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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | July 11, 2020

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We Don't Wanna Pay For Your Music Anymore

We Don’t Wanna Pay For Your Music Anymore

| On 17, Apr 2014

Last week I had a friend over and as she looked around my room she spotted some CD’s stacked on my bedside table to which she said, “I can’t believe you still buy CD’s”. With ITunes, Spotify, Youtube and just the Internet really, listening to and downloading music without having to pay a cent is kinda the norm, and CD’s just ain’t.

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For me, it started with LimeWire. I was in year 8, and all my friends were watching The O.C months before it played on Australian television. If I wanted to participate in the lunch time conversations, that meant downloading the newest episode from LimeWire (but we were file sharing, so it’s all good). Then we discovered you could download every song that played on last night’s episode. More often than not, you would download a song only to find out it was a dodgy recording of ‘President Clinton’ famously claiming he “did not have sexual relations with that girl” – that was the bane of my existence. But, not once did I stop and think my actions were illegal, nor did I feel bad about it.

So we were young and dumb and didn’t really understand that our actions might eventually have a snowball effect on an entire industry. Eight or so years on and there are so many ways to listen to and download music without paying a cent.

According to a report by the ABC, Australians are among the worst offenders for illegal downloading and there doesn’t seem like there is much that can be done to stop, or curb the behaviour. But when I think about it, it’s much bigger than the music industry. It kinda comes down to the simple idea that maybe creativity isn’t measured into dollars anymore. Maybe creativity should be free, so we can all love and enjoy it.. and drink tea and pick flowers, and sing to the birds from our window and have them dress us in the morning like some charming disney film. It’s a nice idea, especially the flower picking and tea drinking part, but if I’d just spent an entire year pouring my heart and soul into an album, I’d kinda expect to make some money.

But, sadly there are some things that are worth spending our hard earned cash on, like tickets to a show or a gig. But paying for a CD you’re not sure you’ll like, or the newest episode of Game of Thrones is far out crazy.

It is potentially the end to the financial gratifying music industry, or will artists just find other ways to make money through their music? Either way, it’s a crazy concept to think that we might not be able to purchase CD’s or records in ten, maybe even five years time and that makes me super sad, so what I’m trying to say is you should buy a CD today.