If you’ve been on Planet Earth in the last 60 days, you’ve no doubt heard about the International uproar over national and International laws/treaties such as SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA. These laws aim to stop piracy and ultimately… Control the Internet (in my opinion).
The Internet is the last real freedom that we have in America. Look overseas to the Middle East and South East Asia, their Governments are panic-stricken by the Internet, as it creates a direct conflict with the Government. The Internet gives people the power to quickly and easily organize, and Governments do not like this for obvious reasons.
Could the censorship and privacy invasion of the Internet that’s happening in the East be spreading to the West? ABSOLUTELY! That’s what SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA aim to do… Global Government control of the Internet.
The center of debate over controversial laws such as SOPA and PIPA is the prevention of piracy. The RIAA and MPAA which control the interests of the music and movie industries, have come out in full defense of laws such as SOPA and PIPA by claiming that piracy prevents record labels, recording artists, movie studios, and actors from making money.
If that’s the case, why does Pop superstar Lady Gaga outright support piracy? As well as Neil Young, Norah Jones, Jack White, Shakira, Nelly Furtado, Joss Stone, and others? (Source: Huffington Post)
Hear what Lady Gaga had to say about Piracy:
…[Y]ou know how much you can earn off touring, right? Big artists can make anywhere from $50 millon for one cycle of two years’ touring. Giant artists make upwards of $100 million. Make music–then tour. It’s just the way it is today,” Gaga said. (Source: Techdirt)
I find this not only fascinating but incredibly progressive and forward thinking. What Lady Gaga said is 100% spot on! The entertainment industry, just like every other industry MUST adopt to current and future technologies. And even more important, they must modify the way they do business and earn money.
It’s been a well known fact forever that musicians and record labels make the bulk of their money off of touring and NOT record sales.
Record labels needs to wise up and use the music their artists produce as promotional pieces to promote their artists’ concerts and tours. Afterall… As Lady Gaga put it, that’s where they make their money anyway. Does this not sound like common sense? Of course it does, but for whatever reason, the music industry has foolishly chosen to focus their attention on piracy. This is a wasted effort.
Ending or even reducing piracy is a lost cause. At the end of the day, people like getting s**t for free, and if they can get something for free they will. But what’s one thing someone can’t get for free… A concert and an experience!!! Again, I say… Follow the money and not pirates.
Imagine how far back into the stone-age this country would be if the Government assisted every industry to enable them to continue making money off of old business models?
It’s so nice to hear a musician speaking out in support of piracy with such a practical perspective. It’s not piracy as a whole that should be supported, and it’s not the direct message that I nor Lady Gaga is trying to convey. It’s the understanding that piracy exists, it isn’t going away, and it can actually be used to your benefit.
Trying to get rid of piracy is like trying to get rid of disease. Neither will ever go away. All you can do is modify your tactics to combat the issues as best you can. We found a way to use disease to our benefit by creating vaccines out of dead disease cells for common diseases such as the flu virus. If the entertainment industry takes Lady Gaga’s approach, they’ll see the positive to be found in piracy.
Let’s not forget, 50 years ago the music industry thought that by playing music for free on the radio no one would buy music anymore. That certainly didn’t happen, and in fact the radio eventually boosted music sales once the music industry realized the benefits of it’s promotional capabilities. It’s FREE marketing. There’s no doubt in my mind that eventually the entertainment industry will realize this too, but for now they’re on the wrong side of history and they’re fighting the wrong battle.
The marketing model of radio is very simple… Create a 10+ song album, release 2 – 3 hit singles on the radio, and voila’… Fans will be encouraged to buy the album.
The mistake that I believe the music industry is making is trying to sell music as individual downloads. They need to give the radio singles away for free. That’s right… For free! Then promote concerts like hell through the online platforms the songs are given away on.
This model could be used for the movie and e-book industry too. Simply give away a lengthy “sneak peek” of quality material, and people will be lead to buy. I GUARANTEE IT!
Just imagine if you could watch the first 30 minutes of any new film release online, then if it was good you’d be hit with a cliff hanger that would entice you to go to the movies to pay to see the rest.
I’d be ALL OVER that!!!
There’s nothing worse than paying $12.99 for a cd, or $8.99 for a movie ticket, or $19.99 for a book, only to find out that it sucks.
The anger and frustration of consumers paying for low quality content for so long is what I believe started the main stream piracy movement. I believe that people got fed up with spending so much money on media with poor quality content, which leads me to my last 2 points.
1. The entertainment industry needs to create better content. A musician and their label know when they’ve released a crappy album with only 3 out of 10 good songs, and a movie studio knows when the only good moments of a movie are the 2 minutes in the trailer. STOP SELLING US CRAP and maybe people will stop stealing your stuff!!! Got it!
2. Musicians, actors, actresses, authors, and artists of all kinds need to get closer with their audiences. I don’t believe that it’s enough to just go on tour and post random updates on Twitter to your fans about your new album. Get creative and really show your fans some “behind the scenes stuff.”
People won’t steal from people they like, trust, and, respect. It’s just a fact of human nature. This is why people (normal people) don’t steal from friends and family. If an artists grows a personal connection with their fans, they won’t steal from them. They’ll be more than happy to pay for their work.
If you need an example of someone who does this REALLY well, then look at none other than the superstar this post was inspired by… Lady Gaga.
- Michael Priceless
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