Author Topic: Twilight, pt II: Coming out of the dark  (Read 3588 times)

Offline Peter

  • Administrator
  • Sicko
  • *****
  • Posts: 2125
  • "The Captain"
Twilight, pt II: Coming out of the dark
« on: Mon, 2010-11-08, 23:20:18 »
Hi, reviving a rather old topic here, but I'm pretty sure that it hasn't lost any of its meaning.

I stumbled over this post by Andreas Blomqvist from Seventh Wonder, which made me think about Clive's attitude towards downloading, which I had in the back of my mind.

I have a few wishes for this thread, and I will follow in here to see if they are respected.

1) Post serious thoughts only. NO hi-jacking of this thread for off-topic discussion or small talk.
2) If you have serious ideas, mark your post with [SUGGESTION], so that it can be distinguished as such.
3) I will gather the ideas in a separate area, and if it's possible I will work towards a qualified answer from Clive for each of the suggestions. (Clive doesn't know anything about this post as of my writing, so this is pure ambition....)

All of this only makes sense if the goal is the same for all parties involved, Band and fans. I will try to deduce it from what's being written, but I will state one goal for me here:

I for my part find ARENA's music that great, that it is not understandable to me that it can't be the base of a living for each of the members. I don't even know if it's the band members' wish, but I assume that it might, for example, be a reason for Rob Sowden's leaving. Now, if there's something that I can do, I'd like to do it, and if downloading is a problem in this area, I'd also might like to drop ideas in here to reduce this effect.

Your turn, dear readers, logged in or anonymous. Keep it coming.
The King is dead, so worship me!

Offline maddox

  • Beyond Reckoning
  • **
  • Posts: 8241
  • No effects were harmed in the making of this sound
    • Mad's Last.FM page
Re: Twilight, pt II: Coming out of the dark
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 2010-11-09, 00:46:29 »
I don't think that there is a simple answer.

I can understand people that they download stuff simply because they don't have to pay for it, although I'm well aware that it also ricochets to the artist as well.

A confession, although I might have mentioned it before:

I too download.
Not enormously much, far from that but still.

Sorry, but it's the plain truth.  :-\
And trust me, I really don't like it as well, since I'm a sucker for the real thing.
Want to have it in my hands.

But I make a habbit out of it to either buy the album that I've downloaded or kick it from my harddrive if I don't like it.
It may take some time, I know but eventually I buy the album, whoever the artist is.

There are so many progressive bands and/or artists that I like.
You just can't say 'buy the album' because in my case and I believe many others as well, I have a rather extensive variety of music to choose from.

On the other hand. ...

I'm practically live in the same situation as Andreas Blomqvist and partners with the exception that I don't play in a band (be grateful for that ;)).
I work 40 to 45 hours a week (three shifts mind you), have to drive about 20000km's a year to get there which means gasoline, own a house which means mortgage, have two children, the prices for almost everything a normal human being need (groceries, electricity, gas, house insurances etc etc etc) has gone berserk in the last ten years.
For instance, 10 years ago I paid 59 guilders for my health insurance which converted to euro is about give or take 27 euro, but currently I pay 129 euro. And that's only me. My wife pays the same.
Add all those costs together and a large bit of my salary is gone down the drain.
I'm not trying to let you feel sorry for me because given the circumstances, I do really okay in life, financially speaking, but to come back to this matter, the prices of cd's and dvd's are really high, although fortunately I found quite a few sites all over the world where you can buy the same cd, for a lesser price. Sometimes even half less than I had to pay for over here in the Netherlands.   
I can afford it to buy about 60 cd's a year but I can imagine that someone who don't have that luxury, is willing to go for downloading alone.

Dreadful for the artists, but essential for the listener who can't afford it.
It is an expensive hobby.
But I'm well aware that it goes the same for the artists.

A paradox.

Although I also believe that there are people who can afford it, but can't care less about the artists.

A lot of artists/bands are doing their best to 'lure' the listener, the fan with lots of goodies, great artwork, bonusses you can only see and hear or anything if you buy the actual cd and the bands that has just begun playing frequently give the cd's for free download to the listener, while hoping that the listener will go about and buy the cd (I even came across a few bands that let you decide how much you are willing to pay for it.)

Dream Theater has always believed in bootlegs and even encouraged fans to buy and record them.
And trust me, bootlegs aren't that crappy anymore as they were in the old days.

Pendragon have came up with another crazy, daring but highly original idea to have to Mega Daze concerts where there is also a talent scout (don't know if I say it right) where you can participate in the auditions. And if you're the best, then you will sing with the band the next day, in front of the audience!!!
And man, it was sold out in days not in the usual months. Classy stuff from the pendies.

All of this is a good thing, but I have this fear that in the long run it won't be enough.

There are already a few artists who threw the towel in the ring, like that keyboardist form IQ among others, which is imaginable, but I can only pray that others won't do that as well.
Music is my life!  *horns*

The fact remains that progressive rock and the likes is a corner in the musical universe that don't get the proper attention of the media.
The only thing you hear on the radio is the music the radio is giving to you.
And mostly that is pop music. Hiphop, beat-thingy whatever.

I'm delighted to see and hear that youngsters know and are willing to listen to music that lies beyond the standard pop-overdose that you get from the radio. It's hard to hear new stuff when you're in a circle of MTV's and the likes.

And that makes it harder for the artists as well.

If you're not Lady GaGa, then you have to work your ass off to make a living, especially because our 'circle' is in no comparison to the pop-music industry.

My...eh... quite a few pennies.

Hope it's worth something.

Oh and Peter?

It's a great ambition!
That goes to show how deeply fans are moved, touched and love the music they hold so dear.  *horns* 8)
« Last Edit: Tue, 2010-11-09, 09:30:52 by maddox »
Cause of Injury: Lack of Adhesive Ducks.

Offline Nicky007

  • Beyond Reckoning
  • **
  • Posts: 6880
  • License to live and let live
Re: Twilight, pt II: Coming out of the dark
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 2010-11-11, 15:34:39 »
I think that, first of all, fans of a group should do the obvious: If you have some extra money that you want to spend on a cause you believe in, and you know that your group is struggling financially, well then transfer it directly to an account that the group can draw from  ;)

This is the way many animal care groups survive. The difference is that the latter are supported by many old people, and they get a major part of their contributions from testaments.

But why use a lotta devious methods, when one can support a group directly ?

Then they also know that you like what they'r doing  8)

Nicky.
So you've come of age
And so you want to meet God
Sure you can
He's right here next to me

Offline Peter

  • Administrator
  • Sicko
  • *****
  • Posts: 2125
  • "The Captain"
Re: Twilight, pt II: Coming out of the dark
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 2010-12-27, 18:40:45 »
OK, this hasn't seen much input, as of late :/

A concept I'd like to suggest (to Clive, in this special case): Selling directly, like done here, by Sami:
http://music.radiance.fi/album/the-burning-sun

Another piece of concept could be to throw out snippets of an album in a medley in high quality vorbis, f.e. I've once created such a medley for the album "The Seventh Sign", by Torben Enevoldsen's Section A.
Yes, I asked for permission to do that. All snippets are 22 seconds, I remember to have chosen that for copyright reasons... You need to download it, Firefox nowadays has a built-in player that will only play the first of 8 snippets.

A third modus might be throw out one complete song for free in medium quality, like 96kbit, on album launch. Seen that lately on some band website, forgot who it was, though.

Both of the last ideas serve as "teaser" ideas, and I don't really know anything about contracts, labels, majors, minors and all the people in the "artist--->listener" chain, so I can't say how feasible they are.
The King is dead, so worship me!

Offline Draco chimera

  • Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 540
  • Be careful what you wish for !
Re: Twilight, pt II: Coming out of the dark
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 2010-12-28, 11:32:01 »
Another piece of concept could be to throw out snippets of an album in a medley in high quality vorbis, f.e.
This suggestion seems to be the best one.
The main problem people are confronted with when they think about buying an album is : "I've just heard one song from that band, how should I know whether I'll like the artist/album or not?"
Downloading allows them to listen to the thing, but once they've downloaded, they don't see the use of buying the album.
Also, buying an album is a risk. I don't know about it in England, but here in France, music is expensive. People ask themselves if they can afford a certain amount of money for an album they might not like.
Now, I do not say I agree with downloading because of this. I just say that's a problem, with no easy solution to be found.
Posting extracts on the net is, to me, the best solution.

Fans are responsible for the health of the bands they listen to. They should use their money for what they think is good. For example, if I had to buy one album and download another, and had the choice between Simple Plan (largely known pop rock band) and Arena, I wouldn't hesitate a minute and would rush to buy Arena. I'm not saying commercial bands should be boycotted, but I think people should choose between what is acceptable to download and sometimes buy, and what would hurt the artists if they download their music. Sorry if it seems confused, I tried to make it as clear as possible. ^^'

I remember reading the note written by Nick Barrett that was included in Pure's digipack, asking fans not to post music on youtube, or deezer or anything. I wanted to check if people got the message, and checked on youtube for Pure. I was happy to see that only one or two videos were posted. Now, I know I'm not giving any concrete solution here, but I think communication between the artist and the audience is a very important thing to consider in this discussion.
Let your conscience decide !

Offline PH

  • Beyond Reckoning
  • **
  • Posts: 7401
  • Before we're raised up He's got to break us down.
Re: Twilight, pt II: Coming out of the dark
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 2011-03-30, 20:22:35 »
Quote from: AndreasBlomqvist from ultimatemetal.com
Every downloader who buys the album is forgiven. Anyone who does not, is not a fan in my book.

This, above all, is true.

I can understand that artists need to ventilate and want to get these issues off their chest. But whining against the fans doesn't help. The fans will buy the albums anyway. They are loyal and care about the band.

The ones who only download and do not buy, are most of the time not interested in forums and such. And if there are fools who don't buy the albums but do register to a forum of their 'favourite band' anyway, then they probably still won't reply to (or won't even take notice of) such a thread.

Because of this, a post like Andreas wrote is, I think, useless... :-\

So you can't 'move' these 'pretending fans' or change their minds. So as an artist, you have to change your attitude a bit... :-[
What Maddox said is a nice example of how to fill in this gap. Make the physical album something special. Beautiful artwork, bonus tracks etc. etc. If you make it worth it, you can increase the price drastically and make more money.
Great idea of Pendragon to do these auditions.
Another thing that works really well is: financing an album by fans before even recording (like Marillion did).


Since around 1995 or so, internet became a widely known phenomenon.
It brought a wide range of possibilities, but also a lot of unforeseen problems. Before bands could use the internet, they used magazines and such to reach the public. Of course this was not half as efficient, but it was simple and it worked. There were almost no negative aspects.

So if you, as an artist, experience problems because of downloading, you might want to consider doing a step back in internet. No samples, no promo albums for reviewers. Only PR with fans through a shielded (on pay-basis) fansection on the website.


I dunno...

Offline keyboardistmatt

  • Sicko
  • *
  • Posts: 2224
  • Here's a thought in the rain...
    • Keyboardistmatt on Twitter
Re: Twilight, pt II: Coming out of the dark
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 2011-10-21, 01:35:55 »
The ones who only download and do not buy, are most of the time not interested in forums and such. And if there are fools who don't buy the albums but do register to a forum of their 'favourite band' anyway, then they probably still won't reply to (or won't even take notice of) such a thread.

Because of this, a post like Andreas wrote is, I think, useless... :-\
Not so. 
We all read it didn't we? More people look at forums than you think.  Take a look at the stats for this forum sometime; Guests and anonymous users look on here all the time.  And the counter's always changing, which suggests different people are looking.

What Maddox said is a nice example of how to fill in this gap. Make the physical album something special. Beautiful artwork, bonus tracks etc. etc. If you make it worth it, you can increase the price drastically and make more money.
Not forgetting the cost of doing this, and whether or not the album will be brought at a higher price.
Personally, I prefer to have physical media in my hand when I play anything - Music or Video. I do buy all of my media partly for that reason (and the cover, sleevenotes etc...) and partly because I am aware that I'm ultimately paying the artists for their work.  As a result the size of my CD collection is considerable as is my DVD and VHS collection.  With that said, not everybody will go out and buy this stuff when it can be downloaded for free from some site with dodgy encoding. 
Almost everybody has an Mp3 player, and people who don't download can easily borrow a CD from their friends and copy it!

So if you, as an artist, experience problems because of downloading, you might want to consider doing a step back in internet. No samples, no promo albums for reviewers. Only PR with fans through a shielded (on pay-basis) fansection on the website.
That knocks magazine sample CDs on the head then, and reviewers need the music to do a review, so maybe the promos are a necessary evil if the artists want the review to support the release...?
...Is this just a dream I'm in?

~~Drallion official Facebook page:~~
www.facebook.com/DrallionOfficial

<- Click the planet to go to Twitter @Keyboardistmatt