Share or buy?

The debate about fie sharing has been running for years.  I’m not in the camp that says the technology that permits file-sharing is killing the media industry; it’s the same technology that has revolutionised my life and work, so complaining about tech advances is hypocrasy on my part.  Taking something that you should pay for isn’t tech’s fault; it’s a weakness of human nature.

So how do I react when my loops libraries, which are an important part of my portfolio of work, appear on file sharing sites?  I am on a sales royalty (a minority percentage) so unless the libraries generate income, my investment is wasted, as are the investments of Loopmasters.  (My investment is time, studio and musicians’ fees.)

I’m frustrated, angry but ultimately optimistic.

Each copy taken does not necessarily mean a lost sale.
Some who search for a string loops library will buy it, some will take it.  Some will stumble across it and it and take it, just ‘cos they can, but probably wouldn’t buy it.

File-sharers ultimately become file buyers.
I may struggle to remember the distant past, but I know for sure that I was young, and stupid and short of money and mad that I couldn’t seem to afford everything I wanted.  But I’m older and wiser and have some social responsibility and a conscience now.  I pay for software and media because I know that’s what keeps the business going.

My brand gains wider exposure.
There’s been a lot written about the artist and the brand, and how wide acceptance of your brand ultimately leads to income (still not sure how exactly).  A recent post here was about RCVR, a short-film series with a big budget, given away to viewers on Youtube.  The guys doing that stuff are wiser than me, so I’m confident brand improves, even from a file-sharing site.

I’m overwhelmingly optimistic.  Jeez, I hope I’m not convincing anyone to turn to file sharing just ‘cos I can list at least some positives!

When my latest library appeared on file-sharing sites recently, I was, at first, incensed by 2 things; the page contained not only the text and logos from Loopmasters but the video I prepared to demonstrate the library.  And the file sharing site carried ads from well-known companies, which I interpret as the corporate big boys condoning file sharing.

That 2nd point I’m still pissed off about, the first gives me some interesting data.

I have a Youtube channel and the views for the Realstrings Volume 3 video were high, by my standards.  Youtube is even suggesting I carry ads for my vids to make some revenue.  So my brand is getting exposure and positive feedback.  But the list shows something pretty depressing – the hits from file sharing sites far out-weigh the hits from sales sites.  By a ratio of about 4:1 as far as I can tell.

Of course, a Youtube hit from a sales site doesn’t necessarily mean a sale, but this is at indication, at least, of take v buy.

I don’t think I can do much about it, other than try to capitalise on brand awareness and encourage the takers to become buyers in the future.  I expect advertisers to pull out though and Google, ffs, stop putting file sharing results in your searches!

One response to “Share or buy?

  1. Hi Pete:
    I feel ya about the freebie bootlegging. I just left the loopmasters site and your strings collection is certainly top notch. They will be paid for when I use them in my music. I don’t have that series yet, but after getting future melodies together. I can see how your strings will fit well in my pop, rock, R&B and most certainly classical arrangements. Heck I’ve even used strings in some of my jazz flavored tunes.
    I’ve recently noticed that anytime I search google for anything digital related. The bootleg file sharing sites outnumber the legitimate web sites! I don”t visit those sites because first of all I’m convinced it’s a trap! Eventually someone will download some digital audio/games/videos/music, etc. that belongs to the “BIG BOYS.” I think that’s how the Motion Picture Industry of America, and the RIAA caught folks downloading copyrighted content in the past and possibly even today. Again I’m talking about the “Big BOYS” copyrights being honored and dishonored.
    As soon as I can finish mastering my music. I’m gonna put it on the market. I’m sure that freeloaders will have a field day with it. So that’s something I’m pre-accepting. I want my music to be heard and, unfortunately that’s just a chance you have to take now-a-days. Trust me I won’t be quitting my day job anytime soon. Apparently some people don’t have a conscience with regards to profiting off the labor and the suffering of others. They could care less about the amount of time and money that’s spent on song creation and arrangement, audio/video software/hardware, rehearsals, music education, musicians, or anything else music production related. And that includes all forms of digital entertainment.

    There is a guy on my job that sneaks around selling bootlegged DVD’s and music cd’s all the time. I’d love to see the RIAA haul him off in handcuffs. And far as I know he’s not giving one dime to the publishers or anyone else connected to the production of that media! Neither is he an authorized distributor to my knowledge. And I expect he’ll be bootlegging my stuff once it hits the market. The light at the end of the tunnel for snakes like these is that more people will have knowledge of, appreciate and support your work. Hope this line has brought encouragement to you and other non-corporate publishers like myself.

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