"Free Music Is Always Going To Win," Says Lee Parsons, CEO of Ditto Music; Interview Part 1 - hypebot

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John

I would rethink the argument that free music instantly wins. Frankly, there's too much free music today that it's diluted the market to the point free doesn't excite. And if you're not Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Fridays, there is not much incentive to download your free music when everyone else is giving it away. Ask the dozens of unknown artists that tried giving away their music for free online, but have yet to break through that recognition barrier that exists.

Jeremy

This confuses me. He says "Free music is always going to win," but it doesn't sound like he's talking about free music, as Ditto Music seems to be about letting lesser-known bands sell their music digitally, and the Ditto Music web site talks about bands earning "110% royalties on sales" (somehow). I may be misunderstanding something, but it sounds to me as if a lot of folks attempting to carve a space for themselves in the digital music marketplace try to have it both ways, pushing the "revolutionary" idea that music is "now free" and then also assuring bands they will be making money from their music. And of course the distributors etc themselves are hardly in it for free.

Also, I think we've had enough of the trope about "major label fat cats." Not that they don't exist, but it's a reductive and misleading meme when used to stand for the entire universe of record labels. I'd venture to say there are far more earnest, hard-working, well-intentioned folks working at independent labels providing valuable support to their artists then there are "big label fat cats" in the world.

david

I don't think free music wins in the long run. Several studies have shown that when people get something for free they value it accordingly. Therefore, you're not going to get a real fan, someone you can sell merch and tickets to, and develop a long term relationship with if you're giving it away. Give away a track or two, and make them pay for everything else, even if it's inexpensive. They'll value it more.

Peter daish

I dont think his argument here is that artists should just give away all music for free , more that its pointless trying to fight the piracy aspect. Its interesting that labels have still done nothing to react to things like torrent sites apart from try to shut them down.
Your fans will always ( hopefully ) pay for your music and yes, give them a free track and keep them interested, but then to the other people who download your music without paying, embrace it, find their details, get them to a show, make the revenues out of them another way

Ray

Lee Parsons talks a lot of rubbish. He has been bragging about 7 top 40 hits since 2008 when he was at midem....that means he has not had a hit since with his aggregating service. Good music is still selling, look at Paolo Nutini and Mumford and Sons, there albums ahve been doing 15000 paltic units a week for yonks....Plan B has sold 600,000 plastic units. There is still huge amounts of money to be made, they just need a smaller workforce. Look at Sony its so cash rich due to Michael Jackson dying. Syco made about £40,000,000 profit, from Susan Boyle first album and is going to do something similar with her second album. This is plastic sales, she sold 6,000,000 copies in one month! A month!....outsold Lady Gaga album sales in a month. Yet doesn't get put forward even for a brit award as she is not cool. Epic UK have a policy of signing two acts a year, how can you fail???
The big boys, have been re-developing their model.....but their is still plenty of cash to be made, succesful businesses reduce overhead its called creating an efficient business.

Cyrus

So 'Ray', seem to have a vendetta eh?

How's about sticking to the subject and maybe tell us about YOUR Top 40 hits???

If you were at Midem in 2008 i presume you are in the music industry?

Rosamojo

I am a musician not a rock n roll secretary but it often feels like it these days! I also dont believe that Lee is being wholly literal with this free music controversy. I will give away the occasional demo song. I have also been given free music and if its good I certainly wont trash it. F**K YES I wanna make money for my talents but a 'struggling musician needs recognition'. From my new song 'Skullduggery'... i never miss a trick ;)

To achieve recognition you need to either have big cash for promo, literally sleep with big industry devil (ooh, controversial)OR grow a pair of your own horns! So while I would appreciate big industry funding I would need to be firstly recognised, then secondly recognised as an autonomous indiviual on my own terms (isty compromise considered, ha!. I release on Ditto Music and this is in no way me kissing bum cheeks! Hell, I could be digging my own grave for not walking a straight line if a music bigwigger reads this. Just as well I'm a fan of Tim Burton's Corpse Bride then, which strangely, now I think of it has some parallels to an artists struggle in the industry...I digress.

Ok, This is how i see it. Hegel. Without getting too DEEP. Wot he said was. In Human relationships there are Master/Slave dynamics. In order to become a fully conscious human you needed to be recognised first. The only way to be recognised is for one to submit to the other. Hence, the battle begins. The battle starts off as a fight to the death. PROBLEM! (ala destiny's child, stay with me it gets good ;). Trouble is, if one dies, the other won't have anyone to recognise them...SO ultimately to become truly fully conscious, one must submit to the other. One becomes the Master, The other a Slave...

But here's the bit I love. While the Master is sitting in his dominion the slave goes on to create and build the world. The Slave eventually becomes more fully conscious than the master in doing so.

This is merely a paradigmn shift in musical Industry enlightenment guys ... *Cheshire Cat Grin*...

Watch me dissappear and reappear dancing like no-ones watching...cos no matter how soul destroying this industry can be...i can still dance, sing, create.


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