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Young people give up sex before music!

That made you cough your coffee across the office! Yesterday’s Guardian reported that Marrakesh Records and Human Capital surveyed 1,000 15 to 24-year-olds highlighting not just how important music is to young people, but their changing attitudes to paying for content.
More than 60 percent of young people would rather give up sex than music, rising to 70 percent for 16-19 year-olds.

  • 70 percent said they don’t feel guilty for illegally downloading music from the internet.
  • 61 percent feel they shouldn’t have to pay for music.
  • 43 percent of the music owned by this age group has not been paid for, increasing to 49 percent for the younger half of the group.
  • £6.58 is a fair price for CD album,
  • a downloaded album should be just £3.91
  • a single 39p

In the past three months:

  • 75 percent have watched a music video online;
  • 70 percent bought a CD;
  • 62 percent played music on their phone;
  • 52 percent had paid for a music download;
  • 45 percent had played music on their games console;
  • radio is still the best medium for hearing about those new bands in the first place at 67 percent;
  • 63 percent said they relied on recommendations form friends and music channels like MTV was preferred by 49 percent;
  • Newspapers and music mags were rated by 21 percent and 17 percent, and blogs just 14 percent;
  • 38 percent said YouTube was the most popular site for exploring new music;
  • 15 percent look to MySpace; and
  • 15 percent look at official band sites, Facebook followed at 8 percent and NME trailed along with Last.fm at just 4 percent.

The challenge for the music industry is to work out how to adapt their businesses to suit these attitudes while retaining a viable business. To date, that is something record companies have been remarkably backwards in doing.

The survey did not look at live music.

Additionally this week is the news that copyright on music looks to be extended from 50 to 95 years. My academic friend Billy comments:

50 years is certainly better for listeners, though, and creates more interesting and fluid publishing of old music (e.g. Acrobat records’ extaordinarily compelling compilations of every single chart hit of the 1950s)

The obvious parallel is when the 50-year rule in publishing was replaced by the 70 year rule. I used to like working out each year who died 50 years ago, and seeing a new range of rival scholarly editons of Joyce or Woolf or Wells hit the shelves.

My lighting and sound technician friend Tony comments:

I guess the question for me is, why can it not be globally standardised? It appears that that there is a different time span in a multitude of different countries.
It also needs to be pointed out that copyright has a remit wider than musicianship.
My reason for mentionin this are twofold.
1) Speilberg waited one year for Peter Pan to come out of copyright before making Hook. Only whelter of public opinion forced him to take on the mantra of well meaning philanthropist, which of course the JM Barrie foundation had been doing for years with the royalties.
2) Another bizarre advent of the copyright issue is the fact that James Brown still hasn’t been buried yet (humour me on this one please). Basically because they can’t. His affairs (and apparently his rotting corpse) are caught up in a bitter wrangle between family members and a litany of musicians over the years are all claiming a piece of his estate. Again copyright is a factor.

The point I’m trying to make is that having an arbitary rule of “X” amount of years is somewhat simplistic and possibly a wider set of factors nee d to be considered.
(However, the devil in me would like to see the year rule reduced to maybe 10. So the artists have to go on the road to earn money and thereby keeping me in work).

Other thoughts on this and the sex statistics, please! (Oh OK – the music statistics 🙂