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Downloads, file sharing and the musician

Read an article recently – Pirated pop keeps stars popular

File-sharing sites help make popular acts more popular, finds a study.’ – Quote from above article.

Pirated pop keeps stars popular discusses, ‘The Long Tail‘ – something I had no idea of.

Anyway the idea goes that,  “If you offer people more choice, and help them make that choice, they will take that choice.”

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No doesn’t make sense to me either.

I’m not against file sharing, not in principle anyway – it’s a medium to get your music out there.

One problem I see is in the devaluing of music – (films and software can be included here as well but we’re talking music).

The other is too much choice – this combined with the previous problem means music becomes less of a commodity and more of a given, almost as if it’s a devine right for the listener to own that music.

And the argument – record labels make fat too much money anyway.

Well maybe they do but they also have wages to pay and artists can’t play for free.

You need to feed the poor sods.

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A lot of us, some more than myself actually saw the internet and filesharing as the beginning of something new and possibly a change in the old order but the truth is any truly independent artist is going to struggle – too many fish in the sea.

It doesn’t matter how good you are, it’s how good you’re marketing is and let’s face it when up against a massive corporation your more jonah than the whale.

But is that really any excuse to steal from the whale?

I’ve seen someone very well off fire up limewire to download a song rather than itunes or any other service.

Now there’s the problem, a blase attitude – you really wouldn’t walk past a shop counter and grab something without paying – and we’re all guilty of it, music has not just become cheap – it’s become free to all.

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Now here’s the funny thing, as a musician I’d be doing it anyway – money is not really and issue(don’t get me wrong, if your paying I’m willing to get paid).

But I’d be more worried about not getting downloaded, as it is the filesharing scene doesn’t know I exist but my music has been downloaded from a variety of sites.

And it makes me feel proud to know that, I’m not seething at people getting it for free –  some of those downloads turned to sales and or acknowledgement.

But the truth is being heard is more important to me, and I’ll hazard a guess it’s the same for 90% of artists – the ones moaning are usually loaded anyway.

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But face facts, music costs money to produce – even the diy producer or musician spends a great deal of money getting their product out there.

If you really dig an artist show them – pay for your music.

It’s fine downloading to listen and check out – but play fair – if you like it buy it.

Personally I still like to buy CD’s – there’s something to be said for staring at a great wall of music and trying to decide what you want to listen to.

You just don’t get that with mp3’s

Updated: May 15, 2009 — 2:04 am

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