Fifteen years ago, when the terms of contracts like ours were dreamt up, a major label could record two cats fighting in a bag and three months later they'd have a hit. No more. People of the world, there has been a revolution. You no longer give a shit what major labels want you to listen to (good job, world!), and you no longer spend money actually buying the music you listen to (perhaps not so good job, world). So the money that used to flow through the music business has slowed to a trickle, and every label, large or small, is scrambling to catch every last drop. You can't blame them; they need new shoes, just like everybody else.
And musicians need them to survive so we can use them as banks.
Even bands like us who do most of our own promotion still need them to write checks every once in a while.
That's how capitalism likes to present itself, but that's not actually the point. The point is to use capital (see!) to make money with as little cost as possible. Making stuff and paying people costs a lot of money. Investing in the stock market though...
Capitalism is more like adding perceived value to the world and extracting as much profit as possible before anyone realizes that what they bought was worthless.
suppose you're a writer and just as you wrapped up three years of work on your new novel, before you even had a chance to pursue publication or any other potential sources of income for your work, someone leaks a copy online, it gets a few thousands reads and even enjoys some degree of minor popular success, but when you go to shop the thing around, there aren't any potential investors willing to help you raise the capital to put the damn thing out and really promote it because it's already been released for free.
Exactly. You're not a mechanic just because you rebuilt a transmission once, even if you rightly feel you've got a talent for it.
Recorded music is in an especially unfortunate situation right now because it is incredibly easy to duplicate and steal.
But let's be honest about what we're talking about. You can tart it up as much as you want in "new model this" and "data wants to be free that" and "corporate fatcats the other" -- but it's still stealing. It's ironic to me that people who would never think of skipping out on a restaurant bill, or sneaking into their accountant's office and taking their prepared tax returns without paying, or shoplifting a laptop computer, or even stealing cable television from their neighbors somehow are able to download entire albums without paying a penny and believe they have a clear conscience. The musicians and engineers (etc.) who made those recordings did no less work than your accountants, doctors and lawyers in performing their jobs, and the musicians deserve to be compensated for their work.
The strongest evidence [that online video is beneficial]: An experimental "brand channel" YouTube launched in mid-October for CBS (Charts) in the hopes that it would become the model for other old media partnerships. The press mostly ignored the deal's announcement at the time, most likely because it fell on the same day that Google bought YouTube.
It's worth circling back now. As part of the deal, CBS agreed to offer free video clips for downloading. In return, the media company gets to sniff around YouTube for any content bearing its copyright. CBS can then choose between removing the offending clips or getting a cut of the revenue YouTube generates from any advertising linked to the clip.
The result? By Thanksgiving, CBS had uploaded 300 clips that caught the attention of nearly 30 million pairs of eyeballs. More than 35,000 consumers have subscribed to the free channel. More importantly, the shows that CBS was pushing online suddenly became bigger hits on regular old television too.
Take David Letterman. The late-night talk show host gained an extra 200,000 viewers shortly after his YouTube debut. Craig Ferguson, host of The Late Late Show, saw his audience increase by seven percent - all in a little over a month.
Given that the month was November, a "sweeps" month in which audience ratings determine how much a network charges for ads until May, YouTube gave CBS an early holiday gift. CBS, with a strong overall lineup, finished the month as the most watched network among all age groups and tied for second in the most coveted demographic, 18 to 49 year-olds.
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