In a world where the ability to download music online is unlimited, most tend to do so illegally; record companies should revert back to the sale of physical music. There are sites that allow you to download high-quality discographies from most any artist for free. Besides the fact that this is highly illegal, it costs musicians millions. One person downloads it and shares it with a few friends, then those friends share it, and everyone in the world could have it in a short time.
NPD reports that only 37 percent of music acquired by U.S. consumers in 2009 was paid for (For Students Doing).
Musician’s biggest income comes from concert ticket sales and radio plays. “Most profits from licensed downloads will go to the record label as opposed to the artist (Zeske).” So even when purchasing an album from iTunes, the artist won’t see much of the profits if anything. Yes, distribution becomes easier, but you can still buy a physical CD or even a vinyl and get it shipped to your door. It costs more, but you’re getting more than just the audio data, and the audio quality is always better on CD.
Record stores seem like some retro afterthought of outdated technology. Good old brick-and-mortar record stores are hard to come by these days, but, in the 80’s and early 90’s, they seemed to show up in almost every movie. Yes, culture changes, but a change from actually browsing a record store for hours and sampling music with your friends should not be replaced by Internet downloading in your home. Where is it that we learn about our new favorite bands? Is it from friends, radio, or some computer generated suggestion box on a website?
Think about it: if you were a recording artist trying to earn a living, what would you think about the fact that the music you create makes you absolutely nothing? If artists aren’t making money, they won’t last long in the industry. They won’t get to play in cities that are especially long-distance shows and so will wither out and won’t be able to pay for studio time to record more music. Without money being made by bands, they won’t be a band anymore. So if you really love a band buy the CD, not the download.
People will take more pride in a physical music collection as opposed to an album they never see. It will be more convicting if people try to steal an actual CD as opposed to data on a computer. CDs always have resale value, even if it’s damaged or missing the case, you can still make money on it. If you buy digital music, you can’t resell it.
If for some reason your computer crashes or even iTunes, your music is gone and you will need to purchase it again. You can still use your device, iPod, MP3 player, or phone, you just need to copy the CD into your computer and drop it into your device. Again, ripping CDs gives you the option of varying quality of audio that you can set. With iTunes producing some of the top quality for digital downloads it’s still a compressed file, so it’s like turkey lunch meat, but a format like WAV is like a fresh roasted turkey with all the trimmings. Yes, much of what is missing is inaudible to the human ear, but you will hear the difference.
Why are we doing this to the music we love so dearly? I’m guilty as much as anyone, but I’ve chosen to change. Why don’t we start a revolution in music sales and begin to save this music industry. Start buying CDs and stop downloading mix it up a bit. Change starts with one person, who’s next.
“For Students Doing Reports.” RIAA. n.a., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2014.
“The Pros & Cons of Downloading Music.” eHow. Mateo Zeske, n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2014.