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Does File-Sharing Really Hurt Bands?

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It has always been a huge debate in the music industry does file-sharing really hurt or can it possibly help bands? Most popular band will say no it hurts us, but really can they come out and say "Hey thanks, your really helping us out". Well here is the thing, bands make money on the concerts not really on the records sold - that is where the producers make their money. Well file-sharing has made so many bands that much more popular. With times tight some turn to file-sharing even though they know its not legal to share a file (be is music, game, app or program) that are copy written.

Torrentfreak did a article on a small band in Canada who is grateful for file-sharing. I think they said what alot of bands are thinking but don't have the guts to say, although some have.

Band Thanks File-Sharing For Greater Exposure and Success

We’re all familiar with the aggressive anti-piracy stances of artists like Prince and bands like Metallica. But file-sharing doesn’t have to be all about conflict, and for many artists it is proving to be a very effective promotional tool to reach people who otherwise may remain oblivious to their art.

One band embracing file-sharing are Toronto-based melodic folk rock group Great Lake Swimmers.

In an interview earlier this year, the band’s lead vocalist Tony Dekker said that although he doesn’t share files himself and would prefer it if fans got music from legitimate sources, he’s OK with it since people are “spreading the word about a band they love through file sharing.”


Great Lake Swimmers

So what are your thoughts? Do you think that file sharing can help promote bands?

I Averaged: 0 | 0 votes


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p to the izzle's picture
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p to the izzle
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Re: Does File-Sharing Really Hurt Bands?

Could go either way really. If it's an independent band that is capable of handling all aspects of their career, file sharing would benefit them. If it's a major label band that relies on the label to do everything it could hurt. Bands make their money on the road. Labels make their money mostly from record sales. If people don't buy a bands records the label might be inclined to release them. If the band is self sufficient they will benefit hopefully by higher revenues at the venues. I personally would prefer to buy shirts and CDs directly form the bands at the show as opposed to at a chain retailer.

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Re: Does File-Sharing Really Hurt Bands?

Very well put izzle. Pirating music may help some but in turn it hurts others. Its kinda a catch 22 but in the end its (in most cases) not legal so I'm not going to tell others they should pirate but then again I wont condone them if they do. I'm also like you when I go to a concert I buy the t-shirts, posters and CD's. Smile

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Re: Does File-Sharing Really Hurt Bands?

Smart mom not so bright really... I'm an independent artist, and really you can't believe what people are saying. Downloading does hurt musicians. If I produce and duplicate my albums myself, but stores won't buy it because they know it can be had online for free I won't sell albums. Big companies are making lots of money anyway, but the little guys are getting crushed. Album sales are 10% of what they used to be... and to say that artists make most of their money in concerts in untrue. We make money with monthly cds sales, and concert cd sales. Concerts often don't make that much either because crowds aren't willing to always come out. Its a much larger economic problem.

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Re: Does File-Sharing Really Hurt Bands?

Laughing well have no fears I've yet to download anything from the group "Anonymous". I'll tell ya what why dont you join the site and post a few youtube videos up of your band so we can see your work. I looked on itunes and couldn't find "Anonymous" either Sad

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Re: Does File-Sharing Really Hurt Bands?

Its destroying the music scene both mainstream and underground. Back in the day you could buy a full cd for 17 bucks at the local mall, now pirating and 2 dollar downloads are putting artists into other lines of work. I am also a dj/producer and have felt this locally, it's very sad on every aspect.

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Mike Curtis
Re: Does File-Sharing Really Hurt Bands?

I have been a professional musician for 48 years. I've worked with many artists and bands, such as John Lee Hooker, Shelly Manne, Ray Brown, Big Jay McNeely, Josh White Sr, etc., as well as solo. I'm currently a producer and A&R manager for a major jazz label. Our artists (Jack Jones, Sam Butera, Buddy Greco, Toni Tenille, JP Morgan, etc.) appeal to an older, better off audience who couldn't be bothered with downloads and would rather have a *real* CD. So we are relatively unaffected by downloads.

Working for a record label biases my opinion.

The clubs today pay LESS than they did in 1970. In 1970, decent bands were usually hired for at least several days, and often for months and years at a time. Union rules required 2 weeks notice, and this was plenty of time to find a new gig, or a working band needing our services. Today, venues mostly book bands for one night. It's a LOT of work hauling gear and setup/teardown. Equipment must be serviced and replaced more often because of wear and tear. Respect for musicians has dropped to abysmal levels.

We've all heard the horror stories about record companies (not mine) ripping off artists.

Some years back, 60 Minutes did an expose on them. The studio folks came out smelling like skunk cabbage.

Not everything is a ripoff. Many are just investors (i.e. the label, producers, etc.) trying to recoup their investments as spelled out in contracts. This is only fair. Without investors, there'd be no recording session, no producer, no studio time, no duplicating, etc. When the label comps radio stations and DJ's to get your stuff some air play so people will buy it and attend your concerts, that is paid for by the artist. A lot of acts lose money, and investors just want to protect their investment.

So if you feel that sharing does not hurt signed artists, you are very much mistaken.

If you don't like this, do as I did. Produce your own record. Pay for your session, compulsory licenses, pressing, promo copies, postage, and do your own legwork. That's what those "self made" bands do. And that's what MOST bands should do. Most bands have little hope of signing with a competent label, and will bitch about being ripped off because the label pays them a couple cents per CD sold. If you want to make more money, sell the CD yourself, and KEEP the money. Sell a mere 100,000 and make a million dollars.

File sharing is a two edged sword. There are two business models. Traditionally, records are sold for profit, and publicity is generated by a PR firm, etc. The other is using sharing to create publicity. They are not mutually exclusive.

There are some who will make money by sharing their music as files on the internet. To do this, one must play music that is popular among the most active segment of the file sharing community. It helps to be an internet addict, too Wink

This in and of itself does not justify the illegal practice of sharing everyone's music. Suppose I do NOT want to share my music for free? I created it. I paid to register copyrights, purchase compulsory licenses, for studio time and/or recording gear to record it, to have it pressed, etc. I want to SELL my songs.

The argument that music is art and art should be free is something that I find offensive and demeaning. Is my labor that I've been perfecting for the last 50 years so worthless that I should not be paid for it? OK - let's go with this premise, and apply this (il)logic to your job, too. I should get free burgers and fries from your place of employment, and free sex and drugs from your old lady whose business is selling said commodities. When I'm eventually busted for trying to eat them greezy burgers and fries, I'll need an attorney, again, free. And I'll need my new mattress FREEEEEEEEE!!!! Any construction workers here? I sure could use a large entertainment room/banquet addition to my house - for free of course.

Sounds ludicrous, doesn't it. And yet I should allow others to take my product (music) without paying for it?

What would you do if your job stopped paying? You'd probably stop doing it. Well, don't look now, but this is happening with musicians. Many of the best musicians I know, who were full timers, now have full time day jobs. Some have quit playing altogether. It's safe to assume that at least some of these are because illegal file sharing. The only thing up for debate is how many. Even it's only one, what if it's your favorite artist?

I'm not absolutely opposed to sharing. If you choose to share your music, fine. I would like to see some file permissions that allow controls such as expiration dates, licensing options, and such.

Respectfully submitted,
-Mike Curtis

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