Nov 24, 2011

Soundtracks: YouTube is an album's friend!

A short request to record labels and companies.

Do NOT take full albums of your music off YouTube or other online video forums.

You're shutting down a new and unique advertising platform for your product, and not really stopping the "illegal" distribution problem you're seeking to address.

In the past two years I've taken to previewing potential soundtrack purchases by listening to the whole thing on YouTube. It is the perfect venue for encouraging me to purchase music. I can hear ALL of the music to ensure I want it (as opposed to the 30-60 second sample snippets offered on traditional preview sites), but yet not have it convenient enough for me to listen to the way I want. I can't download it properly. I can't listen to it without internet access. It suffers some major quality degradation. It is prone to net failure or lag.

So once I'm hooked on an album from Youtube I HAVE to buy it.

So far I have purchased some 20 CD's in the past 2ish years using this strategy. Of these, I might very well not have purchased 15 of otherwise. Yes I have previewed more than this, but I was never going to buy them without a preview anyways. That means out of say 100 albums I listened to the 20 I bought more than half were because I knew I liked what I was buying. Had I not had Youtube to listen further, I'd have only bought 5-7 of these 20. That is 1/4 the profit for the music industry.

Taking the album off Youtube doesn't stop the piracy of this music anyways. Youtube was never the venue for illegally exchanging the music. Those serious about pirating the music are not going to be detoured by this, and will use the real means of piracy elsewhere. Those are the sites you should engage.

I on the other hand purchase music that is available (limited edition music being another case) if I know I like it. Youtube gives you, the music companies, a new relatively safe means for letting me preview an album before a potential purchase. Remove this certainty about your product, and I won't buy it.

How is encouraging customers bad for business? The pirates will do their thing regardless. Taking music off Youtube only hurts your sales...

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