Author Topic: What is Youtube to you?  (Read 2974 times)

jdh

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2014, 03:11:07 PM »
Concerning auditioning music,I use You Tube to hear complete tracks before purchasing a FLAC version elsewhere.The audio quality as mentioned is horrible on You Tube but for a one time listen,it is fine.Bandcamp is my default site for listening first.If the music I want to hear is not there,I go to You Tube.
Similar to Chris,I will not buy anything,or nearly anything without hearing the complete track.I remember in the day going to my local record store and playing the complete LP or CD before buying.As an example,a recent artist who I greatly enjoy and have 8 titles of put up a 23 minute track for purchase.Out of those 23 minutes,20 were ambient bliss,3 were noise.I did not buy.If I had not heard that 3 minutes of noise prior on Bandcamp or You Tube,I would have purchased and it would have gone into the bin.
Sorry,a 30 second or 90 clip of a 20 minute track in 2014 does not cut it.
I have also noticed that on BC,pricing is all over the map (cannot figure out how an artist determines the price in the first place) but that yes,in some cases downloads are more expensive than the physical CD which baffles me.Plus then you have all the different currencies and exchange rates.I do think that all music is worth something.Even if an artists is offering something for free,if I enjoy it and will listen to it over and over,well worth the price of admission.After all,you can choose to buy or not,listen or not.Pay or not.


chris23

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2014, 06:12:54 PM »
It's sort of funny in a way, the last Youtube post I made here was "Disintegrating Loops #6" in the now playing thread  without a thought to anything we are discussing....it was just there. I did not think.

Should I have?

In my opinion: yes.

There are two outcomes for people who hadn't heard the album before. After listening to the samples you linked: 

(a) they decided not to buy the album
(b) they decided to buy the album.

In the first scenario, the artist neither lost nor gained anything. (And there is always a chance that the listener was intrigued enough to return to the choice in the future.)  In the second, the artist gained something. Something > nothing.

There is a chance that there was someone out there who was considering buying the album "site unseen" in 2014, but who has now realized that there is no point in doing so (thanks to your link) because they can hear it for free on YouTube. My intuition is that this probability is smaller than that associated with outcome (b).

--

I don't know the right answers when it comes to this stuff. But my intuitions align a bit with Tomas's. I suspect that people who take the liberty to enjoy the work of artists without compensating them will not suddenly start spending money on art if the free material were to disappear. The free material (samples, streams, YouTubez) is helpful to paying fans. To not make it available to prevent the non-paying fans from enjoying it does a disservice to the paying fans and, ultimately (I suspect), the artist.

Having said that, I also resonate with one of Forrest's points. Namely, sometimes I worry that the ease with which music can be distributed these days may have broader effects on the way we value art in our culture. The ease with which I can obtain good music makes my life more rewarding (as a fan), but that same convenience might lead others devalue the art or to take it for granted.

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2014, 06:38:04 AM »
It's sort of funny in a way, the last Youtube post I made here was "Disintegrating Loops #6" in the now playing thread  without a thought to anything we are discussing....it was just there. I did not think.

Should I have?

In my opinion: yes.

There are two outcomes for people who hadn't heard the album before. After listening to the samples you linked: 

(a) they decided not to buy the album
(b) they decided to buy the album.

In the first scenario, the artist neither lost nor gained anything. (And there is always a chance that the listener was intrigued enough to return to the choice in the future.)  In the second, the artist gained something. Something > nothing.

There is a chance that there was someone out there who was considering buying the album "site unseen" in 2014, but who has now realized that there is no point in doing so (thanks to your link) because they can hear it for free on YouTube. My intuition is that this probability is smaller than that associated with outcome (b).


Interesting Chris......I feel that the act of sharing should only work in one way and that is a positive one, however a very negative aspect also exists as is being discussed.  Ultimately if I want to promote the music I love and want to bring it to the attention of others I suppose I will have to live with any negative, unseen scenarios because the worst thing possible would be silence. 

The question remains.....with this free music mentality ingrained in society, what is the solution.....i dont know but so long as we keep talking about the music we love and there is exposure in all forms then it will prevail.

Good debate.  :)     

El culto

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2014, 02:49:01 PM »
Quote from: ffcal

I don't think you broke the law by posting the Youtube link to that album...

Clearly not!

The video is up since 13.09.2012 (!!!) with currently +/- 47000 views

If the artist/label (in more than 6 months) hasnīt done something against this full upload, then it seems heīs/theyīre fine with it for whatever reason. The argument "he/the label may havenīt seen it yet" wonīt work at all concerning Youtube.

Greetings,
Tomas


chris23

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2014, 04:50:16 PM »

I think it is a step too far to assume that every artist must have consented to the stream if it comes via a third -party listener who posted it to Youtube.  Maybe if I were compensated for my time in tracking down the illegal posts of my albums it might be a fairer fight?  I don't have a duty to make my music available for free for an optional payment if someone chooses to post it without my consent.  In fact, such a disrespecting person really belongs in jail.  The ones especially culpable are those who post whole albums as torrents--pretty slimy people.  Of course for those consent to having their music up there, that is their choice.

These are good points, Forrest. I was largely trying to work through the economic implications of having full tracks/albums freely available vs. not. I agree with you that the decision on whether and how such promotional material should be distributed should lie with the artist/label and not with someone else. I probably didn't make that clear.

Having said that, I must admit that I find the economic side of this issue much more interesting than the ethical one. What I really wonder about is whether having free material available hurts an artist's bottom line?

I agree with you that there are some people who will choose not to buy a product because they know that they can listen to it for free. But what proportion of these people would have bought the product if that wasn't the case? And do their numbers outweigh the numbers of people who wouldn't have bought it without having the opportunity to hear it first? Or, in the case of less well known artists, do these numbers outweigh the benefits of growing your potential fan base, some portion of which will be paying customers?

These seem like important questions to answer. My intuition is that many labels/artists highlight the ethical side of the issues because they fear that YouTube, Bandcamp, piracy, etc. are a threat to the bottom line. But I don't think there are good data on that issue. And, given that there is more competition within the music world now than ever, I would be reluctant to assume that any declines in sales are necessarily due to these channels.

chris23

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2014, 06:57:07 PM »
Quote
It's also a bit too cynical and just flat out wrongheaded to think that an ethical issue must generally be masking an economic one. . .  I think listeners have an implicit pact with the artists they listen to not to do them harm, even if you didn't care for his or her move into rap or DIY noise.  Without that, music just becomes an impersonal commodity, like Tide or Cheer.

Why all the hate for Tide and Cheer?  ;)

I think that once artists/labels threaten to sue their fans, the "implicit pact" has already been violated. The music industry is, in fact, an industry. Perhaps you're correct that I am being too cynical, but I believe that the major labels only talk the language of ethics when it is in their (perceived) financial interests to do so.

It might be the case that youare not thinking about these issues from a financial point of view. But I'm willing to bet that just about everyone else who is concerned with file sharing, YouTube, etc. is worried that this stuff might compromise profits or, in the case of smaller labels, the economic viability of the enterprise. They are not talking about this stuff because, in their heart of hearts, they are earnestly concerned about whether an artist's integrity has been disrespected when a fan uploads a video to YouTube. Most labels do not issue "take down" notices because they are committed to defending an ethical cause; they are trying to defend their wallets.

In my view, we cannot separate the ethics from the economics. We can do so theoretically, which, imo, makes for a good discussion. But we can't do so in practice. When I wish to show my appreciation for an artist, I buy his or her music. If I'm not putting my money where my appreciation lies, then what's the point? You can't release a CD or update your studio based on my positive experiences and well wishes. When all is said in done, we are trading commodities: my money for your art. I don't think that diminishes the value of the exchange or makes it impersonal (many people have an emotional relationship with the products they buy, including their laundry detergent).

chris23

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2014, 07:08:55 PM »
Quote
if you stole something from my car, but I didn't see what you took and the car still runs fine, was there no theft?

There was a theft. But maybe I stole a bomb of which you were not aware and saved your life.  ;)

Castleview

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2014, 08:53:00 PM »
While I don't believe in piracy, I do often find myself listening to music on Youtube mainly out of convenience. I don't think Youtube is a huge threat. The damage was already done before Youtube came along.

I do believe that online piracy has hurt the business overall but I also feel like the music industry has completely failed to adapt. I feel a lot worse for the smaller labels like Projekt and their artists than I do for people like Don Henley and Eminem. I certainly don't feel sorry for the major record labels.

I think digital downloads need to be priced more reasonably. I think $10 is usually a bit too much for most albums. I've seen albums on Amazon MP3 and iTunes for $12 and that's just ridiculous. I could buy a used CD for much cheaper. I think the industry needs to provide value, especially in a day and age where consumers have so many options for entertainment. Why would anybody pay $18 for a CD when they can probably go to the movies or buy a video game for about the same price or less?
http://castleview.bandcamp.com/
New album available now!

chris23

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2014, 09:50:55 PM »
Forrest, I worry that we're speaking past one another. I don't disagree with your ethical or your legal points. Someone who uploads copyrighted content to the internet without permission, even if he or she does it with the best of intentions, is violating both implicit rules and explicit laws.

In short, I'm not attempting to justify the ethical foundations of the listener who uploads content to YouTube. We both agree that this is inappropriate.

The only point where I think we truly disagree is whether we believe the ethical issues are confounded with the economic ones. I think that the reason most artists/labels care about these matters is because they are concerned with the sustainability of their business. And, in my mind, that is a legitimate thing to worry about. And, to the extent to which it matters, it is appropriate to treat the problem as an economic one that has ethical relevance rather than an ethical one that is economics-free.

Anyhow, I'm okay with agreeing to disagree on that point. I think it is fun and interesting to hear other people's perspectives regardless; I've come away from this with some new things to consider.

Speaking of which, some of Castleview's points made me wonder what your (Forrest's and other's) thoughts are on the sales of used CDs.

El culto

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2014, 03:44:15 AM »
Quote from: ffcal

I don't think you broke the law by posting the Youtube link to that album...

Clearly not!

The video is up since 13.09.2012 (!!!) with currently +/- 47000 views

If the artist/label (in more than 6 months) hasnīt done something against this full upload, then it seems heīs/theyīre fine with it for whatever reason. The argument "he/the label may havenīt seen it yet" wonīt work at all concerning Youtube.

Greetings,
Tomas

I think you're assuming a level of diligence that many artists, their heirs or their labels may not have and may not be inclined to exercise because the financial rewards are too small.  An artist's legal rights are not based on how effective they are playing "whack-a-mole."  If I were awarded statutory damages for tracking down my and Projekt's illegal album postings, I would gladly do it full-time.

Here's a hypothetical:  let's say you owned a summer cabin in the middle of Wyoming, but only had the time to visit it once every year or so and barely had the resources to maintain it.  A group of enterprising teenagers periodically broke into the cabin and made off with some of the cabin's belongings.  If it took you a year or two discover the theft, should that affect or not whether a crime was committed?  And in the case of your Youtube example, but does it make it any less wrong that more people were doing the same thing?  (In case you're wondering, I've never been a  believer in the wisdom of mobs.)

Forrest

 :D Forrest, you sound like iīm on the other "side" protecting those uploads…LOL

Itīs clear, that it is illegal and iīm not happy about it either. BUT, you can complain as much as you want about,
 it WILL NOT change anything about it that users are uploading copyright music on Youtube now and in the future.

So currently there are only 2 options for artists/labels:

1. Doing nothing about it
2. The artist and/or label gets active (yes, that takes effort and time)

I perfectly understand that you are pissed off by this issue (so I am) but your points are going in a circle now.

Greetings,
Tomas

« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 03:55:04 AM by El culto »

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2014, 06:16:10 AM »
This thread has certainly got me think about the many issues at work here.

I dont think there is a solution to this....there is however evolution and as such we have no choice but to evolve or.......


chris23

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2014, 09:58:51 AM »
No, Forrest, we're definitely talking past one another. This is why: "What I saw was an attempt on your part to impute hypocrisy or disingenuous motivations to artists and labels with a legitimate complaint..."

I don't view financial concerns as "disingenuous motivations" and I don't consider it "hypocrisy" for a label to be concerned with the bottom line. A label that isn't concerned with its bottom line is going to have an awfully difficult time surviving in a rapidly changing marketplace.

It might be the case that you in particular are not concerned with the financial implications of piracy. As you implied, stealing--regardless of the financial implications of what was stolen--is stealing nonetheless. And I can certainly appreciate why this issue on its own would be of concern to artists and lawyers, not to mention artistic lawyers.

But I find it hard to accept your assumption that most record labels' interest in piracy has nothing to do with a concern for how piracy affects sales. I've heard several people involved in the industry explicitly state that they believe that piracy hurts sales. I don't think it is presumptuous of me to make the inferences I'm making on the basis of such claims. And, to be clear, I don't think there is anything disingenuous about a business being concerned with factors that might undermine their bottom line.

--

The reason I am pushing the economic side of this so strongly is that I have a genuine interest in supporting the labels and musicians that I admire and respect. And when I hear people involved with the labels I love say things like "We don't know if we can sustain this enterprise because of piracy" it worries me and leads me to two questions:

(a) What would it take to make the enterprise more sustainable?
(b) Is piracy really the reason why sales are down?

This latter question matters for people like me who want to see our genre not only survive, but grow. If our focus on piracy leads us to fail to consider other possible (and potentially more potent) explanations for decreases in sales, then our preoccupation with the issue might be leading us down the wrong path.

What factors, other than piracy, may help explain why sales are suffering? I'm no industry analyst, but I would venture that some of the following factors matter:

1. When people can stream music for free over Spotify and Pandora, they don't need to buy music in order to hear the music they wish to hear. This legal alternative could potentially be responsible for a large part of diminishing sales.

2. As a few people noted earlier in the thread (e.g., Castleview), the entertainment landscape has changed considerably over the past decade. Do I want to spend money on a CD? Or would I rather (a) play an MMO or Skyrim, (b) chat with friends on Facebook, (c) argue with internet trolls on Twitter, (d) read a book on my Kindle, (e) watch a movie on Netflix that I can get instantly without having to drive to the video store? These (legal) alternatives to buying music could explain diminishing sales of music.

3. Because of the Internet, the pool of music that is available to fans has grown exponentially. When I'm trying to decide how to spend my $25 this week, I'm not just choosing between Steve Roach and Robert Rich. There are 100s of artists I'd like to support and 100s of CDs I'd like to buy. Because there is more music available to consumers these days, a typical artist is likely to experience a decrease in sales regardless of the effects of piracy.

An important point here is that, independent of piracy, there are at least three good explanations for why labels might have seen a decrease in sales over the past 15 years. A label is free to invest money in issuing take downs, suing customers, and lobbying politicians for new laws. But doing so may not be in the label's best interests economically, especially when those efforts come at the expense of thinking more broadly and creatively about other factors that drive sales and the way the world is continuing to change.

Regarding point (a): What would it take to make the enterprise more sustainable?

I don't know. As Julio noted, something needs to change. I've called attention to some things that I know influence my own buying habits (e.g., being able to preview an album first, lower prices on digital releases, making the physical product special), but those strategies might not work for all consumers.

I also suspect that we need to rethink *who* the consumers are in this genre. I assume the potential market for ambient music isn't college students who like to attend dance parties. It is probably composed of people who are collectors, audiophiles, and musicians themselves. So, finding ways to get more money from Spotify, for example, might not be the right kind of strategy for increasing the financial viability of ambient labels. But exploring other options, such as bundling digital downloads (available on purchase, as with BC) with purchases of the physical product, might be one solution that both embraces new technology while appealing to the collector mentality. I also think one solution is to focus on high-quality releases. Just because you can release something doesn't mean you should. Also, simply acknowledging that there are communities out there and embracing them can help a lot. I know people here have expressed their disdain for self-promotion. I can relate to that. But simply "knowing" who someone is--even via online platforms--makes them more human. And, at least for me, that makes me want to buy their work.



drone on

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2014, 10:22:16 AM »
This is why I kept my one comment short and as neutral as possible.  ;)

El culto

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #33 on: April 04, 2014, 12:58:57 PM »
Chris:  "But I find it hard to accept your assumption that most record labels' interest in piracy has nothing to do with a concern for how piracy affects sales. "

I think you've ignored most what I've been trying to say.  What you said was a direct insult.  I'm done trying to explain it to you.

Forrest

Iīm really surprised about your response…i mean, Chris tried to explain what he meant and (even itīs a personal opinion) many things he said making sense for me (i.e. piracy vs sales affects). But you just jump on an "insult" you imply it was against you. Iīm not a native english speaker but from all Iīve read, i canīt see any direct insult. For me it seems you are currently quite stuck with your artist right fights but wonīt like to expand this discussion. All people responding in this thread agreed on protecting copyrights so far, but you still hang on it and constantly repeat this issue.

I have no idea why, but for me it feels more like a defense position than trying to find solution to cope with that issue, because right now I havenīt  heard ANY ideas/suggestions from you here to make things better….so far Iīve only heard moaning.

Greetings,
Tomas

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2014, 01:07:05 PM »
I also suspect that we need to rethink *who* the consumers are in this genre. I assume the potential market for ambient music isn't college students who like to attend dance parties. It is probably composed of people who are collectors, audiophiles, and musicians themselves. So, finding ways to get more money from Spotify, for example, might not be the right kind of strategy for increasing the financial viability of ambient labels. But exploring other options, such as bundling digital downloads (available on purchase, as with BC) with purchases of the physical product, might be one solution that both embraces new technology while appealing to the collector mentality. I also think one solution is to focus on high-quality releases. Just because you can release something doesn't mean you should. Also, simply acknowledging that there are communities out there and embracing them can help a lot. I know people here have expressed their disdain for self-promotion. I can relate to that. But simply "knowing" who someone is--even via online platforms--makes them more human. And, at least for me, that makes me want to buy their work.

This is the sort of think for the future I like to see.......because ambient must look there.

I read recently through the hyprreal ambient emails I get that some weird label is ripping sound cloud music from artist and selling "meditation" compilation downloads on iTunes.  That is blatant theft.

Forrest & Chris......you guys are put forward some powerful concepts/truths and Im not sure how, or maybe I dont understand how it got a little out of hand but perhaps we can use some more ... :), to be  make sure points are taken in the right way.  This is important what is being discussed and many will read it.

Ultimately if I want to promote the music I love and want to bring it to the attention of others I suppose I will have to live with any negative, unseen scenarios because the worst thing possible would be silence.

Wouldn't the worst thing possible would be being sued by Lars Ulrich?;)

Forrest


Forrest, from a non legal perspective James Hetfield scares me more ;D

El culto

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #35 on: April 04, 2014, 04:24:06 PM »
Quote from: ffcal

BTW, I think my Animism release is available for streaming from Bandcamp, but I am ambivalent about that because of potential for recording the stream.

You THINK???

You are complaining here about broken copyrights concerning yours and other music, but for a particular own release you even donīt know if it is available for stream? Thatsīs really odd IMO... What about having a clear knowledge concerning the legal availability of your music?

If you really donīt know ("i think") about that, then all the rest of what you said before makes it sounding for me like a pseudo-intellectual speech. And as I said before, so far unfortunately i havenīt heard any future based suggestions/ideas about your point concerning the "Youtube copyright issue".

Greetings,
Tomas

drone on

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #36 on: April 04, 2014, 04:51:31 PM »
You know, I really think this thread should be closed because every time I check it there are personal attacks.  Take it off forum, I say...

El culto

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #37 on: April 04, 2014, 05:16:23 PM »
You know, I really think this thread should be closed because every time I check it there are personal attacks.  Take it off forum, I say...

I disagree, because a discussion including different opinions makes it more alive. Please tell me at last one personal attack written here!

I do believe this forum is not a Kindergarten place, so I think members can cope with other personal opinions.

Greetings,
Tomas

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #38 on: April 04, 2014, 05:43:04 PM »
drone on, with respect, please, a great effort has been made to construct a valid discussion about the possibilities of ambient now and in future.

If people disagree and get passionate about it more the better...bring it on.  When we are done we'll all go down the pub and have a beer or two but in the interim this needs to run its course.

Mr Griffin Sir.....I sense you are ready to release your dragons of reason...sorry, 4th season of Game of Thrones airs april 6th

El culto

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Re: What is Youtube to you?
« Reply #39 on: April 04, 2014, 05:54:46 PM »
When we are done we'll all go down the pub and have a beer or two but in the interim this needs to run its course.

Being a wine drinker only i think Mike can close the thread right now  ;D