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Media Notes

The Fall of Music Revenues

What a terrible time we live in to try to make a living as a musician. It's never been an easy profession, by any means, with far more "would be" musicians than paying customers. But along comes the internet and sites like Napster as a way of stealing the work of people you admire. Of course there are rampant other forms of online piracy, but even legal downloads are problematic. iTunes is a great system but, by unbundling albums so that users only purchase individual songs, it has turned a $12 album purchase into a few $1 purchases. It's great for the consumer who only pays for what they really want, but not so great for the artists. And now along comes music streaming services, which offer all-you-can-listen streaming for a low monthly fee, which is cutting into iTunes revenue. The revenue scenario for artists just seems to get harder and harder.

Of course, the big commercial artists like Beyoncé will always find a way to get rich. But for the vast majority of musicians, just making a living becomes harder and harder.

A Friendly Mixtape?

A friend and colleague of mine sent a mixtape for Christmas to her friends and colleagues; nicely done and organized. This woman happens to be a screenwriter in LA. So you might think she would care about things like intellectual property theft. She is simply giving away (by giving free access to the files) work of others she has not paid for. She probably would not appreciate it if someone stole her screenplays, but it's amazing how often people in the business of producing songs, books, movies, magazines think it's okay to steal someone else's work. And they're not just stealing; they're stealing from other artists who they admire. Amazing.

Media Notes

The Fall of Music Revenues

What a terrible time we live in to try to make a living as a musician. It's never been an easy profession, by any means, with far more "would be" musicians than paying customers. But along comes the internet and sites like Napster as a way of stealing the work of people you admire. Of course there are rampant other forms of online piracy, but even legal downloads are problematic. iTunes is a great system but, by unbundling albums so that users only purchase individual songs, it has turned a $12 album purchase into a few $1 purchases. It's great for the consumer who only pays for what they really want, but not so great for the artists. And now along comes music streaming services, which offer all-you-can-listen streaming for a low monthly fee, which is cutting into iTunes revenue. The revenue scenario for artists just seems to get harder and harder.

Of course, the big commercial artists like Beyoncé will always find a way to get rich. But for the vast majority of musicians, just making a living becomes harder and harder.

A Friendly Mixtape?

A friend and colleague of mine sent a mixtape for Christmas to her friends and colleagues; nicely done and organized. This woman happens to be a screenwriter in LA. So you might think she would care about things like intellectual property theft. She is simply giving away (by giving free access to the files) work of others she has not paid for. She probably would not appreciate it if someone stole her screenplays, but it's amazing how often people in the business of producing songs, books, movies, magazines think it's okay to steal someone else's work. And they're not just stealing; they're stealing from other artists who they admire. Amazing.

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