College Tribune

Independent UCD News

Music

Should Music be Free

 

Thousands of fans cried into their laptops and iPhones the day Taylor Swift decided to remove her latest songs from Spotify. Buzzfeed had a field day with articles thanks to it. This led to many artists having their opinion on the matter of free music; should they release their music for free through companies like Spotify? With the growth of media and torrents, ailment we expect everything to be easily accessible these days. “Ah lads! The film I illegally downloaded keeps jumping. I didn’t not pay for this!”. Have we become too greedy?

   Personally, case I think we have. As soon as the latest film is out, cialis we rush to our laptops to see if someone with a steady enough hand filmed Birdman for us to watch from the comfort of our bed. While I do think this is a bit far, I don’t think that artists’ choosing to release their music for free is a bad move. Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl gave his two cents a while back in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine; “I’m playing two nights at Wembley [in London] next summer. I want people to hear our music. I don’t care if you pay $1 or [bleeping] $20 for it; just listen to the [bleeping] song. But I can understand how other people would object to that.” When Swift made this bold move, Grohl wasn’t the only artist to think that free music wasn’t a bad idea. Many unknown and upcoming artists favour the site due to a widespread audience it can reach. Through the digital music service app, I have discovered many new and exciting bands that I listen to regularly, and I look  forward to seeing live. Without this app, I would be an uncultured swine in the area of music.

   Yet, it is also clear to see why artists don’t want their music to be released for free. These  artists, such as Swift and will.i.am, who have such an immense following, they don’t need this extra push from Spotify. They believe that all their music should be paid for, no matter what. In regard to the video hosting platform, VEVO, will.i.am said at Virgin Distributors in October 2013 that “While we’re paying for our videos to be on that platform … at what point in time does VEVO pay for content, that gives them the ability to put commercials that we don’t want before our content? And do we get to choose what commercials come before and after our content, when I’m the one paying for the video?” The band, The Black Keys, gave their opinion on the matter too, one which I can somewhat agree with. Drummer Patrick Carney said about Spotify in 2011, long before Swift chimed in, “For unknown bands and smaller bands, it’s a good thing to get yourself out there. But for a band that makes a living selling music, streaming royalties are not at a point yet to be feasible for us.”

In my opinion, removing music from Spotify is foolish. Even without Spotify, there are thousands upon thousands of illegal sites that will allow listeners to download full albums for free. No matter how hard these artists and their labels try to remove free music, it’s an ambition that has no end in sight. I agree with Grohl, that if you want your music to be heard, you can’t put a price tag on it. Just don’t do what U2 did, and surprise us with an album onto our iTunes.

By Emma Costello

The College Tribune would like to officially correct an error made in its print edition. This piece was wrongly credited to Adam Bielenberg, and should have in fact been credited to Emma Costello.

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