I wonder, what should be the appropriate reaction for a small record label, to a place like this:http://faunigena.blogspot.com/
Today, this blog is linking to downloads at 320kbps quality, of a couple of Hypnos CDs that we sell for $8.99. I do understand the argument that sometimes, people hear something they've downloaded or reeived for free, and they like it so much they end up buying it. I also understand that many who download it and listen, would never have purchased the CD in the first place, so in such cases there is no "cost" of a lost sale.
Still, despite all my attempts to look at this from some different angle or other, it's hard not to feel a bit annoyed about that. So much for the argument that people only download music because "$18.99 is too much for a CD with only two good singles on it," or to "screw the major labels!"
I wonder, separating out any personal annoyance or sense of being "cheated" I may feel, if people who make available downloads like that one realize that labels like Hypnos often sell such a small number of CDs as to make it just barely worthy of continuing, from a financial point of view?
Or that the loss of a few hundred CDs sold could quite literally be the difference between a label continuing for another year, or not?
Or that even if the label survives, a given artist's CD sales might be borderline enough to begin with, that the loss of just a hundred CDs sold might be the difference between the label opting to pick up the artist's next album, or passing on it as not viable?
One of the two albums available for download on that site, has just within the past year or two, finally sold enough copies to have paid for the expense of pressing it in the first place, nearly a decade ago. It realy makes me wonder, without being hysterically possessive about the music on the label, or without being unrealistic about the complex matter of how and why music is shared without any money flowing to the label or the artist, if people actually have any idea of the financial realities of a small label like Hypnos, or Infraction, or Umbra?
This isn't meant to be an angry rant, nor to take an unrealistic view of file sharing, not at all. I just wonder, what would be the right response in a case like this? Should I write to those people and ask them to remove the downloads? Should I just shrug it off and say, you can't control the impulse people have to take a shortcut, and you can't counter the rationalizations they will make in order to make themselves feel better? I'm inclined to do nothing, but maybe I ought to be more active in searching for, and communicating with, people who run sites like that.