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Sharing Increases Music Purchases?

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the roger-wilco dept.

Music 409

darnellmc writes "See this News.com article which cites a study that shows file swapping increases music purchases. I guess it all depends on who is paid to do the study and how they carry it out, but this report would counter the study performed by an RIAA backed group, which noted that file swapping lowered music purchases. You would have to be one cheap individual to want to download all the music in your life for free and this study proves that. Because most people are obviously using file sharing to find new music to purchase. A concept the RIAA can not comprehend. If future major music releases are copy protected, it will be interesting how the RIAA will respond if they sell less." Well, if they sell less, it will be due to pirates, of course. A few weeks ago we mentioned Wilco, who released their album on their website for free. The strategy appears to have paid off.

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FP Boyeeee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460506)

First post, biznatches.

Some thoughts (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460507)

I was watching Return of the Jedi last night and something struck me. Vader sudenly becomes a weak little baby after like three hard blows by Luke with his lightsaber. Vader deflected the blows but I guess it kind of tired him out. All the sudden he is breathing heavily and then he, what, trips over his own feet and gets his hand cut off? Come on, were talking a dark lord of the sith. I mean one of the officers could have beat him two or three times with a crow bar and taken over.

Re:Some thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460723)

You are forgetting "the force". Half of the battle is just not being affected by the other person's abilities (like remote strangelation and the like). I am sure there are more things that you really wouldnt see in the movies that make people that are strong in the force stronger than those without.

it's true (1)

simetra (155655) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460509)

I've bought a lot of music that I discovered via "free" internet sources...

Re:it's true (1)

pigeon (909) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460545)

Me too, mp3's and p2p helped me find albums and music that I had heard, but could not identify. And if I want the music, mp3's are not good enough, so thanks to the p2p sources, I have bought much more CD's and vinyl. But I still refuse to pay 20 euro for a normal CD..

Re:it's true (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460742)

another me too, I'm afraid. Napster brought a real renaissance of my music buying habits, but this has since tailed back off. Sure I could use Kazaa or Caraccho or Hotline or something, but it's not the same at all. I honestly believe that the record companies will NEVER accept this point of view, so we're pretty much wasting our time. A quick look at my iTunes window shows me a total of 1691 songs, exactly 22 of these were not ripped by me from legally bought discs. I may not be typical, as my home computer is still on dial-up, but I never did trust tracks ripped by others so I could never make do with a library largely made up of other people's crappy rips, I'd always prefer to roll my own...

Re:it's true (3, Insightful)

qqtortqq (521284) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460647)

My entire music library now consists of legally free music.

I got sick and tired of listening to the RIAA spout its garbage, so I turned to mp3.com. I have never heard better, more creative music in my life, and all with an open source mentalty. I will never again bother with "music-for-money" - people who create music for the love of it make music that sounds thousands of times better than people who do it for the money.

Re:it's true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460708)

That's a pretty racist sig...

I remember.... (5, Funny)

ejaw5 (570071) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460514)

years ago when I wanted Free music I had to sit next to the radio all day until they played the song I wanted and recoreded it using the Tape Deck, crossing my fingers hoping the DJ wouldn't come on early before the song ended.

Fortune Cookie Say (-1, Offtopic)

FortuneCookieTroll (577700) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460516)

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket."

Lucky Numbers 2, 7, 11, 17, 37, 46

Let me save you all a lot of reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460728)

The Top 10 Things That Slahdotters Will Say Here:

10 - I buy more

9 - I buy less

8 - MP3's are great

7 - MP3's suck

6 - Taco sucks

5 - Isn't Jack Valenti some sort of Tennesee whiskey?

4 - Open Source rules dude!

3 - *nix rools dood!

2 - Break up Microsoft (offtopic, but important)

and (drumroll) the number one thing that /.'ers will say here:

1 - I took the penicillin - Hilary Rosen can bite me!

The scent of sperm on Michael's breath (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460536)

Slurp it up, Michael. Swallow my load.

Oh well... (1)

Hyperkinetic (142875) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460537)

They (record companies) seem determined to kill the goos that laid the golden egg. They'd rather have control than cash.

Re:Oh well... (5, Insightful)

mgv (198488) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460662)

They (record companies) seem determined to kill the goos that laid the golden egg. They'd rather have control than cash.

I think that they would rather have the cash.

Its more that they don't understand either the technology (which is probably unstoppable), or their own customers.

In particular, the major music labels don't seem to understand that:

1) Some people will pay money anyway for CD's if they like them enough.

2) Alot more people would buy the music if they sold them directly over the internet.

I personally believe that their sales would rocket up even at the same profit margins if they just dropped the cost of producing and distributing the CD's from the price of an internet download. This might only be a few dollars cheaper than what you pay to a major music store for the CD.

So what I think is happening here is the equivalent of what happened to encyclopedia salesmen with encarta. They were so locked in to a large existing sales network with high production costs that they could not bring themselves to cannibalise their own networks to maintain sales. This nearly destroyed the companies (such as britannica) before they finally did a U turn. People were happy to buy an inferior (M$ Encarta - not that it was bad, just less information) product because it was so much cheaper, and almost as good.

The analogy here of technology hitting an established high premium sales network is pretty tight. And I believe that the outcome will be the same. Eventually the networks will recognise this, and sell music tracks online for alot less than they currently do. They will prosper under this arrangement, although much of their distribution network will have to die in the process.

For the record, I can see the same thing ultimately happening with video, and a similar process of technological change is occuring with cameras and film. Our home computers will take on all of these tasks. We will still shop, but for production tools (printers, cameras) and 'raw' materials (blank CD's, DVD's high quality paper). Companies that get on this bandwagon will do well (ask Kodak), and those that pretend it isn't happening will go towards the wall (ask britannica!).

My 2c worth


Swapping? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460541)

I don't quite get the relation between music sales and my swapfile.

Of course.. (0, Troll)

Pave Low (566880) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460542)

if you found an article that showed "sharing" hurt purchases, you guys would never post it, or at least accuese them of being RIAA lackeys.

Re:Of course.. (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460576)

That's because it would be. Music purchases have gone up significantly in the last few years, as much as RIAA would like to ignore it.

Re:Of course.. (1)

grung0r (538079) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460582)

All media outlets have agendas. At least /.'s leans towards the citizens instead of the conglomerates.

Re:Of course.. (3, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460622)

...if you found an article that showed "sharing" hurt purchases, you guys would never post it, or at least accuese them of being RIAA lackeys.

Hello, Capt. Obvious.

Slashdot HAS, in fact, posted articles that mention just such a study (heck - THIS article mentions it even if it leaves out a link). And yes, they noted that the study was from the RIAA.

To be fair, this article admits that studies tend to favor the views of those who are paying for them.

You're a smart reader. Follow the links. Read the studies. Note who is paying for the study. Make up your own mind.

If you want to play Devil's advocate... (1)

StupidKatz (467476) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460729)

Just because music sales increased when people shared music files, it does not automatically mean that the ??IA's loss was reduced or eliminated.
It is entirely possible that both income AND loss went up due to file sharing, and indeed, this is very likely how the ??IA looks at it: for every single "copied" music track, that is a loss regardless of whether the person went out and bought the copy later. In other words, they may have sold more CDs, but the number of "pirated" tracks also rose. (Of course, if they ever bought it, their first copy should automatically fall under Fair Use anyway.)

When you're dealing with digital content, the line is blurred a little. :)

P.S.: We all know the ??IA is full of it. This is just another POV on this thing.

Amen to that! (5, Funny)

Anomolous Cow Herd (457746) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460544)

Because most people are obviously using file sharing to find new music to purchase.

I'm glad that I'm not the only who's doing this. Just last month, I was looking around for industrial music and decided to download the entire "Downward Spiral" album off of LimeWire. I ended up liking it so much that I went off to Best Buy the next week and put the CD in my pocket while no one was looking before quietly walking out the back door and sprinting for my car. Man, what a rush.

Anyway, more power to the music sharing people. I think it's about time someone ran an honest, non-biased study about this, and I'm glad to see these results. They just prove to me what I've known all along.

troll (1, Offtopic)

molo (94384) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460649)

i wish i had mod points, this is an obvious troll.. where are the moderators on friday evening? is this the Spider-man effect?

moderation [OT] (0, Troll)

molo (94384) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460771)

This is nuts. I get moderated as a troll, but the parent says:

"I went off to Best Buy the next week and put the CD in my pocket while no one was looking"


"I think it's about time someone ran an honest, non-biased study about this"

If thats not a troll, I don't know what is.

Re:Amen to that! (2, Informative)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460705)

Agree. I downloaded most of the Ill Nino album, then I liked it so much, I went out and bought it. Typically I listen to underground metal/emo/hardcore music that never makes it to radio or MTV, so I find new bands by using kazaa, but I still buy CDs as much as I ever did. The problem is that radio and MTV are flooded with shitty acts right now, so lots and lots of people have turned to file sharing to discover new music.

Re:Amen to that! (2)

Jeff Probst (459812) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460726)

i note you are a typical microsoft basher, yet you use kazaa. nice work convincing me not to use windows.

Re:Amen to that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460736)

There is a Kazaa client for Linux, idiot.

Not anymore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460746)

If you've tried recently, you'll notice that the Linux version no longer is allowed to connect to the Kazaa network, and that all references to the Linux client have been removed from the Kazaa site. Who's the idiot now, you fucktard?

Re:Not anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460774)

Who's the idiot now, you fucktard?

You and him both for using Kazaa...

Re:Amen to that! (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460769)

Incidentally, Kazaa works under WINE. (Incidentally, so did Morpheus just before they left -- rather a bummer, too; they got kicked off the network just after my patch to fix WINE's buttonbar-related crashing with their client was accepted).

That said, the MS bashers certainly are annoying and childish. I don't use Microsoft OSes myself -- indeed, I don't care for them much, and will put forth an argument if invited to do so -- but just telling people that "micro$haft windoze suxors" or laughing at them for having to reboot frequently (which in many cases isn't an issue anymore anyhow) does little good.

wilco (4, Insightful)

sith (15384) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460546)

Listening to the new wilco disc as I write this. It's fantastic, anybody who's into bands like Olivia Tremor Control or Neutral Milk Hotel will definatly dig it.

And, coincidentally, I downloaded the whole album off the net a few days before it came out, and still bought it the day it was available.

My own music purchasing has declined substantially since napster went away and getting music got "harder" - limewire and the rest are ok, but nowhere near as convenient as napster was. I've purchased maybe 10 discs in the last 12 months or so since napster really died, verses probably 50 or 60 in the 12 months before that.

Oh well, they want to shoot themselves in the foot, call us all criminals, whatever, I guess they can keep on doing it.

Now I must go, as I have some commercials to fast forward through, as part of my evil scheme to steal television! muahaha!

Re:wilco (1)

Alan_442 (576793) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460574)

I remember when Napster was still running....The RIAA was complaining about pirating, but their sales were still going up.

It's really not about sales (1)

lonedfx (80583) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460653)

>My own music purchasing has declined substantially since napster went away and getting music got "harder"

It's really not about sales, it's about making it easy for you to find what they want you to find and hard to find what they don't want you to find. The last thing the recording industry wants is you being able to find and then buy ANY kind of music.

Does the word "control" rings a bell ?

lone, dfx.

Try Kazaa (1)

wackybrit (321117) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460765)

My own music purchasing has declined substantially since napster went away and getting music got "harder" - limewire and the rest are ok, but nowhere near as convenient as napster was.

Have you tried Kazaa? [kazaa.com] It's got a bad rep because of the security stuff, but I find that there's a WAY bigger selection than there ever was on Napster, and with multi-user downloads and automatic resume, it's way more reliable too. As I speak, 373 million files from 1 million users are indexed and live.

thank goodness. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460547)

Makes me feel good to know that by stealing music online i am actually helping the music industry. This good to know because i was almost beginning to question if it is ethical to steal music...

Re:thank goodness. (3, Interesting)

b_pretender (105284) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460615)

You have a valid point.

If you don't agree with the Copyright terms, then don't listen to the music. It's a consumers market. The reason that the RIAA affiliates force commercialized pop crap down everybodies throat is because we buy it.

I download songs from the internet. I sometimes purchase albums from artists whos songs I've downloaded or found out about on the internet. I don't use the latter argument to justify the former.

Stealing is stealing. It doesn't matter if you are stealing a *copy* or stealing the CD from a store. It is not ethical because the legal agreement between the artist, recording company, and you is being broken.

If you don't like this contract, then wait things out. Capitalism is a great engine to spur innovations. Eventually, somebody, somewhere, will have a distribution model that works better than what the creative geniuses </sarcasm> in the recording industry can come up with and the *consumers* (that's you and me) will buy into it. Eventually this model will be one that the RIAA can't squash.

In the mean time, our only job is to remind the government that people, not corporations, have rights.

Music shareware (3, Interesting)

saphena (322272) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460548)

An awful lot of commercial applications achieved the market share they got/have because they were released in some sort of try before you buy format, shareware, etc

It's a proven business model.

Why would anyone *presume* that it won't work for music?

Obviously... (2)

danro (544913) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460552)

I guess it all depends on who is paid to do the study and how they carry it out, but this report would counter the study performed by an RIAA backed group, which noted that file swapping lowered music purchases.

And guess wich study will get the most attention in the mainstream media?
No prices for knowing the correct answer to that one I'm afraid...

No doubts for increase (2, Insightful)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460555)

Internet music sharing is most common wide spread commercial that's possible. There are only two kinds of people, the ones who nuy, and the ones who don't. So if some performers songs don't reach buying public (mostly because of a poor commercial), they don't sell, this way makes it possible to push samples all over the world for free.

RIAA is just bullshiting just like BSA. No common good, just turning a
people away of buying products.

True!!! (1)

VonSnaggle (64586) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460560)

I've downloaded some song that I've purchased on previously on vinyl and ended up not being able to get a full album so I went out and found it on CD. I also have some CD's that are scratched and I had to purchase the cd again, now that I can back my music up and listen to everything off the computer I wont scratch the cd. I think sales will definately go down if there is copy protection on CD's because people don't want to give up on only being able to listen to music on a micro$oft approved cd player.

All my music... (2, Informative)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460561)

Every single CD I own I bought because they'd been suggested by a friend who sent me an MP3 (or told me to download one). Before Napster, I'd never bought music other than movie soundtracks...

For example, my favorite group, Apocalyptica [apocalyptica.com] (rock'n'roll cellos) - I own all 4 of their released CDs. Were it not for Napster, I'd never have heard of them, let alone purchased their music.

Re:All my music... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460604)

Funny you should mention Apocalyptica - but I learned of them through an MP3 (of Kaamos, I believe), and immediately went out and bought one of their CDs, and ordered the rest online a few days later.

The MPAA would sell more music if they pushed/marketed/supported better music, I think.

Re:All my music... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460636)

Ahh... Apocalyptica!
I remember a concert in sweden 1995, they are finnish. Just like linux.

Now if I just remember to check that anonymous button... This post will be modded through the floor as of topic, but I got a case of nostalgia and couldn't resist...

Re:All my music... (1)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460650)

Yes, file sharing is an excelent way for little known band's to gain exposure, i had never heard of apocolyptica until i saw it on napster while searching for metallica 'Metallica On Cellos' sounded extremely interesting, so i downloaded it and have been hooked on apocolyptica ever since, and to have bought all 4 albumns. btw, 'Apocolyptica - One' is freaking awesome

It doesn't matter. (2)

flacco (324089) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460567)

As my business instructor was fond of repeating ad infinitum - a businessman's goal is not to make a profit - it's to maximize his profit.

Music corps lose nothing if they can explicitly control music use. They could then choose to allow sharing as widely or as narrowly as they like.

Watch for it - the DRM PC will become a reality.

Re:It doesn't matter. (1)

Roadmaster (96317) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460652)

What's interesting here is what they *stand* to lose if their current strategy backfires. In an ideal world the corps spend billions in their control-freak initiatives. Then both users and artists reject this; users refuse to let themselves be controlled and artists find other ways to make their product available to users. Then the corps go bust and you'll have hillary rosen sitting on the sidewalk weeping and wondering why it didn't work.

It's obvious to anyone with half a brain that their intent is NOT so much to stop piracy; if someone really wants a song (or an album) without paying for it, as long as there's a way for the person to *hear* the actual sound, there will be a way to make "unauthorized" copies of it. Granted, quality might suffer a bit, but then again, if you're really that cheap, you won't mind a bit.

What's going to happen is they're going to alienate legitimate users into not buying their products.

I buy more... (5, Insightful)

AcidDan (150672) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460568)


When I was a student I shared and swapped a LOT of MP3s... Since I started full-time work last year, I buy all my music mainly because:

a) I get the original CD
b) I can play the music on the way to work in my car

I still rip CDs into MP3 so I can just use iTunes rather than cart around umpteen hundred CDs... But it's kinda satisfying knowing that most of your MP3s are from your own collection...

I think what the record companies need to do is no discourage music sharing by rather value add the CDs that they sell. I recently bought "Faithless - Special Edition" and the added value was a bonus CD.

If they value add their CDs along the same lines as the difference between buying video or a DVD - think they they won't have a problem.

Personally, I don't think they have a problem now.

-- Dan =)

Re:I buy more... (3, Interesting)

feldsteins (313201) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460668)

The latest "value" added by a record company really turned me off. I had heard that the I Am Sam sountrack (the one with all the Beatles covers by today's artists) was copy protected. At least I'm pretty sure I heard that.

No matter. The coffee shop where I hang out was playing it yesterday and I went up to the counter and asked to see it. Popped it into my Titanium and ripped it no problemo. Wonder if the copy protection is Windows only?

Incidentally the Sarah McLachlan rendition of Blackbird is pretty darned good.

What if you could download the bonus CD too? (2)

Artifice_Eternity (306661) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460685)

This is not a troll. It's a serious question.

I agree with your general point, that CDs should have value-added features. But "added" audio tracks will just end up online like the "regular" ones.

Enhanced CDs with videos are a nice thing (videos can be file-shared, too, of course). Good cover art, packaging, booklets, etc. may be even better. You can download scanned cover art and print it on your color inkjet, but it will always look cheesy compared to the real thing.

But we already knew this.... (1)

knownzero (571410) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460570)

I can't count the number of times I've listened to something like Groove Salad or Digitally Imported and bought a cd from what i've heard (Amon Tobin!!!). I've also used it to see if the music is any good up front, like the new No Doubt album. Who the heck let them release that crap? They should be shot! But it goes both ways, I bet a lot of people are listening to some of the drivel these mega companies like Sony are putting out these days and running like hell AWAY from the record store after listening to it. THAT'S what they are really scared of. 3 cuts deep into an album and it sucks so bad, nobody would buy it, the web gives you that chance to see what the deep cuts are really like. Quality acts like Wilco, all their material is above average, not just a one or two song cd filled with covers and dreck.

The obvious is finally setting in (2, Interesting)

dw5000 (540339) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460575)

They said TV would lower attendance at sporting events. Instead, it heightened their popularity.

Jack Valenti's "Jack the Ripper" comments about the VCR have given way to a rental market that now generates 1/3rd of Hollywood's money every year.

And now comes Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, an album released on the Internet in MP3 format (and still available on unnamed P2P services) that has sold fairly briskly in its first week out.

The upshot, I think, is that the medium-sized bands can benefit greatly from file-swapping, and this only fills the coffers of the record companies all the more. I may or may not have been swapping files for two years, I cannot comment on this, but I can tell you that I have bought many more CDs lately, and this may be because I listened to tracks online before buying, or maybe I didn't. Anyway, the record companies will learn to adapt, because intense copy protection will only doom them in the end, esp. if said copy protection "requires" CDs to go to $20 retail.

OT: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is one of the best albums I've heard in years. Buy it, or find one of those file-sharing things and check out their music there -- then buy it.

hmm... (2, Insightful)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460577)

I remember reading about a similar report a long time ago (like a while before Napster was shut down)....


Re:hmm... (0, Troll)

Jeff Probst (459812) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460689)

do they also teach you how to steal and make excuses for it?

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460734)

It's not stealing, you both get a copy of it. They teach you how to steal in 1st grade.

bleh (1)

4qts (577701) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460578)

These guys are all about the bling-bling ... they refuse to realize the customer doesnt want to buy a 15 buck CD with 1 good song and 15 shitty ones. And until they sell me what i want they will just have to try and stop me. I want to download songs (MP3s) put them on whatever medium i want .. and use them. Until i get that ... wah.

Re:bleh (1, Offtopic)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460713)

please please please give us the ability to rate comments all the time, just like Kuro5hin... I've read so much here that I would give a '5' if it was on the "other site [kuro5hin.org] "...

you have to take into consideration... (2, Informative)

White Shade (57215) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460580)

don't get me wrong, i'm all for prereleasing albums on the internet, but, looking from a completely neutral standpoint, can the success of the album be attributed to it being released on the internet? How many of the 55,573 copies were purchased by people who had heard about the album on slashdot and wanted to try to 'help the cause.' If another band were to release an album on the internet first, but didn't get mainstream (as mainstream as slashdot can be, at least) attention, would it have as much success?

just an opposing viewpoint to think about ...

Re:you have to take into consideration... (1)

dw5000 (540339) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460633)

How many of the 55,573 copies were purchased by people who had heard about the album on slashdot and wanted to try to 'help the cause.'

Of the ten people I know who bought copies of YHF last week:
5 were Wilco fans
2 were people who decided on buying YHF because of the MP3s
3 bought it because the other seven were slobbering all over the record and told them they had to check it out so they got the MP3s then bought it

I'm sure that there were some in the "stick it to DA MAN!" camp, but it's hard to believe that an album by a band which has never sold more than 190,000 copies of any of their previous records could draw enough of a "stick 'em" crowd to do this.

MP3s are the best advertising you can get for your record short of Oprah's Album Club. And, honestly, who would buy a record from Oprah's Record Club?

Re:you have to take into consideration... (1)

FransUNC (518475) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460687)

There were probably 10 people who heard about the album on slashdot and bought it to 'help the cause.' Everyone else bought it because a) they're Wilco fans, b) they bought into the critics and fans hype of the album, but most importantly, c) they were able to download it from the internet from free, see for themselves how truly an amazing album it was, and decided to buy it. Very few people have the money laying around to support a random cause, but chances are they do have the money to buy an incredible album that they'll get plenty of play time out of. Slashdot has nothing to do with this, so I think this comment should not be taken into considereation. People still believe in plain ol good music, the record companies haven't taken that away from us.

Er yeah. (1)

prizzznecious (551920) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460584)

The thing is that when I download music, it's either because I want to try it before I buy it, or because I have no intention of ever buying it anyway.

Since I'm not using an RIAA company's bandwidth to download the music, they are incurring no costs as a result of my hearing their music, even if I don't intend to buy it.

Music's generally too expensive for me to buy, but if I think something is really worth its price tag, of course I'll pay.

Anecdotal Data Point (5, Interesting)

scotch (102596) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460591)

I have about 900 CDs, 100 vinyl albums, some music videos and DVDs, all of which I've purchased, some of it used. I have a couple thousand mp3s/oggs on a couple drives. Most of that is ripped from my own collection. Some of it is downloaded, though: of all that I've downloaded, I've bought albums for relatively little - maybe 10%. That doesn't include downloaded songs for music I already own (too lazy to rip, or my stuff is damaged - whether that is wrong is another topic). At the same time, I don't feel all that bad about keeping the other mp3s for stuff I don't own.

Maybe I'm just getting older (I think I would buy less music no matter what - it's not such a priority anymore), but I can't help but look at the wall my music collection takes up, and think about all the money it represents. Add to that all the money I've spent on concert tickets, t-shirts, beer sales at concerts, etc. It works out to be just shy of mother-fucking-lot-of money. And 95% of that has gone to the middleman,labels, and the RIAA. The artists I like tend to be poor. My devotion and buying habits don't help them: instead I just line the pockets of some record company exec's pocket.

I think any study should account for the fact that many people will likely buy less music as they get older. The trends with the kids (as in many things music related) is what really matters.

At this point, the RIAA owes me free access to every thing they put out until I die. I've been a good consumer. I probably paid for some asshole's Porche.

Re:Anecdotal Data Point (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460783)

I just line the pockets of some record company exec's pocket.

He must be pretty rich if even his pockets have pockets...

Emusic (1)

wundabread (242160) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460601)

Don't forget about emusic. Even though limewire/kazaa/etc aren't really that great, there are alternatives. This is the best $10/month (for the 1 year subscription, unlimited downloads in mp3 format) I've ever spent.

And the artists get paid.

Granted the bitrate is shitty (128), but if you really like it, buy the CD. It's a great way to check out new stuff. I grab quite a few of their "picks", which are selections by genre of stuff that they think really stands out. It's bad for getting new stuff you hear on Mtv/radio, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

When's the last time you got a few albums from a genre you never really listen to and really enjoyed them? With very little risk?
Try some classical or bluegrass or lounge or whatever it is you don't listen to much. You just might like it.

Plus they have an unholy selection of Creedence.

Re:Emusic (1)

Istealmymusic (573079) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460690)

Granted the bitrate is shitty (128), but if you really like it, buy the CD.
So the artists get paid twice? The "if you really like it, buy the CD" attitude is getting tiresome. I don't even own a CD player, I don't want the CD -- I want high-quality freely copiable MP3s, able to be transferred to any of my computers. What we really need is a service that provides MP3s in lieu of CDs, not as a venue for previewing the songs.

As long as ripping groups keep on ripping and releasing in IRC 192kbps, high-quality MP3s, I will not buy an eMusic subscription. The underground is far more sophisticated and dedicated than any (current) music download corporation. Once that changes, you can bet I'll look into it. Until then, zerodaymp3 [http] .

Quality of the content (1)

SpookyFish (195418) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460606)

What would be really interesting is a study of *which* CD's are bought. I use gnutella, etc. to try music, and if I end up getting more than a couple songs from a CD, I'll buy it. When it's a one hit wonder, and the rest of the CD sucks, I won't.

IMHO People would be all over a pay-per-song high-quality download system, but the Music Co's don't like that because then they don't sell the gazillions of albums at $13+ a pop where there are only one or two songs worth a damn on it.

Got all the songs I want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460611)

Is it just me or has the mp3 collecting gotten tiresome?

Most new music sucks ass, and the 10 gigs of stuff I already have suits me fine.

It's very rare now that I'll think of a song to download.

Sharing doesn't hurt? (0)

SquireCD (465008) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460613)

Better not tell Celion Deion about this. Sony might stop crashing win boxes with her new CD.

Limited resources? (2)

realdpk (116490) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460617)

"Music sellers should devote their limited resources to online marketing and distribution"

Hahaha. Limited. I sure hope they we're being facetious.

Depends on the person (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460624)

I know plenty of people in both categories. There are many people who download music in order to hear things they aren't familiar with, and then buy the CD if they really like it (or at least buy some of the CDs they really like). But I also know many other people who no longer ever buy CDs and instead burn their downloade mp3s to audio CDs. If asked why they don't buy CDs, the usual response is something along the lines of "I already made the CD myself, why would I pay to get the same thing?"

There's an increasing number of these "freeloaders," as it were, compared to say 3 or 4 years ago. By now the only people I know who still buy CDs are one of:
1) obsessive fans of a particular band, who buy everything that band puts out (but still pirate everything else)
2) music collectors (often self-described "audiophiles") who enjoy physically owning the CD because it increases the size of their music collection

There also used to be people who liked the liner notes and cover art and such, but with cheap scanners you can find most of those online these days anyway (many mp3-release groups release the scans along with the mp3s), so the only people who still care about that are the people who already fall into category (2) above, and want an authentic physical copy rather than a printout of a scan.

The reality... look at school! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460628)

These articles are pointless. All I know and see: Every college dorm has hundreds and hundreds of burners, burning music... copied illegally. Downloaded MP3. Downloaded IPO. Direct CD copyies. I don't know one student that pays anymore. It's true that music fans, obviously, would be inspired by downloading... and might even buy their favorite. But, give me a break... far more people get free music... the idiot "only one song is good on the CD" flavour-of-the-month crowd, which is most of the public, doesn't give a damn about music.

How to support music (5, Insightful)

neurojab (15737) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460630)

Go to clubs w/live music (bands you like), pay the cover, drink lots of beer, score a couple of phone #s, then go home and download all the MP3s you want. Never feel guilty. You will have a MUCH greater impact on the state of the music scene by going out and drinking beer than buying CDs. In addition, you'll support the up-and-coming artists who just want to play music. Just remember, the more beer you drink, the more "in demand" that band will be, and the better the music scene in your city. It's guiness time.

Re:How to support music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460753)

Don't forget where you are posting to. Most of us Slashdotters would never go to clubs cuz that means leaving Evercrack unattended for more than 10 minutes. Plus there are scarry things called "people" at clubs, and my Level 27 Lightning Strike spell doesn't work of them.

Did he not (1)

Morgahastu (522162) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460637)

read the article? It also says a large percentage buyed LESS music to a point where it evened out the sales. So they are basicly the same as before.

while we are discussing comprehension (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460643)

You would have to be one cheap individual to want to download all the music in your life for free and this study proves that. Because most people are obviously using file sharing to find new music to purchase. A concept the RIAA can not comprehend.
At least the RIAA has sentence structure under control, dipshit.

My latest personal experiences (2, Informative)

inerte (452992) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460644)

... with file sharing, specially music, were around these lines. First, a good friend of mine, who plays piano and is a sound technician, told me about this crazy sound from a band named Mahavishnu Orchestra. So I downloaded ~20 songs played by them, and I liked them all.

At a music store the other day, I saw Mahavishnu's cds, and there were songs that I have never seen on AudioGalaxy, Kazaa, Gnutella, Edonkey, no single file sharing program. I could go back to my home and search for more Mahavishnu on AudioGalaxy (and I did a few days later, and there are much more), but there, standing with the cd at my hands, I thought: "I gotta listen to these songs".

And this is when I paid 15 dollars for it. I bought a cd from a relative obscure band that, I confess, have downloaded songs from the Internet. But these moments at the store are what we call consumerism. I have to get this cd, the thought wouldn't stop crossing my mind. I have, because the band is cool, I have the necessary money, never heard these songs, and above all, they deserve.

Of course, that's an single example, since this situation happened many more times.

Moral of the history? If I couldn't download Mahavishnu's songs, the music industry wouldn't earn even these 15 dollars.

Second moral of the history? File sharing can be profitable, all we need is a reason to spend the money.

Record Companies Are Marketing Companies! (1)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460651)

IMHO, The reason the record companies are so pissed off about people using file sharing is because they are not being compensated for their marketing efforts and that their marketing machines are getting tough competition from file sharing networks. They spend billions of dollars on marketing telling people what to buy. On MTV, on the radio, etc. When kids go out and get it off napster all their marketing dollars turn into nothing.

However their is also the competitive marketing threat.

How are they going to make billions ripping off artists with huge marketing fees if the internet makes it much easier for bands without record companies to market and this means they don't need the record companies.

Credibility of "Thieves" (5, Insightful)

Jon Howard (247978) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460670)

A study released this week by Jupiter Research reports that about 34 percent of veteran file swappers say they are spending more on music than they did before they started downloading files. About 14 percent of heavy file traders say they now spend less on music.

The problem with this study is that it is contingent on the credibility of people who openly admit that they're breaking the law (though that's arguable). It'll be tough to make that point stand up against the numbers that huge law-abiding (right) corporate entities are backing.

Oh, and I have pretty much dropped back to pre-napster music purchasing habits since it's become more difficult to find what I'm looking for without fear of penalty. I was spending easily 1000% what I am now.

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460673)

Why there have been about 20 pieces of news that say something like "Sharing Increases Music Purchases?" Why put the question mark there to make it look like it's something that nobody considered? there've been a few studies that said this

What's preventing me from buying CDs... (5, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460677)

... right now is that the RIAA has labeled me a thief. It wasn't all that long ago that I was downloading music and then making trips to the music store. Somebody'd say "Chemical Brothers is pretty good.." and I'd go find some CB songs and listen to them. Boom, found an interesting album, went and bought a CD.

Now, though, I'm a thief because I download songs. That's it. No other definition. They don't care that the MP3's I had were complimented with store bought CD's. Hell, they even tried to take my rights away with the SSSCA. Did they even try to support me as a customer? Nope. They still sell albums but not singles (not enough singles I should say...). They still insist that I can only listen to the CD and not the MP3 version. They don't cater to my new demands that I'm willing to pay for. They assume that because I own an MP3 Player and a CD Burner that I'm automatically going to stop paying for music. They even use numbers based on that (fictional numbers I might add...) in order to grease up a politician into getting the Government to pass laws to keep their ancient business model going. I'm sorry, but I'm not giving any more money to the RIAA so they can buy legislation that takes my rights away.

Right now, my only realistic approach to buy used CD's. Unfortunately, I feel bad because I really would like to support the artists out there. If there are any artists reading this article now, please... provide me with a way to pay you directly. I'll pay double what your royalty from a CD would be. At this point, I don't care about having MP3's legitimately anymore, but I do care about making sure the artists have incentive to keep doing their work.

Here that RIAA? You're scaring off your customers! How long do you think that business model will last?

Re:What's preventing me from buying CDs... (1)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460696)

Unfortunately most of the restrictive contracts the artists are forced to sign prohibit them from selling their content by other means other than the record company.

Re:What's preventing me from buying CDs... (2)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460755)

"Unfortunately most of the restrictive contracts the artists are forced to sign prohibit them from selling their content by other means other than the record company. "

You bring up an excellent point. I thought about that while I was writing my original post. If they do future albums, they may not be covered under the contracts. (Although, my hair wouldn't exactly stand up if I found out that there were contracts out there that screw them out of that too...)

Future artists, though, should consider being aware of internet licensing. If I download an MP3, then I didn't cost the music producer any media fees. If I got it from Kazaa, then I didn't even cost them bandwidth. I would like that savings passed on to me. If I paid double their royalty, then they'd not only get more, but I'm still saving money.

I envision a day before too long where an artist makes music, puts it on a site, and is very fair and flexible about licensing of his/her songs. I'm hoping a popular visionary comes along before too long...

Chumbawumba (2)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460778)

Btw, Chumbawumba seems to understand the power of the internet. Though they don't 100% fit my vision of what a web-based band should do, they are much much closer. Here's their site:

http://www.chumba.com [chumba.com]

Not only do they seem to understand that the internet is a powerful tool for selling their music, but they also provide some songs to download for free. I highly recommend reading their FAQ because they talk about their views on file trading and how the corps try to soak up more money than they deserve.

Be cautioned, though, they are basically an anti-corporate band. Although I'd highly recommend you read about what they're about instead of taking my overly-processed view of who they are. :)

I don't buy this increase in sales bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460688)

EVERYONE I know that downloads MP3's or games, does it so they don't have to BUY them. 3 of the guys I work with have not purchased a CD, or game in, well as long as I have known them, which is 3 years. And they see nothing wrong with downloading an image of the latest PS2 game, or the MP3's for the new CD of the new coolest band. I say that they are crooks, and anyone who downloads an MP3 and listens to it more than once is also a crook. If you are really only downloading it to "try it out", you can get a damn good idea of how much you like it by listening to it once. Many music stores have head phones that you can listen to songs on a CD to see if you like it before you buy it. So go to the freakin' store and listen. Now I don't agree that a CD should cost $15+. That is why I rarely buy any CD's. I also do not download any MP3's, unless it is distributed as free music by the artist.

No hard data (2)

trenton (53581) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460699)

Another report, yes, but no hard data. Sure, they asked people if they bought more music or less music. But, they didn't verify their statements, or track a person's buying habits, or rectify their statements with actual sales numbers. Sounds like a bunch of opinion to me.

I guess the Truth is Still Out There.

stupid RIAA ;/ (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460725)

It's really a shame what they are doing because I know that study has a lot of truth to back it up. During the period I used napster I bought more cd's than I had in all the years without it. My friends with similar tastes would often suggest artists and cd's and I could go try out their suggestions instantly, but I am no longer as easily exposed to new music. What was potentially a whole group of new purchases disappeared because my friends can't go try my suggestions. I could find and sample any artist which interested me, and being a materialistic American I had to go out to the store and buy the cd if I liked it. If I didn't like it I deleted the mp3, I don't waste disk space on crap. I cannot list all the ways that file sharing has influenced my cd buying, but I know now that it is much harder to find mp3's when I want them, I barely buy cd's anymore.

The notion that commercial radio play will be the major generator of sales is outdated. With much of the world using the internet for all legitimate uses has learned how much they enjoy having control over what content they receive. I never listen to the radio because it doesn't suit my tastes with so much terrible new music being forced on me. RIAA: Evolve or lose out.

RIAA's real fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3460731)

The RIAA is not worried about Piracy. They really aren't. Not at all. Not one iota of worry. Not even a nano worry.

They are the Recording Industry, they are worried about not being needed anymore.

Look, any one with talent can buy an imac and record their own music. They can host a webpage and start a mailing list or a bulletin board and do their own marketing. They can post their songs on napster to whatever the P2P of the month is and get their songs out to the people.

They have the recording, marketing and distribution of the music industry right at their fingertips and they don't need Hillary Rosen or any of the companies she represents to do it.

The RIAA is no longer needed. That is what they are afraid of. It isn't Piracy. THE RIAA IS OBSOLETE. They know it too.

Unless they can make laws to force every new artist to go through them, force the public to give them control of the recording, the marketing and the distributing of music. This is exactly what they are doing, and they are using the threat of Piracy to accomplish it.

Don't be fooled. RIAA is worried that this is true because today we are buying their music because we found it on Napster, and they are pocketing the money. Tomorrow we'll be buying it direct from the artist and he'll be pocketing the money.
RIAA knows this and fears it.

Welcome to the Real World (2)

cperciva (102828) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460745)

You would have to be one cheap individual to want to download all the music in your life for free...

People *are* cheap. How many people do you know who send off their income taxes with a smile, saying "I'm so glad to contribute to the causes which we citizens have jointly agreed to support"?

So what will it be ? (3, Interesting)

tmark (230091) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460757)

A few weeks ago we mentioned Wilco, who released their album on their website for free. The strategy appears to have paid off.

The hypocrisy and inconsistency of arguments on these matters stuns me.. When record industry execs point to apparently flagging CD sales and the rise of P2P file sharing/piracy, people snidely attribute the drop in sales to poor record-company product, and NOT to P2P, rightly pointing out that correlation does not point to causation.

Yet when one band makes their album available for free, and coincidentally sell a lot of records/gets a lot of favorable press, people here (and the author of the referenced article) automatically attribute the PRESUMED increase (the numbers aren't in yet) in sales to the free availability of the CD. Yet they so willingly fall for the same statistical fallacy, namely in assuming that there is some causal relationship between the free availability of the CD and increased sales/buzz the CD is receiving. MIGHT ALL THE HYPE ABOUT WILCO BE ABOUT THE MUSIC, AND NOT THE DISTRIBUTION ?

But what really perplexes me is that the author of the referenced article HIMSELF points out (while damning viewpoint contrary to his own) that "correlation is not causation", even though his whole thesis is BASED on that very fallacy.

There have been lots of bands that have made their music freely available, yet I can't think of ONE that is successful BECAUSE they have done so. Certainly, if Wilco sells a lot of records, people will be cheering filesharing and deriding the RIAA, even though they may well have sold as many or more records without the free distribution.

Don't buy CDs or go to Movies! (1)

Down With DMCA (577678) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460758)

If you go to movies (Even that Spiderman or Star Wars Movie) you only help out the RIAA and the MPAA in their fight to elminate US Constitution and other laws that protect freedom of speech.

Music sharing has always happened (1)

Stuart Park (467611) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460772)

It's not like the internet created music sharing.. the way I started getting interested in music many years ago, was by getting friends to tape music for me so I could listen to it and I later started buying CDs of what I liked. Many people did the same thing then. Sometimes I will purchase music based on one song I have heard, but too often that is unreliable. You can't base a decision based on listening to the radio or watching video clips - you really need to listen to the whole album.

Why should they be biased? (1)

snol (175626) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460785)

Personally I could go on all day about how the recording co's would make more money if they sold CD's cheaper, promoted better artists, allowed sharing, etc etc. But every article which comes to this conclusion seems to be suggesting that there's some reason why the record co's want to crack down on sharing whether or not it actually gains them money in the long run. But why is that? If the studies that the RIAA funds are biased towards a crackdown on piracy, what are they thinking? They should want to know more than anyone what costs and gains them money, and they should be in favor of anything that does. It's not necessarily the responsibility of those who put out studies to say why the RIAA is so anti-file sharing if file sharing increases their revenue, but some hint of a reason would make their report that much more convincing in my opinion.

who's study is more valid? (1)

kidlinux (2550) | more than 11 years ago | (#3460787)

Critics of this type of study, including some in the record industry, have speculated that people don't always tell the truth to researchers on controversial issues such as this.

Those critics have just discredited their own surveys and studies. And think about it - who are you more likely and comfortable to tell the truth to? A researcher backed by big, bad RIAA, or another group who's interests aren't biased.
I wouldn't be totally honest with the RIAA guys, just because I'd be nerveous about being busted, as unlikely as it is. I also don't like the RIAA, so I'd lie just to skew their results.
On the other hand, I'd tell the truth and help the unbiased party as much as I could. Just because it's an honest study where I'm sure my results wouldn't be rejected or skewed to fit some kind of unconstitutional agenda.

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