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!