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Permalink to this day Thursday, February 28, 2002

From Michael Greene's speech at the Grammy's
No question the most insidious virus in our midst is the illegal downloading of music on the Net. It goes by many names and its apologists offer a myriad of excuses. This illegal file-sharing and ripping of music files is pervasive, out of control and oh so criminal. Many of the nominees here tonight, especially the new, less-established artists, are in immediate danger of being marginalized out of our business. Ripping is stealing their livelihood one digital file at a time, leaving their musical dreams haplessly snared in this World Wide Web of theft and indifference.

First of all. What the fuck? Who is in the crowd at the Grammy's? Is it starving independent artists scraping by, gigging every night, selling CDs out of the back of their rusted out car or is it Britney Spears & Co decked out in the latest, skimpest dress that costs more than the average indepedent artist makes a year? Britney could care less about 'piraters'. She's too busy signing multi million dollar endorsement deals and her boyfriend's buddy has enough in the bank to pony up $20 mil to go to space.

Second. You do not accuse your customers of theft. You make no friends that way. Instead you ask, 'what can we the industry give you the consumer to make you buy more of our units?' (because the industry thinks in units. To them this is a business not an art). The thieves, I mean customers, will respond, 'we'd like to buy music in a portable format that will play in my car and on my computer that doesn't expire'. Now instead of responding that's not possible, respond, 'yes that technology exists today. It's called MP3s and you know what, we're dying to sell you some'.

Thirdly. They complain that an 'an astounding 3.6 billion songs are illegally downloaded every month'. Now songs = mp3s. Now ask the recording industry, 'how many MP3s have you made available for me to buy' and the answer is ZERO. They won't even experiment with the format! They want too much control. They're too greedy. It's costing them a fortune and soon it will cost them their business.

Fourthly. Let us examine that 3.6 billion figure (thanks to Brad Hill for pointing this out on Pho). Assuming the labels make $4 net on an album and an album has 12 songs we're looking at the labels netting $0.33 a song. $0.33 a song multiplied by 3.4 billion downloads multiplied by 12 months is $14.4 billion in 'lost revenue a year'. The typical claim is that the global music business is $40 billion. $15 billion of that is attributed to the 5 majors. So obviously 3.4 billion downloads is not seriously affecting their bottom line. Rather it seems that if the 5% decline they've experience is not the economy (doubtful) and is downloads, then only about 1 in 20 songs downloaded is affecting them. Or we could look at from the perspective that if they sold only one song per 20 illegal downloads they'd be laughing.

If you missed the Grammy's (like myself) check out this play by play account. Quite funny.

And in related news, viewership of the Grammy's is at a six year low! (read the article).
10:27:03 PM  Permalink to this item []

You guys complain that my life is boring but really it's not. Today was a big day (big doesn't necessarily equal good). A lot happened. Unfortunately it's mostly confidential.
4:35:39 PM  Permalink to this item []

David's now written two recommendations for EmergentMusic. One for the I Am Sam Soundtrack and another for Phantom Planet's TheGuest. And I didn't even have to twist his arm to write them! With the recently added discussion features you can discuss both his recommendations and the music behind them and of course if you think you can do a better job you're welcome to take a shot at it.
10:21:17 AM  Permalink to this item []

Google Loves Blogs (via Ev).

Just right here in the last few days we have witnessed the power of Google, Spam, and Weblogs. 48 hours ago I posted an email forwarded to me from Darryl that was promptly indexed by Google and then received 1000s of visitors wanting to find out why they too had received the same email. It was just yesterday that I was on the phone advising a company not to send out unsolicited email because the response rate was so low yet how could I believe that when the 'Thanks for lunch Mike' spam was driving 1000's of visitors to my weblog when usually I only receive a hundred or so?

While it's obvious these emails aren't trying to sell anything they are a very clever attempt to collect valid email addresses. It's also clear that Sam from Icuasonline still has some lessons to learn about effective spam. While I'm sure he got a great response I think his spam could have been more effective if he actually put the person's name in instead of Mike and if he had used a more generic name then Steve as the sender (actually, what is the most common english name?). Not that I want to encourage Sam.. Though I wonder if Sam has plugged the subject of the email he sent out to check out the results?

And of course it won't be long before a marketer latches on to the idea of very simple yet very mysterious spam. They wouldn't even have to include a URL knowing that a high percentage of people who receive the spam will cut and paste it into Google and as long as they Google bombed a bit before hand they'd own the phrase and reap the hits with the only challenge being to convert the traffic.

You'll also notice I've choked under the pressure. Knowing more people are here and my compulsive posting problem just evaporates.
9:31:52 AM  Permalink to this item []

From the Globe yesterday, Six athletes, six gold: Cereal boxes got it right. Turns out I've got a Steve Yzerman box! The article says the boxes have been selling like hot cakes and that people have been even selling them on eBay. A quick search of back auctions shows many have already sold. Anyone want to buy mine?
9:13:17 AM  Permalink to this item []

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Updated: 4/11/2005; 7:08:40 PM.