Positive Effects of Music Piracy

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Positive Effects
Access to older music no longer in print

Because of the way contracts are constructed, artists don’t own their own music–record labels do. So when artists that change labels, their new label is not allowed to produce the albums the artist made on the old label, and if the old label decides not to print anymore albums or release the songs, the music is effectively dead. Music downloading is the only way for most people to access these “dead” songs Creates devout music fans

Most music downloaders are teens that both have the time it takes to download mass amounts of music, and who also don’t have the money needed to buy albums. However, music downloading does create a love of music, that will carry over when teens become adults. And when that happens, they don’t have the time to download the same amount of music, as well as having the money to buy albums with, thereby increasing album sales in the long term. Experimentation with artists Greater Musical Diversity, greater record sales for lesser kown artists, greater concert attendance

81.87% of the entire music industry was controlled by 4 record companies, Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, EMI Group, and Warner Music Group in 2005 according to Neilson SoundScan (see pie chart for detailed data from this report). These are the labels that have the money to promote their artists through advertising, radio, and music videos.

But most artists aren’t signed to these labels, but smaller independent labels that don’t have as much money as the major labels. As a result, most artists don’t get any radio play, they don’t have ads, and their videos are of low quality and are usually not shown on television. Music downloading is great for lesser known artists to get the exposure they normally wouldn’t have. Most people won’t buy music they haven’t listened to. Music Piracy allows downloaders to experiment with unknown artists. This kind of experimentation cannot hurt the industry, as downloaders would not have bought the music if downloads were not available, but by downloading and having the music, they may either realize they like the music, and buy the actual album or other albums by the same artist, or spread the music to their friends, who then in turn might also buy the music, or go to concerts. These smaller, independent (not signed to a major label) artists have been on the rise the past several years, and are starting to take some market share away from the major labels.

According to the RIAA, only 15% of albums make money. However, most record label contracts require that all costs for making the album be returned to the company, meaning that 85% of artists are actually in debt to their company after the records are released. Most artists repay this debt through money gained during concerts. And people who discover artists through piracy may like the music enough to go to shows. As shown by by the 2005 RIAA Consumer Profile, cd sales at concerts have risen, implying that there are more people attending concerts and/or more people attending these concerts don’t already own these cd’s; both of which may be attributed to the publicity gained due to online music downloading. “Honest Retailers Lose”

A lot of retailers have gone out of business, but not because of internet downloading. Many retailers can’t compete with the discounted prices or special offers record companies give to large established companies such as Best Buy, Walmart, Tower, and Target.

Examples of how free downloading has benefited artists:
o Radiohead-“Kid A”

oWhen Radiohead released their new album on Oct. 3, 2000, it debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, an album with heavy electronic, ambient, and experimental jazz influence, nothing like any album that had ever been #1. And all this was done without music videos, interviews, radio play, or touring (the main sources of publicity for most big artists). The publicity it...
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