Renan Rangel crunching technology for breakfast


The Fall of the Music Industry

Posted by Renan Rangel

If you eventually wonder about those exorbitant numbers you hear about piracy, this five-minute TED talk is really interesting (and funny). It explores the numbers the music industry claims to lose to piracy (like sales and jobs):

This talk only proves that the dying music industry is in deep problems. Instead of evolving and adapting, they have chosen the long and painful path, which does not prevent piracy and only hurts customers. Just look at how crazy the finesĀ are for downloading a single song or how you can be warned for uploading a video with background music on YouTube, or how they block the streaming of music to countries other than the U.S. (even if you want to pay!).

Here in Brazil, we have an entity called ECAD, which is responsible for collecting copyright duties. If you have a business with background music, if you pick a song for your graduation or if you throw a party big enough, you have to pay them. Not long ago, they were trying to get bloggers who post YouTube videos to pay them too. The only problem is that Google already pays them a good chunk of money. Of course, they had to rethink this "strategy" because a lot of people got mad at it (of course, it makes no sense).

I bet the music industry could be doing a lot more than they are now (which is nothing) to revert this situation. Does anyone believe that an iPod full of songs would cause a loss of millions of dollars in sales? I don't think so. Why not employ their money funding real good artists? IMHO, today it seems easier to make below-average artists famous for a brief period of time and then move to the next one, than search for good talent that is capable of creating really good material and driving crowds for years to come.

What worries me the most is that almost none of today's artists are doing incredible things. Sure, you can find a lot of good music if you search for it, but if you look at the shows, the most incredible ones are from artists/bands that got popular before the 90's. What about reaching the level of success bands had in the 80's? It would certainly be easier today, with easy access to the internet, lyrics and everything else. But it seems very difficult. Maybe the music industry is to blame, but I'm not completely sure on this one.

But there is one thing I'm sure of: the music industry, as we know it today, won't last long. It will either start to deal with the internet, or just fade away. I would certainly like to see new life into the game, specially if that can create a better environment where good bands can rise to fame.

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