I’m going to focus on the question “Do you see benefits to artists as the result of piracy?”
That’s not to say they aren’t disadvantaging from it as well. But there are definitely benefits. Our readings stated (more or less) that artists are finding ways around the lack of album sales through concerts and t-shirt sales. So let’s say we steal music online but fall in love with the artist, we probably would want to go rock with the artist at their concert where they’ll profit from us. True they could’ve profited more if we bought their album then went and spent more money at their concert, but hey you’re getting one thing for free… we love free. (wow this makes me sound like the ultimate piracy thief haha – i'm really not though guys) But seriously, perhaps that music we stole was the only exposure we’ve ever gotten to the artist, otherwise the artists wouldn’t have gotten any kind of profit from us. The free culture chapter called it the “addiction strategy”.
I definitely think that in the entertainment it is more about having fame, being on the A-list, than anything else. Because, let’s be honest, if you are not insanely famous, you wont be profiting that much to begin with. That doesn’t mean we have the right to steal the little you do have. But if we did get a hold of your music through piracy and loved you, you will only gain more publicity/fame and benefit due to high demands of more music/concerts/etc. You would’ve created a strong fan base by then who will legitimately support your music.
“Still, the argument is not terribly persuasive. We don't give the alcoholic a defense when he steals his first beer, merely because that will make it more likely that he will buy the next three. Instead, we ordinarily allow businesses to decide for themselves when it is best to give their product away. “
These days’ artists are selling packages with their albums when they drop. For example, Lupe Fiasco. He was presaling VIP album packages that included t-shirts, stickers, and additional tracks that sold like hotcakes. Anyway, Lupe has a very strong fan base, and after his album dropped, a couple weeks later, due to popular demand, he tweeted a new song not listed in his album to download for free! Even before his album dropped, he was releasing songs on iTunes everyday before the actual drop date. It makes you wonder how he can do that? These are marketing efforts. His concerts are typically sold out and his notion of LASERS – WINNING! People love the products that have that symbol on it.
More so, our readings mention that artists are working more on building a brand that will last instead of focusing all on their music. Just like Lupe with Lasers, and Whiz with the Taylor Gang, and etc… At the end of the day a strong legitimate brand = more money.
Nonetheless, piracy is wrong. It does cause a lot of loss but artists are finding ways around it. The music industry will never die. Without it there is no way a single artist will stick out. Music draws us in to the artist, but it’s not the only thing that keeps us interested.
One last note- (didn’t mean for my blog to be this long, story of my life…) but I think RIAA’s efforts to curb illegal downloading are commendable. They take on other awareness approaches before any legal action takes place. We need to be educated about this to understand, otherwise, you can’t blame me for something I wasn’t aware of because it wasn’t brought to the forefront.
K, i'm done, GOOD DAY!