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Jeffrey Fisher & MuzikMan on MP3.com, Labels & the Future
MusicDish Writers Speak Out on the Issues
By MusicDish
(more articles from this author)
2000-09-11
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With all the talk as of late on MP3.com and Napster, we thought we would canvas our MusicDish writers for their opinions on the current state of the music industry and it's future. This week we have thoughts from Jeffrey Fisher and MuzikMan. Next week, we will get more feedback on the industry from our other writers.


Now I'm no advocate of piracy, but there has always been free music -- it's called radio and MTV! The RIAA always seems to forget that. I've always felt the "free sample" was the ideal way to sell just about anything. Your objective: To get people to buy your music. How: Through promotional techniques that enable people to hear your music (and buy it if they like it). There are four possible outlets: radio, Internet, video, live performances. Why: You hope that people will like what they hear and want to buy more (your CD or music catalog). Strategy: Giving away a little music for free is a terrific strategy. You offer a sample of your music just as the cookie store lets you sample their latest culinary delight. They hope you'll like the cookie and buy a dozen or so to take home. You hope people love your sample track and buy the whole CD (or commercial composition services if you do soundtracks and jingles). That brings me to the MP3 controversy. Many acts are giving away their singles in MP3 format in the hopes you'll buy the new CD. The RIAA is livid (again!). Personally I feel this is a terrific promotion, and not all that different from the past. People could listen to singles on the radio (and tape them), see videos on cable (and tape them), and go to live performances. So why is the Internet/MP3 thang any different? The industry should embrace this technology and write-off its cost as a promotional expense. People are inherently cautious and skeptical, but through hearing an act first (and liking the music), it only means that more music will be sold. I've been promoting this sample music idea for years. Now a large segment of the music industry is jumping onboard. I give away lots of material in the hopes you'll buy some of my other products, tell others about my stuff, and ask me to help you with your endeavors. Finally more and more people are trying this crucial promotional success formula.

Jeffrey Fisher


I think that organizations like Universal still have the upper hand, particularly if they do have the copyright to any music. Large corporations can afford to be represented by the best legal counsel, hence their chances for winning a case are much better than an Independent operation that has been around for only a few years. Things are going to change, they have to. It's to easy to acquire music for free. I look at it this way...how would I feel if I worked every week and people were taking money of out my paycheck knowing that it was hurting me and I wasn't being compensated for all of my hard work? This is what's essentially happening. I don't worry about the labels getting their share, they always do. It seems the artists are the ones that always get ripped off, and it's not right. Something has to give, and the time is near for this whole thing to break wide open. It's over due.

I think the large labels are now in a position to reclaim their place as the industry leaders. I was feeling different about this entire situation but a few months ago because of the head of steam that the .coms and the indie artists have built up over the last three or four years. Someone finally slammed on the brakes, it was inevitable. The Internet is a breeding ground of independence, and that's a good thing. Although the artist has the choice to keep control of their work now more than ever, I believe the labels have taken strides to "catch up" with the technology and offer online purchases such as downloadable singles with video content, multi-media in several different forms, and musical rarities found only on the Internet. I don't think any one company is going to emerge as the leader because it's to wide open an opportunity for the artists and the labels and various other .coms that utilize the technology for business. I do believe that the copyright issue is right at the forefront of all of this ongoing change, and it will effect the way everyone conducts business.

MuzikMan


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