PropertyOfZack has published a new Perspective on leaks titled "Has It Leaked? It Leaked. Why and What Now?" with commentary from individuals in the music industry. What do you think about how the perception/action of album leaks has shifted over the past few years?
Leaking isn't good, but it's great when the bands beat the 'leakers' to the punch by streaming a week before release. There's always going to be people like that though, there's Radio demand services now where you can listen to new material free of charge and so many different mediums that warrant no need for leaks.
The problem is where there's so many digital albums and singles - No one wants to pay pennies for something they can't hold or for what they can get for free.
I like the thought of clicking and buying a single for 79p or whatever, but i'd rather have a CD or 7" single for a couple to a few quid with the added B-Sides and the art, it's a more 'complete' experience.
Albums are always going to be around physically, so people mostly download the 'leak' as a 'try before you buy' method, but ultimately there isn't a comparison to a fresh Vinyl or CD spinning on your home system.
To put it one way: I'd rather read reviews about an album i'm anticipating, kill the singles by playing them on repeat and then go to my local outlet to buy said album. CD singles should come back though.. I'd buy CD EP's over iTunes EP's any day.
Vinyl is all well and good, but the most people I know don't even spin them, they just sit there.. Total waste I tell ya! If it were Cassette, i'd understand.
Nice article though, there's always going to be two sides to this topic, but it'd be nice hearing what people think.
It's a good article, but slightly misinformed. For starters, they used the logo of the website HasItLeaked.com - a site which I'm a staff writer for - and discussed it and similar sites as "rewarding users who are the quickest to upload records."
HasItLeaked.com offers no download links (torrents, zip files etc.) at all. It's just a site to discuss new music and inform people of when they can hear music online. Yes, this "community" is partially made up of jerks who don't give a shit, but that's the age we live in.
The internet has quickened the pace of the music industry (and mostly not in a good way), but I think bands need to start reacting faster to leaks.
If my band's album leaked a month early, I'd allow people to pay and download it from iTunes/bandcamp the moment it does. 'Real' fans will appreciate a band's acknowledgement of what's happened and will support them by paying to download it or purchasing a vinyl (something they're likely going to do anyways).
I don't see the reason why certain bands on certain labels announce a new LP four-to-six months before its release date. It's all for the label to build hype around the album so they can make more profit (barely any of which the band sees anyways). Yes, I understand they need time to make the vinyl/handle pre-order bundles, but if the product is finished, why not offer it up for a paid download in the meantime? Regardless of how many vinyls are sold, 99% of all people purchasing music in today's day in age will be putting it on their iPod/mobile device/tablet.
I personally think the way to combat leaks is to cut down all the unnecessary time labels leave between an albums completion and it's release date. There's no need to promote an album for two months - it's only going to make people impatient and start digging and downloading. Finish an album, put out a single, have it come out two weeks later. Simple as that. Let the music do the work for you. If it's good enough, it will catch people's attention by word of mouth once it's already been released. The sooner you can get your finished piece of work into people's ears the better. I truly don't think that sitting on it for two months just to release a new song every three weeks is doing much to help the overall sales of a record. The sooner the better. Kill the waiting game and there will be less impatience within the listener - possibly causing them to wait a few days to be able to drive to their local shop and pick up a physical copy like they used to before album leaks were so prominent.
I remember watching video from the Real Talk CD release show, and during their set, Man Overboard said to pick up their stuff from their merch table in the back, and if you didn't have money to just cop it online. To me, it seemed like they didn't really care, just as long as people were listening to it.