From the last post, I’ve been talking about why I go to record shops. If you miss Pt1, please check it out before read this one.
2, How much can you pay for this music?
Today, we can download music for free. It’s sometimes illegal, but most people don’t mind to take a little tiny risk even if they know it’s not good. MP3 music started to spread over the world in this century, so basically everyone still remember their experiences to buy a CD or a vinyl at a record store. But, in the future, I guess there will be many people who have never paid for music as well as many little kids have never seen a vinyl today, and sometimes they don’t even know what it is. In my opinion, this situation is pretty dangerous for the whole future music scene, not only for music industry.
Before I discuss the critical problem for music, I wanna talk about my idea that I strongly believe. From my perspective as a DJ, I think “limit” is an important concept. The ” limit” means time and money in most case. For instance, I had 10 songs I wanted to get and play for my DJing. If I was a MP3 DJ, I definitely downloaded all of them because they were free. However, I could get only 3 of them at the vinyl shop because I couldn’t afford to buy all of them. When I realized I couldn’t buy all of them, I thought the order of priority. “Which one is the best for my DJing?” “Umm, this one might not be necessary.” “This one might be able to provide new potential for my DJing.” After I had debated for a long time, I finally decided “best 3”. As I listened again and again the 3 vinyls that I got by “paying money”, I worked to earn money to buy the other 7 songs. And finally I got all of them. At this moment, these 10 songs were already more valuable in my mind than the same 10 songs that I could get for free. Also, even if I realized these songs are not very good songs after I bought them, I would try to find out the possibility to put them on my DJ mix somehow because I paid for them, worked for them. Even if I didn’t use these songs eventually, It would help me to improve my sense of mixing for sure. If I got them for free, I would have considered they were not worth playing and I never listen them. There is a big differences in my mind between these two.
Now, I’ll touch the misgiving of the future music scene. When we go to iTunes online and look at the prices of songs in the same album, we can see that every song is sold by the same price like this(I don’t know it happen to all album though).
I think this is a problem. Indeed, one album should be considered as one piece. An artist made this order of songs on purpose, so listeners are supposed to listen all of songs by this order to enjoy this whole album by the way the artist intended. But, each song has a general evaluation. Some people buy this album to listen one particular song. That’s the reason why Apple made this system that allow them to buy one by one and I think this system is pretty beneficial for these people. Then, why do they sell all songs by the same price? Each song should have each price according to its popularity and evaluation. I think that equalizing the market price of each song means songs lost their value. The same thing is happening to free music.
If we go to used record shop, some CDs and records have more expensive price than the price when they were released. There are a few possible reasons, for example, they sold only a small number of the records or these records are limited editions. But, another reasons are people keeping the records because they still like it, record shops sell records by the price because people buy them even though they are expensive. I think it’s good that people can get music anytime anywhere without effort. At the same time, I think “something” will be disappeared. It can be a blissful moment that you finally find a rare record that your friends don’t have. It can be a satisfaction when you buy an expensive record that you have wanted to get for a long time. I think, however, this “something” seems more important than the thing I stated above. I cannot guess exactly what will be happened when the “limit” will be disappeared. DJ scene is also changing simultaneously. Currently, we can completely copy the mix of another DJs and make the same one for free if you know their playlists.
In 2007, Radiohead did a groundbreaking project. They released an album called In Rainbow, and customers can put the price by themselves.
According to an Internet survey conducted by Record of the Day of 3,000 people, about one-third of people who downloaded the album paid nothing, with the average price paid being £4. (from Wikipedia~In Rainbow~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Rainbows)
Now, time is changing from “How much can you pay for this music?” to “How much do you WANT TO pay for this music?”