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A month after download law, consumers spending less on music


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#16 ~Johnny

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 23:49

Well now you can say you know one.

Before Zune I often sampled an album. If I liked it I bought it. If I didn't like it then I didn't even bother with the Recycle Bin. I would just Shift-Delete it.

The only industry I could be accused of harming is the rental video industry. Even then it would be a small amount since I generally buy my movies used from Blockbuster since they offer Previously-viewed Blu-Ray movies for like $4-$5 a pop.

Some stuff I buy new...but with Blu-Ray being as durable as they are...I have yet to buy a disc with a single scratch on it.


Bringing that back around...now you know someone who has in the past employed a 'try before you buy' method. Almost everyone I know who is a 'pirate' does the same thing.



And at what point is that in anyway acceptable? There's plenty of legal ways to sample the music it. You don't get to read a full book before buying it, or watch a whole film before deciding to buy it / a ticket for it. You get samplers / trailers / previews, and there are plenty of perfectly good legal samples provided out there for music - whether it's 30 second music previews on things like iTunes, going onto YouTube, or even just using free Spotify. The mentality these days is that people have some sort of right to do whatever they want with the music, which I personally find nonsense, trying before you buy included.


#17 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 23:51

I don't think I've ever known anyone who's genuinely done this - they either set out to buy it in the first place, or "try" it by listening to it on the radio. All this research is showing was that Japanese music sales were falling before the ban, and they still fell after the ban. All that's happened now is people are feeling less entitled to think they have a right to download it, and just get on with other things instead. Which is fine. It hasn't increased sales, but it's stopped a number of people from listening to what they legally shouldn't be.


When Inception came out, I loved the "Mind Heist" track that was on all the trailers, I couldn't find it anywhere legally, so I got it off a torrent. Then, I went looking for other stuff by the same artist, I found I liked quite a lot of it, and as a result now own legitimately both of his studio albums, all because I pirated one song. True story.

Same also applies to Breaking Benjamin. I can't remember where I heard their first song, but because I liked the pirated song, I now legally own the full album imported from the US, and another I listen to on Spotify.

I'm not saying all people are like that. I know people who haven't bought any music or movies in years because they download them illegally, but not every pirate copy is a lost sale. This kind of thing is exactly why these companies need to modernize. The internet changed the game, the cost of delivery is basically zero now, and sharing music is as easy as ctrl+c, ctrl+v. People WANT easy access to lots of music, and they can get it whether these companies want to join in or not. The cat is out of the bag, so to speak, and things have changed. Forever.

No more extortion through forced scarcity. No more overpriced discs. No most costs to copy media. No more cartels. The bits and bytes thing is here to stay. These companies just want everything back to the good old days, where they could charge whatever they liked and no-one knew otherwise, where they could take a 90% cut of sales and the artist wouldn't see a problem. The internet is basically 100% pro-consumer, and this terrifies these companies.

Over the past few years, things have changed, which is great. We've got services like Spotify and Netflix that allow us easy access to lots of media for a low price. No piracy, no court cases, everyone wins. Granted, there are issues. Spotify doesn't pay artists nearly as much as they'd like, they're struggling with the freemium model, but these issues will get ironed out in time. Then, every now again, we get stories like this that take away every last hope that the "old guard" of media was gone, and that governments favour corporate profits over consumer rights and freedoms.

#18 Growled

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 23:51

I try before I buy EVERYTHING that I can.


Me too.

#19 Shane Nokes

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 23:59

And at what point is that in anyway acceptable? There's plenty of legal ways to sample the music it. You don't get to read a full book before buying it, or watch a whole film before deciding to buy it / a ticket for it. You get samplers / trailers / previews, and there are plenty of perfectly good legal samples provided out there for music - whether it's 30 second music previews on things like iTunes, going onto YouTube, or even just using free Spotify. The mentality these days is that people have some sort of right to do whatever they want with the music, which I personally find nonsense, trying before you buy included.


Sure I do. It's called a library. I can go there and check out books, and if I like them I buy them. If I don't then I return them. I do the same thing with my Kindle with the 'Kindle Lending Library'. I try out books that look interesting, and if I like them I buy them.

Books have a very legal way of employing a 'try before you buy' method that no one really frowns upon.

Music & Movies don't really have that.

Music has the 10-30 second clip. It's usually the 'best' 10-30 seconds of the song...which can be very deceptive. I've bought songs before based on those 10-30 second samples and found that clip was the only part of the song I liked. That was a waste.

When it comes to movies, trailers these days tend to be more deceptive than anything. For instance I refused to go see Dark Shadows in the theater due to the trailer making it look like a really crappy remake of the original. I'm now going to watch it with a friend because they've seen it and said that the really stupid campy comedy bits were all in the trailer and that the tone of the movie isn't the same as the tone of the trailer.

Just based on the preview I wouldn't have known that.

Sometimes a sample isn't a bad thing...since it can let you know if you like something enough to own it.


I do like how you swapped from the 'don't really know anyone who does it that way' argument to the 'well that's still not acceptable' argument.

If you've ever so much as taken a peek at a script in development, ran a non-released OS build, listened to a song on a device you own in a public venue where others could hear it, or watched part of a movie in a public area on a tablet or other device where others could see it, then you have no ability to look down.

The reason being that all of those things are actually in violation of the same type of law themselves.

The point being some of these laws hurt the industry more than they help it...and do not make sense.

#20 Javik

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 00:00

Whether it's legal or moral is a question for a different thread in my opinion, but given that studies have indicated that people who pirate often do also buy a lot of music (sometimes even more than non pirates), and buy concert tickets I'm not surprised at all by this news.

Personally these days I will be reluctant to buy an album unless I have heard some of it first, it's a growing trend that albums are getting released that have a couple of good tracks on with the rest being complete crap.

#21 Shane Nokes

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 00:05

Whether it's legal or moral is a question for a different thread in my opinion, but given that studies have indicated that people who pirate often do also buy a lot of music (sometimes even more than non pirates), and buy concert tickets I'm not surprised at all by this news.

Personally these days I will be reluctant to buy an album unless I have heard some of it first, it's a growing trend that albums are getting released that have a couple of good tracks on with the rest being complete crap.


Indeed that's why I'm so picky. One of the few bands (and this is a personal taste) that I can almost always trust to release a nice album is Linkin Park. The reason I say that is that they've gone the Pink Floyd route of having 'concept albums' similar to the way some of the old Progressive Rock albums worked.

I know that the album is meant to be listened to as a whole since it all works together as one piece. I haven't been disappointed in their last 3 albums because of this switch. I liked their earlier work as well...but they've really hit a good stride at this point.

I feel like if I hear a bit of that album then normally if I like it I'm going to like the rest of it.

#22 Perfect72

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 00:14

I don't think I've ever known anyone who's genuinely done this - they either set out to buy it in the first place, or "try" it by listening to it on the radio. All this research is showing was that Japanese music sales were falling before the ban, and they still fell after the ban. All that's happened now is people are feeling less entitled to think they have a right to download it, and just get on with other things instead. Which is fine. It hasn't increased sales, but it's stopped a number of people from listening to what they legally shouldn't be.


Not with music I don't. You are right, if I am set to buy an album, I will, otherwise I don't. But with games, it is a completely different story. If a company doesn't release a demo, I will try it by other means, and this has saved me from making a ton of poor purchases. (Need For Speed: Most Wanted being the most recent.) I will buy anything I "try" if it is good... But if I only play it for an hour, and deem it sucks, I get rid of it, and forget about it. At $60 a pop and no refunds on most and some without demos, you bet your wallet I am not going to make a bad purchase without trying it myself.

Music on the other hand, well, I only buy one or two bands albums anymore, and that is just me supporting the artists. I'd rather use GrooveShark or something for my music nowadays, because that is a better model than what the record industry keeps trying to shove down our throats.

#23 Colin McGregor

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 00:21

I don't think I've ever known anyone who's genuinely done this - they either set out to buy it in the first place, or "try" it by listening to it on the radio. All this research is showing was that Japanese music sales were falling before the ban, and they still fell after the ban. All that's happened now is people are feeling less entitled to think they have a right to download it, and just get on with other things instead. Which is fine. It hasn't increased sales, but it's stopped a number of people from listening to what they legally shouldn't be.


I do it. I have a stack of 360 games that I bought full price that I downloaded from a torrent site prior. If after playing it for a few hours I like it I run out and buy it. If I don't like it then I toss it.
As for music I have a zune pass / xbox music pass so I get all the downloads I want legally for only $10

#24 +Xinok

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 00:41

Well now you can say you know one.

I'll just say, from my personal experience, people like you are an exception. Most of the people I know (in their teens / twenties anyways) would buy at least a few of the things they download (not all, but a few), but they don't because they can get it for free.

As for the article, looking at sales one month after the bill passed is not conclusive of anything. As Johnny said, this is merely a continuing trend of sales that were already falling. While this is a trend that has been seen several times before, I'd argue that these laws do little to actually deter people from pirating. The fact is, piracy is as rampant as ever. When a new law actually puts a significant dent in piracy rates, then let me know how sales figures compare.

#25 Richteralan

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 00:44

Fine by me, if they don't want to pay for it, don't listen to it from a download.

good luck earning any money.

#26 Shane Nokes

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 00:46

I'll just say, from my personal experience, people like you are an exception. Most of the people I know (in their teens / twenties anyways) would buy at least a few of the things they download (not all, but a few), but they don't because they can get it for free.

As for the article, looking at sales one month after the bill passed is not conclusive of anything. As Johnny said, this is merely a continuing trend of sales that were already falling. While this is a trend that has been seen several times before, I'd argue that these laws do little to actually deter people from pirating. The fact is, piracy is as rampant as ever. When a new law actually puts a significant dent in piracy rates, then let me know how sales figures compare.


Whereas from my personal experience, those who just pirate without regard for purchasing content are the exception. That just goes to show that personal experience isn't always the end-all be-all of things that involve a population of about 6 billion people. :)

I think the difference is in the ability to afford items. The group you are referring to are the group that wouldn't have actually purchased the item anyways. They wanted it, but couldn't afford it, so they found a way to get it.

The group I refer to can afford the items, but do not like parting with money unless it is for something that they genuinely want.

#27 ~Johnny

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 00:49

Sure I do. It's called a library. I can go there and check out books, and if I like them I buy them. If I don't then I return them. I do the same thing with my Kindle with the 'Kindle Lending Library'. I try out books that look interesting, and if I like them I buy them.

Books have a very legal way of employing a 'try before you buy' method that no one really frowns upon.


I suppose there are libraries (I was more thinking digitally try when writing the post though), but they actually pay the publishers to do that. There's money being passed around, it's not just some magical free thing - and the Kindle lending library requires a paid prime membership which covers the cost of doing that. The closest thing to a library for music is Spotify and even that makes sure money is going around to artists when you listen.

Heck, if you want to try things - we've had this perfectly fine legal way of doing it going around for a while - it's called renting. It's not free, but all these thing's are luxury items, not essentials. There shouldn't be any honest expectation for them to be free.

Music & Movies don't really have that.
Music has the 10-30 second clip. It's usually the 'best' 10-30 seconds of the song...which can be very deceptive. I've bought songs before based on those 10-30 second samples and found that clip was the only part of the song I liked. That was a waste.


And? There's plenty of things in life you can't see the full picture of before you buy. You buy it, you take a risk, you like it or you don't. It's how things have worked for centuries. There's not some right where you have everything you buy must be perfectly fit your criteria - you buy things you see that catch your eye. Sometimes that pays off, sometimes that doesn't.

If you're disappointed after buying something, just be disappointed... unless they've genuinely falsely advertised, but samples are genuine parts of the tracks.

When it comes to movies, trailers these days tend to be more deceptive than anything. For instance I refused to go see Dark Shadows in the theater due to the trailer making it look like a really crappy remake of the original. I'm now going to watch it with a friend because they've seen it and said that the really stupid campy comedy bits were all in the trailer and that the tone of the movie isn't the same as the tone of the trailer.

Just based on the preview I wouldn't have known that.


Again, and? That's the studio's fault, that's just business and that's something they'll have to fix going forward. They lost a customer fair and square from their own doing. And then word of mouth has been doing what's it's been doing for centuries. Maybe they need to focus more going ahead on music discoverability. (As an aside, I actually spend a lot of my free time working around and creating music discover-ability concepts and music playing software, but it's nothing I have a paid interest in, nor do I particularly listen to much music myself - I just leave the radio on for background noise most of the time)

do like how you swapped from the 'don't really know anyone who does it that way' argument to the 'well that's still not acceptable' argument.


I don't think I did "swap arguments", ah, I didn't... I was directly replying to you. Unless I actually have to reiterate everything I've previously said in each future post, why even add this line?
At any rate, even for games I don't see why people feel entitled to have to try everything before hand. If the publisher doesn't push out a demo - it's annoying, it's their loss and I probably won't buy it. That's something the industry has to sort out, and there are potential solutions going forward, like the one provided by OnLive - who let you just play the first 30 minutes of most games on their service. If you don't want to take a risk with your money, then... don't. And I'm sure there'll be plenty of people on here who think there's some honorable reason for piracy (as an FYI, please don't directly admit to it here, it's technically against community rules), but I'm likely never going to agree with it. It's just not necessary, and I just really don't see or feel the need or entitlement to have to try everything. If I commit to buying something, I'm fine to go through the experience of the product, whether I like it or not in the end. If all these things we were talking about were essentials, and not luxuries, I might have some sympathy. But they're not and I don't :p

And with all these people pirating, there's less direct incentive for the industry to directly attack the main problem of discovery, because they can simply place most of the direct blame on lowered sales piracy. If that wasn't there, and sales were still going down, you'd bet your ass they'd be doing something to kick new life into it - simply because they would have too if they wanted to remain in business. Unfortunately, most solutions are going to probably cost money or have adverts, and with piracy so prevalent there's plenty of less noble people who seriously just couldn't give a damn about paying - who simply just want to listen / play that content - who aren't going to want that "compromised" legal counterpart.

#28 Shiranui

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 00:51

The reason for low Japanese music sales is simple: AKB48

#29 Shane Nokes

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:05

BTW, just to toss an example out there Johnny...and using this as a specific example, but not saying it's something I directly engage in...Imports.

With the world as tightly-knit as it is these days it's easy to share ideas and communication, but not always content. There are still many areas around the world that release content just for their specific region, and make it hard for anyone who lives elsewhere to determine their like or dislike of that content.

There are many television programs around the world that never see a US release or see a much delayed one. For instance the show Hex that aired in the UK. I was made aware of the show by a friend who lives there.

The show finally did air via BBC America, but it wasn't for a couple years. After that some of the episodes were released on DVD in the US, but not everything. In fact the version sold in the US is a 'neutered' version of the show missing about 10 minutes per episode, and only contains a part of Seasons 1 & 2. About 9 episodes are missing total on top of the missing chunk of each episode.

So in order to see the show here in the US someone would either have to buy equipment from the UK and have it all shipped here, then buy the UK versions of the show.

I'm not saying someone should pirate in this scenario. What I am saying is that content producers/providers put in so many roadblocks to finding ways to enjoy their content that they cut off possible revenue.

This frustration leads many to the only affordable outlet available to view that content. Is it legal? No, but I'm not going to necessarily fault someone for it.

It's like some of the things I'm working on. There's a few projects (personal ones) that I'm going to be spending a lot of time on. I'm going to put those out there at some point in the (hopefully) near future. I want people to buy it, but if they pirate it I'm not going to chase folks down for it.

#30 freak180

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:10

Taking risk? I rather not when 95% of music is complete crap. Sorry but I only buy from bands that put effort into music. Please dont get me started with movies. I only watch the ones I know will be good. Unlike some of you guys I rather not throw out money on crap and be disappointed. Thats how I work and do things.