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Music Execs Stressed Over Free Streaming

Roblimo posted more than 3 years ago | from the buying-less-but-listening-more dept.

Businesses 375

itwbennett writes "At the Digital Music Forum East conference, held Thursday in New York, music industry watchers gathered to puzzle anew over the continuing decline in music sales. 'We have lost 20 million buyers in just five years,' said Russ Crupnick, a president at the analyst firm NPD Group who spoke at the conference. Moreover, only about 14 percent of buyers account for 56 percent of revenue for the recording industry. In years past, the blame was put on digital music piracy. At this year's conference, however, the focus was on free streaming Internet services, such as Pandora, MySpace, Spotify and even YouTube."

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What about... (5, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35320934) streaming over the air, i.e. radio?

Re:What about... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35320960)

They can control radio much easier than they can control the Internet.

Re:What about... (4, Interesting)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321046)

My guess is that the radio station selection is rather limited. Hence, consumers were forced to buy music to listen to stuff they really wanted to hear when the radio got repetitious. Certainly, that's what I used to do: bounce back and forth between the regular radio (which gets old quickly) and my music collection every month or so (while buying new music to fill-out my music collection). Now, with pandora, I just type in the name of a band I kinda like and listen to that. It seems less necessary to buy music anymore because I have unlimited variety with pandora. At least they make ad-revenue from that, though. I kinda figured that might be where music is going: towards ad-based revenue.

Re:What about... (4, Funny)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321274)

I kinda figured that might be where music is going: towards ad-based revenue.

You mean like radio?

Re:What about... (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321292)

My guess is that the radio station selection is rather limited.

I've been scanning the dial only to hear the same song playing on at least 3 different stations at once.
This is what Corporate Music has done to us.

Re:What about... (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321430)

Try a college radio station... it may not be good, but it's different.

Re:What about... (1)

michrech (468134) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321580)

I work at a college with a radio station. It *SUCKS*. I think they play the music they do simply because it's not what you'd hear on a normal station, and for no other reason. At least it gives the students experience for when they eventually end up in a real radio station, I suppose...

Re:What about... (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321196)

Radio doesn't play the music you want to hear when you want, there's no way to skip songs you're tired of and so on. You might find a channel that's reasonably close but that's it, it's no replacement for owning the song. Spotify lets you play any song directly, save playlists, take the songs offline etc. and is much closer to having a huge mp3 collection on a network drive, owning it isn't that important anymore. Instead of buying CDs or on iTunes to play, people skip the "buy" step and play from Spotify.

To them Spotify is a huge double-edged sword. On the one side, it brings many pirates to a legal streaming service. On the other side, it brings a lot of profitable buyers to a not so profitable streaming service. But if they make Spotify worse then people will go back to P2P, probably in even greater numbers than before. Not that I think they can stop the move to digital downloads anyway, fewer and fewer use a CD player anymore. Delivering it on CD is just a very impractical temporary medium until you can get it ripped.

people are broke.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35320946)

and most of the music sucks! What else is there to say?

Re:people are broke.. (0)

TexVex (669445) | more than 3 years ago | (#35320998)

You are absolutely correct.

Most of the music sucks (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321224)

And they're more concerned about the constrained supply of Bolivian Pink Flake. Music executives are what Charlie Sheen would be if he had no work ethic.

Re:people are broke.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321418)

There certainly wasn't Justin Bieber 5 yeas ago.
It's not just him, it's all the crap the music industry gives us: sluts and jerks for singers, sexual lyrics (I don't mind that normally, but does every song have to be about sex and fucking?), or outright stupid songs.
The fact that good music also isn't aired much on TV or the radio doesn't help either. MTV for instance is now only 50% about music, and whatever music they play has to be rap, r'n'b and the like... No rock nor metal even though these groups usually have more artistic sense and talent than most pop and rap artists.

I'm also unhappy about the price of music. Thanks to the Internet, a song can be copied an unlimited number of times for free and sent to a buyer almost free. Considering this endless supply, I really don't think an album should cost what it costs now. Yes, I understand they want to make a profit and I have no problem with that. But I used to buy about $300 worth of music a year and would not buy more because I could not afford it. Why then could I not listen to any song that I did not buy for free? I already paid all I could, how come then I can listen to much less than 0.01% of all the music they sell? There would be no additional costs to them either, so why? I have a problem with the current business model, it does not follow the rule of supply and demand.

Finally the "war" against "pirates" is also a big reason why I do not buy music anymore.
In my opinion, the music industry is not handling this "war" well. Trying to get the possibility to disconnect people from the Internet (usually in a "you'll get your Internet back if you can prove your innocent" fashion), blackmailing people (see the ACS:Law fiasco), sometimes falsely accusing innocent people, defining absurd rules for the Internet (such as "An IP address = a person/computer, not a network") and fining people hundreds for a single downloaded song.
No way I'm supporting this sort of thing with my money and allowing it to go on longer.

It's too bad the music industry keeps pointing fingers rather than taking a look in the mirror. If they were not so busy fighting pirates, they could learn a few things from them such as what customers want and expect from buying music.

Funny... (4, Insightful)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35320956)

Funny that I bought most of the music in last 3 years after listening on Pandora.

What they don't get is - digitization has made me purchase just one good song from otherwise crappy album and hence paying only a dollar and not a full 10-20$ they used to charge.

Re:Funny... (2)

skyraker (1977528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321042)

Exactly. Not piracy, not streaming. Crappy Albums from a bunch of Crappy Singers. It is hard these days to pick out a White Album or Thriller. Albums that history will remember and we will want to share with our own children.

Re:Funny... (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321250)

But every generation thinks that modern music isn't as good as it used to be. There were plenty of people who hated the nice, clean sound of the Beatles, and who thought that Michael Jackson was just another generic pop singer pumping out tracks that sounded like all the other dross out there. In fact, listening to Jackson's later albums I can see where the basis for that opinion. But more importantly, you have forgotten just how much rubbish music you had to hear before you came across those memorable albums. How many times did you purchase an LP only to find that there was just one good track on it?

But the real killer of the unforgettable album is the ability to purchase individual tracks. The idea of making a concept album where the each track is related to the previous one died the when people could skip purchasing the songs they didn't like and then play them in shuffle mode so that there was no continuity.

We have come full circle to how things were at the start of the last century when all songs were purchased individually on wax cylinders. Back then you would buy one song at a time, just like you can with MP3s. Music survived that, and it will survive the move to the digital format now.

Re:Funny... (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321482)

The idea of making a concept album where the each track is related to the previous one died the when people could skip purchasing the songs they didn't like and then play them in shuffle mode so that there was no continuity.

This was on BBC news a few weeks back: []

But don't tell the **AA, it probably counts as an illegal public performance.

Re:Funny... (2)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321330)

I hear this all the time whenever this comes up, but quite frankly, there are a lot of good new albums out there. Its just that they're not the 'blockbusters' of years yore, and as such are harder to find. Personally I like rock with a folk twinge... or maybe folk with a rock twinge, however you want to swing it. Also, plain old singer/songwriters with soft hearts and a nice voices. Some great *whole* albums from the past 5 years that I like are:

Bishop Allen - The Broken String
Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
Jakob Dylan - Women and Country
She & Him - Volume 1
Metric - Fantasies
Ben Lee - Ripe
The Weepies - Hideaway
Ingrid Michaelson - Everybody
Ben Folds - Way To Normal
Train - Save Me San Francisco (Yes, its super cheesy and poppy, but I love it nonetheless)

Now, there is no accounting for taste, and I'm sure many of you would feel tortured to listen to these a lot. However, I'm sure most people could find new stuff they liked if they knew where to look.

Quite frankly, more than anything else, the music industry needs to accept the so-called long tail, stop relying solely on broad appeal (though Gaga and Ke$ha will always have their place) and learn to spend less but on a lot more markets. Streaming radio helps with that tremendously, particularly customized stations like Pandora, and should be embraced. Change is hard, and while I don't necessarily sympathize with the labels, I understand where they're coming from. Hopefully they come to their senses though, just as they did with music DRM, because that will benefit us all.

Re:Funny... (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321280)

Heck, for a dollar you can get the whole album from gomusicnow.

The "problem" won't go away (1)

Khoa (935586) | more than 3 years ago | (#35320962)

Evolve or die. Invest more in services like Pandora and GrooveShark. A few lawsuits here and there will not get you to your former glory.

Re:The "problem" won't go away (3, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321194)

Nothing will make the problem go away, because at no point are any of the modern musicians going to be as wondrous to today's audiences as the musicians of the 50s, 60s, and 70s were to theirs. Prior to then, music was pretty much local. If you lived in the hills, you listened to local boys with banjos. If you lived in Italy, you listened to local boys with mandolins. If you lived in Germany, you listened to local polka bands. If you had money and traveled, you'd hear different local music.

Then as recorded music became available, so did Elvis, the British Invasion, Dick Clark's American Bandstand, rock and roll, and it was all NEW to everyone. People created new sounds, they collaborated with other musicians, and it was an amazing time for everyone. The record companies printed money in the shape of round black vinyl discs, and hired people to shovel cash into their limousines.

And then it wasn't new any more. Music fashions appeared and disappeared, new bands came and went after sharing a one-hit-wonder with the world, and the mummified corpses of the 1960s and 1970s bands were propped up on stages around the world, with such unforgettable names as the "Steel Wheelchairs Tour" and "The Traveling Dingle-berries", hawking overpriced concert tickets to acid-brain-washed aging hippies who never really left the 1970s. And as time was unkind, they had to get out of their own limos to shovel the money in.

The system was already getting tired, and then along came digital music. As modern music entered a new age of suckage, perfect digital copies introduced the modern consumer to a new age of self-empowered selfishness. The double whammy has left the music industry where it is: barely able to afford Korbel Brut taps in their limousines instead of hot and cold running Dom Perignon. And nobody wants to drink Korbel after that.

Re:The "problem" won't go away (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321254)

Insightful != redundant. Damned clicky buttons...

Re:The "problem" won't go away (3, Insightful)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321258)

"As modern music entered a new age of suckage" - if you think modern music sucks, you're not looking hard enough. Thanks for proving that despite my years, my mind is still young.

Re:The "problem" won't go away (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321306)

Someone mod this up!

While I don't necessarily agree that music can never be that wondrous again, this post really sums up my own feelings -- a "perfect storm" of factors has actually gotten me away from listening to as much music as I used to. I now have XM, news radio, podcasts, etc. and can skip to any song I want within my own collection. I also have audio content I find more stimulating than music at the time, but I MISS having music that I care about. Consequently, I am not forced to listen to the radio or entire albums -- which means I do not get used to any songs that I wasn't explicitly trying to listen to.

I don't buy music not because I can get it for free, but because I wouldn't even know what to buy that I don't already have. Back in the days of cassettes and CDs, certain albums would become the 'soundtracks' of certain events or periods of time for me. I don't know what music I'll remember from the 2010s, if any -- I certainly remember nothing from the 2000s. Maybe if they stopped producing such "truly average" stuff, things would be a bit better.

Ironically enough, my musical tastes were greatly expanded in the era of Napster, and I have bought more music during this time than at any other time in my life so far -- I could explore other people's hard drives, burn CDs, make playlists without restriction, and once I got to really like a song I got the album it was on, expanding my musical horizons to other things. I can't put up with Pandora's skipping restrictions and mandatory streaming and turn it off in annoyance every time I try...

The only thing that can save music, I suppose, is for Justin Bieber and Britney Spears to have a baby who is raised by the surviving members of New Kids on the Block and Milli Vanilli!!!

Re:The "problem" won't go away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321426)


There was no licence to print money. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321464)

Oh puhleeze. Even in they heydey of media buying, for every Elvis, Beatles, Madonna or Nirvana that was signed, there were 20 duds on the label that bled money. Labels went bankrupt, had to be bought by others to salvage a loss or just folded. You obviously weren't there, otherwise you would have known of the THOUSANDS of artists that never made it on a monthly basis.

It never was the profit orgy you romantically think it was. Business was, is and will ALWAYS be hard.

Re:The "problem" won't go away (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321504)

This is what happens when your business caters to the hip, trendy, and fickle younger crowd...and doesn't understand them at all. Sure, "old" people buy music too but no one scoops up albums - from vinyl to MP3 - like the teens and 20-somethings.

The music industry is used to selling 'valuable' things. Pressing a record and distributing it used to cost a respectable amount of money. Them CDs and mass duplication came along pushing that cost to a fraction of what it was...only to be followed by digital distribution which, depending on your distribution model, is effectively free (P2P). The music industry is still trying to attach the same value to a 'free' item as it did an out-dated, expensive one. They can cry over production costs just like hollywood all they want but when a couple band geeks can do a full production album on their computers, over the internet, *having never met* you're not going to get much sympathy from me.

Instead, start treating digital music like the opportunity it is. Trade value for volume. They already push one-hit-wonders through the meat grinder on an all-too-frequent basis...why not USE that? Either make whole albums cheap enough it doesn't matter if you buy a bad one or just sell a subscription. No DRM, not streaming-only, no stupid restrictions. The goal is to get people who aren't spending money today to spend SOME. Take a streaming service and allow 20 or 30 one-click MP3 downloads per month for $10. You just made $120 from someone who would have gone to bit torrent otherwise. Heck,you could use P2P for distribution. For the few bucks it's not worth the trouble to hack it.

wwwwwaaaaammmbulance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35320982)


Re:wwwwwaaaaammmbulance (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321556)

I fully agree. Someone needs to put in an emergency call to Whine-1-1 for these babies.

Greed knows no bounds (2)

Clsid (564627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35320984)

Greedy bastards. Just suck it up like everybody else is doing it these days.

Re:Greed knows no bounds (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321116)

Except the big Wall St. banks. They're doing just fine. Cha-ching! Oh by the way oil is at $112, cha ching! We'll just get our friends at the Fed to keep interest rates at zero forever so you might as well stuff your money under your mattress since that way at least you will save on all the bank fees. You sure as hell aren't going to get any interest even on a CD. But remember to pay your 5-6% on your mortgage, plus all those other hidden fees, and pay your 20% on your credit card. Making money with interest is not for you, it's for us. Cha ching! Oh and we haven't told you what is going to happen to your savings with all this inflation we're not telling you about (believe the CPI because we take out energy and transport costs - hah, I mean, who uses THOSE THINGS anyway). Your house prices are not increasing though, so you're not even keeping up with this inflation. In 10 years or so you won't be able to afford a car, but we'll lend you one in exchange for your first born. After all it's your patriotic duty to save American car manufacturers! Cha ching!

None so Blind as Those Who Will Not See (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35320996)

"We have lost 20 million buyers in just five years," said Russ Crupnick, a president at the analyst firm NPD Group who spoke at the conference. Moreover, only about 14 percent of buyers account for 56 percent of revenue for the recording industry. In years past, the blame was put on digital music piracy. At this year's conference, however, the focus was on free streaming Internet services, such as Pandora, MySpace, Spotify and even YouTube.

They will clutch at every straw and leave no stone unturned in their quest to increase sales... except for the myriad ways that they are their own worst enemy. It will never occur to them that suing your own customers is not good for business. They will never think that what is in my opinion the obvious "buy-a-law" political corruption (designed to institute perpetual copyright) in which they engage makes people with a conscience decide not to support them.

They will never consider that threatening tens of thousands of people with lawyer letters demanding they either pay a settlement or face a lawsuit they could not possibly afford, with no regard for the fact that many of them were innocent, might earn them some ill will. Nor will they think that taking children to court and using interrogation procedures obviously designed to intimidate them is something that decent people don't care to reward financially.

Nope, it's them evil pirates, those horrible music streaming services, etc. Of course it is. That adequately explains everything.

It's at a base level and I openly acknowledge that, but I can't help but to smile when I see that they are showing signs of desperation. They deserve more failure than they are experiencing.

Re:None so Blind as Those Who Will Not See (2)

oik (790336) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321392)

I totally concur. I actually had to stop listening to Pandora since it was becoming a bit of a financial drain: song plays, "Oh, that's good", click-buy-album, wade through a few more songs, wash, rinse repeat. I realise that I'm a bit old skool in that I still do buy actual albums (and that you do get bitten by the old one-good-song-in-chaff problem) but Pandora still found plenty of really good artists that I would have never stumbled across otherwise.

I know I'm preaching to the converted here on Slashdot but the radio in the US is just terrible. Every station plays the same 5 latest "hits"; it's things like Pandora which keep music alive for me.

Man, I sound old.

Make better music and provide better service then (2)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321010)

I for one use YouTube to "try before I buy" and if I was going to buy something I might not, all thanks to YouTube!

That said, I do buy a reasonable amount of music online, around $500 worth over the last year, so I can see where they got that 14% statistic from.

I for one think that piracy is wrong, but there are some people who don't think like that. If they want more money they are going to have to provide a better service, especially by dropping the price. Thanks to YouTube I can decide that it is not worth paying $15 for an album, drop that to $5 and I (and many others) will probably buy it.

Re:Make better music and provide better service th (3, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321344)

I haven't bought any from them in years, and I won't be buying any from them until they learn to behave themselves and place nice. If they want to sue pirates, that's there right, but I'll be damned if I'm financing those questionable law suits. Restrict the suits to people that are likely guilty of significant distribution and ask for a reasonable sum and I'll start buying music again. Until then I just won't buy anything and they can make whatever they can off of those free sites like Pandora.

Re:Make better music and provide better service th (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321578)

Ahh...but you walk a dangerous road. I'm playing devil's advocate here, not trolling.

What's 'significant' distribution? In theory anyone offering a song on P2P is offering it to millions. How many connect to them? What's the cut-off? Does it apply if you only upload a chunk, not a full song?

The whole cost model is broken, the whole distribution methodology has already been superseded by an effectively FREE one, and the rent-a-lawmaker politicians aren't going give up their under-the-table perks so we continue with the insanity.

The record companies are dead. This is nothing more than their death throes propped up by a bunch of laws that the majority of people either reject, disagree with, or outright flaunt their violations.

Re:Make better music and provide better service th (3, Insightful)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321526)

Agreed. Last year I paid *over* $2000 for music, so that puts me probably not just on the top-14% of consumers, but probably on the top-1%. But like you do, I always check what I buy, I don't buy whatever random stuff are around. Youtube has neither good or bad effect, because it neutralizes its position by helping me decide to buy something or not. If youtube didn't exist, I would probably buy LESS.

What's the killer though is that 80% of my new music these days is downloaded for free from BandCamp rather than bought. Not because I don't want to buy (I've can prove that I do to anyone who would check my iTunes and Amazon receipts), but because the KIND of music I listen these days very rarely can be found on iTunes, and to much less extend, on Amazon. I started listening to obscure indie bands that record at home, and these people just do music for fun, and so they often don't charge any money for it.

More importantly, it's that THESE musicians are pushing the boundaries of music, since they don't have to answer to any music exec. 95% of popular music will never win me back, so for these execs mentioned in the article, I'm already a dead customer. Even if I spend so much money for music (since it's mostly for indie labels' music, and the rest is music I get legally for free).

Re:Make better music and provide better service th (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321538)

Drop it to $1. You trade value for volume. When you drop the cost so low, you don't need fancy distribution methods or the ability to 'reclaim' your music you lost. Charge $1 for the album DOWNLOAD...your hard drive goes belly-up without back-up and you need to re-buy. Puts the responsibility on the user...but they could offer a service to list everything you've paid to DL before for a quick 'fill-me-back-up' megadownload...for a price.

Companies love selling you the same thing over and over...this would let them. WHen it becomes cheap enough consumers don't mind either. For 5-10c/song I'd download separately on my blackberry just to avoid having to find a wire and transfer songs. For $1/song I'm certainly not going to.

But no, they're too busy complaining that $1 song sales have killed their industry. What it's really done is wasted the golden opportunity to make piracy more trouble than it's worth to the generation that IS their primary customer.

Management Woes (2)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321012)

This sure sounds like management at my job trying to solve a problem.

A must be causing this! Oh not A? Must be C then! Damnit if it's not C then it's gotta be B causing all our problems!

Like gasping for air underwater...

Re:Management Woes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35321148)

Don't leave us hanging like this! Was it B?

Re:Management Woes (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321268)


Re:Management Woes (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321284)

This sure sounds like management at my job trying to solve a problem.

A must be causing this! Oh not A? Must be C then! Damnit if it's not C then it's gotta be B causing all our problems!

Like gasping for air underwater...

It's the result of Politician's Logic:

"We must do something. This is something, so it must be done!"

lawsuits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35321028)

I quit buying RIAA music when they started suing people. 20M more like me, or coincidence?

Re:lawsuits? (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321066)

Not a coincidence. I've discovered that I can live without "buying" music, and I will be damned if I give them another penny. Plus as many others have pointed out, the music sucks balls anyway. Who wants to listen to 90 year old "rock stars" cough up a lung, or pre-pubescent teenagers sing about the "angst" of a life they haven't even begun to live yet, or stupid "look at me being a gangsta is so cool but all my friends are dead or in jail" crap. They can keep it.

Re:lawsuits? (1)

nanoflower (1077145) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321188)

Agreed. It's easy to just turn on or Pandora if I want to listen to some music. Spend a little time setting up the likes and dislikes and you can easily find new music that fits in with your own likes. Something that you are very unlikely to ever get off the radio since they only play their limited top 40 selection.

Re:lawsuits? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321318)

Plus as many others have pointed out, the music sucks balls anyway. Who wants to listen to 90 year old "rock stars" cough up a lung, or pre-pubescent teenagers sing about the "angst" of a life they haven't even begun to live yet, or stupid "look at me being a gangsta is so cool but all my friends are dead or in jail" crap. They can keep it.

Every generation thinks THEIR music is perfect, the last and the next generation is junk. Those that grew up with rock&roll will love it until they die. And Justin Bieber is no worse than New Kids on the Block was in the 80s, we just like to forget. Same as that I used to like trance in the 90s, probably because it was all cool and electronic like. Eventually most people just freeze up in some form, this is the music you like and will always like. Come 2050 you'll be sitting in a retirement home humming old songs from the 1990s or whatever. And whatever it is teens listen to then, you won't like it.

Re:lawsuits? (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321390)

Come 2050 you'll be sitting in a retirement home humming old songs from the 1990s or whatever.

The real tragedy is that I'll be too arthritic to make the "2 Legit 2 Quit" sign with my hand while I do it.

Re:lawsuits? (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321582)

It's all about the people and how much free time they have. For example, I grew up in the '80s, with Madonna. As any teenage girl of the time, I loved her look and music. I liked only a bit of actual rock, and mostly pop. The '90s were eurodance for me, and 2000s were adult, popularized, alternative rock. Everything I listened until 2009 was under the monicker of "popular" and "mainstream".

In 2009 I started listening to underground indie bands, and today I mostly listen to artists that record music at home, and not only don't even have a contract with an indie label (let alone a major one), but they don't think they will ever sell a single digital unit, so they give their album for free on Bandcamp.

When all that took place in my head, within the last 2 years, I'm now INCAPABLE of listening to pop music. I hate it. I hate 95% of mainstream music. I feel that the bedroom artists, that don't have to answer to anyone, are the true heroes who PUSH the boundaries to explore new kinds of music.

I'm a 37 years old. I don't look like a hipster at all (more like a fat computer-stricken geek). But because I had the time and will (no kids you see), I took the time to educate myself about new kinds of music. In the beginning it felt like random notes, completely hookless, but as the time goes by and you get accustomed to the sound, a new musical world will show up in front of you. After that tipping point (it took me over a year to get sonically there), you can never go back to the old style of music. It will sound too little, too cheesy, too kitch, too unintelligent.

Re:lawsuits? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321416)

Not a coincidence. I've discovered that I can live without "buying" music, and I will be damned if I give them another penny. Plus as many others have pointed out, the music sucks balls anyway. Who wants to listen to 90 year old "rock stars" cough up a lung, or pre-pubescent teenagers sing about the "angst" of a life they haven't even begun to live yet, or stupid "look at me being a gangsta is so cool but all my friends are dead or in jail" crap. They can keep it.

You know, there are other music genres besides Country & Western.

Call me a troll but .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35321030)

Doesn't this disprove the theory that getting movies and music free gets people to buy more? Music has been declining in sales coincidentally since people started downloading and finding free web alternatives. People have said that they should only make money off live performances but movies don't exactly have that option. Yes there are theatrical showing but they are on the ragged edge of collapse. What if in the music world they drop albums entirely and strictly do live performances? Then all there is to download are crappy live recordings, kind of the music version of the pirate movies where there are people talking and heads bobbing in the lower part of the frame. Can't we find a middle ground where people can still make a living making films and music? Unless you want tax dollars going to making the stuff, and then you get Dick Cheney picking what you watch and hear, there's got to be a way people can do it and pay their bills. I can tell on the ground what's happening, the suits are squeezing tighter on the artists and crews to keep their checks growing so the only ones hurt are the ones responsible for what you watch and listen to. The rule in life is the suits always make money so when revenues are cut it's the artists and workers that suffer not the suits.

Re:Call me a troll but .... (2)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321094)

Doesn't this disprove the theory that getting movies and music free gets people to buy more?

I think that was shot-down a while ago, but people don't really want to hear it. In 1999, the music industry was getting $16.4 billion in sales revenue from CDs. By 2008, that had declined to $5.4 billion in CD sales, $1.5 billion in digital music sales, and another $1.0 billion in mobile ringtones sales. That works out to a gain of about $1 in digital music sales (not including mobile ringtones) for every $7 lost in CD sales. I've seen some studies claim that music pirates buy lots more music than non-pirates (one source claimed 12x as much music), but assuming this was causal (and not a symptom of big music fans being the first to become pirates), it's really hard to explain why the music industry got completely hammered in the past ten years - seeing over a fifty percent decline in sales revenue at the exact time that piracy was on the rise. Oh well, at least they might be making a little more money from music streaming services.

Re:Call me a troll but .... (1)

Sirusjr (1006183) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321106)

Well the people who are streaming stuff for free, possibly a large portion of the consumer base, are the sorts who don't care about owning music. They just want to have something going and it doesn't matter if its one band or another. I think the sad reality is that a good portion of people just want to be able to listen to music for free and will jump on the easiest way possible. On the other hand, you have people who want to buy music but those people also care about the quality of what they buy. It's only natural for those people to flock to the same free avenues in order to filter through the crap because there is only so much money available that any one consumer can spend on music. The availability of legal samples is not the same among each genre. I'm a huge fan of metal but the problem is that there are way too many bands out there releasing new metal albums constantly. Sure I could just stick to the bands I know and buy their albums but then I wouldn't buy as many albums or get to listen to as many artists. Of course, the best way to expand my purchasing habits is to download stuff to try before I buy. Rather than having labels who post samples on their website with new releases, i have to rely on the band to post a couple of tracks in order for me to sample something legally. Too few bands even bother to post a single track.

Re:Call me a troll but .... (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321170)

Music has been declining in sales in the internet era, yes. However this doesn't mean that everyone is pirating. Back in the 70's and 80's there was absolutely nothing to DO except either watch network television, or listen to music. Now there is so much more to do, and music has been relegated to a smaller share of the market. I refute your theory.

Re:Call me a troll but .... (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321278)

Doesn't this disprove the theory that getting movies and music free gets people to buy more? Music has been declining in sales coincidentally since people started downloading and finding free web alternatives

It also coincides with the rise of the DVD. Prerecorded video sales have skyrocketed at the same time that music sales fell. DVD sales went up because they introduced the format that wouldn't wear out. More importantly however, the price of buying films went down. I have seen many occasions where buying a DVD of a film was much cheaper than buying the CD soundtrack of that film. People have a limited budget, so if they are going to buy films, something else has to go.

Also, as I said in another post, people will be more likely to buy an individual track at 99c than an entire CD and that MUST affect their bottom line.

Really?? (3, Insightful)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321032)

14% of buyers accounting for 56% of business sounds pretty normal. They're called enthusiasts. And I would bet a lot of that 14% probably do a lot of free streaming too.

I'm guessing that I'm one of that 14% (I buy a new album every 2 weeks-ish lately), at least in the past three or four months. The main reason for that is that I started a job that involves a lot of sitting at my desk, and i listen to a lot of pandora.

The market is changing, diversifying and reducing the power of "blockbuster" artists, and that's scary for these companies. However, streaming services like pandora make it *easier* to make money off of a diversifying music market, by making it easier to find new music even as tastes narrow. Hopefully theyll figure that out sooner rather than later.

Oh... gee... I wonder why... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35321036)

Maybe if you didn't make it such a pain to use your product by telling people when and how they can use it this wouldn't be happening? Also, I'd buy more music from you if you actually released what I wanted. Give me easy access to Svetlanov's recordings of Tchaikovsky's Symphonic Poem Manfred, or good recordings of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, Harpsichord Concertos and Orchestral Suites. The complete set of Beethoven's Sonatas, and Chopin's Nocturnes and Etudes at reasonable prices and we'll talk again. But alas, my local music store only has the latest on all the cruft that's out there now and only the first five seconds of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony*.

* I happen to own the full CD set of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Karajan playing all of Beethoven's Symphonies. Best recordings I've ever heard, ever.

Sort of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35321050)

Yeah but radio is not on demand. I have an unlimited "album" collection at my fingertips

The problem is with them (2)

Dishwasha (125561) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321076)

The music industry is doing nothing to actually groom and foster music. My wife goes to bed every night with the same radio station on and I swear I have heard the same 5 songs repeated over and over and over and over again for the past 8 months to the point where I want to shove an icepick in to my eye. If you don't take risks and support more artists you're doomed to decay from the inside.

Re:The problem is with them (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321270)

Control was/is the RIAA's recipe for success. Ram a select few songs from a few select artists down your throat that they want to promote at the time, and in theory, you will then buy that specific artists music. You heard it on the radio, you saw them in some commercials, and maybe even a spot on SNL, the Today Show, or some MTV awards show. They could concentrate their money and strong arm tactics promoting a few artists at a time and get that money back in sales. That worked great when they could "push the buttons" at the radio stations of which most in the US are owned by only a few different companies. With web streaming and the population getting to pick random "stations" from any where in the world, they do not have that control any more. Their targeted promotion of a few artists is not paying off like it used to. It is not unauthorized copies, web streaming, subscription services, or the iPod that is killing their sales, it is the loss of targeted control they had over what was released by who and how it was promoted over the last 50 years. You can only massively promote so many boys bands, rappers, and maybe one or two lip syncing hot blonde teens at the same time and still make money when control and promotion is your business model. People want more than those select chosen few and they have a way to get it without the RIAA being directly involved.

I have always like a few different sub genres of electronic music. There was NEVER a place to hear that music on any radio station in any US. With Pandora, my Rhapsody subscription, and various web streaming sites, I have finally found it and can enjoy it when and where I want and I highly doubt many of those artists are represented by the RIAA.

Familiar... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321334)

Former radio-listener here. I actually know of something quite like what you described. When I was in middle school/early high school (late 90s/early 00s), I listened to this station that played popular music, and the shtick was that people could call in was either request, or up-vote music. I think it was more the latter. The station would then, in the space of an hour, play the top songs. Have you seen Total Request Live on MTV? I dunno if that's even still on (it's been nearly as long for me as the station), but they had a system much like that, but with videos. The only difference is, TRL eventually retired videos that had been on for quite a while, and it was daily. This station was hourly over and over and over and the only way to get a song off the air was to bury it.

Nowadays, I unfortunately hear a lot of the same songs when I do have to listen to the radio. Put one station on, and listen to it for short bursts over the span of a larger period, and I swear I hear the same song in gaps as short as maybe an hour and a half. And this station in question is an 'oldies' (60s-90s (oh my God music I grew up listening to is considered ancient now)) station. It's not like there's a lack of material at hand. It's always hits, chartoppers, and songs everyone knows. B-sides and other non-hits just don't exist at all. Let's take for example...Led Zeppelin. On this station, I'd hear "Stairway to Heaven" roughly 85% of the time there's any LP, and from there it just sorta bottoms out. I've heard "The Ocean" and "Over The Hills and Far Away" a fraction of the times I've heard "Black Dog" or "Rock & Roll" or whatever else I'm forgetting. I think I've heard "Achilles' Last Stand" exactly once (but that's a ten-minute song and eats into advertising space). This station even advertises its "Superhits of the Eighties" or "Megarock Chartoppers" or something else, as though this was a special thing of note. The few times I've used Pandora/ has put out some hits, yes, but it's introduced me to new songs by artists I already know, and completely new artists similar to those I like already. I daresay that these things are the future of radio (or its evolution).

I keep getting emails about "SAVE THE RADIO" and all. As cold-hearted as it is for me to say, radio is already dead to me. Listening to a single station and hearing the same-old-same-old burns me out, and changing the station to something else is already heresy, and it's not like that improves things much. I don't like country, and that's every station that isn't pop music or talk radio around here. Radio has been obsoleted by my iPod+transmitter. Sure, the quality is terrible (yay cheap transmitter), but I control what I hear. I don't get commercials at all, and the best part? I can listen to it for a month straight and not hear a repeat track.

Re:The problem is with them (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321572)

My wife goes to bed every night with the same radio station on and I swear I have heard the same 5 songs repeated over and over and over and over again for the past 8 months to the point where I want to shove an icepick in to my eye.

Where I live, the owner of a classical radio station has decided to use the frequency for classic rock instead. So, that's one strike against it. They have advertised the classic rock that they claim to play on the local TV. Yet, when I tuned to that station (what can I say -- eclectic music tastes), they were reporting some local sport -- WTF? They told me there would be Led Zeppelin, Queen and the like and there was sports reporting. Never mind that they killed the classical music, do they really expect me to push the button for their station when they don't play what they advertise?

and? (2)

bugi (8479) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321100)

14% of music buyers accounted for 56% of revenue. How is that shocking? So you have some kids buying too much over-priced music. How is that new?

Oh that's right, you have "music execs" who either won't or can't do their job. Wait, how is that new? Maybe it's the reporter who jumped on some numbers and assigned the same meaning to them that "music execs" always give whatever numbers are handy. Or maybe a bad summary, but I'm now too bored to even spell out RTFA.

Would it help to use percent signs instead of spelling out "percent"? Word problems are hard.

They forgot secondhand music (3, Interesting)

CycleMan (638982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321102)

I can tell them all why I'm not paying $18 per album: there's a thriving secondhand market and format conversion is easier than it used to be. I used to spend $1000/year on CDs. Now I'm mostly buying vinyl at thrift shops for a buck a disk. Someone's parents died and they don't have a turntable, so off it goes, and I find it. Granted, I don't always know if it's good before I buy it, but for a buck, I no longer need to; it becomes a great adventure. For the albums I really like, that's 10 MP3s for the price of one iTune. This won't work for those who need the latest releases or artists, but if you like classical, folk, or oldies, it's probably out there waiting for you.

Unpossible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35321122)

How can one prove the loss of something that one has yet to obtain?

Laziness (1)

Thexare Blademoon (1010891) | more than 3 years ago | (#35321142)

'tis easier to blame than to improve.

Huh? (1)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321178)

How the hell can these people NOT KNOW what is causing the decline in sales? Get focus groups together, ask a lot of people and look at the sales data. Such things will point out exactly what the problem is with no guessing or uncertainty, and these things are not very expensive to do compared to the budgets of these players. It defies belief that they don't know their problem, whatever it is. Yet if the focus completely shifts from one year to another, they can't have a good idea of the situation, except if we are to believe that free music streaming is a phenomenon that has taken off in just the last year, which doesn't seem likely. More likely it's bad reporting or a show put on to influence laws or something like that.

Re:Huh? (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321606)

Ignorance is an amazing thing. You're suggesting Van Gogh to a blind man who can't understand what Red is.

Willful ignorance, as is the case with the RIAA (and MPAA), is a step even further.


Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321204)

Pow! Bam! For those who are too young, NAPSTER was a crude as crap tcp homework project than Shawn Faging wrote for her CS 101 class way back in the last century. That started the world wide love affair with free as in have as my own music. She also begat what you may know as torrents. All from a CS 101 class and some wild-eyed chick.

SO WHAT!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321206)

Did you music industry pukes REALLY think you could sue thousands of your own customers and NOT lose any business? Get your education money back because you got robbed. How could you think that your business plan of screwing over your own customers could EVER have done anything but lose you money...

Every one of those people you sued, harassed, or extorted money from have friends, family, siblings and co-workers. Think how that conversation played out a few thousands times.... "You got sued? for what? downloading music? well... that's stupid. screw the music industry. i'll quit buying stuff since i havent heard anything new and original in years anyway".

Or what about your digital rights push.... You don't OWN this thing you bought... Yeah i don't think so. I bought it. I paid for it. It's mine. Oh wait we didnt buy it? We only licensed it? Well wheres our replacment media for a minimal cost every time the format changed over the last few decades... You charge more and more for the same music on formats that are supposedly cheaper than the previous version... CD's were supposed to be dirt cheap you told us when the push started to switch to that format... What ever happened to that?

Then you had your chance when napster was the only game around. at a nickle per song you'd be rolling in cash right now. but no. you called the lawyers.

You guys are clueless and i'll be glad when the music industry is dead. And then maybe we can get some good music from ARTISTS and not greedy businessmen with delusions. You are now an obsolete industry full of useless middlemen that add nothing good to the world. Your own greed and need for excessive control got you where you are today. It's your own fault. I don't want to even hear about it from you anymore. Zero sympathy.

You get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir!

There are other obvious reasons for this (1)

Blue_Wombat (737891) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321214)

Number 1 is the recession that has been biting for the last few years. People are being squeezed - music is a discretionary entertainment purchase, petrol, groceries and rent (mostly) aren't. It isn't rocket science to deduce that in a deep recession, where many people are scared for their jobs and/or struggling to pay the rent and put food on the table, purchases of non-essentials get squeezed. Could be nothing to do with piracy, streaming or the (abysmal!) quality of most of what they are releasing at the moment.

Alternatives (3, Informative)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321216)

Here are some interesting alternatives not mentioned so far:

Jamendo (CC music)
SomaFM (streaming)
BlueMars (streaming music for the space traveler)

I use the bottom two every day and go to Jamendo when my eMusic account runs dry for the month.

We still buy, but not from you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321220)

It has always been my personal goal to get the best product I can at the cheapest price. Thus I usually buy CDs used for $3 or $4. I'm not going to pay $9 for a lossy-compressed album where I don't even get a physical product. If these people expect me to buy music from them, it needs to be cheap and lossless. There's no excuse why I can't buy an album for $3 in FLAC and until this happens, I'll stick to the second-hand market.

Artists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321228)

Please note that it is music companies who are making less and less money, the actual music artists are doing fine.

Dumb is as dumb was (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321236)

Id10ts. The only music I'm buying nowadays is what I "discover" via those streams. The rest is ripping my CDs and eventually one day I'm going to get a turntable to rip my vinyl.

Royalties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321272)

Don't these services pay royalties? What am I missing?

It's not Internet and it's not Piracy (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321298)

They will blame the decline on any culprit they can come up with, first it's piracy, then it's internet streaming (neglecting that they are paid more for streams than any other broadcast service and it neglects that radio doesn't even pay).

But what the decline is really tied to is that they stopped looking for innovative and new bands and started the whole new kids on the block / American idol create a 5 hit wonder who the company owns and gets paid almost nothing. They were so successful with this business model for a couple years and a couple big stars that they thought it was a sustainable trend. They then bet the entire industry on it and on the other began suing customers. Combined they have destroyed the entire music ecosystem. Many people stopped listening entirely and many many others stopped buying any affiliated music.

I figure the collapse will keep going for another few years before they realize what they did. At that point revues will be down more than 50% from the peak. Will they recover? I doubt it. The record company is dead. All they used to offer is post processing, production and advertising. The first two can be done with a computer and a couple hundred dollars in software, the last is a dead end. The demise of the current oligarch record companies is in sight.

Clearly it has escaped their notice that... (1)

zkiwi34 (974563) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321304)

What they produce most of no one wants and in particular wants to pay money for. Namely the DJ/Hip Hop trash that dominates "new music" that requires no band, no instruments, no music/lyrics and worse for the industry, has no attachment with the majority of the listening population. Add a recession and bingo! Music sales will collapse. It's also no surprise that there is little competent performing talent out there with the widespread collapse of music programs in K12.

It's a fun vicious cycle that will be perpetuated until they decide that the way to make zillions is to actually get back into the music business.

hypocrasy (1)

pat sajak (1368465) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321310)

Perhaps then they should reconsider hiring marketing firms to create bogus youtube accounts (which go to great lengths to appear to be owned by trendy youths) to post full videos of their artists works. You can't complain about the medium if you are using it to your advantage...

How many 2x4s... (1)

rnturn (11092) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321314)

... will it take to beat into their thick skulls the simple fact that the music those dolts are pushing onto the public sucks.

I try to listen to the radio, I really do, but I cannot for more than, maybe, an hour. During that hour I've probably listened to a half hour of commercials. I realize they have to pay the bills but the sheer number of ads one is forced to endure is ridiculous. Hell, many of the songs that the DJs are allowed to play are those that are used in commercials or are Autotuned to death (or both). At least after a couple of sessions of listening to local radio stations and almost giving up on music altogether I wind up re-discovering a forgotten CD or LP in my collection and revel in the way music used to be made.

Pirate streams? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321338)

The relevant background question to make this story more understandable is how do free streaming sites get their music, and how do they financially support themselves?

industry? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321348)

Makes you wonder who they consider in their "industry"... I know a lot of people still paying for music. The difference between 20 years ago and now is, now they are paying for live shows, T-shirts etc... indie artists give away the music and profit off their fans good will. The days of a large record company investing $50k in an artist, forcing them to sign a horrible contract and then ripping them off for the next 20 to 30 years are over. Old fashion radio was dead 10 years ago, and now is so laden with payola that no-one listens to it. The ONLY chance the record companies have of surviving is embracing services like Pandora and Grooveshark. At least they get some money then. The fact of the matter is, with modern technology no one needs record companies anymore. For what it used to cost to record a single album you can build your own studio in your basement today. A few classes at a community college, post some MP3s to the internet and away you go.

Re:What about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321354)

The music industry is run by old men whose mission in life is to perfectly emulate a Dickensian Jewish stereotype. That's all you need to know.

Only in the last 5 years? (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321384)

Free streaming is not something of the last 5 years. Free streaming was invented more then 100 years ago [] . And recording of the free streaming (for which the music industry pays) has been done on a medium that was licenced free of charge [] .

I understand them. They see Banks and other industries getting a shitload of money, so they want some too. It is as if they are saying "Boo-hoo, competition is HARD! Please give us enough money and power so the money we make matches the slides we showed our shareholders (which is us)."

Well, if you don't like it, get out. But buying some politician is easier. Especially if the media is on your side and actually part of the whole process.

Blame blame blame! (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321388)

Blame blame blame blame blame blame blame blame blame blame blame blame blame!

Suck it up and get over it, RIAA!

Dear Music Industry, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321394)

The world has changed.

You have not.

There's your explanation.

Totally missing the point (1)

SoftwareArtist (1472499) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321450)

I hardly ever buy music anymore, and the reason has nothing to do with internet streaming. Nor does it have anything to do with piracy, or any of the other reasons they like to cite. It's simply that I already have plenty of music.

"Music" used to mean a physical object with a finite lifespan. Records wore out and needed to be replaced. Tapes wore out and needed to be replaced. But CDs changed that: you could play a CD as many times as you wanted, and the quality didn't change. You still needed to be careful not to scratch them, but ripping to computer solved even that problem. I now have my music collection on my computer, with various backups, and my music collection is now basically immortal. And once you have 100 or so CDs worth of music, you stop caring as much about continuing to expand your collection. Sure, I still get a new CD now and then when I come across something I really like, but far less often than I did 10 or 15 years ago. I have enough music now that if I wanted to, I could easily go for months without ever listening to the same recording twice.

Marketing sex to children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321452)

Considering the amount of sexual themes in music today and the fact that this music is marketed to minors (indirectly of course) or at the very least made available to them (thanks to TV and the radio), I think the music industry is full of pedos. How can anyone feel sorry for them?

How dare the unemployed not buy overpriced CDs? (1)

javakah (932230) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321454)

According to the figures that I've found by a quick search, the unemployment rate 5 years ago was around 5%. It's now around 10%. With a US workforce size of about 150 million, that's about 7.5 million more people without jobs. So that's a good chunk of their lost customers right there. Even those with jobs may be watching their budget more closely (especially with the price of food and a lot of other more important things going up, while salaries have kept stagnant) considering that we are in a recession.

So yeah, they may have lost 20 million customers, but it's beyond ridiculous to blame it on places like Pandora (that may even be helping their sales).

The Real Reason Why People Don't Buy Music.... (1)

kenwd0elq (985465) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321460)

... is that most music these days stinks. Badly written, poorly performed, atonal noise. Why pay for crap?

Pandora pays royalties (1)

inkscapee (1994086) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321466)

Pandora and other streaming services have to pay royalties, they don't get a free ride. They offer a whole lot more value, as so many people have noted, than the traditional pick-from-crappy-top-10 only business model. The bigwigs in the music industry cry a river every time someone challenges that. Slow learners.

I'm holding out for google music (1)

pem (1013437) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321470)

or anyway, something that:
  • isn't Apple (plays nice with Linux)
  • has automatic cloud storage
  • lets me save it, or stream it to multiple devices easily

We've bought a few tracks here and there, but my wife isn't all that computer literate, and I don't support Windows or Apple stuff.

So, for her to buy with confidence and know she isn't losing it and can use it again, it has to be pretty robust, but since Apple is actively hostile to Linux, it can't be iTunes.

Re:I'm holding out for google music (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321608)

you sound like a wanker.

vanity (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321484)

They've got no brain, I'd have thought by now they'd have a clue.

an obsolete industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321486)

At the Pony Express conference, held Thursday in New York, mail industry watchers gathered to puzzle anew over the continuing decline in sales. 'We have lost 20 thousand buyers in just five years,' John Smith, a president at an analyst firm who spoke at the conference. Moreover, only about 14 percent of buyers account for 56 percent of revenue for the industry. In years past, the blame was put on Indian raids. At this year's conference, however, the focus was on telegraph services, such as Morse/Vail.

Define "buyers" (3, Insightful)

sjdude (470014) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321488)

We have lost 20 million buyers in just five years

This is easily misleading. If Mr. Crupnick means "album buyers", he is more likely to be correct than if by "buyers" he meant total number of customers buying music. The fact that people can now easily purchase single songs when they previously were forced to buy entire albums in order to get only one or two songs they really wanted might have something to do with this. In fact, it might have everything to do with such a typically misleading music industry claim.

Why online downloads don't matter (1)

samfisher5986 (1927786) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321524)

I use Grooveshark etc to listen to my music. But lets just say they managed to remove all traces of online music. Thats not going to make me go out and buy music, its simply going to make me hook up my digital radio and record and catalogue the music I like into mp3's. Besides making it easy for everyone to buy the songs they want online (which imo is still too difficult), there is nothing they can do.

Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321528)

There is not less money being generated by this market it is just going to other people. The lost in revenue for you means that (for example) pandora can make a profit, part of which goes back to the recording labels. Streaming is not stealing money from hard working people, it is shifting the revenue sources.

Meanwhile the profit from licensing music went up by 700% in the same period.

The market changed, but the excel spreadsheet these guys use did not adapt to take that into account.

Music industry shot own foot (2)

SeanBlader (1354199) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321530)

I stopped buying music when the labels started sueing their best fans. Doesn't seem right to support that kind of company.

I used to buy music (2)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321550)

And then, around 1998, I stopped. Not because I started "stealing" it. And not because I started listening to streaming music. I stopped because I had enough music. Enough music to fill a 100 GB iPod. If I listened to it continuously I'd be playing music for weeks without hearing a repeat. Why in the world would I buy any more?

As it is now I'll occasionally run across an old song I haven't heard for years. And wonder why. Buying more music, especially music that isn't as compelling to me as the old stuff, would be a waste of money.

What a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35321562)

I just bought $80 in merchandise from one of my favorite artists, after spending $13 (plus $2.50 on a bullsh*t convenience charge) for a ticket to their show. If albums want to know why their sales are going down, it's because they're investing in musicians who use auto-tune to sing better, whose lyrics are junk, and whose "songs" are computer-generated ripoffs of other people's riffs and composed music. Why would I pay $10-20 for a collection of songs that are all junk when I can see a legitimately good show live and support an artist directly? You know what? I downloaded all the artist's songs off of YouTube, but bought 3 CDs because I like them! I'm sorry, in the past people perhaps made impulse purchases of CDs whenever there was a new #1 hit on the Top 40, but nowadays people just need to go to YouTube to hear it as much as they need. Is this unfair? Should we pay albums for 10 crummy songs for the privilege of hearing 1 catchy one? Get a new business model or risk going under for good. (Actually, don't, because that would only be good for consumers and artists.....) /rant

Same Pie, Smaller Slice (1)

dschnur (61074) | more than 2 years ago | (#35321598)

In 1999:

  Most people didn't have -- a smartphone with an expensive data plan -- an Internet connection, Cable, DSL, Dial-Up, -- and much to spend on video games

But did have -- the same (inflation adjusted) amount to spend on entertainment

All else being equal, has anyone done a study to see how people are spending their entertainment dollar and how it's changed over time?


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