Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 16th Apr 2011 16:01 UTC
Google So, Google has been working on setting up an internet music service for a while now, and we even know some of the details about what Google wants it to look like. Sadly, however, rumour has it the negotiations with the music industry have been so frustrating, Google is contemplating abandoning the entire project altogether. This has led some to wonder - why doesn't Google, or a consortium of technology companies, just buy the music industry outright?
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Fantastic Idea!
by SHatfield on Sat 16th Apr 2011 16:16 UTC
SHatfield
Member since:
2006-12-23

It's a great idea... Google buying the record labels... "Don't be evil" would get a huge boost that day!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Fantastic Idea!
by quackalist on Sat 16th Apr 2011 18:55 UTC in reply to "Fantastic Idea!"
quackalist Member since:
2007-08-27

It'd be cheaper to buy Congress and get Copyright law changed.

Reply Score: 14

RE[2]: Fantastic Idea!
by elsewhere on Sun 17th Apr 2011 02:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Fantastic Idea!"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Which explains the DMCA.

Reply Score: 6

Buying the majors would be a mistake
by Eugenia on Sat 16th Apr 2011 16:20 UTC
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

That blog post that said to "buy the major music labels" is kind of stupid and it's missing the big picture. The big picture is that majors are on the way out, there's no reason to bail them out by buying them.

More and more acts are recording/mixing/mastering at their bedroom. That's where the majority of interesting artists currently is and will be creating music. That's where INNOVATION happens. In the bedroom. Away from "producers" and "labels" who want the same and the same commercial sound and nothing else. Lady Gaga is the last super-star of the old world.

I personally own 150 GBs of 100% legal music, some of it bought, some of it free mp3 promos, some of it completely free altogether. In fact, we went from buying 100% major music in 2008, to buying mostly indie in 2010, and in 2011 I see myself downloading free, bedroom-created music from Bandcamp. Uber-indie that is, from people that don't even bother with labels, indie or otherwise.

The hardware and software tools are now cheap to be able to create interesting music. Here's some of my favorite such free music which I find way more artistic and interesting than major label music: http://brothertiger.bandcamp.com/track/wind-at-my-back or http://fiveng.bandcamp.com or http://blackbirdblackbird.bandcamp.com/album/halo-lp
This one was created using only an Android phone: http://cooloutmusic.com/

There's plenty of free or cheap good music out there. All Google or whoever else needs is an upload system like Bandcamp's, so artists upload their stuff. We need no stinkin' major label backwards cheesy music.

Same thing happened in 1939 btw, when radio licensing went too high. The radio STOPPED playing tracks from the majors back then and went indie (there was indie even back then). The majors thought that no one would like that non-commercial music and that the radios will come back running to them. It didn't happen. The radios did just fine with their non-commercial sound. People got used to new sounds and stimulations.

Edited 2011-04-16 16:30 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That's where the majority of interesting artists currently is and will be creating music.


Except - indie doesn't exist. It's just music that isn't as popular (yet). Once something that's called "indie" gets popular, it's no longer "indie". The distinction is entirely artificial and meaningless to 99% of the population. Music is music is music, no matter where it comes from or from what label.

The fact of the matter is that for the foreseeable future, most of the music being consumed comes from the major labels.

Reply Score: 8

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

The distinction is mostly artificial, but not completely. Indie labels don't follow RIAA for example (except for some distribution deals, but not for the legal/licensing stuff). This alone makes things easier to negotiate with them.

Besides, the bedroom-driven music I mentioned above is mostly free. No labels are involved. This is why I believe that's what's needed is a universal pool for artists to upload their music, like Bandcamp and Jamendo -- with the difference that this pool can also license stuff on a variety of terms that the artists choose.

Yes, we have bandcamp and Jamendo, but they're not as high profile as if, let's say, a project that's created TOGETHER with Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft and others.

>most of the music being consumed comes from the major labels.

That's because people don't know better. If they're able to get a subscription for $5 per month for that "other kind" of music, and have unlimited streaming on their phones (plus offline sync -- kind of like with MOG and RDIO in the US), then that would be a winner IMHO. The artists make money, the listeners get super-cheap all they can eat music. The fact that there's no Gaga will only affect them for a few days. They'll get over it soon enough.

Edited 2011-04-16 17:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

That there needs to be an RIAA to protect artist interests at all, though, is a symptom of ineffective legislation. If anything, the best thing the RIAA could do is legislate it's legal department out of existence by providing all the protections the artists need to fend for themselves. As it is, the RIAA are the attack dogs of the labels. I read something, I think it was on OS News about a year or so ago, that said after all the "little things" the record labels tack onto their already massive cut in the contract, they leave the artist with something ridiculous like eight cents in every retail dollar. If anything is taking money out of the pockets of the starving artists, it's the RIAA. Every $20 album you download is $18.40 you're keeping out of the hands of the infrastructure. People will always make music, but organisations can starve to death. Whee sleep deprived out of bed early tangeant!

Reply Score: 5

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

That blog post that said to "buy the major music labels" is kind of stupid and it's missing the big picture. The big picture is that majors are on the way out, there's no reason to bail them out by buying them.


Eugenia is spot on. The big labels are dinosaurs that are on their way out. Just wait awhile longer and watch them choke to death on their own greed.

Reply Score: 4

jpobst Member since:
2006-09-26

Eugenia is spot on. The big labels are dinosaurs that are on their way out. Just wait awhile longer and watch them choke to death on their own greed.


The concern is how much damage they can do over the next decade while they die.

For being a "small", "dying" industry, they wield incredible lobbying power allowing them to shape laws to prop up their failed business model at the expense of consumers and technological progress.

Buying the labels out isn't about saving them, it's about taking away their power to hurt technology companies like Google.

Reply Score: 7

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

This is a real danger, but I still don't think that any company should spend every last one penny to buy them. In fact, as some others mentioned here, no company would be able to afford them. The "big 4" labels cost probably over $40bn, which is more than what any one single company can afford.

The right approach is simply to fight them in their lobbying game (way cheaper), while at the same time wait for their impending death. Unlimited streaming through subscription (ala netflix), indie labels, and amateur individual artists will take over.

The only thing we really missing is an easy licensing way for these indie artists, the way jamendo does it for Creative Commons music.

Edited 2011-04-16 21:18 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Market caps/revenues of the big four, from large to smallest:

Sony Music Entertainment: part of Sony. Revenue: $1.33bn.
EMI: MC: £2.38bn. Revenue: £1.07bn
WMG: MC: $1.11bn. Revenue: $3.5bn
UMG: part of Vivendi. Delisted in 2006. Revenue: $6.1 bn.

Yeah, so, no. Certainly not 40 billion. All this is pocket change for companies like Google (revenue: $30 bn) and Apple (revenue: $65bn).

Reply Score: 1

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

That's just one year's revenue, not how much money they would ask for in order to sell. That'd probably be 10x.

And then there's the other thing: getting that major market-shifting buyout approved. Not an easy thing.

And as I also said: these companies are to die soon enough. There's no reason to bail them out. Because that's what such a purchase would be. A bail out.

Edited 2011-04-16 21:47 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That's just one year's revenue, not how much money they would ask for in order to sell.


Of course not. But they're publicly traded companies. The market cap is a rough estimation. Your 40 billion figure is ridiculous, since that would be like 4 times the market cap of these companies combined. 15-18 billion total, tops.

Reply Score: 1

maty Member since:
2010-09-22

If Google wants to move forward with this, they can found a charity organization that donates a noteworthy amount of money to any author that releases a song under a (specific) Creative Commons license. Such a program will greatly reduce the bargaining power of the traditional music labels. Chances are high that the labels themselves will contact Google to make a favorable deal, just to make sure Google does not increase the amount of resources that it donates to this charity organization...

If artists prefer multi-user licenses like Creative Commons over a single contract with a music label, the music labels are in big trouble. It will not be easy for them to lobby for laws that make it obligatory for artists to sign up with a music label :o)

Reply Score: 2

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

While it's great internet enabled many independent artists to reach wide audience easily, I believe good production is still costly, and frankly after listening to number of bands on the site you mentioned (a joyfull experience nonetheless!) it shows.

There are still number of factors within the record industry that doesn't scale with tech advances:
management and promotion, tour organization, production (esp. when lots of non digital instruments are involved).
Besides with mass media tabloidization peaple are actually increasingly attracted to the whole package (promoted image, multi mo videos, theatrical shows) of which the music is only a small part. That will provide support for big boys (who can handle that high profile undertakings) for the time to come.

The good news is that will probably be all that is left for them. People (on providing and receiving end) who mostly care for music will probably have long fled for the cloud.

Edited 2011-04-16 23:17 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

No, I don't agree that people go for the whole package now. That was what it was in the past, not now.

As for the other forms of business you mentioned, these are only needed for those who will take music professionally. For these, these business will exist. But for the amateur musician, they don't have to exist.

As for the production values, the music I linked to sounds find. It's lo-fi on purpose, not because they couldn't make it sound cleaner.

Reply Score: 2

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Well if you don't take music professionally, you need to have a daily job to keep your fridge full. I doubt this is a dream scenario for artists that are trully serious and passionate about their works.

On the other extreme, there's Lady Gaga, a figure treating music as a pretext for spilling exclusive provocation for the benefit of an army of her NY boheme friends.

Reply Score: 2

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

>you need to have a daily job to keep your fridge full.

But of course. Art doesn't have to be a profession.

>I doubt this is a dream scenario for artists that are trully serious and passionate about their works.

I disagree with this sentiment. Why does have an artist has to be a professional to be "serious" or have something to say? Any one of us can be artists. We all have something to say. Some might say it in a better or more accessible manner than someone else, but that doesn't mean we are not serious. Artistry doesn't have to be full time, and it doesn't have to be a profession. It can exist within all of us. That's the kind of music I want to hear. And that's the kind of music I actually download lately rather than major or even indie acts.

Reply Score: 1

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Being serious means: taking time, effort, focus. That doesn't bode well being efective profesionally, esp. in the competitive economies. Sooner or later one gets in a way of the other.
Believe me, in my country almost all but handfull of indy bands are in such a situation and almost nobody is happy about it. They keep their daily jobs, but that's gets very complicated once they start touring. They get recognized, develop fan base, but are still dependent on some other obscure way of making modey. That get's more and more frustraing. Lots of them break up for that very reason.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The God Father was a side project. Mr. Copola actually has a real job owning and managing a winery. Writing and producing movies is his hobby. He gets up early, writes a while in the morning then gets ready and goes off to work.

I think that's a pretty powerful example that should be considered by folks who think artists are entitled to riches beyond reason (I don't mean reasonable compensation but Lady Gaga sized factory productions).

Sadly, our society rewards people who can play children's games or act, sing or dance; sometimes more than one even. (anyone remember when every actor in Hollywood was a triple threat? Now it's a novelty to "branch out" from singing to acting.) To hech with highly educated people who contribute to society; throw another million at someone that can kick a soccer ball or act out a good stage show. Ms Hilton being the most extreme recent example; famous for absolutely no redeeming quality. Couldn't sing, couldn't act and still had her month of fame as queen of entertainment rags.. er.. mass media.

Reply Score: 4

vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

As to Mr Coppola, that's not what I remember from the news item that I saw a few months ago right here on OSnews: some people contended that view and others even decried his hypocrisy and said his winery has been bought with money earned from one of his successful movies: supposedly, cinema allowed him to buy a winery and turn movie-making into a hobby, not the other way around.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Interesting. That probably is the same article I read either on OSNews or linked from it. It was the "who says artists should be rich" kind of interview I think.

It does still make movie production the side job sharing time with full time company ownership though.

Reply Score: 2

drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

Thanks, Eugenia, I didn't know about bandcamp.com. I, too, strictly avoid the major record labels. Two of the websites I visit the most are ccmixter.org and muzie.ne.jp.

Looks like I have a lot of nice new music to checkout. Thanks. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Email me if you like some pointers/links on some good legally free music online. ;)

Reply Score: 1

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Sounds like a good premise for a new article. ;)

Reply Score: 3

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

We need no stinkin' major label backwards cheesy music.


Some of us do. I have not found a single 'indie' band I had liked, the ones I happen to like are all for one reason or another major labels. Claiming that 'indie' music is fine for everyone simply ain't true.

Reply Score: 3

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

I was like you in 2008. But I managed to get through the menace that is to only listen to consumer music. You only think you need it, but you don't. Indie music is much better than 90% of the music that comes out of the majors. As for the rest 10%? If their empire falls down, they will join the indies.

Reply Score: 1

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Indie music is much better than 90% of the music that comes out of the majors.


Obviously based on some well-established, objective research, right? No, wait, music is one of those things where no two individuals have exactly the same taste and where variation even between siamese twins can be very large.

Besides, I don't listen to 90% of the music that comes out of the majors anyway.

You only think you need it, but you don't.


Could be, but so far I have not found indie bands that are to my liking, so it doesn't really change anything: if I don't know of any interesting bands then I will have to stick to those I already know that I like.

Reply Score: 4

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Well, please email me and tell me what kind of bands you currently like, and I will send you some legal free mp3s from indie bands that play similar music. Let's work on this!

Reply Score: 1

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Well, please email me


I prefer to do it here instead so others can see if they like them, even though this doesn't quite belong under the article topic.

and tell me what kind of bands you currently like, and I will send you some legal free mp3s from indie bands that play similar music. Let's work on this!


Lately I've been listening mostly to Infected Mushroom, Nachtmahr, Grendel, KORN and Marilyn Manson, but especially Nachtmahr and Grendel are very much to my taste.

Reply Score: 2

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

ok, have a look here for industrial music: http://bandcamp.com/tag/industrial
A lot of this is free, cheap, or "pay what you want".

Edited 2011-04-17 18:22 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

and Marilyn Manson


I don't like Marilyn Manson...

...except for Mechanical Animals. This is in my personal top 10 list of best albums ever made (excl. Fiona's work to make it a fair list). I know metal fans generally don't like it, and that's probably exactly why I like it so much. It's one of the few more recent albums that is actually presented as an album. It has progression from song to song to form a narrative, with an opening, middle, and end piece. Every cord, every note, every letter has been carefully placed where it belongs.

It goes beyond just the music, though. The entire style of the album, the themes, the visual presentation of the booklets and jewel case, the music videos - everything fits together into one, well-thought out carefully designed piece of art. It's clever, both fun AND discomforting to listen to, and utterly, utterly unique; I mean, industrial-esque glam-rock (I wouldn't call it metal, really) framed by Manson's interpretation of Ziggy Stardust? It's one-of-a-kind, and it's the only album on which Manson truly showed what he is capable of.

I've always found it sad the band never followed up on the album. On the other hand - maybe it's better this way, as it cements Mechanical Animals as one of the most unique albums ever made. It always saddens me that many so-called "music experts" miss out on this genuine piece of artistic vision just because it says "Marilyn Manson" on the cover.

Reply Score: 1

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

"and Marilyn Manson


I don't like Marilyn Manson...
"

And I don't like Fiona ;) I s'pose that makes us even ;3

It has progression from song to song to form a narrative, with an opening, middle, and end piece.


This is something that has no value to me personally; I always listen to my collection with shuffle on, I don't listen to songs in any sort of a set order. I can understand why people like to do that, yes, but it just doesn't suit me in the least :S

Reply Score: 2

Google can't afford that
by jefro on Sat 16th Apr 2011 17:23 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

There is no way any company could buy record labels. They are controlled by major companies like the evil Sony and Disney. They'd never loose all that money.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Google can't afford that
by izomiac on Sat 16th Apr 2011 19:54 UTC in reply to "Google can't afford that"
izomiac Member since:
2006-07-26

Google is about half as big as Sony, so I'd say the purchase of a portion of the company is possible. IMHO, Sony would be in a stronger position of they ditched their record label. Back in the early days of MP3 players the hardware portion of the company kept putting out MP3 players that couldn't actually play MP3s, presumably to keep the music portion happy. Nowadays, iPods generate $3.391 billion in revenue for Apple, whereas Sony Music generates $1.33 billion for Sony.

Reply Score: 1

pompous stranger
Member since:
2006-05-28

One would assume attempting to purchase or join in purchasing the entire music industry would be a great way to ensure all sort of anti-trust attention gets focused on your company.

Google can't even republish orphaned books without what looks to be an intractable court battle, so why would anyone think they could ever legally own an entire sector of the IP economy?

Reply Score: 4

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Normally I'd agree, however you're overlooking the fact that the music industry collectively owns a highly coveted and extremely rare +9 Shield of Congressional Immunity. Possession of that talisman would solve many of Google's current and future problems, making it well worth the effort to acquire by any means possible.

Reply Score: 7

RIchard James13 Member since:
2007-10-26

Except the shield is tainted with corruption and the current alignment of Google means that they can't wield it.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Ah.. you assume Google is Lawful Good I see.. I'd guess more Chaotic Neutral, maybe Lawful Evil in a few branches.

The could always assign the manager that thought siphoning off people's home network data was perfectly acceptable. He probably wouldn't have any issue standing out front holding the shield for the "gooder" folks to hid behind.

(I think I just used up my annual quota of "game talk outside game".)

Reply Score: 3

.
by d.marcu on Sat 16th Apr 2011 18:18 UTC
d.marcu
Member since:
2009-12-27

F*** the "big labels". Make your own label, attract the artists to you. Bands get most of their money from concerts so they are interested in being promoted so people would buy tickets. And google can promote bands. And integrate jamendo in whatever music plans you have. Promote new artists, i'm sick of lady gaga and other crap promoted by the "big labels"

Reply Score: 4

Google Music
by Hypnos on Sat 16th Apr 2011 19:17 UTC
Hypnos
Member since:
2008-11-19

Why doesn't Google just start their own label?

Edited 2011-04-16 19:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Google Music
by metalf8801 on Sat 16th Apr 2011 20:11 UTC in reply to "Google Music"
metalf8801 Member since:
2010-03-22

Why doesn't Google just start their own label?

That sounds like a great idea

Reply Score: 1

One party monopoly
by Almafeta on Sat 16th Apr 2011 20:41 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

So Google could do what the RIAA can't - completely own the distribution model, from creation to distribution to even whether or not you're able to find it for sale in the first place?

Sounds A-OK to me.

Reply Score: 2

RE: One party monopoly
by kryogenix on Sun 17th Apr 2011 05:14 UTC in reply to "One party monopoly"
kryogenix Member since:
2008-01-06

So Google could do what the RIAA can't - completely own the distribution model, from creation to distribution to even whether or not you're able to find it for sale in the first place?

Sounds A-OK to me.


***WARNING - LONG BUT PRETTY SENSIBLE***

They could own the music biz top to bottom from the artist to the device you hear it on. Or at least the OS that device runs.

Also quite easy to do especially with Android being an incredibly prominent player out there.

With iTunes the artist gets what's left after Apple gets a cut and the labels get a pretty big cut.

So.... play nice with the litigation-happy greedy RIAA and greedy labels for now. Strike a deal similar to Apple's.... hell maybe even sweeten it a little bit offering them more of a piece. Start "Google Music" offering the service exclusively on desktops (Linux/OSX/Win32) and Android. Lock MS out for a while but when they are securely behind offer a WinPhone7 version and get Nokia to bundle it. Offer up an iPhone client and sue Apple for anticompetitive behavior in the mobile music space when they reject it.

Play really nice with the indie labels while all this is going on and the cash comes rolling in. Offer the indies slightly better profit per song but be quiet about it.

Now quietly integrate an "Independent Artist Channel" where artists basically sign with "Google Music" and Google handles distribution through the internet and mobile phone networks for a small 10% piece of the pie and can have CD's pressed (min 1000 order) for in-store distribution (regional or national) if internet sales are promising enough. Quietly drop the wall between this and RIAA-affiliated folks on the service after the next step is successful.

Then the "Not evil but lengthy" step....

Wait until lots of cash comes rolling in and due to Android's popularity, they become the next iPod due to easy storage expansion, dirt-cheap price (i.e. Huawei U8150), slick interface and good MP3 players. Moving their tunes to a new device even from another manufacturer is PAINLESS. Swap the card. Don't like Google's MP3 player app? Get a different one. Keep the Google Music client a closed APK blob and only open the client API and protocol spec to NDA-signing devs and manufacturers on a case-by-case basis. Audit the hell out of it regularly.

*NOW THE NOT-SO-EVIL-BUT-A-GREAT-F-U* step

Offer a bunch of very high profile acts boatloads of cash to dump the RIAA-affiliated labels they are with and sign with Google as an "Independent Artist" with google only getting 10% for each song sold. Handle their distribution and internet presence. Get their CD's into Best Buy and/or Walmart. Or instead of CD's, cards with scannable QR codes that need to be activated upon purchase at register. The code on the card, when activated at register upon purchase, would redirect the phone to a direct download for the album. Prior to purchase it may show some artist info and offer some sample clips.

This would be for all NEW material from the artists. Their old shit still belongs to their old label unless they bought the rights back.

Now, when the record labels and RIAA sink, offer to buy the rights they hold to older material for pennies on the dollar so the execs get parachutes and offer it back to the artist for a penny or two more on the dollar, otherwise Google gets to sell it.

The advantage here is these bands would already be in the public eye and have a serious public presence. They would basically sell themselves. No real friction getting them booked for tours or being their "agent". They are big already. You are just cutting out the middleman for them. They would be posterboys for "Google Independent Artists" and convince others to jump ship.

For bands that do >X in sales, offer them a google agent to help with getting them touring the country and/or world based on sales.

Offer an MTVish video service with various "channels" for different genres streamed to your Android phone. Make sure "Google Independent Artists", especially any that bailed from other RIAA-affiliated labels, get featured prominently.

Even if not too many of the artists bail from the RIAA labels, you get a few and you prove the artist gets a much bigger direct cut. You also make it easier for average joe to write a song and sell it. If they sell a bunch, you help them sell a bunch more and help get them touring. For all the artists that stayed with the RIAA, you still get to sell their stuff. Just don't get as big a cut.

If you don't kill the RIAA you'll make a huge dent and they couldn't complain too much because you are helping sell their stuff at rates better than most. They will certainly start turning a bit blue if not outright suffocating. And it's not like they can stop their music being played on Android devices.

Who Google would lay the smackdown on quite a bit would be Apple. This would shake the iPhone up quite a bit and really hurt the iPod Classic and iPod touch sales. Especially if a Google Music client came to iPhone and was as good as iTunes.



If Apple was smart, they would add direct sync integration for Android to iTunes NOW and write an Android version of iTunes and sell it on Android Market or they are going to lose the teeny bopper popular music market in a race to the bottom competing with shiny $50 crappy mini android devices from Family Dollar.

Shit is about to get interesting.....

Reply Score: 2

still not doing it right
by muszek on Sat 16th Apr 2011 21:29 UTC
muszek
Member since:
2007-04-25

Asking a per-song payment is the wrong way to do it. Distribution of music over the Internet costs pretty much the same whether I download one album a month or 50. And I want to be able to download 500 a month just because it does not cost anyone a significantly more. Like that song? Download (or have access to) the whole discography of the band just because it's convenient.

I have a pretty basic model in mind - it's so simple that it must have been laid out by someone else a long time ago. Here it goes:
Customers pay a fixed monthly fee ($10? $20? $50? does not really matter here. I'll use $10 as an example.
For that $10 I can listen (download or stream) to anything I want. At the months end, my $10 (or whatever's left after all the costs are covered) is divided among rights' owners according to my usage stats. Say the costs (service provider's fee, taxes, bandwidth, etc.) were $3. I downloaded 3 albums by Pixies, 1 by Massive Attack and 1 by Bonobo. Pixies get 3/5 of my $7 and so on.
Once I unsubscribe, I lose the right to listen to any of that music.

I don't mind paying a considerable amount of money for music. I just won't participate in a crippleware-like system where I'm denied an access to the World's entire music collection.
Please show me some flaws of this solution.

Until something similar is implemented, I'm gonna use a wonderful BT site that gives me access to pretty much every album I search for in every form one could wish (different kinds of lossy and lossless formats, different editions of albums, etc.).

Edited 2011-04-16 21:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: still not doing it right
by Eugenia on Sat 16th Apr 2011 21:38 UTC in reply to "still not doing it right"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Mateusz, that's EXACTLY what I mentioned earlier: unlimited streaming with an offline mode, for a fixed $10 a month.

This is EXACTLY what I've been advocating through my blog for months now too regarding the future of music playback. And in the US, there's MOG and RDIO that do EXACTLY that. You can stream as much as you want to, to anything you want to, and if you're away from wifi/GSM, they have an "offline" mode where you check which albums you want, and then they sync a blob of (encrypted) data to your PC/mobile device (not individual copyable files). This has worked wonders for me with RDIO. They even have a Roku app now, so you can connect your Roku box to your audio system and listen to the music via big speakers in your living room! And sharing music is easy, since RDIO is social, so your friends simply have to have an account. For $10 a month is affordable by everyone really.

BUT, the problem is that the big labels DO NOT want this plan! Because currently they make more money through individual buying. Thing is, consumers don't want that, so it drives lots of them to piracy. With such a $10 plan there would be no reason for piracy because in fact, you'd spend less time searching and downloading and being in jeopardy for an ISP or RIAA legal action.

Really, the only thing that's missing is licensing of that music. A way that people can license for very little money a song to use with their videos online.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: still not doing it right
by cranfordio on Sat 16th Apr 2011 22:23 UTC in reply to "RE: still not doing it right"
cranfordio Member since:
2005-11-10

Although I think the subscription model is good for some people, probably most. I am one that likes the pay per song model. I may spend between $30-$40/year on songs, usually albums. For me the subscription model would be expensive. I don't disagree with the model though, I just feel both models need to be in place to suit the needs of customers. If eventually only subscription models are available, then I won't be listening to new music.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: still not doing it right
by Eugenia on Sat 16th Apr 2011 22:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: still not doing it right"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

I spent $2100 last year on music. From all the people I know in my social circle, I'm the one who spends the most on music. So for me the subscription model is the only one that can sustain my appetite for new music (and I don't mean "new" as in "recently released", but rather "innovative music" -- same way as Pitchfork labels it).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: still not doing it right
by mrhasbean on Sat 16th Apr 2011 23:08 UTC in reply to "RE: still not doing it right"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

Mateusz, that's EXACTLY what I mentioned earlier: unlimited streaming with an offline mode, for a fixed $10 a month.


Except it can't and won't work. While you and I and others like us are honest, the sad fact is that piracy is rampant not because music costs, but simply because it's possible. The younger generation, teens through 20's, will still see that they have $10 to spend on alcohol, cigarettes, clothes or partying if they just pirate the stuff they want to listen to. Nobody wants DRM on music, which would be the only way an "offline" mode would be policeable, and even then DRM is easily broken so it still doesn't prevent piracy.

This means I applaud any private effort to break the insane power the content industry holds.


How would this be "breaking" power? It's just shifting it to another location - as if Google don't already have enough. You and your cohorts want everyone to believe that Google are this shining light of all that is good in content delivery yet you constantly fail to acknowledge, possibly through lack of understanding, possibly naivety, or maybe it's just the blinding sparkle coming off the Google logo, that you're still paying for the product..

It never ceases to amaze me that people can scream blue murder at governments for imposing indirect taxes, yet have absolutely no problem whatsoever in paying for goods / services indirectly as they do with Google, and it's a lot more than you might think as anyone who runs a successful adsense account will attest.

Certainly shows the hypocrisy of the modern world tho...

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: still not doing it right
by Eugenia on Sat 16th Apr 2011 23:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: still not doing it right"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

>piracy is rampant not because music costs, but simply because it's possible

I disagree with that. For $10, every family can afford a family account. The teenager does not have to pay for it, the parents will, since it will be the same account used by all members, and even for living room music.

It might get stinkier when in college, but then, there are college discounts, or have the college pay a bulk license. In other words, this CAN become the norm.

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You and your cohorts want everyone to believe that Google are this shining light of all that is good in blah blah


Stop obsessing over Google.

"What if a number of large technology companies worked together to buy the big four record labels, and set up a licensing organisation to license all their content on a non-discriminatory basis?"

"This means I applaud any private effort to break the insane power the content industry holds."

Seriously. Stop trolling. It's getting REALLY annoying.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: still not doing it right
by dsmogor on Sun 17th Apr 2011 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: still not doing it right"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Convenience is the key. Piracy can't be fully disabled but law enforcement have successully made it kind of pita esp. if you have diverse tastes. Having all world's music under you fingertips , along with reviews, recomendations, one click friend sharing, mobile is definately a seller.
I agree that offline mode is an obstacle now. I believe that until life streaming through 3g is practical (both technically and in cost sense) this idea won't reach its full potentiall.

Reply Score: 4

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Somebody hasn't heard of spotify then?

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: still not doing it right
by kelvin on Sun 17th Apr 2011 19:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: still not doing it right"
kelvin Member since:
2005-07-06

Somebody hasn't heard of spotify then?

I don't think Spotify is available in the United States yet.

For those of you who don't know: Spotify allows you to listen to unlimited amounts of music from all the major labels at zero cost (but with ads both inbetween songs and graphically in the proprietary client). There's also a premium ad-free subscription available for 99kr/month (roughly $15/month). The premium subscription is required for Spotify on smartphones.

The client is peer-to-peer and the music is vorbis-encoded (and encrypted both in transit and in the cache on your hard disk). There are native Windows and Mac clients, but the Windows client works fine in Wine on Linux.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by arpan
by arpan on Sun 17th Apr 2011 04:06 UTC
arpan
Member since:
2006-07-30

Well, of course if the tech companies wanted to buy out the music companies they could do it, but the more important question is, why would they want to do that?

The music companies are large monolithic organizations that are stuck with old ways of doing things. Their profits are shrinking, they are struggling to work well in the internet age. What possible reason would the tech companies have to spend so much cash on something that would give them minimal returns.

Apple & Google & Amazon are managing just fine right now without controlling these companies.

And if they did this, then what's next? Should they also buy all the movie companies and all the book publishers? Where does it stop?

They are far better off focusing on their core competencies.

Reply Score: 4

and
by maeda on Sun 17th Apr 2011 09:09 UTC
maeda
Member since:
2011-01-16

there are so many great labels and artists around the world not on major labels, and will never be, why not support them in the meantime?

don't be evil could be - don't be mainstream, they like to think 'innovation' after all, so do something new..

Reply Score: 2

I'm "disgusted" with the content providers
by tomchr on Sun 17th Apr 2011 14:49 UTC
tomchr
Member since:
2009-02-01

The current business model of the content industy and content providers is an anachronism. Unfortunately, It seems that they're creeping their way into danish litigation as well with the worn-out argument that piracy/file sharing is bad. Sigh, the hypocracy of big content and narrowminded stupidity of those who believe that law enforcement is the solution is sometimes unbearable.

Reply Score: 2

axilmar
Member since:
2006-03-20


Right now, the record labels are blocking a lot of progress in the music world, as they are incapable of innovating at the same pace as the technology industry.


No, the record labels don't hold progress in the music world. If you are a musician, and you want to sell your music, or share it, you can setup a Facebook page and a website and you are done.

This leads to crazy things like insane, control-freak governments enacting three strikes laws to kick people off the internet for sharing songs three times or more.


Being able to profit from things you sell is the basis of commerce. If that goes away, so will commerce.

No other industry has ever been given this kind of government support - not even the banks. Banks just got money; the content industry get entire laws and enforcement organisations.


Banks have a lot more support than the music industry. First of all, the 3 strikes law is about all copyrighted content; it's not for music only. Secondly, banks have gotten hundreds of millions of euros from EU governments in order not to go bankrupt.

Nice try Thom, but piracy is still theft, no matter how you put it.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

but piracy is still theft


No matter how many times you say that, the dictionary and 400 years of law disagree with you.

Reply Score: 2

axilmar Member since:
2006-03-20

Would you like to debate this openly with me? I will prove it to you, provided that you play fair of course.

Edited 2011-04-18 16:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

steve_s Member since:
2006-01-16

Piracy can never be "theft" per-se.

The dictionary definition of theft is "the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another". Theft inherently denies the original owner of the goods that have been taken from them.

Piracy is the creation of a new illegal/unauthorised copy of a digital media file. The original is untouched, and the copy was never in the possession of the original owner.

Piracy never deprives the original owner of their property, and as such is a distinct and different activity from theft.

Reply Score: 3

axilmar Member since:
2006-03-20

Theft inherently denies the original owner of the goods that have been taken from them.


So piracy is theft, because it denies the original owner of the goods that he/she could have bought with the profit he/she would have made.

Piracy never deprives the original owner of their property, and as such is a distinct and different activity from theft.


So piracy is theft, because all possible digital copies of a piece of work are solely own by the author of that piece of work.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by bolomkxxviii
by bolomkxxviii on Mon 18th Apr 2011 12:13 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

"That's where INNOVATION happens. In the bedroom."
As it always has been.

Back on topic.
Maybe Google should set up a site for indie music only. Provide tools for people to produce their own music and have a revenue sharing model for sales.

Reply Score: 3

Be patient...
by phoudoin on Mon 18th Apr 2011 16:50 UTC
phoudoin
Member since:
2006-06-09

There is no sign that majors will get *it* soon, since they're still locked at same place than in 1990: we're immortal and unavoidable.

So, please, don't buy them *now*.
Just be patient, and buy them way cheaper in a few years.
They may even says "thanks you".
Then.

Reply Score: 2

Which is fine...
by tomcat on Wed 20th Apr 2011 21:45 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

I don't want Google to have control over my music. The less power that it has, the better.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Thu 21st Apr 2011 16:35 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

No other industry has ever been given this kind of government support - not even the banks. Banks just got money; the content industry get entire laws and enforcement organisations.

Simple, the content industry provides the government with hot cash. Everytime you buy or rent a movie, the government gets their share through VAT.

How many times do you buy a new computer or car? Once every 2 years? Once a decade? Now, how many times you buy or rent a movie? This is the revenue stream the convernment wants to "protect".

Also, most technology companies do their business in Asia. In fact, Obama views Hollywood, RIAA and the Big 3 of Detroit as the only big name all American corporations that don't have to do with Hamburgers and sugared water.

That's why he pushed the ACTA, and that's why he zombified GM and Chrysler. Little does he know that these actions actually seal the fate of these corps.

Who's going to buy a DVD that's riddled with Arcoss and other silly copy protections that break compatibility with many devices? The same ones who would buy cars from a zombified auto maker like GM. No one...

Reply Score: 1