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Recent record industry woes


axlskAmpf

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If you think about it, so much has changed in the world since 1994. The troubles the industry faces came to be a few short years after "UYI" and "Incident". These troubles are, of course, the internet. There was no Napster, people who shared a song, if any, were on dial up and it took 20 minutes to get a whole song in. Now, it takes 8 seconds. We now have a world of free wheelin piracy where 1/2 the people never actually buy anything, and that may be a conservative number. Though GnR continues to sell at a good rate, and the Greatest hits album did ok at 2.8 million copies, many now have the whole catalog and never bought a thing. I fear the days of a band selling 12 million albums have come to a halt. Axl has never experienced this, this all happened since his last official release.

The record industry needs to change the way they do things, and slowly they are, but it makes you wonder how "Chinese Democracy" will sell now compared to past efforts. Granted, all bands face this now, but again it's a first for Axl.

Thoughts?

Edited by axlskAmpf
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It's impossible to prevent piracy 100 %

There seems to be a clear direction how music will be purchased in the future. Ipod and Itunes have been a revolutuion, and in the future, cd's will suffer the same fate as vinyls, they will die, and be replaced by legal downloading off the net. Sadly.

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People find a way to hack into every security system devised to burn music. Chinese Democracy will be no different. Look at how quickly the leaked demos spread. Once the album is actually in the process of production it will probably leak onto the internet. This happens with pretty much every major release these days. A few years ago, Eminem released his album on the Friday before the Tuesday that it was supposed to be released to encourage people to buy it as opposed to obtaining it illegally. I think the days when an artist sells 12-15 million copies of an album are long gone. Even the biggest pop acts of today such as Mariah Carey sell 5-6 million copies. Her new album outsold any other cd last year with those numbers, and I don't honestly remember the last album to top 10 million copies sold. If Chinese Democracy sells in the 3-4 million range in today's industry, I think it will be considered a success. It's a far cry from the Appetite and Illusion eras, but times have definately changed. And remember, kids can still download their music legally through ipod and Napster. Those figures aren't added into the album sales.

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It's impossible to prevent piracy 100 %

There seems to be a clear direction how music will be purchased in the future. Ipod and Itunes have been a revolutuion, and in the future, cd's will suffer the same fate as vinyls, they will die, and be replaced by legal downloading off the net. Sadly.

I agree, and it is sad. The days of album art have vanished. One big appeal to buying vinyl was the art itself. That was severely condensed with CD's. The indusrty used to send bands out on the road to promote records, now they send them out to turn dollars from the tour itself. Tshirts and posters sell great at concerts. The Ramones, for example, never sold a lot of records, but the merchandising at shows was the holy grail to them.

It will be very interesting to see what happens to the industry over the next few years, and how Axl deals with it. Look at Lars, his big battle with Napster, what a waste of time that was....like we didn't see that coming.

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If you think about it, so much has changed in the world since 1994. The troubles the industry faces came to be a few short years after "UYI" and "Incident". These troubles are, of course, the internet. There was no Napster, people who shared a song, if any, were on dial up and it took 20 minutes to get a whole song in. Now, it takes 8 seconds. We now have a world of free wheelin piracy where 1/2 the people never actually buy anything, and that may be a conservative number. Though GnR continues to sell at a good rate, and the Greatest hits album did ok at 2.8 million copies, many now have the whole catalog and never bought a thing. I fear the days of a band selling 12 million albums have come to a halt. Axl has never experienced this, this all happened since his last official release.

The record industry needs to change the way they do things, and slowly they are, but it makes you wonder how "Chinese Democracy" will sell now compared to past efforts. Granted, all bands face this now, but again it's a first for Axl.

Thoughts?

Wow, you actually fell for the record companies' (corporate) lies? They aren't losing money. What they want is to make more money because the internet allows them to reach and sell their products to a much larger (ie. world) consumer market. What they want is profit sharing as with the case with the radio stations. What they want is control. The Internet is actually the record companie's best friend but they want to find a way to control it so that only they can profit from it.

So, the record companies give the government and the public misleading facts and figures. They assume that all the people who download music would have purchased the song/album in the first place it they hadn't downloaded it. For example, let say that before there was any Internet, the record company for GnR was only able to reach 10 "potential" consumers through whatever marketing method the use (like music videos on MTV). Of those 10 people, let say 6 people, which 60% of the people, buy the GnR record. Now, let say because of the Internet, the record company was able to reach 20 potential consumers. They sell 10 records, which is 50% of the total potential consumers. Oh, no sales are down!!! 50% is less then 60%!!! But wait....they did sell more albums which means they did make more profit (10 is greater than 6). Profit is up! Do you follow?

The Internet allows more people to hear and sample the music. If anything, it forces record companies to produce more albums with more great songs on them, and not just one "hit".

God bless the Internet!

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If you think about it, so much has changed in the world since 1994. The troubles the industry faces came to be a few short years after "UYI" and "Incident". These troubles are, of course, the internet. There was no Napster, people who shared a song, if any, were on dial up and it took 20 minutes to get a whole song in. Now, it takes 8 seconds. We now have a world of free wheelin piracy where 1/2 the people never actually buy anything, and that may be a conservative number. Though GnR continues to sell at a good rate, and the Greatest hits album did ok at 2.8 million copies, many now have the whole catalog and never bought a thing. I fear the days of a band selling 12 million albums have come to a halt. Axl has never experienced this, this all happened since his last official release.

The record industry needs to change the way they do things, and slowly they are, but it makes you wonder how "Chinese Democracy" will sell now compared to past efforts. Granted, all bands face this now, but again it's a first for Axl.

Thoughts?

Wow, you actually fell for the record companies' (corporate) lies? They aren't losing money. What they want is to make more money because the internet allows them to reach and sell their products to a much larger (ie. world) consumer market. What they want is profit sharing as with the case with the radio stations. What they want is control. The Internet is actually the record companie's best friend but they want to find a way to control it so that only they can profit from it.

So, the record companies give the government and the public misleading facts and figures. They assume that all the people who download music would have purchased the song/album in the first place it they hadn't downloaded it. For example, let say that before there was any Internet, the record company for GnR was only able to reach 10 "potential" consumers through whatever marketing method the use (like music videos on MTV). Of those 10 people, let say 6 people, which 60% of the people, buy the GnR record. Now, let say because of the Internet, the record company was able to reach 20 potential consumers. They sell 10 records, which is 50% of the total potential consumers. Oh, no sales are down!!! 50% is less then 60%!!! But wait....they did sell more albums which means they did make more profit (10 is greater than 6). Profit is up! Do you follow?

The Internet allows more people to hear and sample the music. If anything, it forces record companies to produce more albums with more great songs on them, and not just one "hit".

God bless the Internet!

Yep. You are correct to some extent. But. At the same time that they're actually selling more products, prople do still STEAL their products. I admitt that I have some 25 GB of music on my computer. That's far more than I could ever afford to pay for. Of course, I wouldn't but most of it if I had to. But still, I've downloaded tons of music that could consider buying. And I havn't payed a penny for it. The artist I still feel it worth to pay money for can be counted on my hands.

This is bad behavior. I'm not proud.

and.

I'm not alone.

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GUYS...LISTEN TO ME.

TO BE HONEST, I NEVER BOUGHT ANYMORE ORIGINAL CD FROM CD SHOP SINCE 1997.

IT'S BECAUSE I CAN DOWNLOAD THEM ONLINE, BURN THEM AND THE QUALITY OF THE SONGS IS ALMOST THE SAME COMPARED TO ORIGINAL.

BUT WHEN IT COMES TO CHINESE DEMOCRACY, I PROMISE YOU I WILL PAY EVEN FOR $100.

WHY? IT'S NOT JUST BECAUSE I'M A GUNS N ROSES FANS, BUT IT IS ARGUABLY THE MOST ANTICIPATED RECORD OF THE DECADE.

FYI I NEVER BOUGHT THE SPAGHETTI INCIDENT.

WOULD YOU NOT BUY IT OR JUST DOWNLOAD THEM ONLINE?

I DON'T THINK SO...

CHEERS

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The only thing in danger is the business model, not music itself.

This idea that it is some third party right to profit from the recording of music ony dates back about 75 years, when it became widely possible to do so (record music). Before that, music was considered public domain, artists would travel around and play their music directly to the people.

Then, this ability to distribute music on a recorded medium becomes possible. The people who are motivated to make money see this as a potential to do so, and start disributing and selling it. This becomes the business model, and is supported by the fact that there is NO OTHER WAY to get the music distributed, and he who controls the production of the recorded medium controls the music itself.

Somewhere along the line, this industry has decided it is their "right" to make money off the music, but now that the foundation of their business model is being torn apart as artists can now freely distribute their music directly to the people with no middleman.

So the music industry responds by labeling people thieves who do not wish to pay THEM to listen to music. They market and romanicize the CD (retero chamr, you know). They spend countless hours marketing the idea to young artists that "our" whole music industry is in jeaopardy because of illegal downloading. They'll tell artists they are hurting all musicians by putting their own music up for free download. Every artist and listener who buys into this idea maintains the barrier of money between the creation of, and the listening to music. Without maintaining this idea with both the public, and the musicians, there is no place for the middleman to make his $$$.

Now, as record companies see their business models needing to change, they want to get their hands into the other revenue streams, merchandise, etc. The reality is that there is no need for the middlemen anymore. They know this, but they also know that as long as they can continue target marketing, and keep you believing there is, they can continue to make their $$$.

Edited by angry anderson
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I think Axl is going to be ok, if Chinese Democracy is going to be this three CD epic, there is an extra incentive in having a complete collection right there from the start. This is one of the most anticipated albums of the past 15 years, of course people are going to download it but there are lots of people out there who buy CDs and download music legally.

Jonx

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I am glad both sides of this argument have surfaced, this is what makes for a good debate and discussion.

I certainly would not say I "fell for" anything, but I will admit there are two valid sides to this argument.

Three years ago this was published in USA today,

As growing swarms of online pirates continue plundering music's treasure chests, the $12 billion recording industry could be facing a walk down the plank. Computer users download an estimated 2.6 billion music files monthly; most are illegal.

Full story: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2003-05-...ic-piracy_x.htm

Inversely, Harvard Business School did a report in 2004, stating,

Internet music piracy not only doesn't hurt legitimate CD sales, it may even boost sales of some types of music.

Many recording executives were not singing "Yeah, yeah, yeah," however. Convinced that illegal downloading and file sharing has robbed them of billions of dollars after four consecutive years of falling music sales, they criticized the team's methodology, which consisted of monitoring 1.75 million downloads over 17 weeks in 2002, scouring through server logs from OpenNap (an open source Napster server), and comparing the sales of almost 700 albums as reported by Nielsen SoundScan.

Full story: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item.jhtml?id=4206&t=innovation

You really can't believe, Knightrider, that "the record companies give the government and the public misleading facts and figures", this is impossible, every record sale is traced through ASCAP. Sales have been down, record stores have closed left and right. I think I even read Madison say something about this, roughly "in her neighborhood how there used to be a lot of record stores around her (10?), now theres one." Sadly, her neighborhood is New York City!!, as I recall. (If I misquoted, sorry Madison)

So, yes, record sales are down, and the Harvard study is possibly full of holes in it's research. It's easy, or lessens guilt, to think "I download free music, and it's validated because I'm actually helping sell records for the artist because they get more exposure", but unless you have throngs of people in your bedroom listening, and you inspire them to go buy, refusing to burn a copy for them, I am not sure how you can think this way. Do I do it? sure, will I buy GnR?, YES, do I think it has hurt record sales and taken money out of artists pockets?, absolutely.

There is one other aspect of this though, most music since 2000, when sales really started slipping, is not very good. Clear Channel has taken over radio, filled the airwaves with crap, and force fed it to the public. This could have something to do with falling sales. I like some new things, not many though. I think the internet is a GREAT help to independant labels, and independant music. It has taken the underground above ground, this is a good thing.

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I fear the days of a band selling 12 million albums have come to a halt.

tell that to Usher or Green Day

Yes, some successful selling bands...and like I said,

There is one other aspect of this though, most music since 2000, when sales really started slipping, is not very good. Clear Channel has taken over radio, filled the airwaves with crap, and force fed it to the public.

So, yes, the pop stuff in heavy rotation will still sell well. All in all though, sales are down, stores are closing...

Again though, I am not smashing downloaders, I am one, we all are. I just think things have changed and we do have to wonder what the overall affects will be in time. I have read artists who hate the business because unless they are Greenday, they can't sell enough to get out of debt to the label. They have packed shows though, the internet can be thanked for this in exposure, but they can't sell records. The waves of this go far beyond Greenday, but yes, they sold a pile of records, agreed.

Edited by axlskAmpf
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It's impossible to prevent piracy 100 %

There seems to be a clear direction how music will be purchased in the future. Ipod and Itunes have been a revolutuion, and in the future, cd's will suffer the same fate as vinyls, they will die, and be replaced by legal downloading off the net. Sadly.

Yes, and there's another similarity. The sound of vinyl, when taken care of is simply spectacular. And if you compare it to a CD, the only reason to by the CD's for the durability and portabilyt. Sound quality of mp3's compared to CD's is absolutely horrible (maybe only a trained ear would know that, i'm not sure, but I can't stand using an mp3 player because it's tinny even with $150 headphones that I also use in the studio). That's why I just can't really stand this digital music revolution at all. My band records to a computer, but we use a tape simulator to attempt to get that fat sound. It's still not as good as recording to 2 inch tape

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It's impossible to prevent piracy 100 %

There seems to be a clear direction how music will be purchased in the future. Ipod and Itunes have been a revolutuion, and in the future, cd's will suffer the same fate as vinyls, they will die, and be replaced by legal downloading off the net. Sadly.

I really wouldn't want that to happen.

I fear the days of a band selling 12 million albums have come to a halt.

tell that to Usher or Green Day

I wanted to say the same thing.

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