A musicians’ intro to digital media

On 2nd July 2010 I did a presentation to some Wales-based musicians about digital media, online and music business. The host was the Welsh Music Foundation (thanks to them) and our venue was Chapter in Cardiff.

It was an introduction to digital/social media with some practical tips and points for discussion.

Here are some notes which summarise my presentation and our discussion. These are mainly aimed at the musicians who attended but you might get benefit from this if you’re a musician who earns from your music.

Definitions

What do we mean by digital media?
“the creative convergence of digital arts, science, technology and business for human expression, communication, social interaction and education”
from Digital Media Alliance Florida / Wikipedia

I’ve purposefully used the umbrella term digital media, which covers social media, social networking and categories like live streaming. An expert may quibble with my definitions here but let’s say we’ll err on the side of the practical.

A useful metaphor is:
People having conversations online

This takes place with text, video, photo, audio, slides and other images. Because of the public nature of these conversations it’s important to note that it is:
People having multi-way conversations online

Examples of digital media

Technologies include:

Blogs, e.g. WordPress, Posterous, Tumblr
Social network services, e.g. Facebook, Myspace
Wikis, e.g. PBWorks
Link sharing, e.g. Delicious
Collaboration tools, e.g. Basecamp, Google Docs (a very important use of digital media)
RSS (allows you to subscribe to multiple blogs and other time-based feeds and read them all in one place)
Live streaming, e.g. Ustream.tv
Streaming/hosting services like YouTube for video and Flickr for photos

History of media and media revolutions

Printing press
Telegraph
Telephone
Photography
Film
Radio
Television
Internet and web

The main point here is to think about how society, culture and business changed as a result of these new technologies being widely adopted.

Characteristics of digital media

It is easier to form groups online, according to shared interests, campaigns, fans and so on, with all kinds of fascinating outcomes.
Recommended book: Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky – about the ease of forming groups online

People like to remix, re-use, re-create, re-version their culture, not just music. Go to YouTube and look at fan videos as just one example. Some musicians release their music under a licence which allows this to happen legitimately, within the normal legal framework of copyright.
Recommended book: Remix by Lawrence Lessig – about the culture of the remix and challenges to our traditional ideas of copyright

“Every company is a media company”
Rick Burnes, former NYTimes.com editor

Online tools every musician should know about

YouTube

I call it the most popular online music discovery service – because it can stream music in video form. Are you on it? If not, why not? There may be a legitimate case for not being on YouTube but you need to at least consider its potential reach.

When I mentioned this at the session several people complained about YouTube’s royalty rates. While true YouTube doesn’t pay much, the main advantage could be in people discovering your music and raising revenue from other sources. Video embedding is a key feature which helps bloggers to introduce their readers to your music.

Ideas: music videos, interviews, tour diaries, live performance footage

Flip have many affordable portable video cameras.

Your blog

A blog is a set of posts organised by time. Every artist and band online should probably have some sort of blog, even if it’s just a news feed of your latest gigs, releases and media appearances.

The way musicians express themselves through a blog varies wildly. Some like to post diary entries and reveal things about their life and work to various degrees, others do not. Both are fine. Some have elaborately designed blogs and others choose minimal design. Either way or something in between is fine. Be yourself. But don’t ignore it – having a blog is like having your own media channel that you control. This is pretty much vital.

Your website

A musician’s website and blog should be on the same domain – in most cases.

Adding a blog post or news item to your website should be painless. If updating your current website is a chore it may be worth spending some money to make it smoother. You’ll enjoy it, which is how things should be.

My favourite website software is WordPress. It was originally conceived as blogging software but has been extended and adapted to run full websites. Many websites around the world now run on WordPress.

Two main ways of running WordPress
wordpress.com
You get a free blog with the name yourbandname.wordpress.com
You can choose different themes.
You can pay fees for extra services, e.g. to have it redirected to yourbandname.com seamlessly

wordpress.org
WordPress is open source so you can download the software for free, run it on your own hosting and publicise yourbandname.com
You have total control over its behaviour and appearance. You can choose different themes or design your own. You can extend its functionality by installing plug-ins. In practice you’d probably ask a designer with the technical knowhow to install it and design/build the theme.

Other people’s blogs

Being featured on blogs can be a key way of growing buzz around your band. Use Hype Machine and Google Blog Search to find blogs already featuring similar artists or your genre. Start reading them and get in touch if you have something relevant.

Facebook

There are three kinds of presence on Facebook.
– individual user profile
– page
– group

The page is Facebook’s offering for brands, companies and organisations. Usually the page is the correct one for a band, artist, label or venue.

Do not get an individual user profile for a band. Facebook may take a dim view of a non-person having a user profile. Even if you’re a solo artist, it pre-supposes a two-way friend relationship which exists in the offline world. So consider having a profile for friends and a page for fans.

In general Facebook’s customers are its advertisers and you play in their garden and by their rules. Be careful about how much time you invest and be sure to evaluate if you are getting value back.

Myspace

In general its value for reaching fans is diminished because attention has gone elsewhere. It’s worth having a page for your music and photos because agents and other music industry people are in the habit of using it. Most bands should not spend too much time on it. Certain genres are stronger on Myspace than others. Know your genre!

Twitter

Some artists are good on Twitter and can use it to update fans.

It’s far more proven as an excellent place to keep up with news, including music industry news.

Don’t necessarily believe what anyone says about it – try it yourself.

Email lists

People still use email. Its value is diminishing, again because of fragmented attention. But it may be worth running one.

Make sure anything in the email address is also on your blog or elsewhere online. People want to search for it and link to it. Don’t limit the audience to the mailing list!

Recommendations: Your Mailing List Provider and MailChimp (both slightly different)

Don’t send email to people who haven’t opted in. Never spam people. Never ever.

Some thoughts about business models

Record business is not the music business

“Disruption” – technology companies like it, record companies don’t necessarily like it

In the 1980s certain parts of the record industry were extremely concerned about home taping – imperfect analogue copies. Now we have perfect digital copies. What now?

Copying is not the same as stealing – they are covered by different laws.

Throughout history, forms of copyright infringement have become licensed uses, e.g. public performance, radio. What we now think of as illegal may become licensed. Whether or not this is true, people WILL copy your music. They might use filesharing networks, they might use the web or they might use memory sticks. But only if your music is good enough.

What could you do if you knew 1,000,000 people had shared your music?

Some will still buy the CD or the vinyl. Some will attend your gigs and buy your merchandise.
Some will buy the digital files because they value the convenience or because they want to pay out of gratitude.

“Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy.”
Tim O’Reilly, technologist and publisher

Examples of perfect digital copies in other industries

Software companies make their source code available for free under open source licences and sell what can’t be copied – services, consultancy, customisation, support, advertising/sponsorship and premium paid features. Examples are IBM, Mozilla, Red Hat and Automattic/WordPress. You could go into competition with any of these companies using their own software.

Consultants and experts are blogging their advice for free. Again, you could go into competition with any of them using their own material and (what were formerly known as) trade secrets. But often these consultants and experts are accruing MORE reputation and MORE work through the ease of access and widespread distribution of their advice.

Despite copying of films, cinema has large screens, good sound and the experience – all of which are uncopyable. Compare watching a laugh-out-loud comedy at home to being in a big audience at the cinema. Recently cinema has been adding 3D to the large screen experience of many films.

2009 poll: people who admitted unlicensed downloading spend an average of £77 a year on music – £33 more than those who claimed NOT to download.
Poll by Ipsos Mori for Demos think tank

Kevin Kelly says “A creator needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.” (Discuss…)

A social media tour for music companies

These notes accompany the presentation I gave on Friday 25th September 2009 at Galeri, Caernarfon. This post is also available in PDF format.

My main emphasis was what relevance social media might have to musicians and music companies. I began with the context of online cultures before talking about examples of technologies and services and how they might be used.

Questions we’re trying to answer:
Why should anyone care about my band?
Where I can go to find or grow communities?
What tools can help me to find fans, but also to learn how to adapt my business in a changing environment?
How should I manage the time and resources I put into my online activity – to get a good return on my investment?

A range of companies attended representing different genres. Everyone had music, in the form of songwriters, performing artists or catalogue or all three. Some took revenue from live shows, others from CDs, downloads and subscription services and others from sync licensing.

What are we talking about?

The World Wide Web began in 1990 and is always evolving. In recent years one big theme has been online participation and conversation.

“Social media is an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction and the construction of text, pictures, videos and audio.”

“Social media is people having conversations online.”

Conversations is a metaphor. The conversations take place inside and outside companies or even across the company “firewall” – between companies and the outside world. Please note: not everything in social media is in pursuit of a “marketing” function. Social media involve fans, experts, amateurs, enthusiasts and yes, customers. But overall, people. They are about every topic possible, via video, text, pictures and audio.

Social media is about much more than social networking sites. There are thousands of places online which have embraced social media. Example: Amazon user reviews and tags, also Number10.gov.uk, even a company’s own website if it has a blog or other social features, for example.

Growth

There has been huge growth in adoption of certain social media, e.g. Wikipedia, YouTube, blogs, social networks and subscription to RSS. I spent some time talking about the statistics, just to underscore the point that it’s growing.

“It’s not a fad. It’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.”

Observations about online culture

Before embarking on any “campaign” be aware of online cultures – across the web as a whole and also within individual communities. These are some of the common themes you often see. Not exhaustive, just themes you’ll see in the wild.

Human

Natural, open, honest, direct, human voices work best. Not the mission statement, brochure or telephone busy signal. The unnatural “corporate voice” is fading. People just tune out.

Read The Cluetrain Manifesto at http://www.cluetrain.com

As a general guideline if your website looks like a static brochure it’s probably not making the best use of what online can do.

Remix

By “remix” we mean that culture is adaptable. People in general have an impulse to participate and be creative.

It is a natural impulse and has existed for a long time, particularly in folk cultures and more recently in sampling. It can be easier to express through social media than it was through traditional media, there is a democratisation of media. This obviously covers music but not just music – everything.

In some ways it’s an acknowledgement of how ideas have always developed.

e.g.
Kutiman remixing YouTube http://www.thru-you.com
Sleeveface http://www.sleeveface.com
LOLcats http://icanhascheezburger.com
and other online memes.
We can actively encourage this, e.g. Radiohead releasing parts of their track for remix. Be creative.

Read “Remix” book by Lawrence Lessig

Sharing

In the music industry, if I say “sharing” we jump to thinking about unlicensed music sharing. We could have a big discussion about that.

But here I wanted to emphasise the more general nature of sharing culture – people sharing news, posting links, discoveries of new bands (and old bands). Also of course, sharing through blogs whether that be experiences, advice, links, lessons.

It’s human impulse. Increasingly this is happening in real-time too. People can share very quickly, sometimes by clicking “favourite”.

As music companies, are we giving people things they can share? If not how do we expect to be found online?

For music recommendations, we often trust our friends more than critics.

Everyone in the room has something they can share.

Be creative.

Be interesting.

An idea: why not ask your community of fans if they are sitting on their own archive photos and video of your artists? They might be grateful for recognition and links back.

Don’t be afraid of sharing niche things if that’s what you do. The web is big enough.

If things are tagged and titled properly they can be found. It helps if each item has its own unique URL. Things exist across the web, on different services. But for your own website, if you requires major restructuring to allow deep links, it may be worth the effort.

Definitely share from your back catalogue, people are ready to discover it today. Some people in the room have decades of great stuff!

Openness

This is linked to sharing and also to the human voice. There is a tendency towards openness online. If you are open, like-minded people will find you. They will also converse back.

Examples from the world that music companies inhabit – most fans would like to hear more about the process of recording, “behind the scenes” at gigs, inter-band conversation. Think about the things you take for granted which are interesting to some people.

(Openness also means being accountable for mistakes and human failings – back to the human voice again.)

This is normal now. It is rare to have a Kate Bush-type artist who needs to be totally mysterious. Don’t use this as an excuse not to open up. How will you be found?

General points about cultures

Every company is a media company. The companies who are patient and adaptable and who share will get the benefit of this. We can have our own media which are fundamentally different to traditional media “channels”. Social media don’t necessarily replace traditional media – but social media are interactive, cover more niches, they are more diverse.

As music companies, we are free to release a large amount of interesting content. There are ways to do this without annoying people as a big album launch swamping traditional media sometimes does (U2 for example). For example you can post 100 videos to YouTube. People can filter down to what they like. Read “The Long Tail” by Chris Anderson.

Traditional media are preoccupied with release dates and current things. Music marketing responds to this. But online this constraint does not exist. Look at your back catalogue.

A quick tour of some technologies

These are in broad sections with examples. There is overlap and a lot of hybrid services.

We couldn’t cover everything in the limited time, so I talked about technologies and services most relevant to a music company.

Video platforms

YouTube – the definitive video sharing platform, fans are there – use it!

Vimeo – better quality but not as many active users searching

Qik – live streaming of video, e.g. for interviewing a band or streaming from a gig

In general it’s a good idea to make your videos embeddable. Do this and people can post them on their own blogs and web pages, increasing the potential number of relevant viewers. Universal Music Group don’t allow this for their videos, for some reason known only to them.

Social networking sites

Facebook – fan pages can be good as long as they are maintained. You can pull in your RSS feed of news but avoid too much automation. Again, people like to interact with a human being. In general, a Facebook page or any social media presence is a promise you will be available. (This is why you should answer email from fans.) Be aware of the walled garden – you cannot take your Facebook fans elsewhere very easily. Facebook are in control – of the experience, of your pages, of your fans. (I was banned from Facebook recently while testing something. It could happen to you. They let me back though.)

Ning – people create their own social networks. It offers more customisation than Facebook. Creating a social network is not something you do every day – but useful when you want a distinct community with its own URL. Americymru is an example of a community on Ning which you can join to discuss Welsh matters, including music. http://americymru.ning.com

Myspace – there is still value in having a Myspace account as a band or label. For gig promoters and agents it can be the definitive place to check out your music. Have up-to-date music, photos and gig dates on there. Other than that, be careful how much time you spend on it. This will depend what kind of music you work with. It’s spammy.

Twitter – I sensed some scepticism about this one, possibly because of media hype and mis-representation. If you are dealing with excellent music, then you will be talked about on Twitter (and other places) whether or not you actually have an account. Try running a search. http://twitter.com It’s a hybrid of blogging and social network, often called “microblogging” because each post is 140 characters or less. It includes mobile access. As with most social networks, any form of blatant marketing is a turn-off for people. Why not try it and see for yourself? The web is highly experimental. If you see some hype, be curious and go and decide for yourself.
Twitter is excellent for monitoring music news and social media news. It’s also potentially good for being an influencer, if you are interesting enough.

Dedicated blogging platforms

A blog is not necessarily a diary! It’s just a website organised by time. Actually a highly creative medium.

Blog is a contraction of “web log”.

WordPress – my personal favourite. It’s open source so you can ask your web person to download the code and host it yourself, on your own domain name. Endless customisation is possible in design and features. Now in use by many companies including Telegraph for their blog and comment system and Number10. Go to http://wordpress.com for the easy hosted version or http://wordpress.org for the code (if you know someone technical who can set it up on your own hosting)

Blogger – long-running but possibly looking a little dated now, limited customisability

Tumblr – more like a blog scrapbook, e.g. singer from The Decemberists shares things he is interested in (not just his own music) http://colinmeloy.tumblr.com

Posterous – dead simple blog for small posts, worth a look

There are many others. It’s technically easy to start a blog but it can take time to master it and grow to something of value. If you want to know how easy it is to start a blog, here’s a fun experiment: send an email to post@posterous.com and you’ll get an email back telling you about your new blog.

Miscellaneous

Soundcloud – audio platform (becoming popular with music companies and artists, as an alternative to CD demos and promos)

Flickr – photo sharing and discussion

Slideshare – slideshows

Last.FM – radio station with music recommendation, has a community of hardcore music fans

RSS

RSS is a way of pulling content from a website. One very useful application is setting up a feed reader and subscribing to blogs and news sites you want to follow. Instead of manually visiting site1, site2, site3, you are automating this process.

My analogy is a custom newspaper which you put together yourself. Mine has hundreds of subscriptions which I scan.

If given the choice, I will always subscribe to RSS instead of choosing an email newsletter. I use email for getting things done and my feed reader like my newspaper – for my coffee break.

Google Reader is a popular example of a feed reader. http://www.google.com/reader

You can also subscribe to search feeds, e.g. for your name and names of your bands! Many sites offer search feeds. YouTube, Twitter, Google Blogsearch are just three. Don’t be slow to find out if you’re being talked about.

Sometimes sites offer Atom feeds, it’s a slightly different file format but exactly the same in practice.

We didn’t talk about

Mobile, location-based services, social bookmarking (e.g. Delicious), activity streams, comment systems (e.g. Disqus), wikis, “user-generated content”, collaborative documents (e.g. Google Docs), APIs

In other words, social media technologies are very diverse. There are lots of companies making a play to launch their own services.

Questions from music companies

I’ve tried to reproduce questions here as accurately as I could. In my answers I gave a lot more detail. Next time I’ll consider recording it!

This time, in line with the Chatham House rule, I’ll say what was said but not who said it. This document is online at http://nativehq.com so feel free to comment there.

Question: what’s the difference between the different blogging platforms? What’s the difference between, say, WordPress and Myspace? I already have a blog on Myspace. Why would I need a blog?

The different blogging platforms are service providers so it’s about personal preference and features.

Myspace has taken inspiration from blogging platforms for its own blog feature. If Myspace is working for you and for your fans in your style of music then of course carry on and re-assess in the future.

I would say that not everyone is using Myspace, so you will miss people. With WordPress (which is my personal favourite, especially when hosted on your own domain), your own blog would be far more customisable in every way, not just in design but features – and importantly be more visible (probably). Also, your own blog would probably be less susceptible to social network fashions, as certain users have deserted Myspace. It might be an idea to do a blog and copy the relevant posts to Myspace, for people who spend time there.

Question: what about the metrics on Myspace friend count and number of plays for each track? They can be gamed/boosted with certain software.

The people who care about these figures should know that they can be gamed. Therefore there is no value in doing this. This then backfires on the cheats, or people just ignore the figures entirely.

(Questioner then said that journalists are deciding whether to feature artists on the basis of phoney counts. I don’t know whether this is this case anymore.)

Maybe there is value in having an honest but low number of plays if your music has been freshly uploaded. Under-hyped can work!

Question: in the old days we would leaf through vinyl records. Bands could build a community in their local area. Now there is so much competition from other bands worldwide. Is all this a double edged sword?

Yes it’s a doubled-edged sword because people have finite attention spans. Online has been described as an “attention economy”. People have more access to all kinds of things, not just music. So your music has to be good of course.

On the plus-side it is potentially easier to find international audiences such as Japan and America – both of which probably have big demand for Welsh music!

Someone gave the example of a successful licensing deal for an advertising campaign in another territory. (I think the implication was this was achieved thanks to online).

Question: what about quality? There is so much crap online.

This would make a good pub argument. I personally think there has always been crap, it’s just more evenly distributed.

It is about having good filters – people and sources which you trust.

As for music companies looking for artists to work with, Geoff Travis of Rough Trade has an old quote which still holds: “always work with genius”. You can’t argue with that.

Question: what do you think of Spotify?

Spotify is a streaming music service. I love it.

It has advertising but their model seems to be based on paid subscription. The advertising is apparently there to annoy music fans into subscribing!

I’m not going to prescribe Spotify for every artist and label but many people like it. As with any deal, discuss it with your digital distributor and look at the figures.

In general subscription services could be an alternative to selling copies of albums, e.g. eMusic, Nokia Comes With Music. (Comment about whether somebody could set up infrastructure to get Welsh music on subscription services or have a Welsh subscription service. Other comments outside the scope of our discussion.)

(Comment about whether it hurts other revenue. Someone was looking at releasing one track instead of a full album.) I can’t answer that for you. It could be cannibalisation or it could be “found money”, depending on what you’re doing. It’s a business decision which, again, you make based on digital distributor’s advice and wisdom from elsewhere.

There is lots of online discussion about revenue for content, e.g. http://paidcontent.co.uk – I’m here to say you should subscribe to the RSS and get smart!

Question: earlier you mentioned The Guardian review of a band which is interesting

Yes, I knew about it because somebody had posted a link on Twitter!

(We had a discussion here about the comparative value of newspaper reviews and blogs.) I think if you are good and have good PR then you can get, say, a Guardian review per album or for a high-profile gig. I’m definitely not minimising the value of newspaper coverage when I talk about social media. As far as your efforts go, the two are not even in competition.

The potential value of good social media engagement is growing.

References

Social media definition – this is an unattributed quote taken from Wikipedia but works well enough.

Some other quotes (italicised) taken from What The F**k is Social Media by Marta Kagen http://www.slideshare.net/mzkagan/what-the-fk-social-media

Logos were the property of their respective companies.

Licence

The above notes are covered by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported Licence.

If you want to share it, see the conditions at
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Kutiman’s video butchering (is a must!)

Here at NativeHQ we do allow occasional time for The Coolest Thing We’ve Yet Seen Today.

Today’s is thru-you.com which showcases the work of Kutiman. It’s fairly self-explanatory, he’s creating original tunes by splicing together YouTube videos of people jamming with solo instruments.

The execution is the kind for which we’d reserve the word “awesome”. If you click the credits button to navigate the source material, you’ll realise he’s:

  • not cheating here
  • probably an amazingly patient person

None of this is by permission of the source creators it would seem. But these are mostly hobbyist musicians who’ve posted up their material for the joy of it. And I don’t think they’d mind being subject to such a splendid treatment. I mean, would you?

(For the link, cheers to Lessig and Colin Consterdine – it appears this has been online for a few weeks now. Techcrunch think he’s the first music “star” to be born on Twitter. Hard to disagree.)

Addicted to Spotify – the Music Streaming Service

Here’s an introduction to Spotify from my personal blog.

There are plenty of people saying this music streaming service is amazing, they’re all correct and you can read their writings. So I tried to give the blog post a record label perspective, as that’s my background and my distinctive.

Cover what you do best and link to the rest!

Animal Collective Man on the Digital Music Experience

This is an extract from a recent interview with the US band Animal Collective, or rather one of their members, Geologist.

With the whole downloading thing I suppose it’s easier for people to have an opinion immediately after they’ve heard, like, half of a 128kbps vinyl rip or something like that. What are your views on leaks?

We take whatever minimal steps we can to prevent it, but we know records are going to leak. It’s not even about whether it’s free or not free, I mean the day you release it it’s free to the world anyway, what with the technology these days…

I have a lot of strong personal feelings about how people consume music these days, even myself. That’s why I have these feelings; because I can see how my own listening habits have degraded over the years with the advent of the internet.

Like, when people tell me about a new band that I should check out, before I would have gone and bought the record but now I go to Myspace and listen to 20 seconds of their song through my laptop speakers and I’m like ‘whatever’ – I think that’s disgusting on my part to form an opinion that way. I’m trying to break myself out of the habit. People ask, ‘why do you give a shit about a leak, it’s going to leak anyway, it’s such an outdated, antiquated way of approaching music’ and I guess that’s true, but I’m unapologetic about it, in a way, growing up in a time when the internet wasn’t around.

I always think back to when I discovered Will Oldham’s music… at first I bought the record because it was on Drag City and I was like, ‘Well, I don’t get this, is it country music or is it Americana music? It doesn’t sound like Pavement, I don’t get it’. Y’know, I was like 15 years old and if it had just been MP3s on my computer that I didn’t buy or have a physical copy of I’d probably just have deleted it and never listened again. But because it stayed on my shelf I put in effort to get into it, I kept going back to it. And there’s just one day, I don’t know if it’s because the weather is right or you’re just in a different mood, but it suddenly clicks for you.

Personally, I don’t have that many experiences like that anymore because I’ve been taken in by the accessibility of music and I’m disappointed by what that’s done to _my_ music. That’s why I’m not into the whole leak culture or digital music in general. I don’t want to take part in it by being, like, ‘Leak our record’ or whatever. Even streaming it before it’s released, that goes against my views on how music should be listened to. Doing that or putting it on iTunes first, it’s giving people another option from which they can hear your music for the first time. That’s my feeling, it’s very personal and it has nothing to do with the industry war that’s going on right now or anything like that.

Full interview at drownedinsound.com

If you’re unfamiliar with them, Animal Collective are perhaps best described as an avant garde psychedelic folk band. Although they are sounding a bit more polished these days. What does it matter? Hardcore fans will probably disagree with my descriptions.

You can judge for yourself by listening to their official Myspace page, presumably maintained by one of the other members, judging by Geologist’s views on music streaming.

I’m inclined to see his point here, but I disagree that this view holds in every case.

Certainly though, the fan’s experience is important.

What do you think?

You could also explore this debate in a video context. Which reminds me – Monty Python have a view on this issue. They recently launched a free and official streaming channel for Monty Python highlights on YouTube, partly out of disappointment with the poor quality of unofficial uploads. In their case, official DVD sales through their official site increased by 6,800 percent over the first three days, as a result.