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INFT3920 - Are Free Streaming Services Ruining the Music Industry
INFT3920 Blog
           The head of Ministry of Sound has stated that free streaming services on Spotify or Pandora are going to ruin the music industry. Do you agree that streaming and other digital delivery methods are destroying the possibility of a vibrant music industry?

           Being a modern day pirate and growing up in this technological world where information is so readily available and “file sharing” such a common practice it is hard to think of people of actually paying for music and movies in today’s society.

           Many people nowadays would argue that the major benefits of providing a free service is beneficial in the sense that people are able to easily access and become more aware of the product (the songs) that are out, so that they may in turn be more willing to purchase other items of merchandise or go see a live performance.

           On the other hand the idea of purchasing the music physically was the initial sale of merchandise. From which the musician was then able to produce further music.

           I would argue that people are would be less inclined to go out of their way and listen to the song if it was not for free. For the artist that means they have lost an entire market of people who are not only not purchasing merchandise but have not even heard of their songs, losing great publicity and recognition.

           I feel that as pirating music and freemium model businesses allows free access to their music that artists need to evolve with the industry and additionally focus on other aspects of music production and develop an understanding of the ever-evolving audience. This applies to not only music but to the print and movie industry also.

           Great examples of new adaptations and understanding would be:
Allday told his broke fans that it was okay to torrent his music for free, however if you had the money that you could order the song and that there was additional packages available (Maskovitch, 2014).
Kanye West (yes I am using Kanye West as a reference, you can’t deny his ability) full length feature films of his album Runaway, and his supposed “immersive” full feature film for his next album (West, 2010). These additions compliment the music as well as provide an edge of other artists when it comes to the listeners parting with their cash on more than just the audio experience. They will download the album and then pay to see the accompanying film.

           It is hard to stop the inevitable. Unfortunately with this day and age it is hard to stop people from downloading music and essentially wanting things for free. It is in our nature to do so. As Shuman says during an interview “I’m not going after people who are willing to pay today, and I’m gonna stop them from paying. That’s not our intention.” (Dredge, 2015) We’re looking at a new way of consuming music, and obviously I have to get people excited about a new product.

Maskovitch, G. (2014, June 17). Allday: If You’re Broke, You Have My Permission To Torrent My Album [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/allday-if-youre-broke-you-have-my-permission-to-torrent-my-album/
West, K. (2010, October 21). Kanye West - Runaway (Full-length Film) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg5wkZ-dJXA
Dredge, S. (2015, March 11). Free streaming is ‘killing music industry’: Ministry boss [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/11/ministry-of-sound-streaming-switch-off-free?CMP=ema_827