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2009-04-18

The future of music - people will download music for free no matter what



After the verdict against Pirate Bay, I just had a thought about how things will turn out for the artists, record labels and downloaders.

The true fans will still continue to pay for the music, because they want to help the artist and/or collect the releases. These fans want "no bullshit"-records with added value, such as bonus content and "behind the scenes"-material. The closer they feel they get to the artist, the more willing they are to pay.

And then there are the people who download music illegally, but aren't THAT into the music they get. Or they ARE into the music, but can't or don't want to pay for the music at the moment. These people will find a way to get the music for free no matter what. And they probably wouldn't have bought the music they download - they just want to have it for free.

But if these people download something and really like it, they might eventually buy it. There are studies saying that downloading is for many a way to check out new music.

Also sites like Spotify and Deezer are going to help out artists, since they get compensation for each song played through these sites. If enough fans play the music enough times it might become a considerable source of income for the artists/songwriters/producers.

At the moment it's extremely easy to get music for free:
* BitTorrent sites
* Soulseek / Kazaa Lite / eMule / Ares / DC++ / Morpheus / Gnutella and other P2P-programs
* Rapidshare / Megaupload / Depositfiles / Filefactory / Uploaded / Sendspace / Zshare / Badongo and other storagesites
* various links from mp3-blogs ++

For downloaders using sites like this, it's a thrill to be able to find things for free and not pay. They are like detectives looking for hidden information. Or kids picking fruit!

So yes, it is kind of sad how it's possible to get anything for free these days, and it surely changes the way artists think and maybe even work. But let's face it - realistically no one can stop this from happening. Maybe a few major torrent sites or P2P-protocols will be closed, but others will take their place, and in any case searching through Google is the worst enemy here. And no one will ever close THEM down.

I sincerely think the only way to continue making a living from now on is to keep making great music. Many artists will continue to tour and make more money that way, some of them may not. In any case there's no point in wasting energy trying to prevent people from stealing music - focus instead on making it. For the true fans.



P.S. Personally I'm deleting from my MP3-collection most of the things available on Spotify - and if I ever have to pay for Spotify I will. So "approved" places like Deezer and Spotify will probably be one of the new revenues for artists.
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