The public is bored, and people are starting to tune out. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s because of these â€šÃ„Ãºgeneric artistsâ€šÃ„Ã¹ that things like the Now music series do so well. Instead of buying heaps of albums to get one track off of each, they can buy one CD, get the songs they want, and ignore the rest. People donâ€šÃ„Ã´t think the music is that good, and donâ€šÃ„Ã´t really find it worth their hard-earned buck (especially when they will only listen to the album in full once, maybe twice). Instead they download via programs like Kazaa, while unknowingly leaving their systems open for the RIAA to prosecute them.
So, where does that leave current music? People arenâ€šÃ„Ã´t buying CDâ€šÃ„Ã´s, and itâ€šÃ„Ã´s getting harder to find a program to download music from because of lawsuits and legalities. Instead, current music is just sitting at the music stores, taking up space, awaiting to move down to the 10 dollar bins (where, as of last week, I found about 30 albums less than 2 months old). The RIAA, instead of fighting music sharing apps like Kazaa and Limewire, need to figure out a way to use them to their advantage. Maybe the answer is having time sensitive mp3â€šÃ„Ã´s available that, once they are downloaded to a local machine, sync to the internal clock and expire after a certain time. Minute long samples of songs could work as well. There are hundreds of ways the RIAA could use these applications for good use instead of what they tend to be used for now.
The ITunes Music Store, by Apple, is one of the best solutions yet. Now available for both the Macintosh and Windows platform, users can sample, browse, and download music, for about 99 cents a song, or 9.99 for many albums. I have used this service myself, and while I like to own the albums, because I am a collector, this is a great way to sample an album legally, as well as to download an album at a more affordable price. The interface is clean and certain artists such as Eminem have songs that are exclusive to the ITunes store, a nice bonus for users of that service. They also have encryption on the songs, which are in a proprietary AAC format, so that they can only be used on 3 computers at a time (or on your Ipod), which helps in the piracy issue. This is such a great idea, which other business models could do well in simulating.
The music industry needs to re-think how it works, and how they are going to keep everyone in the music industry from feeling that they are being cheated, as well as keeping the listeners engaged and buying music.
Is it right downloading music illegally? No, it is not. There are many issues: piracy, the prices of albums, the quality of music out there, as well as things such as online music stores and the experience of buying music in a store. Unfortunately it is sometimes the only choice, especially when you have to choose between buying a CD or eating lunch for the week. The music industry needs to ask us (from the casual listeners to the music obsessives) what we think needs to happen to fix these problems; especially since it is the people who buy the music that keep companies like the RIAA in business. Until that point, people will continually download, and the RIAA will be trying to watchdog it. The RIAA needs to stop worrying about the money they are losing now, and worry more about how they could be losing more in the next few years if they donâ€šÃ„Ã´t try to come up with a solution. I hope that this situation changes, since itâ€šÃ„Ã´s really about the music, nothing else but the music. Read more…
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