This Is the Story of How Convenience Killed Piracy In Norway…

The following guest post comes from David Gjester, cofounder of digital distributor Indigoboom!  David, a Norwegian American, has been a session and concert keyboard player, a commercial composer and sound designer prior to jumping into digital music distribution.   

piracyinnorway

quotationmarksNorwegians were early mass adopters of advanced mobile phones and internet-connected computers. Weaned on Napster, Norwegians file-shared like crazy.

In 2008 alone, Norwegians downloaded an astounding 1.1 billion songs! That is: 232 tracks downloaded for each and every Norwegian (including old-age pensioners and toddlers).

It felt as if the entire connected population was actively striving to murder the business in which I have been working since the early eighties.  No one showed any sympathy for the fact that my colleagues and I were losing out, losing work, or — God forbid — taking day jobs.  Friends boasted to me about having hard drives chock full of tunes — as if it were somehow a badge of honor to their fandom; their dedicated interest in music.

Interestingly, as the download fest ran its course, millions of the very same people were paying three times the price of a proper full stereo download for a cheesy ten second monophonic ringtone of the same hit song!

The explanation for the ringtone boom was simple: convenience.

It was way more convenient to drop a five dollar ringtone directly into to your phone than to take a pirated MP3 file, get an editing program, make the sample yourself and then upload it to your phone.

Suddenly, the will to pay magically appeared.  But is the answer to our current misery is that simple — and that hard? 

eatinggrapes

From October 2008 and to the present, there has been a gradual but drastic change in the above-mentioned groupthink.  A piece of hugely detailed and specific research, running from 2005 to the present day, shows this change (see above).

The research was commissioned by Norwaco, and executed by Ipsos MMI, a widely trusted Norwegian research firm. Consequently, the stats are highly reliable. The chosen method involved monthly interviews of a large and scientifically-selected focus group comprising a demographic and geographical average of the internet population.

Here are just some of the findings:  

1.7 million Norwegians now use Spotify or other streaming services. That’s a staggering one third of the population, and 54% of these users are premium subscribers.

From 2008 and to date the annual number of:

Illegal music downloads has dropped from 1.2 billion to 210 million.

The number of pirated movies has fallen from 125 million to 65 million annually.

Pirated TV shows have fallen from 135 million to 55 million annually.

While illegal music downloading has been falling steadily since 2008, movies started their decrease in 2010, and TV shows in 2011.

So what happened in 2008 to trigger the decrease?  No prize for the correct answer:  Spotify launched.

Then, around 2010/2011 various comprehensive subscription and on demand services for television and movies launched.  This correlated perfectly with the fall in illegal movie and TV show downloading.  There were no lawsuits against file-sharers, no internet spying of any significance was taking place and the ISPs refused to block the appalling Pirate Bay.

Thus, access to illegal material has not changed in the period studied.  If anything, it has improved.  The correlation between these numbers and new service releases is undeniable.

Convenience works for us as a business.  It works for the audience.  Convenience is the best remedy and will in the end marginalize piracy to the point of insignificance.  Blocking TPB would accelerate the process, since they, too, provide a form of convenience.  Tell every politician you meet to block them and similar sites.

I can already hear the streaming naysayers banging at my door:  “They don’t pay us properly.  The model is unsustainable.  You are a Spotify shill.”

I have the following suggestions for them.  Get organized.  Argue for higher subscription rates.  Start your own service, if you think some one is pocketing your cash.  Or, there is always the option not to be on Spotify.

And please stop repeating the baseless falsehood that Spotify does not pay artists.  I am a distributor.  I write the checks to the artists.  Streaming royalties are significant percentages of these checks.  Telling me that Spotify does not pay just sounds like noise at this point.  As for the rates per spin, time, diligence and not least your participation in the discussion will fix that problem as long as you keep it real. quotation-marks2

The important thing is, what can kill off unwanted and unprofitable behavior.  That, in a word, is convenience.

 

Written listening to James McMurtry’s catalog on Spotify Premium.  Image by David Ellis, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

130 Responses

    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “If anyone wants to discuss this with me here they need to use their names”
      🙂 Not to mention our credit card details, eh?
      Seriously dude, find someone else to exploit.

      Reply
    • discography
      discography

      Failed music interns turned failed real estate agents walking around like they are owed something and spouting off nonsense aren’t going to sign their name.

      Reply
    • Tune Hunter
      Tune Hunter

      You can not be productive for anyone if you are recomended by Spotify. You are probably participator in great Scaninavian success which is intended as a fundation for global rape of the Music Industry and musicians.
      There is no hope for streaming in current form – just not anough cash!
      We can go for streaming with no subscription under one condition:
      Streamers pay for $.49 for discovery and addition of new tune to the playlist – this should include so glorified cyber discovery of similar tunes. No reason to allow for runnig around my house and stealing the all the best I have while nobody is at home.
      All those discovery engins process someone else property with intent to make some pittiful cash – musicians where never asked if they sort thru their personal belongins. Just imagine TSA guy going thru your suitcase and passing better staff to his friends!
      THIS EXACTLY WHAT WE HAVE NOW!

      Reply
  1. WiMP
    WiMP

    Another reason for Norway’s special position – that the article hasn’t highlighted is that Norway not only has one, but two major streaming services, catering to mass market, as probably a very unique example in the world today. Music service WiMP launched in Norway in February 2010, in cooperation with local retail chain Platekompaniet and main telco Telenor as a distributor. A year later, WiMP entered into a historic, even in a global context, agreement with Canal Digital, who bundled the service into its TV-subscription to some 700 000 customers or 1 in 3 Norwegian households. WiMP also continued to grow in its own channel and outside of Norway and went on to launch in Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Poland with partners including Polish operator Play and ISP nc+, Swedish operator 3 and newspaper Aftonbladet, Danish Ekstrabladet and several more. Most recently, Telenor has also started to offer bundled phone subscriptions with WiMP included in both Denmark and Norway.
    WiMP differentiates from other streaming services through putting the music center stage – music above technology – editors above advertising. WiMP also localizes the service to each market and employs local editors who follow what happens every day on the local, as well as international scene.

    Reply
    • Yves Villeneuve
      Yves Villeneuve

      This explains the reason music subscriptions were popular in Norway prior to Spotify’s 2012 bundle deal.
      Consumers are being conned into subscribing to a so-called free Premium subscription they will never use.

      Reply
      • Yves Villeneuve
        Yves Villeneuve

        In fact, with this cross-section of markets, Norwegians could be in possession of both WIMP and Spotify subscriptions they were conned into subscribing but will never use.

        Reply
      • Yves Villeneuve
        Yves Villeneuve

        The sad thing is, major labels believe telcos, telecoms, etc will actually pay them more to offer these bundles to their customers. Major labels will continue to be screwed by these companies. I say to major labels to test these companies early and see if you get the desired results.

        Reply
    • Chris
      Chris

      I always preferred WiMP to Spotify anyway. Much more recomendations and themed playlist channels etc.And they’d always get you blind drunk at midem at 11am

      Reply
  2. Visitor
    Visitor

    As an unquestionable Believer In Streaming, I really just want to see it work outside of Scandinavia. Anybody got something from outside of Scandinavia that shows these same patterns we’re seeing in Sweden, Norway?

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      Streaming works well in piracy-friendly countries where you don’t produce internationally significant music. The Netherlands, for instance.

      Reply
      • Industry veteran
        Industry veteran

        Last time i checked the UK produced “internationally significant music” Here is the Financial times take on it:

        “The UK arm of Spotify, the digital music service, significantly narrowed its operating losses in the 2011 financial year in a sign that its business model of converting free users into paying subscribers can be sustainable.”

        Reply
          • Industry veteran
            Industry veteran

            It is a sign of progress. Spotify is an expensive venture and like other big companies it can not be expected to run with a profit in the early years. In many ways similar to iTunes, that operated as a loss leader to sell ipods in the beginning.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “Spotify is an expensive venture and like other big companies it can not be expected to run with a profit in the early years”
            Hm, you call yourself an ‘Industry veteran’ but can’t remember what everybody said in the happy dotcom days…
            And no, I’m not referring to Mr. Dotcom and his MegaUpload That Would Never Ever Die! 🙂

          • Industry veteran
            Industry veteran

            This has nothing to do with dotcom , Kim or otherwise. This is about organically building a business that has long since proven itself as a clear value add to consumers who are also willing to pay for the service. The controversy here is about rates paid to artists, not if the model will sustain.
            I think it is you young Jedi, who does not remember what the dotcom frenzy was all about.

  3. Corey
    Corey

    This comment may be a bit out of scope but it seems the general devaluation of music plays a part in consumer’s willingness to pay for music.
    Save the intellectual excellence it takes to compose great music; what has been taken out of the equation is the need for gifted musicians to perform, skilled engineers to capture, and inspired producers to create a “package.”
    People are creating grammy award winning music on laptops. Things are diced and sliced, tuned, etc. This is an old debate to some extent but people are turned off by the canned way that music is created. The resulting perception is that the music is of less value.
    This is why the Beatles can make their grand entrance into iTunes at some strategic point with most artists going “straight to Spotify.”
    Something can also be said about the psychological aspect of not having physical product in your hand (i.e. vinyl, cd).

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “people are turned off by the canned way that music is created”
      That’s what they’ve said since that darn phonograph.
      Bottom line:
      a) It’s exactly as hard to make great music today as ever.
      b) People need great music as much as they as ever did. Which means they will pay whatever you charge for a song — provided they can’t steal it without consequences.

      Reply
      • GGG
        GGG

        The problem isn’t lack of great music. It’s the endless supply of shitty and mediocre music that people are paid to pass off as good that’s the problem.

        Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          I agree a surplus of crappy music, however, that wasn’t my point.
          There are different components involved as to why people like music. Front and center is the music but also the perception of the quality.
          Not everyone at Starbucks is buying that 6.00 latte because it tastes good.
          7 years ago I was talking music with someone at a bar (non-musician) and I told him I didn’t get Dave Mathews. His reply was “but they are really great musicians.”
          Personally music resonates with me when it moves me but, in this guy’s case, it seemed to be the mere perception that he was listening to high quality musicianship even though he probably didn’t know a bass part from a guitar part.
          Although I am in the realms of jazz/rock; I think Katy Perry’s “teenage dream” is a well written song. It taps into the nostalgia of youth just like Bryan Adam’s “summer of 69” does for my age group. I think it’s a great song even though the intro guitar tone sound direct and sucks. So I recognize there is great music happening now.
          I can speak more in depth on this but you get the idea.

          Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          “The problem isn’t lack of great music. It’s the endless supply of shitty and mediocre music that people are paid to pass off as good that’s the problem.”
          Well, the supply of good music is bigger than ever, and the supply of shitty stuff has been pretty stable since the renaissance.
          Composers back then could — and did — get away with anything as long as they had proved themselves a few times. And I assume that you of all people must hate the entire concept of symphonic works, given the fact that you don’t want to buy full albums in order to get two hits…

          Reply
          • GGG
            GGG

            I don’t disagree the supply of good music is bigger just based on more people releasing music, but MOST people aren’t particularly good. There’s a far greater supply of bad and mediocre than there is good.
            And it’s easier for a random asshole to record some shit song live or in garageband and throw it on youtube then for some amateur composer to put together an orchestra in 1750 and play live shows. I’d LOVE if even 1% of musicians nowadays could even begin to write a symphonic work.
            To the rest, not sure what I’ve said to make you think that; not sure I’ve ever advocated singles over albums in any artistic statement sense. I listen to music in album form probably 80% of the time.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “I’d LOVE if even 1% of musicians nowadays could even begin to write a symphonic work.”
            Symphonies are ridiculously overrated — especially compared to modern hit songs and albums.
            It doesn’t take much, if any, talent to write one and you certainly don’t need an orchestra to do it; a piano will do nicely. Most rely more on theory & math than on emotion, and most are based on repetition, repetition and repetition ad nauseum.
            But yes, it takes a sh1tload of education, talent and magic to write a great one, which is why it’s almost never done.
            “not sure what I’ve said to make you think that; not sure I’ve ever advocated singles over albums in any artistic statement sense. I listen to music in album form probably 80% of the time”
            In that case, I apologize. I’ll admit I had my doubts whether I had you confused with someone else when I posted this. I’m just so used to hear everybody bitching about albums. And I mean, what’s next? Points without jokes? Money shots without sex? Movies and novels without beginnings or mids? Yaaaawn.

          • GGG
            GGG

            No worries, though I do think there’s merit in both albums and singles, and EPs for that matter. I enjoy albums because I like hearing an entire statement of music. However, over the years I have realized that most albums are not much of a statement beyond “this is the music I wrote and recorded that this point in life.” Very few are actually fully realized meaningful concepts though, no matter how hard some people try to pretend it is. So to me, it doesn’t really matter if your artistic statement is 1 song, 5 songs, 10 songs or some 50 song opus.

      • Visitor
        Visitor

        I flatout disagree with point A.
        Intellectually, it is harder to conceive a great song or music but someone doesn’t have to hire Steve Lukather to play a solo that someone else cannot because they can edit it in protools.
        YOu can do at home what you previously had to do in a large recording facility.

        Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          “YOu can do at home what you previously had to do in a large recording facility”
          Not sure what you mean.
          Writing is everyting.

          Reply
          • Visitor
            Visitor

            Yup, “writing is everything” but how are people going to listen to your song unless it gets recorded?
            You just took a timemachine back to 1982 and wrote “I am the Warrior.” You scribbled some chords on a sheet and capture the idea on your 4 track but now you need to record it because your version sounds like it is coming from under a mattress.

            Ok, so you’re a trust fund baby and money is no object so you book time at the Record Plant, fly in Lukather, Porcarro, etc. to play all the parts you cannot play. Hire the World Renowned Producer, the mastering engineer…etc.
            I could go on but hopefully you see the point.

  4. Fred
    Fred

    People on here need to start turning their hate of streaming and Spotify towards companies who’s ads support piracy domains. Spotify is paying out, do those companies who advertise on torrent sites?? Imagine the £$£ being missed by artists and labels.
    Encourage more people to take up Spotify and you might see your payouts increase. The scandanavia model works.
    The physical model is dead, get over it.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “People on here need to start turning their hate of streaming and Spotify towards companies who’s ads support piracy domains.”
      You’re certainly right about the piracy problem.
      But streaming and piracy are intertwined in a complex cause and effect relationship. That means you can’t look at one and ignore the other.
      And that’s why you won’t hear Spotify speak out against ad funded piracy, as suggested by thetrichordist:
      http://thetrichordist.com/2013/07/16/thom-yorke-vs-spotify-why-doesnt-spotify-speak-out-against-ad-funded-piracy/
      Spotify and the other streaming services need mainstream piracy to survive.
      David’s post here today is a good example. He’s singing the same song we heard Spotify sing a few days ago:
      The evil pirate is coming to get you if you don’t stream!
      What he doesn’t tell you is the fact is that Spotify dies if ad funded mainstream piracy dies: No artist on the planet will give her music away for $.005 when she can sell it for $.70 instead.

      Reply
      • visitor
        visitor

        eeh FYI; piracy does not need funding to exist. it is self perpetuating and relies on existing free software. The fact that some people profit from it does not change this one bit.

        Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “No artist on the planet will give her music away for $.005 when she can sell it for $.70 instead.”
      You clearly missed the essence of the article. No one will buy a song for $.70 because streaming is more convenient. Pulling your music from streaming services will kill artists.

      Reply
      • Visitor
        Visitor

        “Pulling your music from streaming services will kill artists.”
        Not if we kill mainstream piracy first.
        And facts point in that direction…

        Reply
    • Tune Hunter
      Tune Hunter

      What a timely anouncment.
      Impressive with ad income they are almost at $10/month per user 577MM/5/12.
      There is still only one conclussion: they are in process of shrinking the potential size of the industry. 50 million users will bring just 5,77 billion.
      If they get lucky and ever go over 100 million paid users (Together with Deezer, Sony & All Access) the result will be dworffed industry below 20billion with no opportunities for any new cash stream!

      Reply
  5. londonmusicmapp
    londonmusicmapp

    Norway makes up such a tiny % of the worlds music market and indeed music consumers that it is absolutely ridiculous to try and extrapolate any trend seen there to the wider world.
    Piracy exists, copying CD’s or downloads and sharing with your friends and social network will never stop, it’s too easy. Sure you can try and close down sites, but if there is anything we have all learned over the past 10 years where there is a will there is a way.
    The huge profits music sales and distribution made for the big multinationals are a thing of the past, but as they are unwilling or indeed unable to give up their slice of the pie the squeeze is on artist who makes less and less money from their recording each year.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “Sure you can try and close down sites, but if there is anything we have all learned over the past 10 years where there is a will there is a way.”
      It definitely didn’t look good 10 years ago — but today? 🙂
      Every day brings awesome news like this:
      https://torrentfreak.com/isohunt-blocked-by-court-order-following-music-industry-demand-130801/
      The pirates know what’s going on — and they panic like never before. Here’s a typical example from today (same source as above):
      Steve GraphiX:
      “why are you pro-copyright idiots so hell bent on destroying the internet? why does this please you that your causing the worlds biggest war?
      once our internet is destroyed don’t think we will replay the people who destroyed it by then buying your useless DRM protected crap.”

      Reply
  6. Behind Enemy Linez
    Behind Enemy Linez

    I’d like to help enlighten this audience a little. Here’s the pill… The music industry is in a race to the bottom. What’s at the bottom? Artists that create and release music for free or near profitless, big artists leaving music to pursue other careers, the industry infrastructure collapsing, and large corporations abandoning the industry. Don’t believe me? Look at the trends. Spielberg and Lucas are pulling out of film for similar reasons, blockbusters disappearing in the near future or being so expensive no one goes to the theaters. Actors pay reduced dramatically. So who will create content when rock stars can’t live rock star lives? People who really love music and have messages. The future of music is community. You want to be successful in the future? Focus on content, create loyal fans, create cultural tribalism, give the music away for free and profit from transforming music into lifestyle brands. The industry is going to shrink and leave a hand full of heavy hitters that merge into even larger monopolies. These relics will compete with the sweeping cultural trends and be one step behind. Sadly…because the industry is stuck in outdated perspectives and needs fresh insight.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “give the music away for free”
      lol, great way to finance gear & production, eh?
      Seriously dude, do some reading…

      Reply
    • Tune Hunter
      Tune Hunter

      The situation is bad bot not as tragic as you paint it!
      Best times for music are just behind the corner, including fair and easy discovery of many new names and tunes.
      I am optimistic!

      Reply
  7. discography
    discography

    Convenience will win every time. Convenience will come in many forms depending on the person. It will come from iTunes (single track selection, instead of whole album price raping). It will come from Spotify (access to a large library at a reasonable price). It will come from a TBD source. The industry has always and continues to be very hostile towards the consumer, many of the comments on this site are a tribute to that mindset – and they walk around in a confused, angry daze wondering what happened.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      yes, but when killing piracy also = killing professional careers there’s little to celebrate.

      Moreso, it would appear what happens in Norway, stays in Norway…

      Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          Here’s a clear correlation for you, my friend:
          Streaming is the direct result of mainstream piracy. Remove mainstream piracy, and streaming is dead.

          Reply
          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “Correllation is not causation.”
            Ah, so convenience didn’t kill piracy in Norway.
            Good to see we agree on something…

          • Man flesh
            Man flesh

            But pirating is massively down in Norway, according to your logic streaming should be dying as a result. Your argument falls at the first hurdle.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “But pirating is massively down in Norway, according to your logic streaming should be dying as a result.”
            Let me repeat how the Spotify Bubble is going to burst:
            The number of Spotify/streaming users will go through the roof over the next 2-3 years.
            Up, up, up goes the bubble!
            In the meantime, the Piracy Industry goes down, down, down; blocked, banned and choked into oblivion, dying from a long list of fatal diseases. And guess what? Nobody cares because consumers can stream all they want for free.
            A growing number of artists quietly remove their work from Spotify as they see their titles disappear from torrent sites. The race to the bottom is over, why give your music away for peanutz?
            Consumers begin to notice that something seems to be wrong with the bubble. Where are the new realeases? And why are the old songs replaced by cover versions?
            DigitalMusicNews 🙂 begins to report substantial iTunes and Amazon sales for Spotify pullouts.
            That’s the turning point. Artists ditch Spotify faster than they ditched MySpace.
            And pop goes the …

          • Lynch
            Lynch

            If I have to read this copy & paste one more time, I’m going to be sick.

          • Nope
            Nope

            The problem with your logic is the last step:

            “DigitalMusicNews 🙂 begins to report substantial iTunes and Amazon sales for Spotify pullouts.”

            Or more likely, those titles that the artists pull from Spotify have massive spikes in illegal downloading again.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “those titles that the artists pull from Spotify have massive spikes in illegal downloading again”
            Obviously not, the Piracy Industry is dead in my analysis. 🙂

          • DUDE
            DUDE

            But dude I wouldnt shell cash for a band Id never heard of until I heard their stuff… and I wouldnt buy most of what I stream, even a lot of the stuff I like
            Much as I would love to drop 15 dollars on every album I enjoy, I just dont have that kind of money to spare… if for the sake of argument both streaming and piracy were to vanish completely, I would probably keep doing exactly what Im doing now minus the streaming, which is buy used CDs for cheap (no royalties on those and therefore no effect on how much artists are making), share tunes with my real-life friends and save my new purchases for stuff I was really excited about (probably three or so albums a year)
            Eagerly awaiting the copy-pasted reply of ‘iTunes previews’ and/or a rant about how spoiled I am

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “But dude I wouldnt shell cash for a band Id never heard of until I heard their stuff.”
            Which is why iTunes give you 90 secs for free! Awesome, eh?
            “Much as I would love to drop 15 dollars on every album I enjoy, I just dont have that kind of money to spare”
            Boo hoo, that’s just too bad, yes?
            “Eagerly awaiting the copy-pasted reply of ‘iTunes previews'”
            Wait no more… 🙂

          • DUDE
            DUDE

            Sooo you’re saying you’d rather have most of the artists I listen to on Rdio — whose music I just told you I would not actually buy at full price under any circumstances — see literally NO money off of me or not even get listened to, instead of at least getting on my radar and seeing a little bit of cash however trivial it may be from streaming?
            I guess you’re entitled to your opinion, but its a pretty dumb one man

          • Frank Biederer
            Frank Biederer

            One flaw in this argument. Two simple words. Compulsory License. Keeping your work off spotify and pandora is not just as simple as saying “you can’t use my stuff” Because they can.
            And also remember that Spotify makes the majority of its profit selling advertising. I think I am correct on this, somebody tell me if I am not…. And who owns Spotify? I believe that the major record labels have a significant percentage of ownership in Spotify (close to half I believe…)
            So what you have is a record label negotiating rights to its catalog for fractions of fractions of what it traditionally has negotiated in the past, because they make money, as owners of spotify, EVEN when the artists who are signed to their label starve. This is perhaps an even bigger story. The record labels, who claim to have contracts with artists and extract huge royalties and fees from artists PRECISELY because they are supposedly the experts at marketing artists and creating income for such artists, have now moved on to a business model where their financial interests are no longer linked to the artists financial interests, but they still controll the artists work, and are able to auction it off to the lowest bidder who happends to also be THEM. And no one seems to care or talk about this…

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “Two simple words. Compulsory License.”
            Obviously not relevant, we’re discussing Spotify here…
            “Keeping your work off spotify and pandora is not just as simple as saying “you can’t use my stuff” Because they can.”
            Nonsense. 🙂
            Any artist can walk away from Spotify any day, provided she owns the rights. Or she can follow the trend and just stay away!
            Either way, Spotify will die if it streams as much as 5 secs from her songs.

      • Visitor
        Visitor

        “yes, but when killing piracy also = killing professional careers there’s little to celebrate.”
        Agree.
        It’s disgusting to read these your-music-will-be-pirated-if-you-leave-Spotify threats from David and other guys who profits from streaming.
        The only way to kill mainstream piracy is through legislation. Wait and see UK music sales for 2013 and 2014.
        And here’s the kicker: Kill mainstream piracy through legislation, and Spotify will sink like a stone.

        Reply
        • discography
          discography

          If you think legislation is going to kill piracy you clearly have no idea how the internet works. You probably still print out your emails to read them.

          Reply
          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “If you think legislation is going to kill piracy you clearly have no idea how the internet works”
            That’s certainly the way most of us used to think ten years ago. But you have to understand is that the times are changing.
            MegaUpload’s mega fall in January 2012 initiated the first internationally coordinated war on piracy ever.
            The first result came in February 2013 — and it was exactly as predicted by rightholders:
            Music sales rose for the first time since 1999!
            Source: Financial Times, February 26, 2013.

            http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/f7b0f2b0-8009-11e2-adbd-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2MNEc5fTL
            Since then we have seen a wide and unprecedented range of initiatives around the globe:
            * New Intellectual Property Crime Unit in the UK this month.

            * New tough anti-piracy laws in Russia, Japan, Norway and several other countries.

            * New improved version of Hadopi on its way in France: Pirates now have to pay!

            * 6 Strikes and lots of other initiatives in the US.

            * New mindblowing anti-piracy technology on its way from AT&T.

            * Torrent sites (originals as well as proxies), lockers & illegal Usenet index sites shut down all over the place.

            * Huge fines to piracy site owners.

            * Paypal boycott piracy sites.

            * Credit card companies boycot piracy sites and vpn’s.

            * Huge brands stop their cash flow to piracy sites.

            * The final verdict over Tenenbaum sets precedence and sends strong signals to criminals: Yes, a stolen song is worth $22,500!

            * Google signs White House Agreement to reduce Ad-Supported Piracy.
            The Piracy Decade is over. Get used to it.

          • discography
            discography

            Correllation doesn’t equal causation. You are falling into the easiest logical fallacy around.
            Assuming you don’t work in the industry anymore since you seem to have nothing but time on your hands?
            I don’t pirate, so I don’t really need to get used to anything. My lifestyle doesn’t change either way.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            Reality check part 2: all the pirate sites offering music in genres I’m working for are up and running. And that include stuff from Japan or France, piracy law didn’t change things much.

            On the other hand, people don’t bother to search for pirated MP3 when they can get them legally to a simple stream app.

          • smg77
            smg77

            You are delusional if you think any of that will stop piracy. Despite every thing you’ve listed it’s just as easy to pirate a song today as it was 10 years ago.
            Streaming is the future. If you don’t like Spotify’s business model start your own streaming service and show how it can be done better.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “Streaming is the future”
            It certainly looked that way a few years ago. Then it all changed, and you have to agree that:
            1) Artists leave Spotify.
            2) Spotify is dead without artists.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            Mega is back up, but with technology that makes it more difficult to counter. Anti-piracy activity drives innovation in new and more elaborate methods of file sharing. In a way, you simply make piracy more entrenched and difficult to control.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “Anti-piracy activity drives innovation in new and more elaborate methods of file sharing”
            No, it drives piracy away from the streets…

          • Tune Hunter
            Tune Hunter

            Please no more legislation! Unless it will force Shazam, Gracenote and Soundhound to mandatory music sales.
            This will kill big chunk of piracy and will bring a lot of needed money NOW!
            The end of the music supermarket with industry admired kids dilivering the goods for FREE to freeloaders!

          • hippydog
            hippydog

            Mr tune Hunter…
            Did you see the article above? Did you read it?
            How about you try that yourself? Instead of spamming the comments section every bloody chance you get..
            How about you write an article explaining your idea in detail, and then submit it to Paul..
            If your trying to bring in converts via the comments section your wasting your time.. If you really want to have people take you seriously, then submit an article like David Gjester did..

        • GGG
          GGG

          Your assumption that people will buy as much music as they listen to via streaming/piracy/other free models is the most naive thing that’s repeated on this site.

          Reply
          • discography
            discography

            That is what these nutbags thrive on and repeat over and over and over. They are all “Visitor”, but I suspect its probably only two or three people who spend all day here and repeat the same stuff over and over.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “Your assumption that people will buy as much music as they listen to via streaming/piracy/other free models […]”
            … is your invention, GGG! 🙂
            What I do have reason to assume is that I gain more than one buying customer for every 139 streamers I lose.

          • GGG
            GGG

            Based on what? All those decades of streaming vs DL data that doesn’t exist so you just make it up? As I said in the post below, there are far more reasons why people stream a song than simply they don’t want to pay for it.
            You write trendy, shallow pop music with almost zero shelflife. That’s why you lose streamers; because nobody cares about your songs after 3 listens.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            That’s why you lose streamers”
            Haha, nooo I lose streamers because I don’t stream!
            And I don’t stream because 2 buying customers are better than 200 streamers…

            But go ahead, be the last believer in The Long Fairy Tale.

          • GGG
            GGG

            Should I relist all your pop songwriter contemporaries who are hitting your youtube-based desired stream numbers with literally less than 1% of the audience?
            Or that top singles last year sold more than pre-Spotify tops and that avg hits sell about the same? Basically, you’re leaving out a substantial rev stream just to attempt to prove a point that doesn’t even seem to be true at this point.
            Here’s what you don’t get, which I’ve said before. At the height of CD sales, the biggest selling arist still only sold to a fraction of the population. Sell 4M records, awesome! Too bad there’s hundreds of millions in the western world alone. So what, not one of those other millions of people enjoyed those hits? Of course not. People just don’t spend money on music for whatever reason. Spotify allows people in that mindset, whether its across music in general, or like in my case for specific albums, you can now monetize apathy and uncertainty and cheapness and laziness etc.

      • Tune Hunter
        Tune Hunter

        Yes, it should stay in Norway!
        It took just little power play and mega Facebook endorsement to totally brainwash labels with promises of new Eldorado.
        Net result the whole industry is in the state of streaming stampede to dead and tunnel retarding the whole business at the end.
        Musicians, the owners, where never asked for opinion.

        In the meantime over billion folks makes billions of music IDs a month for free and keeps the music industry in the open for anyone including the streamers. Time for mandatory Discovery Moment Monetization.
        Streamer or buyer “you like it – you want to hear it again?” pay now – just 49 cents. Shazam and friends stop milking your investors – become a men and make some real money! The industry will go from 16 to 32 billions by the end of 2015 and after converting radio to music retail stores to 100 billions by 2020.

        Reply
        • hippydog
          hippydog

          Mr tune Hunter…
          Did you see the article above? Did you read it?
          How about you try that yourself? Instead of spamming the comments section every bloody chance you get..
          How about you write an article explaining your idea in detail, and then submit it to Paul..
          If your trying to bring in converts via the comments section your wasting your time.. If you really want to have people take you seriously, then submit an article like David Gjester did..

          Reply
          • Tune Hunter
            Tune Hunter

            I am on subject! We need to go to reality at some point.

            Lets point money making opportunities whenever we can – especially when we analyze every angle of dead and business activity, or legal piracy or portable Napster with all possible whistles you choose or make the name!
            Spotify and streaming cannot substitute for normal common sense monetization. Unless you can find half a billion folks at $20 a month.

          • tune Hunter
            tune Hunter

            Spotifiy and all other streamers and than free Shazam with all other music ID services are CEMENT wall between the Music Industry and the BANK.
            The first group should pay for discovery provided by the second group (including cyber or Ek’s machine discovery)
            The second group should become very profitable new cash registers of the Music Industry.
            As we have it now all ID services or similar tune sugestion services are uninvited intruders in the private music library, picking and sorting thru the goods and passing them to strangers. Worse they pass it for free and do not get compensation for own hard work and participation in theft.
            What a set up! We got very incompetent operators running the Music House.

    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “The industry has always and continues to be very hostile towards the consumer”
      Here’s what you don’t understand: Industries don’t give their products away for free.
      Hope that helps.

      Reply
      • discography
        discography

        No one is asking them too. This industry has thrived on taking advantage of all parties while being a highly over valued middle man. Its value is now being brought back down to earth. No reasonable person involved in the discussion is asking for free. Get over your matyr status, its unbecoming, your parents would probably be embarassed.

        Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          “No one is asking them [industries] to [give away their products]”
          On the contrary, that’s exactly what people like you want. 🙂
          Boo hoo, the car industry is evil cuz it won’t give me a Ford so now I have to steal one.

          Reply
          • discography
            discography

            I will not even engage in discussion with you since a logical one is clearly out of the question. Just because you put it in bold doesn’t mean it makes any more sense when said out loud. Just a helpful FYI.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “I will not even engage in discussion with you”
            You were under the impression we had a discussion?
            I’m here to help you understand piracy related issues, so you may want to stop whining and start taking notes.

  8. Visitor
    Visitor

    “Telling me that Spotify does not pay just sounds like noise at this point.”
    Sorry that you don’t like the truth. Could it be because you’re…
    “a distributor”
    Anyway, if you think your piracy-threats will stop artists from leaving Spotify, you’re in for a surprise…

    Reply
    • discography
      discography

      So you are saying Spotify does pay, it just doesn’t go directly to artists – that distributers vaccum it up? If so – thats how it has always been – and your beef is with the record label system – not Spotify. How is that answer not obvious to you? Or are you really that naive that it just goes over your head?

      Reply
  9. Yves Villeneuve
    Yves Villeneuve

    It’s important to note Norway’s GDP per capita is nearly twice that of the USA. It’s like Norwegians are paying $5 for the Premium service. The more money one has the likelier money is spent on frivolous items.
    A probably more relevant piece of information is Spotify’s bundling with Netcom since 2012. The fact is, a lot of Norwegians were conned into subscribing to a so-called free Premium tier they will never use. The popularity of Spotify in Norway, Sweden, etc is undeniably artificially inflated.
    Also, is Spotify profitable in Norway? Unlikely.
    Finally, music piracy mostly declined over time because pirates accumulated most of what they wanted to add to their libraries. I am sure mainstream pirates downloaded most at the beginning and does less nowadays because they have everything they wanted except new releases.
    The article is misleading.

    Reply
    • GGG
      GGG

      What part of streaming clearly being a legit solution to piracy do you keep missing?

      Reply
      • Visitor
        Visitor

        “What part of streaming clearly being a legit solution to piracy do you keep missing?”
        Do you think artists care if they lose money because of Spotify or TPB?
        Bear in mind that a lot of them can’t leave Spotify anymore than they can leave TPB.

        Reply
        • GGG
          GGG

          I mean, I’d much rather people listen to my artists on Spotify and collect a few thousand bucks a month (which is not bad for bands at the level of the ones I work with) then DL them on PB and recieve zero, but maybe I’m just crazy…
          And again, you cannot state any substantial amount of sales loss from streaming without any data to back it up, which we have yet to see. When Thom shows us that Eraser suddenly sold 100K more copies after being taken off Spotify, I’ll gladly concede some ground. But until then, you have no evidence to support your presumption.

          Reply
          • Visitor
            Visitor

            I wondered in a previous post why you think streaming is a solution while I think it’s a disaster, if we have access to the same facts and both care about music and musicians.
            But maybe this is the reason:
            “I’d much rather people listen to my artists on Spotify and collect a few thousand bucks a month (which is not bad for bands at the level of the ones I work with)
            Now, I don’t know what you do and I don’t want to know, but a lot of these games are all about penny rivers, and your pro-streaming views would make sense if you earn a percentage of the ‘few thousand bucks a month’ you mention above. But let me repeat: I don’t have a clue what you do, and I’m not in the straw man biz.
            “And again, you cannot state any substantial amount of sales loss from streaming without any data to back it up”
            We have, as you suggest, been over this several times and you know the Swedish and Norwegian data as well as I do.

          • GGG
            GGG

            Ok, take out the royalty rate for a second and in what way is the fundamental idea of it a disaster? Spotify is killing piracy in both countries you listed, not to mention this DMN article (http://dmnrocks.wpengine.com/permalink/2013/20130722sweden) even said sales were up 12% in Sweden. Or this one that shows indie sales are up in Spotify’d UK (http://dmnrocks.wpengine.com/permalink/2013/20130729ukindie#E0Te7weSCJmbKNlUnV-PNQ) or this one, which basically says trends are equal to (or better than) the same projected numbers based on the last decade. So at WORST, streaming is just not making people buy more. But it’s certainly stopping piracy, which in turn puts pennies instead of nothing into pockets. In some cases, quite a few pennies.
            Every stream is not simply “I’m streaming this because I don’t want to buy it.” That is some, for sure, but there are MANY other reasons. I, for example, stream to keep up to date on current music, curiosity of some new/hyped up records, randomly heard about or came across a song/recording/album in passing and wanted to hear it, make sure it doesn’t suck before buying it, streaming something I already have because Spotify’s open so why open iTunes, sharing it with people, etc etc. If those reasons account for me listening to, say, 25 albums, I can guarantee I maybe would have bought 1 or 2 sounds unheard. Nothing else. So this idea that any substantial amount of streaming is DEFINITELY sales is not founded on anything, until you can show me some direct data, ie what Thom could do well with Eraser in a few more weeks/months.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “Ok, take out the royalty rate for a second and in what way is the fundamental idea of it a disaster?”
            Exactly what do you expect me to say to that? 🙂
            As for the rest: Yes, people all over the world use YouTube, radio and iTunes for discovery — but you prefer Spotify.
            I honestly don’t understand why that’s more convenient to you, but what can I say…

          • GGG
            GGG

            God, you’re as bad as Yves when it comes to breaking down and understanding things.
            1.You asked me why I thought Spotify was good when you thought it was a failure. You seem to be fundementally against streaming (except of course for YouTube even though it pays a third as much but I’ll look past that hypcorisy this time), so the point of taking out the royalty argument is showing that streaming is proving to reverse piracy substantially. We can argue the royalty rate, as well, but we’d be on the same side for the most part. The point is that for the first time in over a decade someone (outside the music industry, what a surprise) found a way to get people to actually stop stealing music.
            2. Why is Spotify more convenient than iTunes? Because I want to hear whole songs and/or not have to blindly buy music all the time. Why is it more convenient than YouTube? Well, most albums aren’t one giant video so saves time pulling up an album on Spotify over YouTube (which again, pays less, don’t forget). Why’s it more convenient than radio? Uh…on demand? And I’m still not sure why you can’t handle the fact that people can use all of these things, Spotify isn’t replacing anything. I’m on my itunes listening to Abbey Road right now. About 30 mins ago I was listening to a recommended band (which I did not like, so glad I didn’t buy it) on Spotify. And a couple hours ago I watched a couple live Billy Joel videos from the 70s.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            Yes, well… we’ve been there already, and I don’t want to repeat the same points over and over. At least not today. 🙂 I think people are getting nauseous…

  10. Tune Hunter
    Tune Hunter

    Scandinavia has replaced piracy with Spotify!
    Well done Mr. Ek, now your friend Mr. Killing has solid arguments to shrink and freeze forever global music at 60% of 1999.
    No need for creativity, personally you are both well compensated and your PR folks make you both the prophets of the success!
    To those with any logic you are the prophets of “burning house” or the arsonists!

    Reply
  11. Visitor
    Visitor

    Reality check for the anti-streaming crowd: when consummers get a convenient service, THEY WON’T GO BACK to an old, dated model. People used to streaming services will not event bother to check other sources. And you can take you music off streaming service, there are still thousands of artists, millions of songs, more than anybody could ever listen. And unless you can play in the same league thant Radiohead, noby will never notice you barking in the dark.

    Reply
    • hippydog
      hippydog

      @ visitor (who doesnt even know how to log in to a website)
      Quote ” See, streaming was a reaction to mainstream piracy.”
      And it could easily be argued that piracy was a reaction to the inconvenience of not being able to listen to music when and how the public wanted to..
      Price is obviously a factor, but to much data has shown that its not the only factor..
      consumers will pay if they see the value in it..
      I’m NOT saying that more shouldnt be done to shutdown large scale piracy, but its NOT the solution..
      It cant be.

      Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “People used to streaming services will not event bother to check other sources.”
      Sure they will. 🙂
      See, streaming was a reaction to mainstream piracy.
      Stop mainstream piracy, and artists will stop streaming. Which obviously means that streaming will die.
      What you don’t understand is that people need music as much as they ever did.
      If they can’t steal your songs without consequences, they’ll pay whatever you charge.

      Reply
      • Chris
        Chris

        “Stop mainstream piracy, and artists will stop streaming. Which obviously means that streaming will die.”What utter, utter, utter, utter nonsense. Streaming will not die when piracy (if it ever will) stop. Do you seriously think that YouTube, Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, Moog etc etc will disapear if piracy stops? You sir are bloody deluded

        Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          “Streaming will not die when piracy (if it ever will) stop.”
          You mean, streaming will go on without artists? 🙂
          Care to explain how?
          Please be as specific as you can.

          Reply
          • Chris
            Chris

            As Spotify and You Tube are most label’s number 2 and 3 digital revenue sources you can be assured that not a single label with half a brain will pull out them.Do you seriously think that all streaming will stop when piracy does?Deluded mate

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “Do you seriously think that all streaming will stop when piracy does?”
            That’s a weird question…
            Please tell us why any rightholder would give her song away for $.005 when she can get $.70. 🙂
            What you seem to forget is that people need great new music as much as they ever did.
            And they’ll pay whatever you tell them to pay if they can’t steal it anymore without consequences.

        • Lynch
          Lynch

          “Stop mainstream piracy, and artists will stop streaming”.

          When artists stop streaming, you can say hello to mainstream piracy again. The other Visitor is correct, the consumer will NOT go back to an old, outdated model.

          Reply
          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “When artists stop streaming, you can say hello to mainstream piracy again”
            Ah, so that’s your belief system:
            Governments all over the world have launched the first coordinated war on piracy ever, now supported by major financial players and tech companies — but the sophisticated intelligentsia behind Torrentfreak and the Pirate Bay will somehow prevail, yes? 🙂

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            Governments also started a massive drug war since the 1970s that costed trillions of dollars and put millions of people in jail.
            Now tell me how it is to buy a joint these days?

            As long as there is a demand for something, it will exist.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “As long as there is a demand for something, it will exist”
            Absolutely.
            Which is why nobody tries to stop child porn/drug abuse/violence/piracy/theft.
            What we can do, however, is to stop mainstream child porn/drug abuse/violence/piracy/theft.
            Do you understand the difference?

      • Visitor
        Visitor

        You live in a world that doesn’t exist.
        By the way, the “stop mainstream piracy” song has been played for over 10 years now with no succes except… when streaming became popular.

        And the only “artists” that can charge whatever they want are major artists with dumb fans, like Bieber and the like. Unknown artists will just get unoticed because I’ll gladly play a stream from an artist I don’t know but I will never pay a premium to get an MP3 from someone I don’t have a clue about.

        Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          “the only “artists” that can charge whatever they want are major artists with dumb fans, like Bieber and the like”
          Wow — music fans are dumb?

          Reply
          • Visitor
            Visitor

            Well, I said fans of “music” like Bieber and the like… But it also appears that they are the ones who will gladly pay money for premium contents. Again, major artists win, other… not so much.

    • discography
      discography

      You keep mumbling this over and over again as if saying it a bunch of times will make it true. Streaming is a reaction to technology reaching the point where it was a feasible technology. It was inevitable it would of been developed as soon as prices and broadband made it a possiblity. Your sad attempt at correlation equalling causation is just silly and you embarass yourself. No surprise you won’t put your name to your nonsense. As oddball as Yves is, at least he does.

      Reply
      • Tune Hunter
        Tune Hunter

        Streaming is brilliant if you start charging 10 cents for stream #1 and than after 7 additional 5 cent streams will convert your tune to ownership!
        Technology is here and we need to apply it. We need Central Discovery & Delivery Bank used by all including Apple, Spotify and YouTube. Then we need interactive license plate for each tune .
        http://www.CDDB.com will deliver to everyone what they want and at the and of the month all participants will get statement and cash as described in the license plate. First cash to artist and writer, label if ther is one than Shazam, radio station, Starbucks, Spotify or YouTube accordingly to their participation.
        Labels should not discuss with Google how to load to YouTube and monetize VEVO they should talk how to convert YouTube to 10 billion dollar music cash machine. Google is for money, they have common sense and will listen.

        Reply
        • Tune Hunter
          Tune Hunter

          The concept is simple but no one has a vission or willingness to sale it since Google would become by accident bigger label than all three combined! There is at least 10 billion dollars of goodwill in music part of YouTube.

          Reply
  12. Versus

    Very sad.

    It’s not enough to just do the right thing. You have to do it for the right reasons.

    Reply

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