Music Think Tank recently posted an article by Kyle Bylin about the consumption habits of music fans. The author believes that the main causes of why fans participate in file-sharing is because it’s a coping mechanism. In addition, technology is “biased” and mp3 files are taken by fans, “…because they’re there, not necessarily because fans want them.” You can read the article here.
That last sentence opened a lot of questions for me. Kyle Bylin is obviously an expert on the subject of consumerism and advanced economics and he understands that people take things because they’re there and not because they want them. Bylin listed four reasons, but I’m no ph.d in applied microeconomics like him, so here’s my meager list (one reason) of why people engage in file-sharing.
Here is one reason why fans file-share and artists can’t do anything to change it:
1. Fans engage in file-sharing because they can
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is my thesis statement, body paragraphs and conclusion all wrapped into one cozy sentence. Fans engage in file-sharing because they can. It’s not a coping mechanism, they just know they can get the single for free or 99 cents.
As for mp3s being taken because they are, “…there, not necessarily because fans want them.” That sounds funny to me, I never downloaded a single from Taylor Swift. I’m not the least bit interested in her music, but so much of her material is ubiquitous…hmm maybe I should download her entire album, I’m not interested, but it’s there right? Then I should share that album with all my friends (none of whom care about Taylor Swift).
Fans engage in file-sharing because they can, you don’t need a 2500 word article to convey this.
*For further reference on the consumption habits of music fans, feel free to read my friend Moe’s brilliant thesis about file-sharing, it’s titled, “Fuck You, Pay Me.” Read it here