Pirating music: who does it affect?

A young artist finally finishes his album. He is looking forward to stardom, to making profits, and having his name known around the world.

These dreams may come to a halt when his manager informs him of the imminent threat of piracy.

Is this threat truly imminent? Could piracy really affect an artist to the point at which profits are minimalized?

In the artist’s case, most likely not. Many artists’ income is generated from so many things outside of song downloads and streams, such as concert ticket sales, merchandise sales, advertisements, and endless other resources.

Piracy might affect an artist, but not enough to make a noticeable difference in the artist’s bank account.

Artists are not the only one on this music-making journey. Producers may be affected more by piracy than the artists themselves. New unknown artists are becoming more and more self-dependent by recording and producing their own music. Piracy leads to less income for the new-comers and indie artists, which means they have less money to spend on a producer. Indie artists know they won’t recover their money back from sales until they hit the big-time, leading them to have less to pay a producer.

Songwriters are also affected by piracy, as they receive pay based on sales and streams of their songs, or proper use of their songs. They feel the affects. As a result, many upload their songs to sites where film, advertising and TV producers might buy their songs. At least there, they know their song will be bought through proper channels.

Making music in today’s world is only half of the challenge of being an artist. Piracy has become such an issue, that artists big and small have to take into account that billions of songs are pirated annually.

According to the Institute for Policy Innovation, the economy as a whole, loses $12.5 billion annually due to piracy.

Superstars such as Beyoncé or Drake will not be affected by piracy directly so why is it considered illegal?

Nearly everyone has seen at the beginning of a movie the phrase, piracy is not a victimless crime. In the music industry, the victims of this crime are not superstars, but instead, are the newcomers and the people behind the scenes.

Producers in the sound industry lose an estimated $1.6 billion directly due to music piracy. This not only lowers the income of many producers but it can also take away many jobs.

In all of America, over 70,000 sound industry jobs are lost because of piracy. This number might seem small compared to the 300 million people in the United States, but imagine being one of the workers in the sound industry now jobless, because of some selfish kid unwilling to pay a measly dollar for a new song like everyone else.

Would you like your hard work to receive no pay?

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