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Does free music devalue it?


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Old 22-09-2013, 17:19
nicksmithchr
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Hey all

I was talking to a friend the other day about free music, when my friend said he thought that free music devalued it and all music.

We disagreed a little bit and I just wondered what you guys thought?

My argument is that music is meant to be heard, so the more people that hear it the more value it has. He said that its like anything that's free, people don't appreciate it.

Who's right?

Nick
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Old 22-09-2013, 17:35
Mr Perks
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Does entering, free of charge usually, an art gallery and enjoying the paintings. etc devalue them? I think not.
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Old 22-09-2013, 19:32
Arcana
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This is going back 30 years ago and more - long before the download era - but I recall getting a free John Foxx flexi-disc with my fortnightly copy of Smash Hits and for many years it was one of the most appreciated discs in my record collection.
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Old 22-09-2013, 20:12
TheTruth1983
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This again? The value of music is about so much more than what it costs. The idea that piracy or music being free devalues music is utter garbage.

The music industry and their short-termism in always looking for the quick buck is doing more to devalue music than artists giving SOME music away for free ever could. If the music industry is to survive, they need to change. Stop going after fads that make millions very quickly and then disappear, that is not what music should be about. They need to start looking for long term investment opportunities.

That said, the death of the music industry may be no bad thing because music industry != music.
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Old 22-09-2013, 20:39
Smudged
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This again? The value of music is about so much more than what it costs. The idea that piracy or music being free devalues music is utter garbage.
And as I said before, you can hardly dismiss the monetary value of recorded music. That is actually quite important to artists too because they can't live off appreciation.
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Old 22-09-2013, 21:08
TheTruth1983
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And as I said before, you can hardly dismiss the monetary value of recorded music. That is actually quite important to artists too because they can't live off appreciation.
Ah the starving artists argument.

Any artist who is talented enough will make a living, any artist who is not, will not make a living. No one has a right to be stupidly rich.
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Old 22-09-2013, 21:37
Smudged
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Ah the starving artists argument.

Any artist who is talented enough will make a living, any artist who is not, will not make a living. No one has a right to be stupidly rich.
Ah the artists should be grateful for any money they receive argument. Very predictable.
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Old 22-09-2013, 22:02
TheTruth1983
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Ah the artists should be grateful for any money they receive argument. Very predictable.
Why not? The rest of us are constantly told that we should be grateful for our own jobs and meagre pay, why should musicians be any different?
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Old 22-09-2013, 22:18
TheTruth1983
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If free music devalued music, then music fans would look down on any artist who gives songs away for free but they don't. 'Pirates' would look down on the artists whose music they illegally download but they do not (otherwise they would not download it). Low cost does not intrinsically decrease the value of music and this has been shown time and again.

The value of music (or any culture, for that matter) should be determined by it's influence in society. I would argue that low cost, or even free, spreads that influence wider than charging 15 for an album as used to happen in the 'good old days'. More music being accessible to more people is good for culture AND the creators of culture.
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Old 22-09-2013, 22:24
my name is joe
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for a lot of today's music free still seems a bit overpriced
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Old 22-09-2013, 22:27
TheTruth1983
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for a lot of today's music free still seems a bit overpriced
Certainly the tripe one sees in the charts but, as a regular buyer of music on Bandcamp, I can tell you that there is loads of great new music to be highly valued. It is being sold quite cheaply too.
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Old 22-09-2013, 22:41
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It has in the sense that people are willing to pay less for it than they used to. Unfortunately there are a lot of entitled people around who go on about sticking it to the big bad record companies, and this is partly due to a generation who've been brought up downloading freebies from the internet. Ask any up and coming musician, they'll tell you they're not happy about giving away music for free but they're forced to because of the way things are nowadays.

Usually the freeloaders say "If they want to make money then do gigs". The problem with this is there are many different genres of music that are simply not cut out for performing down the local boozer on a Thursday night. Not only that but the cost of hiring a venue can be prohibitive, especially if there's no guarantee you'll make a penny in profit.
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Old 22-09-2013, 22:44
Smudged
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Why not? The rest of us are constantly told that we should be grateful for our own jobs and meagre pay, why should musicians be any different?
Oh I see, the reason why you can't see that music can be devalued is because you don't really value music in the first place. To you it's so worthless that it may as well be free.
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Old 22-09-2013, 22:55
scrilla
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Most of us have finite disposible income and various ways we would like to spend it. If some of those outlays can be avoided due to a convenient but illegal and immoral technicality, the money can be channeled elsewhere.

If people acquire all of the music they utilise for free despite it not being legitimately available free of charge then it is obviously devalued because these consumers are opting to not pay for something that has a price. They can then spend this money they have saved through their illegal acquisition music on something else instead and it will be something which they are unable to grab for nothing. They see music as a free entitlement and that which they cannot appropriate, as having a financial value.
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Old 23-09-2013, 00:34
TheTruth1983
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Oh I see, the reason why you can't see that music can be devalued is because you don't really value music in the first place. To you it's so worthless that it may as well be free.
Please point out where I said that?

I just use things other than how much it cost to buy in determining the value of the music in my collection.
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Old 23-09-2013, 00:40
TheTruth1983
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It has in the sense that people are willing to pay less for it than they used to. Unfortunately there are a lot of entitled people around who go on about sticking it to the big bad record companies, and this is partly due to a generation who've been brought up downloading freebies from the internet. Ask any up and coming musician, they'll tell you they're not happy about giving away music for free but they're forced to because of the way things are nowadays.

Usually the freeloaders say "If they want to make money then do gigs". The problem with this is there are many different genres of music that are simply not cut out for performing down the local boozer on a Thursday night. Not only that but the cost of hiring a venue can be prohibitive, especially if there's no guarantee you'll make a penny in profit.
That is nothing to do with value and everything to do with simple economics. Cost to buy is driven by supply and demand. In the past, the supply of copies of music was finite so record companies and artists could get away with charging more. Nowadays, we have the Internet and all the distribution channels that opens. How is a download from Amazon or Itunes anything less than infinite supply? People pay and download a copy leaving the original copy to be sold again. Combine that with the fact that there is more music available than ever before and it was inevitable that music would become cheaper to buy.

Personally, I would rather sell 10000 copies of an album at 1 than 100 copies at 15.
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Old 23-09-2013, 00:45
TheTruth1983
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Music fans have been ripped off for decades, and now the shoe is on the other foot and the music industry cannot stand it. The monopoly is over and it is time to adapt or die.

We have seen over 500% increase in independent musicians making a living from music in the last decade. Musicians who use 'free' as a marketing tool to drum up interest and it works, it just takes a little hard work and brains.

http://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestu...t-decade.shtml
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Old 23-09-2013, 00:56
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That is nothing to do with value and everything to do with simple economics. Cost to buy is driven by supply and demand. In the past, the supply of copies of music was finite so record companies and artists could get away with charging more. Nowadays, we have the Internet and all the distribution channels that opens. How is a download from Amazon or Itunes anything less than infinite supply? People pay and download a copy leaving the original copy to be sold again. Combine that with the fact that there is more music available than ever before and it was inevitable that music would become cheaper to buy.

Personally, I would rather sell 10000 copies of an album at 1 than 100 copies at 15.
The bit in bold, the two aren't mutually exclusive. With infinite supply people don't feel like their mp3 has as much inherent value as a CD. It can be duplicated and erased ad infinitum, it's just throwaway data. Tracks are no longer tangible things with covers and sleeve notes, they're filenames on an iPod. This then has the knock on effect of people devalueing the actual work of musicians. They want musicians to continue creating for them, but they want to give little or nothing in return.
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Old 23-09-2013, 01:27
Smudged
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Music fans have been ripped off for decades, and now the shoe is on the other foot and the music industry cannot stand it. The monopoly is over and it is time to adapt or die.

We have seen over 500% increase in independent musicians making a living from music in the last decade. Musicians who use 'free' as a marketing tool to drum up interest and it works, it just takes a little hard work and brains.

http://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestu...t-decade.shtml
Artists have been ripped off for decades too and they risk being ripped off even more now. It's all very well having more artists at the lowest level able to release music by just about scraping by but it's not good for music as a whole or the cultural "value" or "influence" you're so keen to emphasise. You only have to look at the state of mainstream music and the really low album sales to see that things aren't exactly rosy.
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Old 23-09-2013, 01:34
CRM
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Music and musicians have been greatly devalued thanks to entitled freeloaders wanting everything for nothing.

And the excuse of the "evil music industry" is a pathetic excuse for who it hurts the most...those create that music.
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Old 23-09-2013, 10:50
TheTruth1983
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The bit in bold, the two aren't mutually exclusive. With infinite supply people don't feel like their mp3 has as much inherent value as a CD. It can be duplicated and erased ad infinitum, it's just throwaway data. Tracks are no longer tangible things with covers and sleeve notes, they're filenames on an iPod. This then has the knock on effect of people devalueing the actual work of musicians. They want musicians to continue creating for them, but they want to give little or nothing in return.
I think you are confusing recordings with music. It is the recordings that have become throwaway data but recordings do not equal music. Music transcends the media on which it arrives and that is where we see the true value.

Artists have been ripped off for decades too and they risk being ripped off even more now. It's all very well having more artists at the lowest level able to release music by just about scraping by but it's not good for music as a whole or the cultural "value" or "influence" you're so keen to emphasise. You only have to look at the state of mainstream music and the really low album sales to see that things aren't exactly rosy.
Mainstream is irrelevant, I don't value that at all because it is mostly bland, derivative tripe. For true value we need to look outside of the charts where we have musicians who are creating something different and boundary shaping.

Mainstream music is being devalued but that is down to the attitude of the music industry and the music being made rather than musicians giving away music for free.
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Old 23-09-2013, 12:33
Smudged
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Mainstream is irrelevant, I don't value that at all because it is mostly bland, derivative tripe. For true value we need to look outside of the charts where we have musicians who are creating something different and boundary shaping.

Mainstream music is being devalued but that is down to the attitude of the music industry and the music being made rather than musicians giving away music for free.
I'm all for non-mainstream artists and they will always find a way to release music but don't kid yourself that they aren't affected or that making it harder for them to make an impact is good for music as a whole. Like it or not, the mainstream is important to things like cultural value and influence. More so than your or my individual opinion of artists that are unknown to most people.
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Old 23-09-2013, 14:55
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I think you are confusing recordings with music. It is the recordings that have become throwaway data but recordings do not equal music. Music transcends the media on which it arrives and that is where we see the true value.
No recording, no music. Unless you stream it or go to a live concert. The music and the method of delivery are intertwined. Without the media you don't get the music. The media is the musician's product. You can talk about music transcending media but ultimately the musician needs to earn money. Streaming offers very poor value for musicians. Direct downloads of music files is what earns musicians real money outside of live gigs.
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Old 23-09-2013, 15:03
TheTruth1983
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No recording, no music. Unless you stream it or go to a live concert. The music and the method of delivery are intertwined. Without the media you don't get the music. The media is the musician's product. You can talk about music transcending media but ultimately the musician needs to earn money. Streaming offers very poor value for musicians. Direct downloads of music files is what earns musicians real money outside of live gigs.
Really? Seems like music existed and thrived long before it started being recorded, even before it became an industry. Music will never die and musicians will continue to make music long after the industry is gone. It is the industry that is ripping off artists, not downloaders. Also, illegally downloading is not a lost sale. I believe we can see that now because the decrease in piracy has had no effect on music sales.

http://torrentfreak.com/massive-musi...-sales-130919/
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Old 23-09-2013, 16:13
Smudged
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No recording, no music. Unless you stream it or go to a live concert. The music and the method of delivery are intertwined. Without the media you don't get the music. The media is the musician's product. You can talk about music transcending media but ultimately the musician needs to earn money. Streaming offers very poor value for musicians. Direct downloads of music files is what earns musicians real money outside of live gigs.
Indeed, some people don't seem to see music as a product, as in something that costs money to make. When most artists talk about receiving money for their music they are talking more about being able to cover their costs, not making a big profit and becoming rich. That's what some of the criticism about streaming services like Spotify is about.


Really? Seems like music existed and thrived long before it started being recorded, even before it became an industry. Music will never die and musicians will continue to make music long after the industry is gone. It is the industry that is ripping off artists, not downloaders. Also, illegally downloading is not a lost sale. I believe we can see that now because the decrease in piracy has had no effect on music sales.

http://torrentfreak.com/massive-musi...-sales-130919/
First of all you can't truly measure piracy which is why the report mentions estimates. Secondly, a streaming alternative to piracy is not necessarily a good thing for artists if they are paid a pittance. Also, going back to a time when artists have to rely on live performances is not the music utopia you seem to think it is and is not the way to have a thriving, varied music industry.
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