will create revenue. If a business starts bitching about its customers, it doesn’t deserve to be in business.

So there’s my opinion on that.

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