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Viral Music Videos A Problem For RIAA 182

prostoalex writes "A few years ago music videos were considered promotional, a tease to get the viewer to buy the whole album. However, now that a commercial market for music videos is springing up, the music industry is not quite happy with YouTube, iFilm, Google Video and other video sharing sites distributing the music videos of famous artists. Billboard magazine says: 'The RIAA estimates that sales of music videos topped $3.7 million in three months, after being introduced in October. Meanwhile, the major labels also are sharing in the profits of ad-supported video-on-demand offerings from AOL, Yahoo, Music Choice and others. That is revenue the music industry is keenly interested in protecting. Hopes are that YouTube and others will ink similar deals with the industry in the long run.'"
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Viral Music Videos A Problem For RIAA

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  • by yagu ( 721525 ) * < minus cat> on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:27PM (#15464573) Journal

    Has the RIAA seen the quality of the videos on youtube? We're not talking about redistribution of DVDs here, these are snippets people find interesting and worth sharing. And the quality of these videos is something you'd only look at in tiny resolution on a computer, and probably only once or twice.

    From the article: "Viral video sharing would not have been an issue just 18 months ago, when the labels still viewed music videos as a promotional tool for selling albums. Now that their efforts have created interest in their videos, they want to take it away in any form except for what they dictate.

    The RIAA and MPAA remind me of an old Peanuts cartoon, where Lucy takes all of Linus' toys away, and leaves him a rubber band to play with... I've got to dig that up, it's so appropriate (do you remember it?).

    These videos surfacing on youtube and other video sites are free publicity and advertising for the subjects! I'm beginning to think the RIAA has some bizarre credo, something along the lines of, "No matter what!, we MUST stop any sharing, enjoyment, distribution of ANYTHING that we can possible stamp with OUR ownership!". I'm also convinced the people running RIAA are totally insane.

    There's an adage "there's no such thing as bad publicity". Eventually, the RIAA and MPAA may prove that wrong. Idiots.

  • by crazyjeremy ( 857410 ) * on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:28PM (#15464577) Homepage Journal
    When will they learn? If they make a funny / cool / sexy video... People are going to post it to sites like youtube, google video or similar. The artists' company will just have to pay a cleanup crew to keep bugging the content sites to remove their protected content. That will just have to be part of their business.
    Heck... It's getting easier to build sites with the ability to share content... (see my sig) can share videos/images/music... But I've only turned on images and I'm not taking customers. But if I did, it would be a full time job for several people to scan thousands of uploads for copyrighted content... Which is a good reason not to take new people yet... Point being, the companies that have the most to lose will end up footing the bill (and because of this they will also keep trying to sue the pants off little guys when their customers post copyrighted content to their subsites)
  • by MassEnergySpaceTime ( 957330 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:37PM (#15464616)
    "...the music industry is not quite happy..."

    I don't think the music industry will ever be happy. I think they will always find some reason to complain, whether it was radio, audio cassette, file sharing, or now music video posting.
  • by imunfair ( 877689 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:39PM (#15464632) Homepage
    Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I don't know of anyone that buys music videos, and I'm only 21. Classically, music videos are the free things on MTV and VH1 used to promote the music.

    Why would I pay for something that I have to watch and can't just turn on while I'm doing other stuff, unless it is going to provide me with some new content? Once I have seen a music video once, why would I ever want one enough to pay for it again? This isn't a movie or even porn we're talking about here. This is just another example of the RIAA inflating the amount of money they actually gain from something.

    Unless they're charging over a dollar each for these they would have to have sold 1.2 million per month - that's 41,000 per day. I find that highly unlikely. Nothing to see here, just the RIAA trying to squeeze blood from a turnip and screwing themselves out of a perfectly good advertising method.

    A pretty girl on a music video with a good voice will make me more likely to buy a CD or song, but not if they try to make me pay for the music video, I'll just stop watching them.
  • by MassEnergySpaceTime ( 957330 ) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:48PM (#15464661)
    And another thought, the RIAA says they made $3.7 million in 3 months... while P2P networks are out there with mp3s, movies... and probably music videos as well!

    I know I've downloaded few music videos over the years, so I'm sure people share music videos out there in P2P.

    Doesn't that shoot a hole in the claim that P2P file sharing is killing the RIAA when they're able to make $3.7 million in 3 months selling stuff that's available in P2P?
  • Re:Dear **AA: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrSquirrel ( 976630 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @12:10AM (#15464723)
    The **AA are a bunch of greedy ass-spelunkers. The videos PROMOTE their artists, giving the public more interest in an artist... thus creating an influx of new fans, eager to buy CD's, posters, and all sorts of other merch (generating more money for the **AA [a lot more money is made off the sale of a $20 CD than the pennies made from selling space for ads before music videos]). Some sites host these videos without ads and don't make any money off those videos -- the **AA wants to FORCE the videos to be a source of money so they can funnel off the profits (they sure do love that stuff). As previous users have commented -- these videos aren't DVD quality "omg so good I'm gonna throw it up on my media center and show all my friends" videos, they're grainy and poor... if anything -- videos with good content will make people want to see the video in high quality -- increasing the influx of users to the **AA's video sites where they can force people to sit through all the merry-old ads they want and get as much money as their hearts desire (oh wait, they don't have hearts).
  • by UriahZ ( 952170 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @12:11AM (#15464729)
    Is there anyone left out there who actually believes these assholes deserve to retain any degree of their unprecedented money, power, and political influence? Tell me I'm wrong, please. Maybe there's a whole big contingent of people out there who think listening to music without paying for it is actually stealing. Those are probably the same people who think musicians make more than a few cents per every album sold, and that every song 'stolen' represents lost revenue equal to the retail price of that song. In other words, the sadly ignorant. ASCAP is even worse-- only the top-selling bands make any significant money whatsoever from ASCAP licensing revenues. Meanwhile, they're making money for their legal department by suing the bars and clubs who host DJs and cover bands.

    As a musician, I think that's a big crock of shit.

    That said, I keep the RIAA off my back the old fashioned way-- I rip my friends' CDs rather than download off the net, and similarly share the wealth off-line. Not like I could've bought the Beatles' albums in the Apple Store anyway. And Sir McCartney certainly doesn't need it, if he even sees royalties from those sales anymore. Perhaps it's time to drop the copyright timelimits, yeah?

    Ultimately, it's increasingly clear that these incestuous corporate associations not only don't have the best interests of the emerging world culture at heart, but are an active enemy to both their customers and the future of the very industry they claim to represent. I know the list of evil organizations in the world is getting over-long at this point, but they really do need to be stopped, along with all the other fucks out there wrecking civilization for everyone else.

    I wonder if strong leadership and extensive organization could effect the degree of change the world needs before everything really goes to hell...
  • Futility. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IcebergSlim ( 450399 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @12:13AM (#15464743)
    No matter how hard the **AA's of the world try and no matter how much money they throw at their problem, they will NEVER, EVER stop determined people from obtaining their content for free. They will always be reacting to the proactive.

    Furthermore, the harder they try, the more they're just going to end up pissing off their ever-dwindling base of consumers. Right or wrong and for better or worse, it's reality.

    (The above concept applies to the dumb-fsking war on terrorism, too, but I won't even begin ranting about that horrorshow.)
  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @12:23AM (#15464787)
    the RIAA has some bizarre credo, something along the lines of, "No matter what!, we MUST stop any sharing, enjoyment, distribution of ANYTHING that we can possible stamp with OUR ownership!"

    I'm certain that the final goal of the RIAA is to own every note in the musical scale, and collect a payment for every time any of those notes are played.

  • by hackwrench ( 573697 ) <> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @01:04AM (#15464902) Homepage Journal
    But then, the RIAA has taken on a life of it's own. What's with people hanging on to things long after they're able to serve a purpose. It's not like there isn't other ways to make money. Why have the RIAA, the MPAA, and others... the executives for the tobacco companies comes to mind, fallen into this trap?
  • Until the only way to listen to music is to walk up to a music booth through a metal detector to prevent you from bringing in any recording equipment, and up to a music booth. At this music booth you will insert five dollar bills. You will then select a song using a touchscreen. You will then take paper headphone covers from a dispenser on the wall. You will place the headphone covers over the public headphones, connected to the booth by a flexible metal tube. You will then listen to your music until your credit has expired. Rocking out or playing air guitar will be discouraged, although singing along in a quiet voice will be tolerated, unless there's somebody wihtin earshot.

    Maybe then, the RIAA will stop whining.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @01:31AM (#15464969) Homepage
    I'm waiting to see articles with quotes like "I used to listen to music, but it cut into my gaming time", or "Hip hop is so for losers".
  • every historical era is defined by an ideological struggle which defines the status quo of future eras

    in our time, that struggle is the balance between corporate ownership and public culture

    the riaa/ mpaa won't stop until they own all of our culture, period. every single bit of expression of it

    its a pathology: greed, greed, greed, and it will never stop

    but the struggle is too esoteric now, too new to have reached the man in the street yet

    only us dweebs and tech heads see the outrageousness of this creeping doom on the horizon right now

    but give it time. eventually it will rear its ugly head on the radar of public consciousness

    and then maybe, hopefully, this pathology that is ip law that wants to own absolutely every bit of cultural expression will get the bitch slap down it deserves
  • retards (Score:1, Insightful)

    by tHeSiD ( 805906 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @01:48AM (#15465019) Homepage
    Lets see RIAA/MPAA bring down google and yahoo... stupid mofos cant even bring down TPB and they go head on Google "THe GOogle" and Yahoo "THe yahoo"
  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) ( 193358 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @01:54AM (#15465032) Homepage Journal
    >They could have seen this coming as long ago as the advent of audio and video cassettes.

    The MPAA did. Their Jack Valenti told the House of Representatives in 1982 "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone". They went clear to the Supreme Court in 1984 to ban the Betamax and almost succeeded (four justices (Blackmun, Marshall, Powell and Rehnquist) agreed with the appeals court that Sony's products were illegal).

    At every point in the last few decades when an innovation increased the **AA's revenues but decreased their control, they have fought it like berserkers.
  • by geoff lane ( 93738 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @02:08AM (#15465069)
    Your ears are used to commit piracy. You must pay.
  • by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @06:25AM (#15465650)
    No freebie, no sales. The freebie could be breaking evn on a concert tour while making yourself popular, or the opposite: releasing your music for free on the net and then profitting from more expensive tickers.

    It can be something as simple as a movie trailer or a music video or even an ad block (latter least effective, since people know the final goal is to trick them into buying something).

    Doesn't RIAA realize this? Yes it does. But what you don't realize is that RIAA wants control. Viral marketing is good if RIAA creates it, if people start it themselves, it's bad.

    If channels exist for commercial videos to be spread virally, they can be used to easily spread non-commercial non-RIAA production as well. That would mean less people buy RIAA product, more people learn about independent productions.

    This can spell serious trouble for RIAA. This is why their first goal is closing the entire channel and not just filtering out their content.
  • Re:Dear **AA: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sj0 ( 472011 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @10:03AM (#15466208) Journal
    Why bother allowing them to hold the cards? Nothing says the RIAA and MPAA are the only source of audio and visual entertainment.
  • by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @11:46AM (#15466657) Homepage
    I'd like you to be modded underrated, but have something to say about this line: "complain about copyright law, not the companies."

    The reason the copyright law sucks is because the companies bought it that way. They requested that feature specifically, and paid for it. For good measure, in Eldred v Ashcroft, they essentially bought the right to buy any kind of copyright law they want -- without having to demonstrate that it fulfills the Constitutional mandate (promoting science & useful arts).

    The problem with copyright law is that it more-or-less is writen by the companies. So it's not possible to just complain about one.

  • poor highly motivated technologically astute teenagers

    interestingly enough, also the prime demographic for the culture brokers

    so that's the warzone

    frankly, anyone over 21 is too rich and too undermotivated to matter anymore

    the corporations can spend trillions in advanced r&d, but if they ask for money, and the teenager doesn't have it (which is the case 99% of the time)

    then take a wild guess what is going to happen next

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas