Category Archives: Projects

Music Streaming vs. Music Piracy

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This summer we were tasked with an inquiry assignment that we worked on throughout the semester. The objective of this assignment was to pick a topic that related to new media and make the argument how new media has impacted that subject. In the beginning, I bounced around trying to discover a topic that interested me only to find out the topic had been right in front of my face the entire time. I enjoy listening to music while I do pretty much everything, just as most of us do. Recently, I decided to try out Spotify and see what all it had to offer since I had heard of so many other people using it. After I used it I realized how resourceful it was as a music library, all for free, unless I decide to sign up for the premium service. This got me curious and I decided to research if anyone else viewed music streaming services such as Spotify to be effective in reducing music piracy just as I do. After completing my research this semester I came to the conclusion that music streaming is having an impact on music piracy to an extent, however, more research is needed to really determine the direct link between music streaming and the drop in music piracy of late. The details and findings of my research can be read online if you click here or the link below.

https://medium.com/@maxstrahan/music-streaming-vs-music-piracy-b1a939ec1602

Synthesis Matrix

Step #ONE:

How has music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer helped reduce music piracy?

Step #TWO:

While music piracy is still an issue, music streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, and more, have played a role in effectively reducing music piracy.

Step #THREE:

Names of Authors They provide a “freemium” service to meet the desire of consumers unwilling to pay for their favorite music. Their premium service offers higher quality audio than to the majority of digital music available for download whether it’s purchased or downloaded illegally. They provide a legal means of enjoying your favorite music without having to fear legal ramifications faced when downloading pirated music. Their added features provide added interaction with your favorite music. Such added features include: personal music recommendations; social interaction such as sharing your favorite songs, artists, and playlists with friends or vice versa; the ability to follow your favorite artists and see what music they’re listening to; the ability to access all of their music on multiple devices including your computer, mobile phone, and tablet.
#1 Halmenschlager They argue that intestifying copyright laws leads to increased piracy, so “freemium” services have provided an alternative option. Premium accounts have access to higher quality audio files (320Kbps) compared to the majority of digital music downloads (128Kbps) including both legal and illegal downloads.    
#2 Luckerson In 2013, 113.8 billion songs were played through various streaming services, the majority being on freemium accounts.     Services like Spotify have recently allowed subscribers with a free account to access the music database on their mobile phones and tablets.
#3 Delikan 65% of his respondents used the free service provided by Spotify. The other 35% used the premium service.   The results of his testing showed high numbers in factors like the ability to share music with friends and the ease of finding new music.
#4 Van Ooijen   Ooijen even notes that during the high of Napters power, sound quality was a driving factor in their service being so popular until authorities shut it down for sharing music illegally. Napster has since rebranded as a streaming service that still provides high quality sound files.   He then points out the ease of streaming services. Rather than search all over the web for quality illegal downloads, all you have to do is log into your favorite streaming service and your favorite artist’s discography is only a few clicks away.
#5 Cammaerts Thier study resulted in a high number of survey participants diagreeing with the prices of MP3s. Only 18.2% perceived MP3 prices as “fair”, thus free alternatives are generally preferred. 76.2% of those surveyed reported were satisfied with the service suggesting the overall quality of the service was the determining factor in their decision. 38% of their participants cited legal prosecution as their desire to find a viable alternative to music piracy.  
#6 Dorr Dorr’s study proved that most music pirates perferred the free music streaming service. His study also reported that music pirates agreed with the price points of music services more than those of pay-per-download music stores like iTunes.   Dorr mentions how his studies proved that the users surveyed noted added social features as a benefit that had a positive effect on their experience using streaming services. His study also noted that the ease of use and searching for new music was a positive factor on his findings as well.
#7 Pfanner At the time of this article (2009) Spotify had 2 million total subscribers. – 65% of teens surveyed in Briton used streaming services in the past month and 31% said they used it every day. At the time of this article (2009) Spotify had 2 million total subscribers.    
#8 “Spotify Was Designed…” At the time of this article Spotify hadn’t even been launched in the U.S. yet and it already had 18 million “freemium” accounts. They also had 6 million premium accounts bringing their total to 24 million subscribers before their launch in the U.S. Even in Sweden, the piracy capital of the world, they’re reporting Spotify as a viable alternative to facing legal prosecution.  

Step #FOUR:

  1. Halmenschlager, Christine, and Patrick Waelbroeck. Fighting Free with Free: Streaming vs. Piracy. N.p.: n.p., Feb. 2012. PDF.
  2. Luckerson, Victor. “Spotify and YouTube Are Just Killing Digital Music Sales | TIME.com.” Business Money Spotify and YouTube Are Just Killing Digital Music Sales Comments. TIME, 03 Jan. 2014. Web. 02 July 2014.
  3. Delikan, Mehmet D. Changing Consumption Behavior of Net Generation and the Adoption of Streaming Music Services. N.p.: Jönköping University, June 2010. PDF.
  4. Van Ooijen, Robbert. Home Streaming Is Killing Piracy. N.p.: Universiteit Utrecht, 18 Oct. 2010. PDF.
  5. Cammaerts, Bart, and Nick Anstead, comps. “Why Pay If It’s Free?”MEDIA@LSE Electronic MSc Dissertation Series (2011): 0-39. London School of Economics and Political Science. Aug. 2011. Web. 11 July 2014.
  6. Dorr, Jonathan. “Music as a Service as an Alternative to Music Piracy? An Empirical Investigation of the Intention to Use Music Streaming Services.”BUSINESS & INFORMATION SYSTEMS ENGINEERING 6 (2013): 383-96. Print.
  7. Pfanner, Eric. “Music Industry Luring ‘Casual’ Pirates to Legal Sites.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 19 July 2009. Web. 14 July 2014.
  8. “SPOTIFY WAS DESIGNED FROM THE GROUND UP TO COMBAT PIRACY.” TorrentFreak. N.p., 04 Dec. 2013. Web. 11 July 2014.

Step #FIVE:

After completing my synthesis matrix I had 12 empty slots out of 24, so it’s safe to say that I need to dig for more information. I realize the problem with my sources is that they list a lot of stats that just prove the drops in piracy but they only a handful of them state reasons that support my sub-claims. I’ve got to figure out a way to incorporate all those stats and information into my report because they’re important to my argument as well. I might have to alter one of my because statements or add a new one to be able to use that information. So, I’ll have to spend the weekend doing some more research, that’s for sure.

BECAUSE CLAUSES AND SIGNAL PHRASE ACTIVITY

Step #ONE:

Music streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer, and Pandora are effective in reducing music piracy because:

  1. They provide a “freemium” service to meet the desire of consumers unwilling to pay for their favorite music.
  2. Their premium service offers higher quality audio than to the majority of digital music available for download whether it’s purchased or downloaded illegally.
  3. They provide a legal means of enjoying your favorite music without having to fear legal ramifications faced when downloading pirated music.
  4. Their added features provide added interaction with your favorite music. Such added features include: personal music recommendations; social interaction such as sharing your favorite songs, artists, and playlists with friends or vice versa; the ability to follow your favorite artists and see what music they’re listening to; the ability to access all of their music on multiple devices including your computer, mobile phone, and tablet.

Step #TWO:

The authors of the article “Fighting Free with Free: Streaming vs. Piracy” state “The quality of the digital copies is lower that the quality of the premium version and is modeled by an exogenous parameter that is related to the sound quality (320 Kbps or higher for the premium service vs. 128 Kbps for many pirated copies) or to the fact that connecting the free or the premium service brings addition value such as playlist sharing, personal recommendations, complete artist and album information and photos, discussion forums etc” (Halmenschlager and Waelbroeck 2012).

In an article posted on TorrentFreak.com in December of 2013 the author noted, “In Sweden, a market that should be the most difficult to turn around if file-sharing traditions are any barometer, Spotify says that the number of people who pirated music fell by 25 percent between 2009 and 2011. In Denmark the IFPI reports that 48% of users using streaming services had previously been illegal downloaders. An impressive 8 out of 10 of those have now stopped completely. Norway, a success story documented earlier this year, has seen its piracy rates drop to just one-fifth of their levels four years earlier, with streaming services taking most of the credit” (“Spotify Was Designed from the Ground Up to Combat Piracy” 2013).

Viktor Luckerson submitted an article on TIME.com earlier this year and described the current trend in music, “U.S. digital track sales decreased for the first time ever in 2013, dropping from 1.34 billion to 1.26 billion, according to Nielsen SoundScan. CD sales also continued their ongoing decline, dropping 14 percent to 165 million. Digital album sales were stable, staying at 118 million sold last year. Meanwhile the number of songs streamed through services like Spotify, YouTube and Rhapsody increased 32 percent to 118.1 billion” (Luckerson 2014).

 

Research Nuggets #4

Source #11

Step 1 – MLA Citation:

Halmenschlager, Christine, and Patrick Waelbroeck. Fighting Free with Free: Streaming vs. Piracy. N.p.: n.p., Feb. 2012. PDF.

Step 2 – Main Claim:

Streaming services without endless restrictions have the ability to deter digital piracy. A free service satisfies the desire of consumers who are unwilling to pay for digital content, while paid versions offer the digital quality that other consumers who are willing to pay for their service desire.

Step 3 – Nuggets:

“In this article, consumers can choose between three options: use the free version, purchase the premium version or get a digital copy. The first two options are legal and generate income for the monopoly, while the latter is illegal. All three versions differ in quality. The difference of quality between the free and the premium version is endogenous and is determined by the level of restrictions associated with the free version. More restrictions increase the number of premium users but diverts other users to piracy. On the contrary, fewer restrictions deter online piracy. The quality of the digital copies is lower that the quality of the premium version and is modeled by an exogenous parameter that is related to the sound quality (320 Kbps or higher for the premium service vs. 128 Kbps for many pirated copies) or to the fact that connecting the free or the premium service brings addition value such as playlist sharing, personal recommendations, complete artist and album information and photos, discussion forums etc” (Halmenschlager 2012).

Music streaming services typically offer two subscriptions: free and paid. The free service has ads and lower quality audio, while allowing consumers to enjoy their favorite music without having to pay for it. The paid service offers higher quality audio compared to even most digital copies of music illegally available to download. Both the free and paid services coupled with features such a playlist sharing and personal recommendations show promise in deterring digital piracy.

“As of April 2011, the new terms of use allow a user to listen to the free service for 6 months and to play each song for up to a total of 5 times. Moreover total listening time for free users is limited to 5 hours per month after the first 6 months (down from 10 hours). Similar restrictions have been adopted by Deezer at about the same time. With this type of restrictions, a free user is rapidly experiencing playlists with “Swiss cheese” holes (titles that were listened to more than 5 times). This inconvenience can trigger two reactions: free users convert to the premium service; or free users leave the online service and turn to online piracy” (Halmenschlager 2012).

Originally, the major labels of the music industry wanted to limit the amount of times a person could listen to a single song although that proved to be a factor in music pirates downloading illegally again.

Source #12

Step 1 – MLA Citation:

Delikan, Mehmet D. Changing Consumption Behavior of Net Generation and the Adoption of Streaming Music Services. N.p.: Jönköping University, June 2010. PDF.

Step 2 – Main Claim:

The way we enjoy our favorite music is continuously evolving; from vinyl, to cassette, to CD, to MP3, to streaming services. Music streaming is likely to be replaced in the future, but for now it’s the best option we have. Like all new things, consumers were a bit weary of it at first. But time has proven that it’s a revolution that’s here to stay. While most will highlight the convenience of accessibility and neat features like personal recommendations, a lot argue that it’s playing a huge role in the decrease in music piracy. The highlights mentioned previously do seem attractive enough to lure pirates away from their old habits.

Step 3 – Nuggets:

“The analysis shows that the most significant change in the music users’ consumption behavior concerns the statement ‘I started to discover new music more.’ 82.1 percent of the respondents agreed that they started to find out new music more, after they started to use Spotify. The respondents also agreed on ‘I use / download / listen to illegal music much less’ statement by 73.56 percent, and on ‘I have faster access to the newly released music’ by 72.8 percent” (Delikan 2010).

While only one of the three statements that respondents agreed upon directly states that streaming services reduced their illegal activity, the other two statements that were heavily agreed upon could make an the same argument. If the respondents are discovering more new music, faster than previously before while downloading illegally, why would they have any reason to ditch the streaming service for piracy?

“40.24 percent of the respondents were often buying or downloading illegal music before they started using Spotify…However, the analysis shows that the frequency of buying or downloading illegal music is decreased after they started using Spotify. 37.8 percent of the respondents reported that they never pirated after [they] started to use Spotify” (Delikan 2010).

This nugget is a ‘catch 22′ in the sense that the question tied buying music and downloading illegal music together in the same questions making the results a bit murky. A notable number of people reported they were either buying or downloading illegal music before the use of Spotify; however, that trend decreased after using the service. Almost 40 percent of the respondents admitted they ceased downloading illegal music completely after switching to Spotify. While those stats potentially point to streaming services hindering music sales, they also prove the effect streaming has on decreasing piracy.

“…findings showed that the compliance differs according to the account type. Possible interpretation of this finding can be that free account users use the service in order to avoid the legal punishment against music piracy, whereas the premium users who pay for the service use it not to avoid punishment but to get extra benefits” (Delikan 2010).

Users with a free account are definitely satisfied by the idea of not having to pay to enjoy their favorite music, after all that’s why a lot of people pirated music. The results might also suggest that free users can breathe a sigh of relief since they don’t have to fear legal ramifications. While premium users might be those who were likely to buy their music before the use of Spotify, the added features make streaming more appealing. The same can be said about free account users; they might find the extra features worth spending money on rather than the music itself.

Source #13

Step 1 – MLA Citation:

Van Ooijen, Robbert. Home Streaming Is Killing Piracy. N.p.: Universiteit Utrecht, 18 Oct. 2010. PDF.

Step 2 – Main Claim:

The “practices that are designated as piracy” have not always been deemed as such. The advent of the music industry is what brought about music piracy after they declared it an issue. While music piracy is a problem without a doubt, it’s the influence to abolish the issue by those who have financial interests that have made it the center of attention in the music industry. Music streaming services provide an alternative for consumers to use rather than download illegal music, thus alleviating piracy.

Step 3 – Nuggets:

“What has become clear from this is that the structural problem of music piracy is mainly a rhetorical problem. Indeed, piracy can only be regarded as a problem, with the presence of an influential player in the discourse that condemns and designates the illicit copying of intellectual property, in this case the illicit copying of musical ideas. If such a player is not present in the discourse, then the structural problem of piracy does not exist, even when the practices that can be designated as piracy are present” (Van Ooijen 2010).

 

This nugget sums up part of the main claim.

“Streaming music already changes the rhetoric that is expressed by the the music industry itself. It is presented as an alternative to music piracy. Hereby it seems as if the industry is competing directly with piracy by satisfying and incorporating desires that were introduced by file sharing services. These desires are not only the usually mentioned free access to music. Other desires such as having access to a large library of music and having the opportunity to connect and share music with fellow music consumers are incorporated as well” (Van Ooijen 2010).

Rather than restrict consumers and make it more difficult to access their favorite music, which caused the increase in music piracy in the first place, make it easier and more enjoyable. No need to stick it to the man when the man is offering you exactly what you’d like with no strings attached minus some ads. If you don’t like the ads, pony up for a reasonable monthly fee and not only do the ads go away, your music quality increases.

Synthesis

Again, all three of my articles talk about the effect music streaming has as far as reducing music piracy. A reoccurring argument made in a lot of my sources thus far are pointing the finger at the music industry itself being responsible for the dramatic increase of music piracy since 2000. The major record labels and other related governing bodies like the BMI, have gone well out of their way over the past ten plus years to increase restrictions targeted as reducing loss in profits. In turn, there was little to no guilt when downloading music illegally. Rather than restricting access to music, make it easier by providing a free service with massive databases of music and neat features like sharing your playlists and personal recommendations. Give the consumers what they want and they’ll be more inclined to purchase a membership for added features and music quality that’s not typically available via digital downloads whether purchased or illegally downloaded.

Reflective Writing for Concept Experience #5

Part One

For our fifth concept experience I aimed to make the article interactive and resourceful. I looked up the original article itself as well for reference. I wanted to link previous articles mentioned in this article so readers had the ability to read those articles for themselves. Since the article was about Facebook and their recent psychology experiment, I linked their website, it’s sign up page and the data usage information for those who might be curious about those as well. I also decided to link Adam Kramer’s Facebook page for those who might be curious to learn more about him since he was mentioned in the third section of the article. The original article had lines separating each section of the article so I decided to at horizontal lines to add some more creativity to the article thanks to the blog theme. The GIFs that I added are what I found and felt represented each section best. The first GIF was mainly just a funny one I found about Facebook, but the second represented the ridiculous things we’re secretly forced to agree with when signing up for such services. The final picture actually isn’t a GIF but a picture of Adam Kramer since he’s mentioned in that section. Then to finish it off, I added a video at the end. The video basically reminds us that we shouldn’t be surprised that this has happened, nor is it anything new.

Part Two

This concept experience assignment made me realize how much more fun this writing class is compared to the previous one’s I’ve taken. Our reports can be much more interactive with the use of images, videos and links to support our arguments. Images and videos can be used to reinforce the meaning of the message we’re attempting to send to our readers. Links are extremely useful for referencing the information we’ve used to its original source. I would imagine that my final product of the inquiry project will look like an academic blog post or news article.

http://www.vice.com/read/isis-stole-some-shiny-new-weapons-from-the-iraqi-army-989

If I could base my report of any article or source, I’d pick VICE. The link above is to a recent article I read on VICE that uses images, videos and links to support the main claim of the article. It’s a simple and common format you see used on many news sources, but I use VICE all the time for current events and other oddball articles. The only other useful way to jazz up my report other than the use of images, links, and videos, is splitting the report up into pages. Otherwise, I’m still trying to figure that one out.

 

Research Nuggets #3

Source #7

Step 1 – MLA Citation:

“SPOTIFY WAS DESIGNED FROM THE GROUND UP TO COMBAT PIRACY.” TorrentFreak. N.p., 04 Dec. 2013. Web. 11 July 2014.

Step 2 – Main Claim:

Music streaming services have contributed to a decline in music piracy. More specifically, Spotify was designed with the intention of alleviating music piracy.

Step 3 – Nuggets:

“The notion, that “it’s impossible to compete with free”, sat well with lawmakers and governments, who looked at offerings coming out of The Pirate Bay and thousands of other similar sites and widely agreed that no-one will pay for something if they can get it for nothing” (SPOTIFY WAS DESIGNED 2013).

This nugget points out the obvious reason for an increase in piracy which happens to be a factor in the success of streaming services in combating piracy. Why pay for something when you can have it for free? The only thing better than receiving something for free is getting paid to receive something.

“Right from the beginning Spotify founder Daniel Ek held a solid belief that if his service offered a better experience and superior convenience than that being offered by The Pirate Bay, people would jump on board.

And they have. Earlier this year the service confirmed it had amassed a total of 24 million users worldwide, 18 million on their ad-supported service and 6 million paying a subscription” (SPOTIFY WAS DESIGNED 2013).

Another valid point, why download illegally and risk legal ramifications if there was a service that provides the same content with the same features and quality for free? Or even pay a little bit each much for more features and better quality? The amount of users that have subscribed to Spotify prove that people find it a useful and quality service, but does that mean it truly reduces the amount of people that pirate music?

“In Sweden, a market that should be the most difficult to turn around if file-sharing traditions are any barometer, Spotify says that the number of people who pirated music fell by 25 percent between 2009 and 2011.

In Denmark the IFPI reports that 48% of users using streaming services had previously been illegal downloaders. An impressive 8 out of 10 of those have now stopped completely. Norway, a success story documented earlier this year, has seen its piracy rates drop to just one-fifth of their levels four years earlier, with streaming services taking most of the credit” (SPOTIFY WAS DESIGNED 2013).

In Sweden and Denmark the reports point towards yes. In Sweden, from 2009 to 2011 a quarter of those who chose to download music illegally had stopped thanks to services like Spotify. The trend continued in Denmark as well, where almost half of the users who used streaming services had previously been music pirates. With 8 out of 10 of those consumers having stopped downloading illegally completely.

Source #8

Step 1 – MLA Citation:

“PIRACY COLLAPSES AS LEGAL ALTERNATIVES DO THEIR JOB.”TorrentFreak. N.p., 16 July 2013. Web. 11 July 2014.

Step 2 – Main Claim:

Legal alternatives for accessing music, movies and TV have had an impact on reducing digital piracy. There’s no excuse for downloading illegally when you have legitimate options for enjoying the same content.

Step 3 – Nuggets:

“The report shows that in 2008 almost 1.2 billion songs were copied without permission. However, by 2012 that figure had plummeted to 210 million, just 17.5% of its level four years earlier.

As expected, piracy of movies and TV shows in 2008 was at much lower levels than music, with 125 million movies and 135 million TV shows copied without permission. But by last year the figures for both had reduced by around half, to 65 million and 55 million respectively” (PIRACY COLLAPSES 2013).

This nugget of the article states details from a report about the decline of piracy in Norway. From 2008 to 2012, the amount of songs copied without permission declined by 82.5%. Music hasn’t been the only beneficiary of streaming services, the movie and TV industry has benefited from services such as Netflix. 

“Of those questioned for the survey, 47% (representing around 1.7 million people) said they use a streaming music service such as Spotify. Even more impressively, just over half (corresponding to 920,000 people and 25% of Norwegian Internet users) said that they pay for the premium option.

While TV show piracy has reduced by half in four years, it actually peaked at the start of 2011 with 200 million shows copied without permission. However, since then with the introduction of legal alternatives, unauthorized copying is down more than 72%” (PIRACY COLLAPSES 2013).

A survey reported that 47% of 1.7 million people surveyed use streaming services and a number of them pay for these services too. The number of illegal copies of TV shows was down 72% over a 4 year period.

Source #9

Step 1 – MLA Citation:

Edgecliffe-Johnson, Andrew. “Streaming Revenues Turn the Tide against Digital Pirates – FT.com.” Financial Times. N.p., 04 Sept. 2013. Web. 11 July 2014.

Step 2 – Main Claim:

Although piracy continues to be a nuisance, streaming services are helping reduce piracy numbers. 

Step 3 – Nuggets:

“In an analysis of the Dutch market, Will Page, an economist working for Spotify, found that releases by Rihanna and Taylor Swift that were held off Spotify sold just one legal copy for each BitTorrent download, while hits from One Direction and Robbie Williams that were instantly available for streaming sold four copies” (Edgecliffe-Johnson 2013).

Releases that weren’t available on Spotify boasted a legal purchase to illegal download ratio of 1:1 whereas releases available on Spotify posted a ratio of 4:1.

“High rates of piracy for hits such as Game of Thrones  in markets such as Australia show that consumers still look to illegal sources if content is not available legally in all parts of the world the minute that US consumers get it” (Edgecliffe-Johnson 2013).

This nugget directly proves the effect Netflix has on video piracy. Game of Thrones still remains a highly pirated TV show because it’s streaming availability is limited to those who pay for an HBO subscription. It’s not available on Netflix or any other video streaming service with the exception of HBO GO.

Source #10

Step 1 – MLA Citation:

Cammaerts, Bart, and Nick Anstead, comps. “Why Pay If It’s Free?”MEDIA@LSE Electronic MSc Dissertation Series (2011): 0-39. London School of Economics and Political Science. Aug. 2011. Web. 11 July 2014.

Step 2 – Main Claim:

The Internet and new digital media outlets have changed the landscape of music revenues. Not only has digital music created a huge decline in the sales of physical albums it also created a dramatic increase in theft of music. The Internet and peer-to-peer networking has created the ability to share music with others thus not having to pay for it.

Step 3 – Nuggets:

“The majority of streaming users (76.5%) were satisfied with the service, in comparison to just 11.3% of users who were dissatisfied. This suggests an overall high quality and helps to explain the rapid adoption of such services” (Cammaerts and Anstead 2011).

The high level of satisfaction among those who use streaming services makes the quick increase in subscription numbers reasonable. While it doesn’t prove continuous use over a long period of time, it suggests a willingness to find alternatives to downloading illegally.

“The price of an MP3 was viewed as unfair by 25.3% of respondents and 23.6% of the cohort had never purchased music in a digital format. In comparison, 18.2% of consumers who perceived the price to be fair had never purchased digital music. It is likely that free legitimate sources or illegal downloads provide an alternative channel to satisfy demand for consumers who have relatively low willingness to pay for digital music” (Cammaerts and Anstead 2011).

Those found to be in disagreement with the prices of MP3′s are more likely to download music illegally or use free streaming services rather than pay for the music.

Research Nuggets #2

Source #4

Step 1 – MLA Citation:

“Spotify Is Good For The Music Industry, Its CEO Says.” Weekend Edition Sunday 4 Dec. 2011. Literature Resource Center. Web. 8 July 2014.

Step 2 – Main Claim:

This NPR segment was an interview with Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify. The main claim of the article is that Spotify has created the ability for users to access their favorite music anywhere they have Internet access with the intent of cracking down on music piracy. They’ve also added social features so friends can share their new favorite music with each other. Ek claims that this has created a new way for artists to spread their music and increased opportunity for sales when fans truly enjoy their music. Audie Cornish, NPR’s correspondent, points out that some artists are bashing the royalties they receive for the plays their music gets on Spotify claiming its borderline piracy.

Step 3 – Nuggets:

“What we’re really trying to do here is move people away from piracy into a legal model that contributes revenue back to the music industry” (Ek, “Spotify Is Good For The Music Industry, Its CEO Says”).

“I feel that it’s important to mention that it’s still early days and Spotify’s only two years in using the service, almost three. But in that short period of time now we’ve become the second largest revenue generator for the labels in Europe and we’ve paid out more than a 150 million dollars back to the music industry” (Ek, “Spotify Is Good For The Music Industry, Its CEO Says”).

“But again, what I sort of emphasize that we’re paying the labels. We don’t pay the artists directly” (Ek, “Spotify Is Good For The Music Industry, Its CEO Says”).

In these few nuggets, Ek claims that Spotify’s objective is to curb music piracy and that their service had already channeled $150 millon dollars back into the music industry. Although, Ek stops short of explaining who in the vast music industry is seeing this revenue other than labels. Note that this is an interview from 2011, so it’ll be worth while to find if this remains the same in 2014.

“At the same time one of the big criticisms that we’ve heard from artists is that the royalties that they get from Spotify are so low that it might as well be piracy. (Cornish, “Spotify Is Good For The Music Industry, Its CEO Says”).

“I also want to say that this model’s very, very different from the one that iTunes and the other music players have had in the past; buying to own, and what Spotify really is changing here is we’re talking about access to music” (Ek, “Spotify Is Good For The Music Industry, Its CEO Says”).

“I think if you keep creating great music people will in fact listen to it and they will in fact buy it if they think it’s a great record”…”if they really like it they will share it and their friends will discover it and they in turn will listen to it, and that means that their friends will listen to it.” (Ek, “Spotify Is Good For The Music Industry, Its CEO Says”).

Cornish points out that artists are criticizing the royalties they receive from Spotify, claiming it’s borderline piracy itself. Ek responds by claiming that Spotify offers access to music, not ownership, thus the difference in royalty rewards. He then claims that if artists continue to make great music, it will sell and be shared with friends who will also listen to it and possibly buy the track or album.

Source #5

Step 1 – MLA Citation:

“Pandora Buys A Radio Station, Songwriters’ Group Calls It A ‘Stunt’.” Weekend Edition Saturday 15 June 2013. Literature Resource Center. Web. 8 July 2014.

Step 2 – Main Claim:

Pandora has really low payouts to the musicians who have music streaming on their service and have purchased a radio station in hopes to pay a lower rate for the music they stream. Pandora is struggling to make a profit while other services like iHeartRadio pays lower fees to broadcast the same music since they own multiple radio stations.

Step 3 – Nuggets:

 “Morgan’s an independent musician and his song “Better Angels” was among a number of his songs that got some 28,000 plays on Pandora” (Sydell, “Pandora Buys A Radio Station, Songwriters’ Group Calls It A ‘Stunt’”).

“The song earned $1.62 in royalties over a 90-day period on Pandora, which is a very typical rate” (Morgan, “Pandora Buys A Radio Station, Songwriters’ Group Calls It A ‘Stunt’”).

Blake Morgan is an artist who received a $1.62 payout for a 90-day period in which his song “Better Angels” received 28,000 plays on Pandora.

“Pandora, which is the number one Internet radio service, saw over $125 million in revenue last quarter, 55 percent more than the year before. But the company still isn’t profitable in part because it pays over 60 percent of its revenues to acquire music” (Sydell, “Pandora Buys A Radio Station, Songwriters’ Group Calls It A ‘Stunt’”).

“But the future is clearly in Internet radio services like Pandora. According to a survey by the NPD Group, people under 35 spent a quarter of their listening on the Internet in 2012 – that’s up 17 percent from the year before. Time spent listening to radio went down 2 percent. At the same time, people are purchasing less music” (Sydell, “Pandora Buys A Radio Station, Songwriters’ Group Calls It A ‘Stunt’”).

Although Pandora raked in over $125 million in revenue in one quarter, they failed to make a profit due to the fact that it pays over 60% of its revenue for music to stream. This is all despite the fact that revenue increased 55% compared to the same quarter the previous year. Also, it’s worth noting the number of people using internet radio services increased 17% from the previous year while radio listeners decreased along with music sales.

Source #6

Step 1 – MLA Citation:

Waters, Roger, Nick Mason, and David Gilmour. “Pink Floyd: Pandora’s Internet Radio Royalty Ripoff.” USA Today. Gannett, 25 June 2013. Web. 08 July 2014.

Step 2 – Main Claim:

The band Pink Floyd wrote this article and submitted it to USA Today in June of 2013 to voice their opinion of Pandora’s royalty payouts; including their attempt to lower those payouts with the backing of U.S. Congress. While Pink Floyd remains supportive of Internet radio services including Pandora, they believe artists aren’t receiving fair payment for their work. Rather than destroy Pandora’s credibility they, along with more artists would prefer to work with Pandora to work out something that’s fair for everyone involved.

Step 3 – Nuggets:

“The latest example is how Pandora is pushing for a special law in Congress to slash musicians’ royalties – and the tactics they are using to trick artists into supporting this unfair cut in pay” (Waters et al.).

Pandora is fighting to reduce royalty payouts and they’re asking for Congress’ support when artists receive next to nothing for their work from Pandora in the first place.

“We hope that many online and mobile music services can give fans and artists the music they want, when they want it, at price points that work. But those same services should fairly pay the artists and creators who make the music at the core of their businesses” (Waters et al.).

Pink Floyd supports the idea and use of Internet radio services although they don’t agree with the payouts that artists receive for their work. Artists should be able to share their music with the fans and deserve fair compensation for their labor.

Nearly 90% of the artists who get a check for digital play receive less than $5,000 a year. They cannot afford the 85% pay cut Pandora asked Congress to impose on the music community” (Waters et al.).

With only 10% of the artists who’s music is played on Pandora receiving more than $5,000 a year, most can’t make a living off their music; especially after the 85% pay cut Pandora is asking for congress to impose.

“We’ve heard Pandora complain it pays too much in royalties to make a profit. (Of course, we also watched Pandora raise $235 million in its IPO and double its listeners in the last two years.) But a business that exists to deliver music can’t really complain that its biggest cost is music”…”Netflix pays more for movies than Pandora pays for music, but they aren’t running to Congress for a bailout. Everyone deserves the right to be paid a fair market rate for their work, regardless of what their work entails” (Waters et al.).

Although it has been proven that Pandora is struggling to make a profit, it doesn’t allow them to complain that the cost of the music they stream is too high. Music is their business and if their business is too expensive to turn profit, then they should close doors. That’s Business 101 and they don’t deserve a bailout for those reasons. Netflix pays more for it’s content and they’re not complaining about the cost of movies and TV shows.

Synthesis

The first article’s main claim is almost the exact opposite of the last two articles. All three are similar in the fact that they are arguing that music streaming services like Spotify and Pandora are paying royalties to the artists who’s music is played on such services. This is an obvious point, yet that’s also where the first article differs from the last two. The first article is a segment from NPR in which they interview the CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek, thus the answers are biased. Ek claims that Spotify provides users with access to their favorite music rather than ownership, thus royalty payouts work differently than digital music sales. In the next two articles, the music streaming service known as Pandora claims that royalties are higher than they should be because they’re struggling to make a profit due to the high price they have to pay for the rights to stream the music. Another claim that remains consistent throughout all three articles is the fact that artists are making next to nothing in royalties from these music streaming services.

Curate and Reflect

Overview of Concept Experience #4

I’ll start off by mentioning that I did not participate in the first part of this assignment on Tuesday. I made the decision to change topics and felt my inquiry proposal based on my old topic would have been a waste of time for those that chose to read it. Constructive feedback might have helped me continue with the original topic but I feel my new topic is more interesting and related to new media. I think the use of Twitter to share our topics is a neat progressive idea, although I didn’t receive much feedback.

Notable Tweets

I’m not sure if this is @AnisaKannan’s final research question, but I think this is a great one. I believe the problem within our education system is that the majority have lost the desire to learn. It’s become more of a requirement rather than an accomplishment. Learning systems based around grades and tests scores, rather than inspiring curiosity and the desire to learn more. So, kudos on a well phrased question!

I found this topic really interesting. I’m curious what ties social media has to biotechnology so, I’ll be tracking posts by @IfrahAnsar88 to see what he comes up with.

This Tweet from @FrisketMcBisket caught my attention because it was the first topic that I found that was remotely close to mine. We’re both researching various effects caused by streaming services. Although, he’s researching video streaming services such as Netflix and I’m searching music streaming services like Spotify. Still seems like a candidate worth grouping up with!

Feedback Summary

I haven’t received too much feedback since my original inquiry proposal is obsolete but I linked my research nuggets related for my new topic to @MKaymanesh after she had tweeted me about my original proposal. She gave me positive feedback complimenting my new topic for being more specific and a better choice. I also received a tweet from @Gainesbp1 with information in regards to my topic, that is worth looking into and should be beneficial to my research. I’m sure I’ll receive some more feedback after I post my revised inquiry proposal tonight and I’ll be sure to add any that I receive before midnight tonight.