Are music artists greedy?

Like any other person, I would love to get things in life for free – the saying “I wish money would grow on trees” works quite well here, because if people had endless amounts of cash, then the music industry wouldn’t care about what they earned (meaning they would be doing it for the love or to become recognised) and I (the consumer) wouldn’t mind spending to enjoy their music or content.

Greedy2Let’s leave the fantasy world behind for a moment, and look at the reality of the music industry and whether or not artists in this particular sector are greedy.

The shift from purchasing physical albums and singles in the shop, to online, has allowed for easier and quicker access to music, via streaming platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify. These types of services offer unlimited access to their music database for a monthly or yearly charge. In my opinion, I think this is a fantastic way of working, because before these businesses came to the market, people were downloading music illegally. I am not saying that this has eliminated this illegal activity, but it has certainly decreased because I think people accept the concept as fair, as apposed to purchasing individual tracks from the likes of iTunes for a set fee.

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But are artists becoming greedy with copyright? The likes of Taylor Swift and other artists do not allow for their music to be streamed on services such as Spotify as they claim that the percentage of the sale is to low. Taylor Swift states “I am not spending hours and hours on producing my work to be paid pittance – it’s my job.” Taylor Swift won a recent battle with Apple Music – meaning that artists would be paid for streams during the three month free trial, when consumers initially signed up. In my opinion, I think Taylor was right to fight the artists back on this occasion, but I do think that there needs to be a happy medium.

What do you think about the greed of music artists?

Who doesn’t love a freebie?

Are there any loop holes though within this copyright legislation. There are a wide array of video and music content streaming services, the government try to cast a wide net across the web in order to monitor content however this is difficult to do. We live in hard economic times so when the option is given to us many opt for the free streaming even though we know in some cases the sites we are using are breaking copyright laws. I would argue that pirate content providers will always find a way to make their content accessible and, over the years the kind of content being uploaded to these pirate sites has improved now in high quality and in some cases on par with subscription services such as Netflix. By just typing the movie of preference into google within a few clicks you can be streaming it in HD so why pay £5.99 a month.

This isn’t just with streaming music and video this goes for software programmes too, many pirate sites offer free downloads of software that would normally cost the user hundreds of pounds. Even though we as media students should know the importance of making money within the industry, some still use free pirate sites over using subscription ones. Are we the ones showing little consideration for content providers as we like getting things for free so show little moral consideration?

Breaking the concerts barriers

We all know about how Taylor Swift took her songs off Spotify and the whole thing about the letter about Apple Music, but there is not much discussion about her removing videos from her latest tour made by her fans, who posted them online.

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Some artists such as Linkin Park or Thirty Seconds to Mars use the website Vyrt to broadcast live some of their shows or private concerts, only visible by paying a subscription. Other artists release DVDs or specials about their tour after it’s over, which are not free of course.

If these videos would be available in HD for everyone, maybe some people would not go the the actual shows, also because of how expensive some of them can be. (Hello Beyoncé…)

 

I agree with who says that you need to know if an artist is good at singing live before investing money for a concert, but there are talk shows and award shows performances on their official You Tube channels that can be used for that.

 

Of course these videos won’t be dangerous for Taylor or Rihanna’s career, but “smaller” artists need their tour to keep sustaining themselves, so I think that services like Vyrt are needed to keep the “concert experience” intact.

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I think that Netflix is a great example of content that can’t be accessed unless the user pays for a monthly subscription, therefore is under copyright restrictions.

Netflix is an on-demand provider of hundreds of popular television shows and movies that you can stream. With TV, you have to wait for your show to air – or you may have to record it if you know you’ll miss it – but with Netflix, you’re able watch your favourite shows and movies anytime, anywhere. A basic monthly subscription to Netflix costs £5.99 per month. This allows you to watch unlimited amount of movies/shows at anytime, anywhere.

If Netflix was shared with the public under the Creative Commons Licence, we probably wouldn’t have it anymore… The reason why users need to pay for the subscription is that the money is spend towards getting new movies/shows, updating the website, making sure every movie is put into the right category and improving the navigation system of the website. Without that money, the company wouldn’t be able to do that and we wouldn’t have access to all that content. Lets say for instance that Netflix became available to everyone for free, the only way that could happen is through advertisements. Currently, there isn’t any advertising on Netflix which we all love, because none likes annoying adds going off, right when the most interesting part of the movie is happening! Im sure we all would be very disappointed if we had to have adverts on Netflix! Conclusion, Netflix should stay under copyright licence!

However, us users (specially teenagers) don’t like to pay for things and there comes a way to ‘break the rules’. Although to be able to access Netflix you need to pay, I know so many people that just use their friend’s or family’s account. If one person is paying the £6, there might be 10 more people that use that account… I guess those are the disadvantages of Copyright protections… the fact that you want it but you can’t have it encourages you to break the rules and still get it your way… reason why there are so many pirated movies all over the internet.

The not so world wide web

Content copyright laws do not allow for all media that is posted on the internet to be shared world wide, despite being an intentionally world wide platform.

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This has always baffled and frustrated me. Basically all video content rights are negotiated for one territorial region at a time, this is the reason why we cannot access american Netflix (which has a lot more and better content) from the UK unless we used a VPN (virtual private network) service that directs the internet traffic and tricks the system into thinking you are watching within the specified region. we are even sometimes restricted by region when watching content on YouTube.

I suppose there are some benefits to regional access limits, a reverse example would be that people outside of the UK who have not paid a TV license can access all of the free content and services on the BBC websites. That would be unfair, yes?

Copyright also is useful for protecting the consumer profits of intellectual property such as much and films. but we all ignore this anyway as it is so easy to download music for free, and so little moral consideration.

An easy way to get around all of these copyright barriers which are annoying for both owner and consumer, would be to set up a large scale streaming site similar to Spotify or Netflix that would contain all content available for free on the internet. Most of the audience I believe would pay the relatively incremental cost (£5 -£10 a month) for full easy access. that way everybody wins and copyright becomes less of a barrier and more of a way to make money easily. A massive communist style system perhaps would be the solution.

Would the world be a more advanced or intelligent place if all information way shared and distributed freely? Or would it have negative effects as there would be no money made/ no money invested back into supporting more content?

Netflix

An example that I chose for this week is Netflix. You can not access Netflix unless you have paid for a subscription. What would happen if Netflix was shared with fewer restrictions under a Creative Commons licence?

If Netflix was free to use for everyone, they would not have the budget to create Netflix exclusive shows and pay for the rights of the Tv shows and movies. Therefore Netflix as a company, would not be able to make any profit or maybe exist at all.
Although some people would think that getting Netflix for free would be a great idea, it would not be beneficial for the company, therefore it is not beneficial for the viewers. If Netflix would be free it would not only destroy the company itself but affect the whole industry, because TV shows and movies that are put up, Netflix pays for the copyright, and if it was free for everybody to use, the film industry would suffer, because people would rather watch it for free than pay to go to the cinema.

In conclusion, personally I think Netflix has reasonable prices for the amount of Tv shows and movies we get, and by paying for it we are helping to keep the website alive, whilst also helping the industry.

Although maybe in a couple of years everybody is going to have access of streaming movies online for free?

Tidal and its exclusivity

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Tidal is an online music streaming service that requires you to pay a subscription fee in order to access the content available on the website. It began in 2009 and was originally called WiMP in Scandinavia and was bought by Jay-Z company in March 2015 for $56 million. It costs £9.99 for the premium version of Tidal and for a reduced version you can pay £4.99.

Tidal has received a lot of backlash from the public and from other streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music for restricting its users from accessing music. Spotify allows its users to use the service for free as long as they are willing to listen to adverts between songs. If Tidal were to do this, they would most likely gain more users and would also gain more money from companies wanting to advertise on their platform.

Although this would affect the exclusivity of the content that Tidal are able to produce and share on their platform. They are known for their content from artists such as Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé being exclusive for users of Tidal only and by making this available for free, it would lessen the exclusivity and ‘cheapen’ the feel of the content. 

Overall, Tidal has its pros and cons of being an exclusive paid for service and if it were to become a free service then it would become more like Spotify and not be as individual.