Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Sony, Universal Hope To Beat Piracy With 'Instant Pop'

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the trying-to-quote-get-with-it-unquote dept.

Music 369

Hugh Pickens writes "The Guardian reports that Britain's two biggest record labels, Sony and Universal, plan to beat music piracy by making new singles available for sale on the day they first hit the airwaves hoping the effort will encourage young people to buy songs they can listen to immediately rather than copying from radio broadcasts online. Songs used to receive up to six weeks radio airplay before they were released for sale, a practice known as 'setting up' a record. 'What we were finding under the old system was the searches for songs on Google or iTunes were peaking two weeks before they actually became available to buy, meaning that the public was bored of — or had already pirated — new singles,' says David Joseph. Sony, which will start the 'on air, on sale' policy simultaneously with Universal next month, agreed that the old approach was no longer relevant in an age where, according to a spokesman for the music major, 'people want instant gratification.'"

cancel ×

369 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

You see? They *are* changing their business model! (5, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926206)

After 50-odd years of people taping new releases off the radio, they've finally got their heads around the idea that releasing them for sale at the same time means that people will buy singles while they still like them. Now they just need to realise that people don't really buy singles any more...

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (1)

RabbitWho (1805112) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926240)

Exactly! This was needed YEARS ago I've been making tapes from the radio since I was 5!

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (4, Interesting)

aurispector (530273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926260)

itunes is basically all singles?

Still, it's hard to believe the record companies were still doing that. More proof the entire industry is composed of dinosaurs.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926390)

and oddly enough, even my much more pop-inclined GF only buys full albums, even if she just heard the one interesting single

I dont use itunes myself, but i also shun singles, for me it is full album or nothing (sometimes a few good songs trigger me to just go full discography on a band)

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (0, Troll)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926432)

I don't see a compelling reason to buy music for any artist that you only like but - but don't feel you like enough to support, honestly. Otherwise you're wasting money on "Eh they're okay" bands or "they're pretty good bands".

Artists that connect with fans get my full support, cds, concerts, etc, but the rest? f em. You think (insert platinum artist here) is going to give a crap about their fans? no. They're all about $$, which isn't all about music.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (5, Interesting)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926522)

Online sales of singles has got me interested in throw-away music again. When I was a teenager I used to DJ a lot - nothing 'creative', just parties, 21st, weddings etc.. You could get a newly released single on 7" for 99p (UK) so before a gig I would go and spend 5-10 pounds and enjoy turning up with a handful of new records. For years CD singles have been 2.99 - 3.99, so I've waited until compilation albums came out (like the NOW! series) to get 40 songs for 15.99, of which perhaps 10 I really want to play.

Just recently I've done a few weddings and parties, and I've been able to go to Amazon and buy singles for 69-99p, and the prices don't go up after two weeks. I'm suddenly really enjoying DJing again because I can turn up with the tunes that everyone wants to hear, and I don't care if I will never play them again after 6 months. Plus if I've forgotten to buy a track that everyone's requesting, I can fire up my broadband dongle and buy it there and then.

For me, being able to buy the music that everyone's listening to on the radio will be a major step forward. Of course, I'll keep buying albums of the bands that I really like (NOT dance music!!), but I'm really glad I don't have to have piles of compilation CDs just to have a reasonable mix of music most people will dance to.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (3, Insightful)

rwv (1636355) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926268)

Now they just need to realise that people don't really buy singles any more...

I've never bought anything on iTunes or any of the other online music stores, but I'm pretty sure the business model for those is to sell singles for about $0.99 each and "albums" for about $9.99 each.

I'm pretty sure - since most albums contain mostly junk-and-filler these days - the individual songs that are popular end up selling very well.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926318)

And you'd be (sort of) right. In 2009 more singles were sold in the UK than albums (source [utalkmarketing.com] ), although this does still represent more income from albums.

Still, the single is making a comeback, most probably due to singles being convenient for download, but impractical for a CD. Vinyl could be stacked. mp3s can be sorted in all sorts of ways. CD singles need to keep being changed.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926484)

I actually think the online music stores help albums sell. On iTunes, and I assume the others, if an album is composed of 15 songs and you buy 1 of them at $0.99 and decide you want the rest, you can 'complete the album' for its normal price - $0.99 you already paid. I'm not a huge music buyer but for 10 or so new artists I've gone back and bought the rest of the album after the single song grew on me.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (0)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926488)

I've never bought anything on iTunes or any of the other online music stores

I actually think they just have to give up on selling copies of music after it's released. In fact I'm surprised books haven't gone the same path yet, perhaps they will now with the pads. Though it is much harder to scan a whole paper book and convert to a file, than rip a CD. Putting a whole CD onto torrents is just way too easy.
There are options, like making the CD into more of a booklet, with lots of additional text, photos, perhaps video, software, etc. Selling shows. Advertising. Subscriptions. Updates. Services. Pledges. I personally favor pledges. Ask people what they want, let them choose their favorite art and artists, give feedback, participate, put their money in escrow, produce the stuff. Be it music, clothes, cars, or software, this model of producing things then pushing it down peoples throat with advertising just sucks.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (1)

rwv (1636355) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926634)

Pledges. I personally favor pledges. Ask people what they want, let them choose their favorite art and artists, give feedback, participate, put their money in escrow, produce the stuff.

Kickstarter.com is my *current* favorite "Pledge-based" business website for funding creative projects.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926570)

Quite a few tracks on iTunes are only available with the purchase of the whole album.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926290)

This amuses me, I can imagine the moment in the Sony/Universal boardroom when someone came up with this idea and was treated like a genius, whilst the rest of the world has been pointing this out as part the piracy problem to them for decades now.

It's a big reason why people pirate music, movies, and even games. The disparity between US and European release dates of films for example has always been a big part of it- if the US has already had the DVD release when Europeans are being told in a few months they'll be able to watch some film with an awesome trailer, then what the fuck do they think people will do if they have the option? Sit waiting patiently, or just acquire a US copy?

Giving people an on-demand option at the same time as scheduled options such as radio based music or cinema based film is bound to help them out- you can't tease people by "setting them up" and then wonder why they went off and acquired the content their own way rather than continued putting up with your teasing. If people want something and you wont give it to them, they'll go and find their own copy from someone else which by and large, will be the likes of The Pirate Bay.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926358)

I wish they'd do this for TV series.

American Dad? Sign me up.
Californication? Sign me up.
Dexter? Sign me up.
Doctor Who? Sign me up.
Family Guy? Sign me up.
The Simpsons? Sign me up.

Just let me here in Norway get it same time as US air date. Just today I discussed the latest simspon episode with a colleague - and I mean the one that aired this weekend in the US. Fuck the european TV networks and do direct delivery and see what they're still willing to pay.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926820)

Just let me here in Norway get it same time as US air date.

That would be 2 am Monday morning for you guys.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926824)

I agree, although the quality of The Simpsons has been so low lately that I just stopped pirating it. Actually considered deleting the X GB the last few seasons take up on my hard drive.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (1)

e3m4n (947977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926422)

excellent point, they're like some high school tease getting the guy all worked up day after day but not doing anything about it only to feel dissed later when she learned he slept with the school tramp. Take the fast food industry.. pay close attention when they run their commercials. I guarantee you that they don't run a commercial at a time where there are no open stores in the area. If any market has complete understanding of instant gratification its fast food.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (1)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926770)

I'm not sure this "similtaneous release" of content in theaters with content online idea holds much water, simply because someone has tried and failed at this approach. Morgan Freeman invested quite a bit into the idea with well intentions and not too bad execution, but the idea flopped as he learned an important point: it's not the way I receive my media, it's how much I pay for it. The large distribution studios are afraid to change their business models due to fear that they will lose control of the profit flow on what has amounted to mostly crap and rehashed ideas executed worse than the originals.

Avatar set a dangerous precedent for 3d movies. Studio execs saw how profitable it was decided all new movies with a singe computer generated effect should be in 3D, but ignored the fact that Avatar was visually stimulating from beginning to end, incorporating 3D into the production cycle, and not some cheap after thought to line a few pockets. So now I get an overpriced film, stuck in useless 3D, mediocre or re-hashed story, with over paid actors who lost their muster years ago. No thanks, I'll just wait for the DVD and continue to pay my Netflix subscription.

What I don't understand is why studios simply don't control the piracy flow. It's not hard to seed a torrent, and it's too complicated for average computer users to download torrents, so why not control the releases of a pirated film/song via sharing networks. To engage the pirates/consumers as to why they didn't purchase the film vs downloading it, then try to meet or exceed those viewers wants, needs, and expectations at a price point the market agrees with. If you want to stop piracy then find out why people pirate in the first place, then find ways to get them to pay. Oh, wait that requires creativity. Hollywood can't have creativity mucking with the business model. Oh well, like Blockbuster, the Razr, and CDs, failure to change your business as the technology changes long enough and someone else will come along and take your lunch right from underneath you.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926302)

To be fair, new releases were alway in the shops. The first you got to hear a song was after it release unless a DJ managed to grab an exclusive a day or two before release date. All this seeding song is new practice, and thankfully shown to be futile. Radio should be able music you can buy, not infinite trailers for something coming out at a later date.

Singles are back, because people aren't buying albums anymore. Too many CDs with 7 or 8 filler tracks put an end to that. Digital purchasing has brought us back to the individual song again. Maybe one day bands will stop being so rubbish and albums will be worthy again?

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926388)

Radio should be able music you can buy, not infinite trailers for something coming out at a later date.

Uhm... preferably radio should not be yet another marketing channel for the major record companies.

Pledge system for music? (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926366)

Maybe they should use the pledge system [wikipedia.org] . Make a demo or something, get pledges, make the full CD. Open source could do the same.

Re:Pledge system for music? (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926464)

This seems to be the case for most electronic music. A producer will go years making singles, and eventually do an artist album. Singles still rule in the EDM scene.

Re:Pledge system for music? (3, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926786)

Why even make full CDs?

The CD is obsolete, so produce singles from one-hit-wonder bands and don't bother with filler, at all, ever.

Stop radio piracy! (5, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926662)

A St. Louis radio station, KSHE, is the first FM stereo rock station dating back to the late sixties (I don't remember the date, but they became my favorite station the first night they aired as KSHE-95 [kuro5hin.org] .

From the start they played album sides, whole albums, etc, moreso when they were new than now; the 7th Day show, when they play seven full CDs uncut and uninterrupted on Sundays, is the only remnant.

Years later I was married and going to college and KSHE played Ted Nugent's new album, Stranglehold. I recorded my copy off the air. Mind you, this was decades ago before anything was digital.

My then-wife and I went to a bar in Wood River that always had great bands, cheap drinks, and no cover charge. The band took a break and we went to the car to smoke a joint (again, this was back in the stone age).

I may have been the first person ever to put big speakers in a car, and had the hatchback popped open with Stranglehold blasting.

It attracted the band, who were amazed that I had a copy of this long-awaited album two full weeks before it was available in a record store. The whole damned band piled into my Vega for more pot.

A memorable night. But needless to say, I didn't have to buy a copy of that album, or a lot of other albums that KSHE played before they were available.

I still tape stuff off the radio, only now I use a computer rather than tape. You usually get a better quality rip than you can download, legal or illegal, and the legal piracy is a lot less trouble than the illegal downloads.

If you want top-40 music, just plug your radio into your computer and sample for a couple of hours. You'll usually get the entire 40 songs on the list, and it's a matter of a few minutes to cut them into singles and convert to MP3.

Stupid record lables...

Re:Stop radio piracy! (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926774)

My then-wife and I went to a bar in Wood River that always had great bands, cheap drinks, and no cover charge. The band took a break and we went to the car to smoke a joint (again, this was back in the stoned age).

FTFY.

Re:You see? They *are* changing their business mod (1)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926728)

After 50-odd years of people taping new releases off the radio, they've finally got their heads around the idea that releasing them for sale at the same time means that people will buy singles while they still like them. Now they just need to realise that people don't really buy singles any more...

Hmm. Someone ought to tell the folks over at iTunes that their business model isn't actually working, despite record profits because people don't buy singles.

Ok, sarcasm off. I think the deeper message here is that with Google, you can *measure* the actual demand, rather than guess. Turns out the classic guess of 6 weeks is wrong -- or, it may have been right back when the business process of setting up a single was invented -- and they know this only because there are good tools to measure what seems like a reasonable proxy for purchasing demand. That's an impressive step forward in progress, I'd say, and a huge win for Google. I'd like to know how much Sony paid for that information, because it is highly valuable to them.

But, if the idea of allowing interest to build up is an inherently good one (and the article does not cover that), then it would seem like the best time to release a single for purchase would be when the interest is just before or at its peak. So why release immediately, rather than after 10 to 14 days when the interest is highest?

Adjusting business practices to a changing market? (4, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926218)

That's unpossible!

Re:Adjusting business practices to a changing mark (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926334)

I was surprised also, but I won't complain. It's about time these people woke up and realized that the world has changed.

I don't pirate music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926222)

Because there is rarely anything

Re:I don't pirate music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926292)

I don't pirate music because I accidentally a CD.

Re:I don't pirate music (1)

a_fuzzyduck (979684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926492)

I don't pirate music beca

Why was it ever relevant? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926224)

Regardless of how much people value instant gratification, why was a delayed release ever a good idea? Of course, it is only particularly harmful now that there exists an illegal free alternative that will satisfy demand if the song is not sold quickly enough. But what was ever gained from not selling it instantly? Just the satisfaction of making customers twitch?

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926242)

Because in the Olde World they could have their slathering hordes drooling in anticipation and rage.

Now that we are DoItYourself, if they want to play all "high tower" that's why people began to tell them to push off.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926730)

Because in the Olde World they could have their slathering hordes drooling in anticipation and rage.

Now that we are DoItYourself, if they want to play all "high tower" that's why people began to tell them to push off.

I just want the giant music labels to get completely replaced by some combination of thousands of indie efforts.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (1)

Ice Tiger (10883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926270)

I never understood this either, when you hear something you like you want to buy it right then and why not?

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926316)

Well, in the old way of doing things, everybody wins: you play a new song on the radio for a while, forcing people to listen to the radio if they want to hear it (and thus boosting the stations' revenue), and increasing the number of people who hear the song. Then once you have built enough anticipation and demand, you can sell the song at a higher price, increasing the recording industry's revenue. The fact that the listeners want to buy the song right away never mattered, because back then, they had no choice: they had to wait for the record companies to release the song before they could have it.

Now we have this new age, where people do not have to wait, because they have an alternative: downloading. Downloading at no cost, in fact. I am glad to see the recording industry is at least trying to adjust their business model to reflect the new reality of the world, instead of trying to sue everyone until technology reverts to the state of the art of 1970.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (1)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926452)

Also in the old days music was good. I'm not talking about the generational gap and how all the music today sucks, I'm just saying that most music today is assembly line corporate crap. It's designed to be catchy, it's designed to be universal, and in the end it's bland. Real musicians/songwriters still exist, but the record labels make more money of a one hit wonder band that they create compared to a band with actual talent and staying power. The problem is that a one hit wonder gets annoying after a few weeks of overexposure. Remember when Titanic was in theaters and EVERY radio station played 'My Heart will go on' sometimes at the same time? Made you want to shoot your radio and did not make you need to buy the album. So marketing had to change, and it has little to do with piracy.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926630)

The problem is that a one hit wonder gets annoying after a few weeks of overexposure. Remember when Titanic was in theaters and EVERY radio station played 'My Heart will go on' sometimes at the same time?

Um... you might find Celine Dion annoying, but with 9 US and 12 UK top-ten hits she's hardly a "one-hit wonder".

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (1)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926752)

Sorry, just using her as an example of overexposure, guess I could have made that more clear. Couldn't think of annother example offhand because I haven't had my morning coffee.

Where are the real art websites? (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926890)

In my book, the difference between good art and bad art is the message, the idea communicated. The main thing isn't really the beauty of the sounds or the colors or the shapes, although it's important too. The most important thing in art is whether there is some new idea communicated, some new inspiration, something to be said, informed, accused, called out, whatever. Pretty colors with no idea inside is just a pretty bottle with no wine inside.

Now where are the websites with art of people who have something to say? To me, graffiti says something. Underground music, unpublished, says something. Wikileaks says something. Wikipedia says something. If I have something I want to say or do, I think it's true, and I don't give a damn whether someone wants to hear or pay or wants me dead, I have a soapbox and a mouth, or whatever tools, and I'm speaking.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (4, Informative)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926276)

So that a single would enter the charts at a high position, thus ensuring prominence and further sales.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (1)

Barsteward (969998) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926336)

the charts have always been a big con anyway, they never represented the real situation (well maybe when they were first created)

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926580)

That's changed though, because of Amazon, iTunes and the like. Now most charts (at least in the UK) reflect downloads and in-store purchases as well as airplay, so they often do reflect what is really popular. It's quite interesting to look at the charts just after a major holiday/celebration (e.g. New Year's Eve) and see how purchases for parties have pushed older but popular songs nearer to the top. What would be really interesting would be a chart of popularity based on actual plays collected from iTunes, Spotify etc.. I suspect that would look very different to the purchase/download/airplay chart.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (1)

Toze (1668155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926496)

^- this, I think. It didn't encourage lots of sales, it encouraged lots of sales when they finally let the proles have it, which would turn a mediocre release into a chart-topper based on weekly sales. Machine Of Death did kind of the same thing on Amazon, except not with holding off on the release or trying to build excitement; they just got everyone to buy the book the day it came out.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926306)

There are a few things. First, anticipation is a hugely successful marketing strategy. It's one of those weird issues of human psychology...when you can't have something, you want it even more. Second, if the album ends up being crap, then once it is out, word begins to spread that it's crap and people who previously wanted it change their mind and don't purchase it. If you can hold off on releasing and build up a queue of people wanting the album, then you open the gates and they all flood in to buy it before they get a chance to find out it sucks.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (1)

Algorithmnast (1105517) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926330)

It fostered a psychological dependency and triggered a Pavlovian response which fed into addictive behaviors - making "sheeple" for the harvesting.

Remember - these are Average People the label were manipulating.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926344)

More likely distribution to brick and mortar stores.
If you have a song that does badly, you'll want to produce less *physical media X*.
If it does well, you'll want to produce more.
Radio is a decent way to gauge if it'll do well.

In the current landscape, digital distribution plays a significant role, so the issue becomes negligible.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926346)

It was relevant in the days when we used to walk into record stores and buy things, and when we only heard new music on the radio. When a new single was released, it would generally take 3-6 weeks to really pick up steam and start getting regular radio play. If the single was released to stores on the same day as the radio, by the time it was popular it had already been removed from the New Releases rack at the front of the store. Singles in particular are/were impulse buys; people generally grabbed "that song they heard on the radio" while they were in a record store to buy an album. Obviously, times have changed.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926348)

>>>why was a delayed release ever a good idea?

Same reason they delay DVD releases. The production companies are giving theater owners a chance to profit off the movies, otherwise people would just buy the DVD.

Likewise production companies were giving radio owners a chance to profit off new songs for approximately one month..... and now they've just taken that away because people will buy AACs instead of hearing their songs on the radio. Music Radio stations will probably be pissed (unless they go bankrupt first). Radio is in sad shape.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926454)

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing: I don't begrudge the dinosaurs their existence per se; but when radio and TV have their scaly antedeluvian asses planted right in the middle of a huge swath of sweet, sweet RF spectrum with good propagation characteristics they had better start showing some serious worth, and fast(as much as they like to pretend that spectrum is their god-given property, it is supposedly allocated in the interests of we the people. We can, and should, reconsider the bargain if it seems to no longer suit our interests...)

While, unfortunately, the realities of politics mean that any new spectrum that becomes available will probably fall into the hands of telcoes, I would love to see radio and TV sold for scrap, and their entire bandwidth allocation dedicated to "wifi-but with a slice of spectrum that doesn't totally suck". The possibilities for medium to wide area mesh networking and all sorts of other cool stuff would be amazing.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926832)

>>>radio and TV have their scaly antedeluvian asses planted right in the middle of a huge swath of sweet, sweet RF spectrum with good propagation characteristics they had better start showing some serious worth,
>>>

AM Radio is not located in a sweet spot. In fact their location is pretty crappy (noisy; hard to receive; requires a HUGE transmitter antenna).

Free TV provides LOTS of worth including free dramas, sitcoms, movies, kiddie shows, worldwide news reports (EuroTV, NHK, etc), and weather/emergency information.

It's the FM Radio that is in the worst shape. They offer music, but people are now getting music from the internet so FM has lost its purpose.

Re:Why was it ever relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926596)

Probably because, before online music, stores had to be convinced to stock certain items. The record companies would have an easier time getting the store to buy a lot of a certain SKU if the store was getting regular requests for that item. If they had put out the item before people were "asking" for it, the store might buy 2 or 3 to "see if it sells". But if they are getting regular requests - maybe they order 50 (and end up stuck with some that they have to bargain bin later). The record company wins that way.

hell froze over (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926226)

Wow....the record companies are actually learning how to adapt to the new system without involving lawsuits or extortion letters.

Re:hell froze over (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926264)

It thawed enough for sharks to swim in the streets! Or is that RIAA execs?

Leaks (2)

magloca (1404473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926228)

Aren't songs leaked into the pool of piracy before they're officially released anyway? (I know movies are.) How will this make any difference then?

Re:Leaks (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926526)

Empirical results sugggest that, while people can and will turn to piracy if they cannot otherwise get what they want(and that there exists a pool of hardcore pirate/hoarder types for whom pirating as much as possible, much more than they could ever watch/play/listen to, is a hobby in itself), Joe User is actually pretty happy to pay a modest fee, so long as the experience is simple, frictionless, and Just Works.

The difference that this is supposed to make is as follows: Before, because of artificial delays in release for sale, there was a 6 week period where, unless Joe was actually willing to endure a barrage of talk jocks and ads in the hopes of hearing song X, his only alternative was to pirate it. It simply wasn't for sale; but the pirates probably had it even before it hit the radio.

Now, it will be hitting iTunes et al. the same time it hits radio. That won't change the behavior of serious pirates one bit; but Joe User can now drop $.99 and have the song he wants on his iDevice, which will reduce his incentive to spend 15 minutes dicking around on skeezytorrentz.ru.

Now just need to fire all their lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926238)

Imagine if all their lawyers were making music instead of DRMing.and DMCAing people.

Re:Now just need to fire all their lawyers (2)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926320)

Imagine if all their lawyers were making music instead of DRMing.and DMCAing people.

Look there is already enough crappy music in the world and you want lawyers to make more???? Geez .. get real and think of the children, who will end up listening to that "music". I'd rather have Natalie Portman dropping hot grits in my nether parts than hearing a bunch of legal types sing about how much better it could have been if we'd have gone back to Soviet Russia.

Re:Now just need to fire all their lawyers (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926572)

Are you insulting the musical quality of J.D. White-Shoe and the Amici Curiae?

If you doubt their ability to lay down some seriously funky briefs, just listen to their hit single: "Motion to diss and dismiss".

Re:Now just need to fire all their lawyers (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926688)

Are you insulting the musical quality of J.D. White-Shoe and the Amici Curiae?

Hell yeah I am. Not only does their music sound like it was all written as references to previous "hit" songs, have you even been to one of their concerts? The ticket prices are horrendous and you don't know the final cost until the show is over - even when they are taking a break to grab some refreshments, you are still paying them at $400/hour.

Wait... (0)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926244)

People are still paying for music?!?!?

Re:Wait... (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926328)

People are still paying for music?!?!?

As long as artists aren't playing for free then there will be people will be paying for music.

Re:Wait... (0)

NNKK (218503) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926648)

People are still paying for music?!?!?

As long as artists aren't playing for free then there will be people will be paying for music.

That would be a relevant statement if artists made any money off music sales.

Re:Wait... (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926370)

Also, people are still listening to the radio? For music? What is this, 1990?

Re:Wait... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926818)

People are still paying for music?!?!?

Some of us still do.

I don't listen to music on the radio. I buy CDs (new and used) and rip them to MP3 to play. I've probably bought 300+ CDs in the last 5 years, maybe more.

Now, I'm not buying the stuff that is current pop-radio singles, but I do pretty much only listen to music that I originally got on CD.

For some of us, having the CD is important.

sample CDs anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926258)

"copying from radio broadcasts online" - seriously, do they still think this is how it makes it to online?

Re:sample CDs anyone? (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926368)

It's pretty much impossible these days to get a radio broadcast copy which hasn't been either trunkated for time (like Sugar Ray's Hey Leonardo which infamously gets amputated a full 45 seconds verse) or doesn't have an annoying radio host talking over the lead-in or through the tail end of the song. Any song that seems like CD quality is exactly that - not a radio broadcast by any stretch of the imagination.

No availability means no demand (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926262)

It's one thing to generate demand by creating fevered anticipation, but people will only wait so long before the fever dies down and the excitement turns to some new shiny that can be obtained right now. I used to be REALLY excited about Rockband 3's pro mode back in november, I was going to get the new pro guitar and learn for real. Unfortunately, Mad Catz has a bad history of underproducing their most in-demand hardware (SF4 pro-sticks, anyone?) and as a result there has been zero PS3 or Xbox360 pro instruments in any canadian stores as of yet. We've been promised it would be here in march or april, but considering the previous Mad Catz fiasco I'd be stunned if we saw any before December 2011 or even early spring 2012. I'm not waiting until the mayan apocalypse for those, so I'm moving on.

Glad to see at least some people in the music industry aren't asleep at the switch.

Beating Piracy is easy... (1, Informative)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926272)

Beating piracy is easy. Pay musicians their fair share so they will make music with originality, creativity, and integrity featuring talented musicians using actual instruments without autotuning bad vocals.

You know, music that people actually want to BUY.

Re:Beating Piracy is easy... (2)

Necroloth (1512791) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926326)

yes... thats right... music nowadays is not liked or wanted so people would download them illegally just to spite the musicians.

Re:Beating Piracy is easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926532)

No, beating piracy is easy. Realize that the market has changed. Realized that the value of your product is different, now that there are new competitors offering comparable products for cheaper (read:free). Decrease your price. Use your current financial backing to increase your advertising. Make your big label products easier to consume than me searching for indie bands at the various regular sources.

If you put music on sale like steam puts games on sale, do you know how often I'd buy your albums "just because"? And do you know how many other people would do so too? Cheap + Easy + Good will often times beat Free + Hard + Good.

Re:Beating Piracy is easy... (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926556)

A lot of music that meets those parameters is already legally available for free (if you like the artist, you can give them money directly).

I think you'd certainly cut down on piracy if the music on the radio stayed fresh longer than a bowl of milk in the sun but I hardly think it's what's going to beat piracy. Personally, I like the pay what you want model; piracy may still occur but you get more than enough sales to cover it.

I accidentally the Chiffons (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926566)

Pay musicians their fair share so they will make music with originality

This assumes that a musician can make sure his music has originality. George Harrison accidentally copied half of a Ronald Mack song into "My Sweet Lord" and lost a million dollar lawsuit over it (Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music). Are there steps that a songwriter can take to prevent accidental copying, or should one accept that it might eventually happen and just buy some sort of insurance?

Re:Beating Piracy is easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926640)

How about the music industry stop fiddling the books, creating plastic stars, and just have musicians and singers on payroll, like the rest of the world.

Re:Beating Piracy is easy... (2)

pikine (771084) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926672)

When "music with originality, creativity, and integrity featuring talented musicians using actual instruments without autotuning bad vocals" becomes available, that will just become pirated as well. If you don't like a song, why bother pirating it? Besides, there always has been "music with originality, creativity, and integrity...," only that they're not marketed with a massive budget, so you'll have to look harder for them.

Sudden outbreak of common sense... (4, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926284)

Well OBVIOUSLY Sony. The main problem most of these old people have in the media industry is that they cannot get their head around the fact that they're in competition with piracy and it is a competition that they can win (even if they continue to charge). Look at Steam. Steam charges for games, but the level of service is high enough to justify the cost, or "you get what you pay for." The problem Sony and other media companies has is that they want to offer a sub-standard level of service to consumers while charging a premium rate - which shockingly consumers aren't happy with.

You can say whatever you wish about iTunes, but iTunes has proved that is the level of service is high enough, and the prices reasonable enough people will use that instead of pirated music - because they have the money and the hassle of piracy isn't worth the time/effort investment (people are lazy!). While some will always pirate, these say people have no money, and thus aren't really "customers" anyway.

Re:Sudden outbreak of common sense... (1)

cronius (813431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926548)

Exactly. Previously, pirate bay was the best service available for me. Now I pay for spotify, and I get access to just about all the music I want at home and at work.

All someone needed to do was offer me a better service (anything, really). I spend 100 NOK a month on spotify (about 13 euros) and it's been many years since I've used that much on music, and although it's not perfect, I'm very satisfied.

Re:Sudden outbreak of common sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926554)

I am generally a music pirate, since it's as you say. I'm not paying premium prices for an inferior product. However, I did buy a bit of music from AllOfMP3 (until they were shut down), and I probably still would if they weren't shut down. Their selection was good, their quality was impeccable, and they offered the user their choice of formats. If the media companies want to pocket my money, they need to be actually providing a service. At the moment, they are slapping musician's work in a CD, and using a portion of their profits to market them. That's simply not something I'm willing to pay for. They are the thieves in this arrangement. Charge me reasonable prices for servers/bandwidth, and I would be willing.

Even faster obsolence. (1)

paai (162289) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926288)

Western culture, including the pop culture has long suffered from the idea that 'new is good'. This idea naturally was fostered by commercial empires, that depended on this idea to rapidly dismiss old music, movies, clothes for new items, regardless of the intrinsic value of the old products.

It seems that Sony and Universal have pursued this idea to the next step.

Paai

Maximizing Impulse Buys (1)

Algorithmnast (1105517) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926304)

This has to do with how to get maximum money from impulse purchasers. While I may buy singles, I don't buy anything without considering if I'll want it in a few weeks.

So I don't buy games I'm not willing to keep. I don't buy songs I'm not going to listen to for years, and I don't buy a car every 2.1 years (which is, according to a recent car salesman I bumped into, the national average). [We are averaging a new car every 7 years.]

But then, I <humor>am old and </humor>spend money more carefully than I used to.

Nope (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926310)

Most songs get a 3 hour radio rotation anyway. Or posted to youtube, so I can just listen for free.
Later on I'll buy the "greatest hits" CD at a much cheaper rate (~60 cents per song) and lossless quality.

I think we need to license possession of speakers. (1)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926324)

Wouldn't it just be easier for Sony & Universal to lobby the government for speaker licensing? People, after taking a test of course, and showing proper government approved ID, will be issued speakers which will allow them to "hear" an "analog" version of the song in "audio" format.
Then, people accused of copyright infringement can have their license revoked. anyone with unlicensed speakers will face jail time of 10-25 years.

oh wait... that's their OTHER plan.

Copying from radio broadcasts online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926338)

How can they associate saving from a broadcast to “piracy” ? Taping a radio with your cassette sound system has never been illegal, and saving an MP3 flux is just the modern equivalent.

About Bloody Time (3, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926362)

Singles these days get so much repeated airplay for so many weeks on the radio that by the time they're actually available to buy legally, by any means, I'm sick to death of hearing them. This is actually a good idea, though it will doubtless result in less "successful" singles (chart-wise) because the purchases will be spread over a longer period, as opposed to the usual first week rush.

Re:About Bloody Time (1)

c (8461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926600)

> Singles these days get so much repeated airplay
> for so many weeks on the radio

The very idea of singles for radio play is broken. Last time I recall listening to music on a regular radio station, I remember the so-called "dj" announcing the "new" single for some bands "latest album". Said "latest album" had been released almost two years prior and that particular song was basically filler, yet this station had never played that particular song because there was no available single. Single gets released, and presumably the payola system puts it into heavy rotation.

So yeah, anyhow, I find I'd rather listen to my tires than a regular radio station these days...

Meh. How about a product that doesn't suck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926380)

I hardly buy any "new" music, and I don't pirate any music at all. I mostly listen to NPR and sports talk radio now, and once in a while the local independent radio station, since I'm guaranteed to always hear something new. I can't stand turning on the radio and hearing the manufactured-pop-tart-of-the-week shrieking the same uninspired lyrics every fucking time. The record labels are only interested in promoting image (see the last dying gasp of the sexual revolution that is Lady Gaga rattling on about her twat in every song), whereas I only care about talent. If I hear a new song that I like, it's usually on local radio. Fortunately for me, I live in a city with a very vibrant local music scene!

Shifting definition of "piracy" (5, Interesting)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926402)

Have you noticed that this radio executive has unilaterally expanded the definition of "piracy" to include recording a broadcast? He's just overturned the Betamax Case [wikipedia.org] . Note the progression here: from piracy = mass producing copyrighted material for unlicensed sale (1980's) to piracy = copying a single recording from the Internet (2000's) to piracy = legally protected fair use (2011).

Yes, I know this story is from the U.K. where the laws are different, but I would be very surprised if taping a signal from the public airwaves is illegal there.

"Piracy" as used by music executives is becoming a buzzword with no meaning other than "people deciding to listen to music without buying it."

Re:Shifting definition of "piracy" (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926524)

It is to the eternal dismay of record executives worldwide that there's no way for them to let you hear a song (to encourage you to buy it) without the possibility of you hearing it multiple times for free.

Re:Shifting definition of "piracy" (2)

Mr_Plattz (1589701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926708)

"Piracy" as used by music executives is becoming a buzzword with no meaning other than "people deciding to listen to music without buying it."

Piracy is a simple scapegoat for an overzealous and underachieving CxO.

Re:Shifting definition of "piracy" (1)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926720)

Have you noticed that this radio executive has unilaterally expanded the definition of "piracy" to include recording a broadcast?

Yeah, this got me too. I guess if I hum a few bars of the latest pop music I'm also engaging in piracy.

No. The Guardian, not the Universal Exec. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34926828)

Have you noticed that this radio executive has unilaterally expanded the definition of "piracy" to include recording a broadcast?

No, I haven't noticed that. Mostly because he hasn't said that - at least not in the article you're supposed to read (yeah, I'm new here).

This bit...

Although pirating songs from the radio is as old as tape recorders, the record companies believe the move will show ministers that they are playing their part in fighting copyright theft.

...is The Guardian editorial.

That the Exec hopes that this move will make people buy the singles rather than recording from the radio is logical, but nowhere does he imply that doing so is piracy/illegal/whatever.

Some nations in fact explicitly allow recording, and a subset thereof compensate artists, or rather their representatives who are supposed to pass it on to the artists, through levies on e.g. CD-R, DVD-R media, PVRs, media streaming devices, etc.

Re:Shifting definition of "piracy" (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926860)

There is case law on the subject, but not for radio. With radio, there is no program schedule; You cannot pre-program your cassette deck to record a specific song, in order to listen to it later. I understand that this was fundamental in the recording of TV shows cases, where "timeshifting" a recording was allowed, therefore recording a show on TV is allowed, as you may not be present for the entire show, or any of it at all. However, you will be present (within earshot) of your radio for listening to the 3 minute song which you enjoy.

No citations, as I can't find any, but it at least makes sense.

Sudden outbreak of common sense (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926458)

Gee, I never would have expected that being able to buy something when, where and how you want might actually impact your decision whether or not to buy it.

Onion? April 1st? (2)

Toze (1668155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926468)

I swear to Jeebus, I got to the end of the article summary and had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn't April 1st. Then I had to check the link to make sure it wasn't the Onion. I know we all thought these guys were dinosaurs, but this goes straight past incompetence, blows past malice, and lands straight in hug-me jacket territory. What sort of insanity is this? I stopped buying, pirating, or listening to Top 40 radio years ago; I get all my tunes from CC-licensed clearinghouses like jamendo.com or searching the Goog for CC licenses. This whole report just sounds like a discussion of 60's era soviet oppression- I know that's melodramatic, but it's got that same weird dissonance of separation of time and culture.

Re:Onion? April 1st? (1)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926792)

What sort of insanity is this? I stopped buying, pirating, or listening to Top 40 radio years ago; I get all my tunes from CC-licensed clearinghouses like jamendo.com or searching the Goog for CC licenses. This whole report just sounds like a discussion of 60's era soviet oppression- I know that's melodramatic, but it's got that same weird dissonance of separation of time and culture.

Protip: The "Top 40" is the list of the 40 most bought/played tracks. You know, the 40 most popular; by definition. The 40 most popular tracks of the week tend to be quite popular.

I've never lived in the eastern US, or eaten a burrito. That doesn't mean that nobody has.

amazing. Piracy? (1)

zman58 (1753390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926694)

It is just amazing what these aging businesses will do to try to prop up a product and business model that has less and less value as time goes forward--a copy. The ability to create great quality copies and distribute them to others has never been easier. They are just going to have to transform their business model. Copies are copies are copies--everyone can do it---no big deal.

They pass new laws, re-coin old terms such as "piracy" and try to convince the dwindling masses that it is good to pay their fees to listen to music. If they had their way you would pass them some revenue each and every time you listened to something they deemed "their property". Bottom line is, if someone can hear it, then it can easily be recorded. Copes can easily be stamped in seconds. These are now a facts of life and of todays powerful technologies and there is no getting around that.

This is not piracy. Their revelations are not revelations at all--just marketing and babble. It isn't instant gratification that causes copying, it is just the simple fact that it is easy and convenient to do so. Stop screwing with our court systems, laws, and language big media! Get over it and move on... Find another way--innovate!

Sheesh, what will it take for enough smart people to collectively stop sending these greedy corporations money for their hyped and worthless products?

good for them... (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926712)

Instead of going on about piracy, try to figure out new ways of extending your media to your demographic, and this is a very good example of them making a good step forward not only in effort, but also in ingenuity...beat most to the punch....now if they can just figure out a way to block recording devices from recording the song from the radio, they would have solved the oldest problem in their play book.

Very glad this doesn't affect me (1)

casimirsblake (1979502) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926750)

As an independent composer and producer, I'm happy to see that Sony Music are continuing down their path of inevitable self-destruction. Maybe they'll make some cash out of this, maybe not. Heck, if they bother to make the downloads DRM-free (stop sniggering!), they might have a market. Personally, having released an album myself via bandcamp (at http://casimirsblake.bandcamp.com/ [bandcamp.com] - please have a listen if you like electronic music :), I feel happy that there are easy, and inexpensive options out there for the hobbyist AND professional musicians. It's working for me, and I certainly feel no need or desire to contact a label like Sony. No, I haven't had many sales, but that isn't the point anyway. If I get some, it's a bonus (and thank you very much, it means a lot), but here's the thing: I just want to make and release music. Major labels now seem to exist entirely to rape talent from bands and individuals, and pocket the linings of their shareholders. Contract? No thanks! -CasiB

Who copies from radio broadcasts (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#34926778)

I think a an instant buy function has very little to do with piracy. It just a cynical and artificial way of boosting single sales. If a "buy now" button lights up in the radio app when music plays, then the music with the most airtime gets more revenues and races up the sales chart faster. If radio stations also get a cut of the proceeds (as they probably would if they're providing playlists for this feature) then it just becomes payola through the backdoor.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>