Tag Archives: Piracy

2014 Is The First Year With ZERO Platinum Selling Albums

platinum copy

…and it’s all your fault.

But seriously this really, REALLY bums me out! Sean Parker and Spotify aren’t exactly helping, either. I mean, unless you are a stickler for audio quality like me or like having a physical product with artwork, it makes perfect sense to just stream the album for free instead of paying for it. But on the flip-side, the money you save is more money taken away from the artist because the content creators get paid far less than they would selling that album to the listeners, not to mention the ongoing piracy issue. I commend Tool (and all the other artists) for not having anything up on Spotify. Good music has value, and those artists know it. I guess it’s a good thing that Spotify’s business model hasn’t proven to be sustainable.

Sure, many people say that they use Spotify to check out an artist before buying. Realistically, I’m betting that 99.99% of the people who say that are full of shit and have no desire to pay for any music. They may go to shows, but that’s not what this post is about.

I get albums sent to me for free digitally because of the radio station and yet I still purchase the vinyl if I like it and it’s available. Am I an idiot for spending hundreds of dollars on music in the past year? NO! Because I’m willing to take an active role in helping the artist succeed. I can’t go to every show so at least I’m buying something.

There may come a time when the artists you love just stop putting out new albums all together and just release a single now and then. If that happens, would all the money saved be worth it? Sure…you didn’t have to pay for any music but I bet you’d be pretty bummed if your favorite bands stopped putting out albums. Obviously this doesn’t apply to everybody. If you purchase music albeit vinyl, CD, or Digital then I’m obviously not directing this at you…I actually salute you.

In the end, pirateers and music freeloaders will do what they want but let me just leave you with this comment left by a friend of mind who shall remain anonymous (unless they ask to be revealed):

“You see… the older bands I dig actually came up in a time when fans would not only BUY the album, but they’d also PAY for their tickets to a show. AND when they got to the show, they would BUY merch too! It wasn’t a matter of “Well, let me steal the album and TRY to get into the show for free via guest list from a shitty local opener or just sneak in… THEN maybe buy a shirt if I have enough money left over after I buy all my weed and/or cigs and/or beer.” There was no theft of music, and no justification of “Well I’m poor/broke and can’t afford every new album that comes out.” We supported our favorite bands so that they could still be around, and continuing to put out new music.

Proof positive that when you actually SUPPORT artists with your WALLET instead of facebook likes and ridiculous “promotion” via illegal torrents and blogspots, they will actually still be around 20 – 30 years later…”

-Max ‘ManJewky’ Wallis

A Scary Look Into The Demise Of Over 3,000 Record Stores

I Need That Record! is a documentary film that was released in 2010….yet it still very relevant. The scary realization that the music industry shifted toward a downward spiral affecting thousands of workers is very prevalent in this movie. Ignorant people like to think that only record labels suffered as a result of the digital age, but the reality is that it was all a trickle down effect. Sure, record labels got hit hard….but so did many independently owned record stores all over the country (and most likely, the world). These aren’t rich people in suits, these are hard working people that had the rug pulled out from underneath them…all because people didn’t want to pay for music. If you have about 75 minutes to spare, you can watch it for free (legally) via Crackle here.

If this doesn’t inspire you to purchase music and support the music scene, then I don’t know what will.


“Shut Up Ted” – It’s Time to Watch ‘DOWNLOADED’

You remember the Bill & Ted movies, right? Well Alex Winter, the guy who played Bill in the movies, has directed a documentary about Napster and the “revolution” it created called ‘Downloaded’. You can stream it legally for free via AOL as well as other home devices like Roku, Xbox and Samsung Smart-TV’s. I have been wanting to see this since I first heard about it and I plan to dive into this over the weekend when I can devote the hour and forty-five minutes necessary without interruption. I really hope it explores how Napster and services of the like have ruined the recording industry as a whole. Of course, there are pros and cons from both sides of the spectrum, and perhaps services like Napster did help some artists gain more exposure and in turn helped them sell more merch and brought them increased attendance at shows. But that was before Facebook and Twitter. Plus, with things like YouTube and Spotify, there really isn’t a big need to pirate music anymore just to “check out the band” – and bands now get paid per stream so it’s a win/win, even though it’s something like 0.0015 cents per play.

I do think the piracy world has taken a bit of hit, though. Since Napster’s inception and all the litigation that has surrounded it and services like it, there has been more awareness of the negative aspects associated with pirating music. It used to be that there was this  “screw the record labels” (meaning major labels) attitude amongst heavy pirates, but these days there is a large amount of artists and bands who are independent with their own labels. Since there is no major label to “screw over” (let’s face it, only three are left) there is more of a desire to support the artist, in general. However, some could argue that music has become somewhat devalued as well. So many songs by so many bands are given away for free these days that it’s almost as if the artists have inadvertently altered the subconscious of the average music fan. Now, many consumers of music are expecting it for free instead of seeing any monetary value in the music. I don’t care who you are or who you know, getting a quality recording produced is never free.

In my opinion, the time has come for bands to take a stand against the “freeloaders’ and re-enforce the fact that their music has value to it. If a band decides to give a song or album away for free, what sort of message are they sending to the consumer? We all know it’s because the band just wants to be heard and gain exposure, but on the surface one could think that the band doesn’t think their music is valuable enough to charge money for it. Granted, some bands are hobbyists and just want people to hear their music and could care less about making any money from it….and I get that. However, there is a higher ratio of bands that consider this to be their career and they should be able to sell their music without people bitching that they can’t get it for free. Music doesn’t always have to be in exchange for money, though. Many artist and labels give away free songs or compilations in exchange for an email address, which works. They’re still getting something in exchange for the music….it’s not entirely free. Plus, email is the best proven marketing method in terms of getting results. Sending an email to list of say 5,000 fans is way more effective than just posting a link on Facebook or Twitter. Especially on Facebook, where you’re lucky if 10% of your fans see a specific post. So, if you’re gonna give music away, at least get that email address.

Ok…I’m done. Click on the image below to start watching.