A world of music at my feet!

Today I finally did something I have wanted (and planned) to do for aaaaages. I upgraded my Spotify account to Spotify Unlimited! Woop woop! No more adverts, and no more “You have spent all your minutes this month.” Gotta love it. Don’t ya…? I’m currently listening to Beyoncé’s new album “4”, and I’m actually quite pleasantly surprised – at least after the first couple of listens. I used to be a massive Beyoncé fan, but I must say she has annoyed me a bit lately… I do like this album way more than the last one though. So far anyway. And it’s nice to have the opportunity to listen to it before I decide wether or not to buy it. Isn’t that what Spotify is here for?

Click on the image to get to "4" on Spotify

Behold, a revolution…!
Spotify and all the other online music streaming services (like Wimp, Pandora etc.) is the best thing to happen to the music industry in a long time. It’s not exactly big news that the music industry has been struggling for a while, mostly due to so many people downloading music from the internet and not paying for it. Album sales are down by a crazy %, and times are tough. You’re probably sick of hearing about it, but bear with me for just a minute. Maybe you don’t know WHY it is such a problem. Anyhow, this new online streaming business seems to be (a part of) the remedy. Long overdue, the music industry has realized that it needs to change drastically, and get the consumers back on its side. Meet them half way and give them a better alternative, rather than criminalizing them for (understandably) taking advantage of what’s suddenly available through a massive development in technology. And it’s looking up. As an example, in January 2009, there were 1500 paying customers to the different streaming services available in Norway. Today, that number is up to 240 000 (April 2011), and artists are finally starting to make money from people streaming their music online.

Once upon a time…
I used to download lots of music from Napster and Limewire back in the day, but I haven’t for years now. I guess I think differently now that I know how things work, and how much money artists are actually loosing because of “illegal downloads.” Plus, there are so many easy and cheap alternatives now. I’ve used the free version of Spotify since it first came to Norway in 2008, and I started buying some music online (on iTunes) once that got easy to do. Still, I’ve always liked having a physical copy of the albums I really like. There’s just something about flicking through that leaflet while listening through an album for the first time… Now, I’m proud to say that all the music in my iTunes library is either imported CDs from my own collection, or music downloaded and paid for on iTunes. Or free downloads that the artists have put out there themselves. Cause a lot of them do that to, which is cool. It’s only fair to give something back to the people who support you, and who, to be honest, you are writing the music for. I’m planning to do a lot of that myself, putting a song out there now and then for people to download for free, but I hope people will still want to buy my EPs and albums! 😉

Try before you buy…
Now that Spotify has arrived, I really can’t see a valid argument for downloading music “illegally.” If you are at all passionate about music, I’m sure you can manage to cough up 5 pounds per month in exchange of having access to most of the music in the world at any time. Because with Spotify Unlimited there is no time limit, and if you upgrade to Spotify Premium (for ten quid a month), you can even get access offline, and on your phone. So why not use Spotify to “try before you buy,” and then pay the little money it costs on iTunes or in the record store to get the music you end up loving? If you “have to” have it on your hard drive that is? Seriously – if you like and respect an artist, shouldn’t you want to support that artist? And if you don’t like the music enough to pay for it, is there any point in it taking up space on your hard drive when you can just listen to it on Spotify whenever you want? Another thing is, when you download songs on the Internet, more often than not the quality is SHIT. You may not think it makes much of a difference, but my… It does. The files are shrunk down a crazy amount, and they loose a lot of details in the process. It’s like a document or a photo that has been run through the copier again and again – after a while it will inevitably look… Pretty Shit… As a musician, I would like for people to enjoy my songs (my babies, my art) the way I intended for them to be heard. With all the details intact.

Supporting the industry…
I realize a lot of people probably don’t think of it like this at all. Quite simply, they like the music, they want to listen to it, and they don’t wanna pay for it when the alternative is there to get it for free. Fair enough, I totally get that. Like I said, I used to do it to. Heck, I’d rather not pay for a lot of things, if the alternative was there to get it for free. Like clothes, or food, or dental appointments. I know everything about being broke, and it sucks. But what people are actually doing by not paying for the music they are downloading, is hurting the industry, and hurting the artists they like. It’s probably the same people who buy cheap knock-off t-shirts and other un-official merchandize outside the concert venues – all they want is to pay tribute to their favorite artist by wearing their name and face on a t-shirt, but the truth is the artist would probably not be particularly happy about seeing cheap copies knocking about. Most people just don’t think about the fact that supporting the copies is damaging to the artist who is trying to make a living from their art (a living which merchandize, like it or not, is a big part of).

It’s certainly not my intention to point the finger here, and I hope you understand that. My intention is simply to share my thoughts and experience on the subject, and hopefully shed some light on it. Maybe you learned something you didn’t know, maybe your view on downloading music has changed a little bit. One can always hope, anyway. I just feel like it’s important to realize that artists are working people to, and they deserve to get paid for doing their job just like you and me. Don’t you think…?

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I hope you enjoyed your read! If you did, you are probably more than averagly interested in music, and I would appreciate if you could take 1 second to answer this poll for me! =)


Please remember to subscribe to my blog (top right corner of this page), “be-fan” me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, and I will make sure to keep you up to date on what’s going on with me and my music. And please keep commenting, I love hearing from you! =) 

Take care & keep Shining! I love you!

xxx,

Audrey

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jules
    Jun 30, 2011 @ 21:00:57

    Jeg kjøpte albumet i Miami før vi dro, og fikk hørt på det et par ganger på flyplassen. Likte det veldig godt, skippa ikke en eneste låt, og det hender det jeg gjør når jeg hører på et nytt album og det er en låt som ikke umiddelbart fenger meg..!

    Reply

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