Artists need to pay the rent. Venues need music. iPods need cheap music. Piracy is too easy.
Back in the day, as a DJ, you used to spend an entire day in a record store - bottle of coke in hand, delicately handling around 50 new circles of wax every weekend, wondering which ones you'd like to spent your hard earned cash on. Normally you'd walk out with a handful, and before you even go them out of the store, you'd know the inside and out, every peak, every breakdown, you loved it.
Now days, Beatport, juno and djdownload have made it entirely too easy to download from pre-compiled lists and suggestive downloads. This is a great time saver but its terrible for the industry as...
1. It's too cheap
I download tracks because they have a cool name (e.g. "like a box of fluffy ducks", or "in Russia vodka drinks you") or has come from a good label, sometimes without even sampling for more than a few seconds, and its cheap enough to do it. $2 -vs- $20< from the old days. The problem is that we end up with thousands of tracks that we don't know all that well - and we don't love. If we do love them, we only love them until next weeks beatport buyathon when the next big thing comes about.
2. Ferry Corsten pays the same as I do
Well, lets be honest, he probably doesn't pay at all, secret label handshakes and all. But the point is that Ferry plays in front of tens of thousands of people, while I play in front of a hundred. APRA pays the artists based on tracklists from the venue, but Ferry, personally gets paid bazillions for an event and his costs are the same as mine.
Crazy as it sounds, I want to pay more for my music. I want each track on beatport to cost around $10, and come with a license. The license will have regulations as to how the track can be played, for example, my $10 license for BT- Believer will allow me to play it at venues with up to a 500 person capacity, for the next 5 years. a $1 license will allow the track to be played at a venue with a 20 person capacity and a $0.50 license will allow the track to be played at non licensed parties Ferry Corsten can pay $50 a track and that allows him unlimited plays of a track to a capacity size of 50,000 people. Good news - APRA has no say in this, the agreement takes place between labels, venues and djs. Venues are no longer required to submit track lists, and if being audited, you have a (digital??) certificate to validate the authenticity of a track. So when Ferry drops an unknown artists track at a huge festival, you know that the artist is able to eat that week.