Sunday, 29 July 2012

Steam sale and music piracy

Summer is upon us and gamers all over the interwebs have been buzzing with the excitement of heavily discounted games for the PC.

If you aren’t familiar with the Steam sale, Steam a desktop client that allows the purchase and downloads of a large variety of gaming titles. They have a bi-yearly sale where games can be discounted by as much as 75%. 

What’s this got to do with the music industry you say? Well music piracy is on rise as per usual and if the music and film industry can learn anything it that they can make an even the most hardcore of pirates legal customers.

I appreciate we have the ITunes store, but there isn’t much choice for alternative. Personally Apple doesn’t do it for me and I have no interest in their services or products. That and I don’t particularly care for their marked up prices. I think if you want to shift pirates to legal downloader’s give them the means to acquire a mass of cheap music or film in an easy method.

Most might be happy with 99p a download but personally that’s not good enough. I feel that is over priced,  I will only pay full price if I support the artist or if I truly liked a product and had the intention to pay full price later on at a more convenient time. If you want to encourage people to purchase media you have to give it to them cheaper than that.

I bought 2 games from the Steam sale and it only came to a fiver; if this price was applied to CD's/digital downloads I would probably pay for it. Personally, Apple doesn’t cater to my tastes musically so I wouldn’t bother with its featured albums but that’s a different story.

All over Reddit gamers are rejoicing at the discounts and how much they've bought compared to pirating. These members are actually happy to pay as long as it is an easy viable option to gather and own media.

Another thing the ITunes store doesn’t give you the right to have. You don’t own your music you are pretty much licensing it from them. If you die and wanted to pass your digital music collection on, Apple wouldn’t allow it because you never did own your music.

While the wheels of change are slowly grinding, the music and movie industry better catch on to give the people cheaper, more readily available 'disposable' media. Learn to adapt and survive, because your old business models are no longer profitable.

If you have given up music because of the pirates have you thought about your role in the music industry?

Edit 1 14/8/12
After reading a recent update to the Steam UA (user agreement) it does not let you own the game they actually licence it to you similarly to what Apple and Itunes do. So when you shuffle this mortal coil you will legally not be allowed to pass those games on to your family as you would with your other property such as CD's DVD's etc. Still regardless, with that one flaw it is a much better system than failing models like the retail business of HMV which in recent days have lost £16 million pounds.

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