Will YouTube Have To Change To Suit The Needs Of The Music Industry?

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After reading Mark Mulligan’s blog post about how YouTube should change to be more like a radio station, it makes me wonder, is that easier said than done?

Claiming that YouTube is a key platform of music discovery for the modern generation, in the same way that our parents and grandparents used the radio to discover new music. The difference being there is more freedom with YouTube to choose what you want to listen to. I completely agree, at college I would have a YouTube channel on in the background as I’d do my work and I found it to be a great way to learn about new bands in my specific niche, though I find it just as easy to do that with Spotify radio too.

Mulligan feels that YouTube shouldn’t allow music videos to be free on demand. Again I agree to some extent, people have access to so much music for free on YouTube that they take for granted, I certainly do, and there are people I know that would search YouTube all day just looking at videos wasting their day away.

On a practical level taking away this free option of free music would cause a massive uproar and I think it would have damaging effects on musicians lower down on the totem pole of the industry, or should I say the alternative niches that don’t get a lot of mainstream view compared to your Ed Sheerans and Taylor Swifts

I feel that removing a free-tier to YouTube music only benefits the acts that are already well established, and if they or their label doesn’t think it is fair their music is available on YouTube for free then they need to deal with it without affecting less established acts. An Ideal world would be that only some channels charge and others are free to view, Like a Sky TV package, some channels you don’t have to pay extra for, some you have to pay an added monthly premium. Or better yet as Mulligan mentioned, have a PAYG system.

Though if YouTube went this way with music, what about other content? there are whole films available, documentaries, DVD footage, football highlights, content that isn’t exactly sanctioned officially but it is still up there, If labels and bands in the music industry start charging, do film and TV studios start too? I definitely see that if the music industry starts to clamp down on YouTube, a chain reaction will follow within of areas of the media.

You can find Mulligans post here

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Is This The Death Of Piracy And The Rise Of Streaming Through Its Ashes?

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After what looks like the death of Pirate Bay, EZTV and other torrent sites this month due to police raids on servers, a huge question remains on, what is the future of Piracy?  Pirate bay seemed to be the most popular torrent site going, anyone could use it, and you don’t have to sign up or keep control of your seeds to keep using it, nice and easy, you can come and go when you want, well not anymore.

Industry heads in all areas of media would say good riddance, whereas freeloaders are weeping somewhere looking for the next best torrent site to pilfer from. Will this lead to a chain reaction of more sites to follow? or was Pirate Bay being arguably the biggest just and easier way for it to be tracked down?

Data shows that since the rise streaming sites, the most popular at the moment being Spotify, the numbers in piracy have dropped quite severely…. Why is this? Easier access to music and it being much easier to use could be a huge factor. A bigger one is that you can use it for free if you wish, a gigantic library at your fingertips to listen to for free if you don’t mind adverts every few songs. Spotify has almost everything that people want in their vast library (…..as long as you don’t want Taylor Swift). We have become a lazier generation, I for one have reduced the amount of downloading I do and use Spotify instead, I even listen to music that I own already through it because it is easier to play almost everything through one platform.

Marc Geiger claims that Streaming is the future of this industry, I highly agree and I think with the highly anticipated Apple iTunes and Beats merge soon to be released, streaming will boom even more through Apple loyalists, no doubt that iTunes is one of the biggest music providers, now imagine if the majority of its customers converted to streaming. It is a very exciting concept, and I’m highly intrigued to how it will all pan out.

I am not an Apple fan, I don’t like their capitalist ways in trying to squeeze as much money out of people as they can. I Also  think iTunes is one of the least user friends programs going, but I cannot help wanting to see what the new streaming model will look like, how big it’s library is, how it is compatible with iTunes. And what about portability? Spotify has an app, I’m assuming iPhone’s will have one, but will Apple release a new iPod with the ability to stream?

This leads to more questions. Most people download music so they can own it, so they can put on a device to listen to as they go, whether it is an iPod/Mp3 player or a phone, whatever….Will people still need to download legally or illegally if streaming becomes more accessible on the move? will newer devices be made to cater for streamers? As much as I like the idea of streaming on the go, my phone battery won’t hack it with all the other things I use it for, practicality needs to come into the equation too.

As cynical as this sounds, you can be vigilant all you want with piracy, the only way to completely stop it is to shut down the internet, that isn’t going to happen. When wildly popular sites like Pirate Bay go down the traffic of piracy will drop a little until the next best thing is available. Currently proxy sites are handy for the freeloaders to use to avoid site blocks from such providers like Sky. As a music enthusiast, I’d love to see streaming dominate and for music to be available at fairer prices for customers to access it. The simple thing is that free is everyone’s favourite price, if you can get it for free then why pay for it?

What do you think? Will piracy die out if streaming does start to dominate the music industry?