Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Posting Taylor Hicks New Music Online: Will It Create or Replace Sales?

Free downloads of Taylor Hicks' new music keep popping up online and I'm not sure how I feel about it. The thought of saving it to my computer makes me uncomfortable since the new CD has only been out for a couple of weeks.

I know many in the fandom think youtube videos featuring the new music are a form of advertising which will lead to sales, but I've never bought music that I can get for free.

I also realize that the folks who hosted cellcerts believe it was OK because nothing was being recorded, but I thought it was blatant disrespect for Taylor's wishes. Now there are downloads available of the entire show recorded at The Roxy.

Again, I'm not sure how I feel about it. Enlighten me, people. I already bought the physical CD and the iTunes download. Maybe Taylor's OK with the online freebies, but it would be nice to get an official statement from him regarding this type of thing. Maybe his policy has changed but back in January he said here:

"You have to create demand for yourself. You have to have a business sense about the whole thing. You want people coming to your shows. If everyone heard a cellcert on the Internet than people might not go.

That's what's crazy about the digital age, people can come in with a device and the next thing you know they go home and put it on their computer. They rip it, they burn it, they put it on a CD. But an artist has to thrive off of his work.

And it's all about the buzz. What if I play a different song from the album in each market? From a live aspect, when people do come to see you play and you're promoting your record, you want people to be like, 'I wonder what he's going to play?' Maybe they'll go away with something that nobody else gets to have. You have to create a buzz to stay in the game."

Posting the new music online takes money out of Taylor's pockets, it seems to me. As for cellcerts and downloads of the live shows, I understand fans wanting to share the experience of seeing Taylor Hicks live. But let's face it, he'll sell more tickets to his shows if the only way to have that experience is by being there.

48 comments:

  1. Carly, I agree with what you say, but it was said that Taylor knew that the person was taping the show and didn't stop it, it maybe now that the CD is out no reason to keep it under wraps. Never been involved in a cellcert, did listen to the audio from the Roxy. My son is just starting to appreciate soul/RB he liked his CD and took one of mine. He was listening to it yesterday and playing his guitar, a couple of his buddy's stopped by and really got into the CD, my son came up stairs and relieved me of 5 more copies of the CD to give to them. I invited them up to listen to the Roxy set, they were totally into wanted to know when Taylor would be in our area. Told them Grease in July but didn't know if he would have a shadow date. They all said if he does have a shadow date they would go with me. These young men are all between 22 to 28 years old, so he gained 5 new fans at my house yesterday.


    JI

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well at the website last.fm you can hear a bunch of new music for free. I heard Ray Lamontagne's new album- the whole thing- for free and it makes me wanna buy it. So I think there is something to be said for having at least some songs online for people to hear.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think that the recorded shows, the ones we put on youtube are great for getting fans. He does best when he's live, and I think that would sell the best. But that's just my opinion.

    And as for the downloading music, I would be a hypocrite if I said I didn't do it. I have done it before, but I am picky about purchasing the artists that I like to support, such as Taylor Hicks, Modest Mouse, and Michael Buble. I buy their music, but if I only like one song from Nickelback, I'm not going to waste my gas to go to the store and buy it, lol.

    So, I say no to the free music for Taylor because I want to support him. But I say yes to it, because that's the way I first heard him. I downloaded a bootleg and he had me at hello! lol

    So yeah, its a touchy subject.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a hot button topic.
    On the one hand I love seeing footage from Taylor's live shows because I cannot attend very many unless he is near my state. I also believe that the general public can see him on vimeo or youtube and realize what an amazing live performer he is and want to investigate further. I have discovered new music/artists this way.
    On the other hand I do not download songs that are not officially released yet and cannot be "paid for" as in the case of Nineteen a while back.
    My third grader was browsing iTunes for some new music recently and I said "Why don't you buy a Taylor Hicks song and put a few cents in his pocket?" when I could easily burn a disc for her.
    Musicians we love can only succeed if the music and the tickets SELL.

    ReplyDelete
  5. SH, I agree that his music should be paid for. I did recieve a few tracks from folks, but bought all the CD's with the extra tracks on them. I do believe fans should support him by buying his CD's even if you can get some downloads for free. He is just like any other musician, he is in to create music but also profit from his creations.


    JI

    ReplyDelete
  6. This subject reminds me of the chicken and the egg analogy for some reason.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm of the opinion that hearing it online will help boost sales. I really think that for entertainers/musicians to stay current in this digital age, music has to be available. A lot of people don't have extra money lying around to buy music, and if they can hear it first, they will be able to make an informed choice.

    And it's nice to hear Taylor at shows like the Roxy. It takes a bit of the Grease sting away when you can hear him in his element. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Have you noticed Grey, he's working without that pompadour wig? I did. (finally...)ha.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sunny, someone said he's got less of a pompadour because it's easier for him to get into his "Taylor Hicks" persona for WRIR at the end.

    ReplyDelete
  10. BTW, it's OK if you completely disagree with me about posting music online! I know a lot of people do. Speak up! You might change my mind. Again, I wish Taylor would make a statement. Hey-there's an audio blog topic for him!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I understand both sides of this issue, but shouldn't it be up to the artist to decide how his music is marketed? The fact that you or I may want to have access to Taylor's music(or that of any other artist) for free does not give us the right to steal it. And without the permission of the artist, it is stealing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nope Sunny, haven't seen any recent Grease pics. Can't bring myself to look at them. :)

    Caryl, an audio blog? Surely you jest. hahahahaha...

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would have to say I think that if Taylor wanted his new music tracks ripped and available for free downloads, he would probably offer them on his own site. After all, he could certainly get the nicest download of it. And I'm sure it's nice if all of your hard work is going to be given away if YOU are the one who gives it away.

    And ... just a guess here, but since he paid for everything on development, production and promotion of this CD, I would bet he would like to at least make some of that money back before he starts giving the music away. He's not in the business because he wants to make a bunch of money, but he surely can't survive spending the money involved to develop and release a quality CD and not recover the cost involved.

    I know there was a lot of controversy on the cellcerts. It was felt that if Taylor didn't want people to illegaly transmit his concert he should have specifically said so, that his generic statement was not specific enough.

    It would have been very easy for someone who had an early meet and greet to simply ASK HIM THE QUESTION .... If they were, in fact, correct that he thought transmission of his concert was ok, and did not expose his new music like the other things did, I'm sure they could have gotten his ok, and that would have shut everyone up.

    I fully support the idea of people being able to preview the music online before purchasing it. The problem is, just like with Taylor's AOL preview, SOMEONE is going to rip it the minute it is up there and offer it to everyone as a download ... which then makes it not a preview, but stolen.

    And, for the record, I do KNOW that Taylor and his management did NOT support that idea.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I asked Taylor before the first shadow show at Martyr's. I said, "So, you don't want cellcerts?" He said, "No." But the people at the Boogie Board thought those of us transmitting messages from meet and greets were either lying or mistaken about what he said.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I blogged about it here on January 25th:

    http://a-caryling.blogspot.com/2009/01/what-part-of-no-cellcerts-dont-you.html

    ReplyDelete
  16. If we're talking specifically Taylor, I honestly don't think free d/l or bootlegs will hurt his sales. The SP is notoriously loyal attending multiple shows, purchasing multiple CD's, passing the bought and paid for love around.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Why would people who are not members of the sp buy Taylor's CD when they can hear the songs for free? Do fans want him back to playing in bars in Alabama because CD sales suck so bad that no one will be interested in having him appear anywhere? Wouldn't tv shows and radio be more inclined to want to have an artist on their show or play their music with a Platinum album rather than someone who sold 9,000 CD's? Is it so important to get a Taylor fix if Taylor is the one who suffers? Isn't that rather selfish? Out of all the videos and pictures out there, I saw maybe 10% of them. I know what he sounds like and I know what he looks like. It's not important for me to see a video of Taylor at the Roxy if it means that someone who is not in the sp just heard all his songs for free and sees no need to buy the CD. But that's just me. Why doesn't Taylor have all his songs on his website? Why do fans have to take it upon themselves to put his CD music out there on the intenet when Taylor doesn't even do it on his own website? And lastly, to the people who rip his music and put it out there, how do you know that Taylor wants you to do that? Did you get permission from management to do it?

    ReplyDelete
  18. YKW, I agree that the sp is very loyal in seeing multiple shows, buying more than one copy of the CD, etc. But we're only a small portion of who's out there. What about all the non sp'ers who are potential customers? With technology the way it is, all a non fan would have to do is rip a You Tube video, save it to their computer, and transfer it to their iPod. Or rip an mp3 that they found on the internet, save it to their computer, and put it on a blank CD. Free songs for the non fan, and Taylor gets burned.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "Nope Sunny, haven't seen any recent Grease pics. Can't bring myself to look at them. :)"

    HELLO!! What part of "Taylor wouldn't be here" if it wasn't for Grease do you not get? STFU! Reality check - this gig pays the bills and keeps him touring, producing music and performing in national tours!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I've listened to one cell-cert. If anyone is worried that these cell certs will hurt sales is crazy. They are horrible to listen to, most of the time you only hear the audience and Taylor in the background. So cell certs don't worry me.

    Now illegal downloading is another thing. Downloads are really reasonable to buy now a days. I buy all my music. Granted there are a few tracks, not Taylors, that I have obtained for free. But I don't do that anymore, got a virus from the site anyway. I guess that will be the next technology that needs to come around.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Many have so many views on this topic. I agree there are benefits to having music out on the web. But let's face it folks we have not been hired by Taylor to promote him.

    All decisions about recording shows and making them downloadable , video at shows and yes cellcerts are Taylor decisions to make.

    Sadly, he made his decision, made it clear to fans and certain fans couldn't respect him enough to not do what they wanted.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I don't think that ANY artist WANTS their music to be able to download for free, otherwise they wouldn't make any money. Downloading music is inevitable, there will always be somebody out there helping to "share" the music.

    Taylor can't do anything about it whether he likes it or not!! lol I think that sometimes it can be a good thing to first hear his songs and then support him by eventually buying the music and going to the shows. It all works out in someway, at least I think so.

    ReplyDelete
  23. For me, in the end, if someone I admire asked me not to do something, I would hope to have the decency to honor their request. It's as simple as that.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think the question comes down to what kind of fan you want to be. Are you in it for yourself or do you want to support Taylor?

    ReplyDelete
  25. While the existing fans ( SP ) may be a much needed commodity
    for Taylor;he wants and truly needs far more fans . With the availibilty of his music for free , I don't see the casual music fan rushing out to buy his work; especially when there are a kazillion "artists" recording who are being hyped by the critics/media.

    As stated before, if Taylor really wanted his music to be available to the general public, he would be a fool not to provide it himself on his website. That way he can regulate the quality of the video / audio . While everyone says what wonderful clear videos are being posted on the net, I find most all of them inferior to what Mr. Hicks has in his own repository.

    I am one who loves looking at live performances; I adore the man's music ; I respect him as an artist but my life will not be seriously affected if I have to wait to actually pay for a concert or buy a CD or wait until something becomes legally available.

    On the subject of cellcerts. When they are allowed ( which seems to be the case now ) , I am not against them at all with the caveat that no recording and no posting of any videos or audios are provided on the internet. They are fun , but poor reception and no visual does not " good concert make" , but the comradery
    seems to be enough for the proponents of these cellcerts.

    cath

    ReplyDelete
  26. Honestly, I think it's a different world than just a few years ago. Music is so readily available through the internet now. So, I guess everybody who's against downloading songs never taped songs off of the radio, either?

    Do you know what non SP think of Taylor? I can guarantee that they're not thinking "Oh wow. The teen angel guy. I really want that cd." But, I bet if they're on YouTube or on Amazon (where Taylor was giving away Seven Mile Breakdown), they might hear something that they like, and realize that the Taylor we know has some really great stuff, especially live.

    It's a different world for marketing music nowadays.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Nope, never taped anything off of any auditory or visual source. Am pure as the driven snow in that respect. Am not casting stones because I am pious,just because it is illegal. If I want good quality music, film or lectures , I will pay the "piper" who laid out the funds to produce the product, not the "backdoor Jack the Ripper".

    Those who feel that Taylor Hicks is just that "Teen Angel" guy or that guy from Idol, will not be searching for Taylor Hicks videos , audios and audio blogs as the SP does, ad nauseum. We get the googles and the announcements because we ask for them. Those that don't care about Taylor Hicks will not even know those ripped vids or audios exist and those who chance upon them will see very poorly produced products.

    Taylor himself , promoting himself on TV , radio and personal appearances is the one that must display Taylor Hicks and his music to the general populace. I would think it is up to him to control his destiny and not a group of fans. If he wants things on the internet , he can put them there himself and control what is available or give a directive for things to be done.

    We rally around him; we buy
    his wares; we make our love for what he has accomplished known to others. We are indeed his cheerleaders , not his business associates.

    JMO and not those of the blogger or any subversive group . LOL

    cath

    ReplyDelete
  28. Just FYI: I never recorded anything off the radio, either. Never crossed my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Seriously? Nobody ever recorded songs off the radio onto cassette tapes? Seriously??

    ReplyDelete
  30. Gosh, my little band of girlfriends must have been sixth grade rip-off artists with our little cassette recorders held up to the radio!! What's the statute of limitations for dancing your fanny off at slumber parties??!?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpO7TW0NwqE

    LOL!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. OK, here's what I'm afraid of. There aren't any club dates scheduled after 5/27. Those shows are expensive for Taylor to do (he flies the band in for one thing). I think the cellcerts should stop. FANS NEED TO GO TO THE SHOWS OR HE'LL HAVE TO STOP DOING THEM.

    I've been patiently waiting since 2006 for Taylor to perform his own music here in Houston. Taylor, buddy, I've been a good little fan. I deserve a show I don't have to travel to. And you fans have to spend enough money on his music to make it happen.

    Thanks, y'all!

    ReplyDelete
  32. How much does it cost to hire Taylor to do a private event? LOL! I have a bad feeling about a club date actually happening in Houston. I think I need to start saving my pennies. In the meantime, someone get me that figure. (and send me donations. ha)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Seriously: Never recorded anything anywhere anyway off the radio or the tv or the internet for that matter. ( not a movie, not a song , not a lecture, not even a tv show ) I am a Neanderthal by nature. Still live in a cave and am a hunter and a gatherer. I was studied by Margaret Mead as an example of primitive behavior.

    --------------------------------

    $85,000 +
    for one night!! Pocket change .

    cath

    ReplyDelete
  34. Caryl, lately he hasn't been booking the shadow tours very far out. I wish he would though, because I need to make plans for one.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Shoot! If he charged $80,000 I could swing it. But $85,000? Nah. Back to plan A: waiting for a club date.

    Yeah, itsallgrey, that's true. But Houston has acted as if Taylor doesn't exist. The one show that was scheduled during the solo tour was canceled and I've NEVER heard him on the radio. Stupid Houston! *pouting*

    ReplyDelete
  36. I used to record Laverne & Shirley and Donny & Marie on my little tape recorder and play them back each week.

    I can send you the $54.37 that's in my wallet if you want to put it toward the $85,000 price tag caryl. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  37. $85,000 for one night? Ahhhh, if only I could win the lottery......

    ReplyDelete
  38. "Seriously? Nobody ever recorded songs off the radio onto cassette tapes? Seriously??"

    I did that when I was young. Actually, to be honest and risk getting picked apart, I used the same cassette argument to justify nothing being wrong with recording up until Taylor came along. It didn't feel right to record artists' music any more. I saw a glimpse of how brutal the music business really is. It was the first time I got to have conversations with an artist and conversations with the artist's management. I understood just how important CD sales were to an artist's career, and also how important it was to bring in more fans. The light bulb went off and I realized that who was I to give myself or others an artist's music for free? I'm not entitled to it and no one else is either. If the songs on the CD were meant to be free then the artist would make them free, and not only make them free for a limited time. For every potential customer who rips Taylor's music and puts it on his iPod or blank CD, those are CD's not sold. Why chance Taylor losing sales for our own selfish needs?

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Why chance Taylor losing sales for our own selfish needs?"

    Yes!

    ReplyDelete
  40. The "no recording" ban has been lifted. There's a statement posted on Taylor's myspace page.

    ReplyDelete
  41. What kind of support is it when someone on a fansite rips and makes a download of his new CD and then other fans download that? What good does that do Taylor? It doesn't matter if fans say they will buy it. The man said he was upset about illegal downloads, so why help that occur? That doesn't seem like a way to show respect for an artist.

    Gypsee

    ReplyDelete
  42. BTW, the new media statement does NOT include any portion of "Grease," including the performane of WRIR after the curtain call. Hosting this media or linking to it just encourages the disrespecting of that new media policy and of Taylor's own request.

    Gypsee

    ReplyDelete
  43. Well, it's also illegal. All Broadway shows are copyrighted, so if you record any portion of it (that includes still photos), you're breaking the law.

    ReplyDelete
  44. "What kind of support is it when someone on a fansite rips and makes a download of his new CD and then other fans download that?"

    Late to the party here, but I'd venture to say it's not the kind of support Taylor is looking for. When you're right, you're right, Gypsee.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Simply put ,I bought the CD with the intention of supporting Taylor. That's it.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Best web hosting companies. Reviews, rates, statistics of top hosting companies.
    Find best hosting company at www.HostingCompaniesz.com

    ReplyDelete