Maybe it is all to do with the possibility at each one of us has purchased and album or a c.d. in the past with high expectations of it being all great, only to be completely let down and left un-impressed with your latest £15 Investment which you and i both believe that is worth much less . Maybe then “steeling” that artists next album by downloading it for free from many different sources scattered across the internet is your way of letting them know of your frustration. If you dont like it , you have no loss i guess !
Should we be paying for music, still? The more I think about it, the more I question it all. But there is one thing I don’t question, as it is fact: when I get music and don’t pay for it, nobody but myself benefits. I am the only one coming out ahead. Ive paid nothing for what i have got. I’ve acquired something for nothing. Did I just steal? Is it stealing if I can justify to myself that it isn’t? Is stealing even wrong anymore? In this moderen day and age looking through the iPods of others i am fully aware that i am definatly not the only one that is not paying for the music that i have on my computer, does this mean that we are all criminals? But first, I’ll explain to you that I didn’t always purchase music. I’m sure you all remember The Pirate Bay. There were many other bit torrent sites avaiable at the time , however this is the one that has been brought to the publics attention over the past few years due to its founders being sent to court and charged millions in costs and left them facing a jail sentence.
This site, as you all know, allowed people to download music for free. Well, as a teenager with little spare cash to actually buy albums, I just went ahead and downloaded and basically “stole” hundreds of songs for free. Aside from the personal benefits of purchasing music, I do it to support the artists that make it for me to enjoy. I’d like to think that if I poured my heart and soul into something, they’d return the favor by spending some money on it. It’s a sign of respect and gratitude. If I enjoy an artist’s music, why wouldn’t I purchase an album to support them so they can continue to make more music? Having said all this, I mentioned that I still download free music on occasion, and this is not something I’m ashamed of. The offering of “free music downloads” is a relatively new marketing technique first popularly attempted by Radio-head back in 2007 when they self-released their album In Rainbows online for a “pay what you want” price.
Since then, many musicians have adopted this marketing technique under the premise that if you allow people to pay a price of their choosing—even if it is zero dollars—more people will pay something for your album than if you have a higher, set price. There are many other examples and variations of this “free music” regime, including iTunes’ free Single of the Week, along with Starbucks offering a free iTunes download each week, as well. Several online artist friendly sites such as amazon.com have emerged, giving artists control over how much they wish to charge their listeners for their music, or if they want to charge them anything at all. This is all well and good, but it still begs the question of why we should pay for music, especially since some artists are willing to literally give it away? I read recently stated that musicians should no longer feel entitled to be compensated for their music.
The argument to support this claim explained that nowadays, one can simply record a whole album on one’s computer avoiding the high costs of producers, recording studios, and mixing and mastering engineers. I think my point is clear: if we don’t invest in the arts by way of purchasing music, we will eventually extinguish the option of even listening to it. There’s only so long that musicians will be able to make quality music for the masses without being compensated or receiving funding for it.
Thanks to the Apple’s revolutionary iTunes store, as well as sites like Amazon.com, this is no longer valid. All these sites allow you to purchase an artist’s single for between £0.89 – £1.00 per song. You no longer need to pay for a whole album to get those one, two, three songs you want and the ones that you like. This new format of purchasing music has also inspired bands to write and record better albums, as they can no longer rely on one radio single to sell their whole album when people can sample the thing on the internet and realize the rest of it isn’t any good. It’s a win for the artists and maybe even more-so for the fans.
With all of the options these days for sampling and purchasing music that are both artist- and listener-friendly, it still surprises me how many people still aren’t willing to pay for music. I know that we all struggle with finances as students, and can understand that money is in short supply for many of us, so paying for something you can get for free doesn’t make a ton of sense; I just hope that if you are saving your money right now by not paying for music, you’ll remember this and not hesitate to throw a abit of money in the way of the artist that have spent their own time, money and energy creating music for all of us to enjoy.