Free Music?

Valorie Salimpoor

Music is one of the many joys in life. It’s literally sound waves that another human being creates by moving their vocal chords or banging objects on things. And we find this entertaining! In fact we’re willing to pay money to cram in a huge space packed shoulder to shoulder just to hear it. How on earth is it such a miraculous thing? What makes music something people are willing to spend thousands of dollars in tuition money just to study it? National Geographic did a study on music and why it affects us so much in an article titled Why Does Music Feel So Good? It continued on to discuss Valorie Salimpoor’s a woman who got her Doctorate in Philosophy, Psychology and Neuroscience. It goes on to describe her fascination with the moments of euphoria that music gives humans, unlike animals. Her whole study was asking groups of people to listen to on average about 60 songs in the genre they love and after every song they had the opportunity to buy that song between $0 to $2. Interestingly enough people were willing to buy the music that enhanced their brain because the song that they connected with released a chemical called dopamine, which creates the feeling of happiness. Salimpoor states “Music, is an intellectual reward. “It’s really an exercise for your whole brain.”

If people are willing to buy music that stimulates the same neuron elements in the brain as food or sex, then why on earth does pirating even exist? OH RIGHT. Every customer in America wants to save money. What a horrible crime. Music is mass produced, and humans like to find the easiest solution to meeting their needs on the smallest budget possible. So naturally becoming a swashbuckling pirate was the best option. However the question as to whether it is morally or ethically wrong is a silly question. Is it really stealing when the majority of the money you would have paid would go to the record company and not the artist? I think that the real “ethical” issues lies with the record companies,

Taylor Swift (Obviously)

not the consumers. Good artists are going to create a faithful brand for themselves that surpasses not only music. Yes, the music is a start but a clothing line, back to school supplies, vinyl covers, hats and even a restaurant would rake in more revenue than just the songs on iTunes. According to a Buzzfeed Article published last year titled Here Is How Taylor Swift Gets Paid, Swift brings in an average of about $17 per ticket at her concerts which comes out to about 8 figures a year. Even concerts will bring in revenue, Swift’s concert RED raked in about $150 million, and $30 million of that was hers. WOW. I can tell you, I’m feeling 22, but I’m not feeling like a 22 year old millionare.

The music industry is more than just music. File sharing is not going to be stopped because humans have this crazy desire to do the easiest and cheapest option. Regardless on whether or not music becomes free, artists can still make a ton of money through their live concerts and merchandise. But actually getting your music out there and having people hear it could result in a consumer follower simply because your music made someone get a dopamine high. By having people get your music for free, the chances of hitting a wider target market is outstanding. If it’s free, people are more willing to listen, and if they like what they see and hear, they just might become a fan, and there isn’t anything quite like fan loyalty.

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