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Lily Allen: P2P a “Disaster” for New Artists

Lily Allen: P2P a “Disaster” for New Artists

Lashes out at big name artists like Radiohead who criticize UK govt proposals to “criminalize” music fans and disconnect file-sharers from the Internet.

UK pop singer Lily Allen is lashing out at what she calls “rich and successful” music artists from the Featured Artists Coalition for criticizing efforts by the UK govt for a “three-strikes” crackdown on illegal file-sharing.

She thinks P2P is especially harmful to new and emerging artists who don’t have “loads of albums to flog to a new audience.”

“Basically the FAC is saying ‘we’re alright, we’ve made it, so file sharing’s fine’,” she said in a MySpace celebrity blog post. which is just so unfair to new acts trying to make it in the industry.”

“They do sell-out arena tours and have the biggest Ferrari collections in the world. For new talent though, file sharing is a disaster as it’s making it harder and harder for new acts to emerge.”

Considering that file-sharing for many artists is the only way to get your music in the hands of fans where it belongs, Allen seems largely naive despite her insistence to the contrary.

“If this sounds like I’m siding with the record bosses, I’m not,” she adds. “They’ve been naive and complacent about new technology – and they’ve spent all the money they’ve earned on their own fat salaries, not industry development.”

Exactly, and that’s where the true problem lies, it’s not with file-sharers.

“But as they start to lose big from piracy, they’re not slashing their salaries ” they’re pulling what they invest in A&R (artists and repertoire),” says Allen. “Lack of funds results in A&R people not being able to take risks and only signing acts they think will work…”

Why is this the problem of music fans and artists? I’d argue that record labels haven’t taken risks for years. Think back to CD sales heaven in the mid-1990s when music was awash in utter garbage packaged as music.

The record industry is a business like any other and risk is inherently bad. It will always choose profits over talent. That’s just the way it is.

NIN frontman Trent Reznor discussed this to a degree a while back, saying that all a record label is concerned with is profits, they only see an artist as a “means to make revenue.”

“At every fork in the road that will be what’s put first,” he said.”Not your longevity, not your vision. How can we make money from you.”

People like independent music business online expert Andrew Dubber have also tried to tell artists not to worry about illegal file-sharing for several simple reasons:

  1. Copying “just happens” and there’s no way to force people into buying music.
  2. It’s not an “impediment,” but rather a “technological advantage that you can leverage to your own ends.

The last one is what Allen should really stop to think about. For a long time artists complained that record labels were the gatekeepers to music fans, and that without them there was no way you could hope to ever put your album out there for people to listen to.

Some artists actively use BitTorrent tracker sites like Waffles.fm specifically to gain more exposure.

Most importantly, Allen doesn’t seem to understand that the FAC and she are really on the same page. The FAC isn’t pro-file-sharing, it’s just sensible enough to take a look at the experience of the US music industry and its decade long campaign of lawsuits to see that a different approach is necessary.

Suing your own customers is hardly a sensible business model and I can’t fathom that she wouldn’t agree.

When the FAC says that it’s on the “side of the audience, the consumer” it means that it wants to give them what they want, when and where they want it. Contrast that to record labels who relent on any of these choices only when declining profits force their hand.

She also alludes to the need to develop new music distribution platforms for fans to buy music from.

“I’m going to be writing (to) British artists, saying just this: File sharing’s not okay for British music,” continues Allen. “We need to find new ways to help consumers access and buy music legally, but saying file sharing’s fine is not helping anyone – and definitely not helping British music.”

That’s precisely what the FAC wants. It too wants to “find new ways” to “help”music fans. It’s main argument is only that “artists should own their own rights and they should decide when their music should be used for free, or when they should have payment.”

The music industry is evolving and nobody know for sure what it’ll look like in the end. With its own economist concluding recently that revenue is up 4.7% since 2007, and the UK’s 7 million file-sharers myth having been debunked, the need for a war against file-sharing music fans isn’t as urgent as Allen might think it is.

Stay tuned.

[email protected]
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UPDATE: For those that are anti-Lily Allen it seems she’s about to quit the music business for good.

“Please bear in mind this doesn’t have anything to do with me or my wealth,” she writes according to Music Week. “Just so you know, I have not renegotiated my record contract and have no plans to make another record. I do however remain a fan of new music, so this is not some selfish crusade. The days of me making money from recording music has been and gone as far as I’m concerned, so i don’t stand to profit from legislation. Except future purchases of previously recorded material.”

Jared Moya
I've been interested in P2P since the early, high-flying days of Napster and KaZaA. I believe that analog copyright laws are ill-suited to the digital age, and that art and culture shouldn't be subject to the whims of international entertainment industry conglomerates. Twitter | Google Plus
piecesof8
piecesof8

Well, we've always known what a class-act Lily Allen is. Google "lily allen pussy flash" and follow the first link, NSFW obviously. What a ho.Good thing daddy was there to get her all signed up so she didn't have to work for it like everyone else. Must be nice getting a free ride in life and then criticising everyone else.Keep your stupid opinions and your awful music to yourself. You owe your fame and your fortune to the internet, so nobody really gives a fuck about whatever criticisms you have of it. Hypocrite!!

soulxtc
soulxtc

Our of context from what you "Fucktard?""For new talent though, file sharing is a disaster as it’s making it harder and harder for new acts to emerge.”:P

Captain Crunch
Captain Crunch

Your all fucktards, this article is opinionated and places her comments conveniently out of context. Nice one Jared.

aboniks
aboniks

I guess the real problem here is artists "trying to make it IN THE INDUSTRY"Make it on your own, you and your fans. The "industry" is just a collection of parasites anyway.They create nothing, and "adding value" is just a synonym for "blowing smoke".

Revengesblood
Revengesblood

this moron can't write songs in the first place, they're all stupid! if she can't write a decent song, why should I even bother listening to this dribble? I'll take Reznor's word over this stupid whores any day of the week.Reznor actually has EXPERIENTIAL experience. shes just running her mouth. >_>

mountain_rage
mountain_rage

Shes cookie cutter pop, so she does have a market. But since there are a million artist just like her she would of never made it had it not been for her fathers connections. So she knows nothing of what its like to break into the music industry, she only made it because shes her daddys little princess.

xion
xion

Trust me ive heard her music, it blows, probably why shes being a bitch.

kopimi
kopimi

stupid bitch, I'd pirate her music if it was even worth the price of FREE.

Mike
Mike

Lilly who?

axxis
axxis

What the fuck does that bitch know. She probably can't sing worth a fucking shit!

malcolm hume
malcolm hume

"Considering that file-sharing for many artists is the only way to get your music in the hands of fans where it belongs"That's absurd. Why is using a p2p application easier or faster than going to a website, where the artist can at least see how many downloads he's gotten? It's not easier or faster, and it's certainly not the only way to host a damn file. This keeps getting repeated and it's completely bogus. P2P is basically worthless for an artist.Do you guys realize that several memners of Google's board of directors are also board members of BT? They share an interest in profiting at the expense of the enterntainment industry. Just something to think about while on your ideological crusade.

DrewWilson
DrewWilson

"“Basically the FAC is saying ‘we’re alright, we’ve made it, so file sharing’s fine’,” she said in a MySpace celebrity blog post (via Contact Music). which is just so unfair to new acts trying to make it in the industry.”"Yeah, small new emerging acts such as myself are so devistated by the evils of file-sharing. I start off with only a minimal background in music and virtually no knowledge in production. I put my own music on a file-sharing network and keep producing music.A few years later, with more practice and better knowledge of production (not to mention improved production techniques), my own music get's downloaded a quarter of a million times.I start with nothing and end up having a global reach with an audience that reaches the four corners of the planet. Otherwise, I wouldn't have even considered producing music in the first place. Can you tell how devistated I've been? I'm hurting so bad, I might wind up being a one-man act that can make a living off of music with a start in a place in the world where the genre I'm interested in screams failure from the start if it weren't for the internet. World-wide fame, what is a poor artist like me to do? [/sarcasm]

magmazing
magmazing

Funny... Doesn't Lily Allen have people downloading her early music from MySpace to thank for her initial success?Without her sharing her music for free, she wouldn't have gotten any buzz to start with.

mountain_rage
mountain_rage

Funny coming from someone who has no idea about the struggles of a small act. She grew up in the entertainment industry and her dad got her signed. How can she possibly be a voice for small acts trying to make it big. She might be a voice for small acts being rapped by record labels, but that has little to do with file sharing and has been ongoing for numerous decades now, definitely not the result of filesharing. Although I'm starting to think that file sharing has become the scape goat for all new artist not breaking even and going bankrupt at the fees imposed by them by labels.Filesharing has the potential to create a natural progression for artist from small act to big without the risk of signing a contract. During the development years money comes in from merchandise, concerts and album sales. Real fans still buy music, and those that never did still don't. As the band gets bigger it can naturally progress from a hobby to a full time job. Nothing has changed, only the labels are no longer cutting a profit from the artist. That is the future many people are expecting, and a very possible scenario.

Bomborolo
Bomborolo

actually a lot of new artist get new fans trough p2p and because of that they buy the albums fucking bitch doesnt know what shes talkin about,

Cujo
Cujo

hmmm ,, i think she needs all the p2p action she can get ....lookin at her myspace thingy she got a freind on there with the hotest butt i've seen in a long time!! (I'm heavy metal I play with the devil)http://www.myspace.com/lilymusic

ukguy
ukguy

Hey everyone take note !Here is an artist that is showing you nothing but contempt.I would conssider using the same treatment back and purposely BOYCOT her albums.just my $0.02

D.AN
D.AN

A comment is never out of context if the context is embedded within the comment itself.You are a moron.

soulxtc
soulxtc

Man, you know very little about P2P. Download counts, for BitTorrent anyways, are listed on each and every BitTorrent tracker site.I've uploaded many of my friends albums - on their behalf by the way - so that they can reach fans in places where they simply can never hope to reach physically, and in a way that's FREE, EASY, and CONVENIENT.And on music-oriented BitTorrent tracker sites likes Waffles.fm or What.cd a number of artists continually opt to off their albums there as a way to get people LISTENING.Never before have artists had so much control over their music. It used to be that record labels decided what artists could or could not be heard. Now all of them can. Why is that such a bad thing?And who mentioned Google or their board of directors? Not really concerned about them, though they do run one hell of an search indexing site :)

D.AN
D.AN

"That’s absurd. Why is using a p2p application easier or faster than going to a website, where the artist can at least see how many downloads he’s gotten?"1. A website needs to be created and hosted. 2. Bandwidth is expensive. 3. Time is invaluable.In other words, it is both economical and efficient. A website could be good, but should serve another purpose."It’s not easier or faster, and it’s certainly not the only way to host a damn file."It's the most efficient way to do it. Technology does not appeal to tradition."This keeps getting repeated and it’s completely bogus."Ironically, your statement applies to the pro-Copyright side's assertions."P2P is basically worthless for an artist."Dare you say that to the artists that use P2P?"Do you guys realize that several memners of Google’s board of directors are also board members of BT?"Well we certainly wouldn't want incompetent guys like you running such a significant index."They share an interest in profiting at the expense of the enterntainment industry. Just something to think about while on your ideological crusade."Your last sentence just exposed the fact that you are either lying or factually ignorant.

DrewWilson
DrewWilson

"Why is using a p2p application easier or faster than going to a website, where the artist can at least see how many downloads he’s gotten?"Because not every artist in existance have the luxery of spending several days designing a website, forking over cash for servers, etc. Last I checked, not all artists were multi-millionairs or even artists who deem such an endeavor as just a little something to hire some guy to do. File-sharing, on the other hand, not only provides a means to distribute, but also saves bandwidth costs immensly - outsourcing the bandwidth use to other people's ISP connection."It’s not easier or faster, and it’s certainly not the only way to host a damn file. This keeps getting repeated and it’s completely bogus. P2P is basically worthless for an artist."That is so incredibly true if you lack any concept of reality and are so hung up on "tradition" that you think the railway is some evil thing that will wreck the moral fibers of society.As for people like me who actually live in reality, actually produce music, actually are in the trenches, actually have some familiarity about what it's all like as an artist, file-sharing is a godsend for artists such as myself. Record labels, on the other hand, are freaking out about no longer having a monopoly and decide who makes it and who doesn't.

malcolm hume
malcolm hume

Free, easy, conventient, and redundant. The internet already lets people reach fans who are looking for them without p2p.Not concerned about bittorrent the COMPANY? Like being a pawn?

malcolm hume
malcolm hume

p2p is worthless for promotion because you don't find out anything from a p2p application, it's for distribution - and it's worth as a distribution medium is completely redundant. There are so many ways to host your music for free on the internet, and even if there weren't, it's not rocket science uploading some songs and making a page with some links.Actually, I haven't met a working musician who wasn't interested in spending a few hundred bucks to get a real site up, and a few bucks a month for more bandwidth than they actually need. But those are real, working, professional musicians who gig all the time. The cost of a professional presence pales in comparison to the rest.

Mr. Briggs
Mr. Briggs

"Not concerned about bittorrent the COMPANY?"Of course not. They don't own the protocol, they just helped create it. They can't magically tell everybody to shut it down.

D.AN
D.AN

"Free, easy, conventient, and redundant. The internet already lets people reach fans who are looking for them without p2p."But is it just as FREE, EASY, and CONVENIENT? You are most likely thinking about making a website, which is -NOT- FREE, EASY, and CONVENIENT.Can you even fathom the meaning of innovation?"Not concerned about bittorrent the COMPANY?"Name at least one thing they do that is so bad."Like being a pawn?"Pawn of what? Fortunately for us, obviously nothing. Unfortunately for you, however, you are a pawn of the pro-Copyright side.

D.AN
D.AN

"p2p is worthless for promotion because you don’t find out anything from a p2p application, ..."Non sequitur. You assert that P2P is worthless for promotion, then that it is because a P2P client does not provide any information with respect to promoting something. It is because not everything in P2P is copyrighted content and so that kind of information is completely irrelevant."... it’s for distribution –"As a reminder, I disproved this statement of yours previously."... and it’s worth as a distribution medium is completely redundant."So if I have a home phone, a mobile phone, and an email account, instant messaging clients and hand-written letters are redundant for communicating with someone?"There are so many ways to host your music for free on the internet, ..."Name six."... and even if there weren’t, it’s not rocket science uploading some songs and making a page with some links."In other words, you are stating1. To host music, make a website. 2. If a website is not desired, host music in some other way, but not by P2P systems. 3. If there is no other way to host music freely on the Internet, make a website.Now that's circular thinking."Actually, I haven’t met a working musician who wasn’t interested in spending a few hundred bucks to get a real site up, and a few bucks a month for more bandwidth than they actually need."Biased sample, ad verecundiam."But those are real, working, professional musicians who gig all the time."Name six of them."The cost of a professional presence pales in comparison to the rest."Excessive spending is not professionalism. Appealing to tradition is not professionalism. The person must undergo specialized educational training to become a professional, but the issue at hand is concerned with new artists, so professionalism is irrelevant.



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