The New York Times has posted an article today titled ‘Music Industry Lures ‘Casual’ Pirates to Legal Sites.’ Here’s an extract, careful your jaw might hit the table:
Record company executives say there are three kinds of music fans. There are those who buy music, and those who get a kick out of never paying for it. And then there are those whom Rob Wells at Universal Music Group calls “dinner party pirates”: the vast majority of listeners, those who copy music illegally because it is more convenient than buying it.
After reading the whole article I am left with a few questions. Although the article talks mainly about the UK and European labels these questions relate to them too:
1. Who or what is the ‘Music Industry’ comprised of these days? [One answer would be out-of-touch major label record executives but please jump in with more.]
2. When can we see a whole host of data that points to a clear number of these ‘casual’ dinner party pirates before we create a whole new genre of music buccaneers that live only in the minds of these executives?
3. Why did these executives make it really difficult for the streaming startups to license music from their big labels if the labels thought that streaming was the answer to their problems?
4. Does this mean that the big labels have finally discovered that music fans don’t necessarily want to own music they just want access to it?
5. And finally, have they noticed that there has not exactly been a massive rush to streaming sites? The ones that survive are having a tough time of finding the right business model?
American major label executives may want to consider allowing Spotify into the country.
Related post: The End of the Music Album as Organizing Principle