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Why the opinion “they want to pay for a good product” is wrong

So often I meet in disputes about copyright and p2p statement “you need to make a high-quality product, and people will be happy to pay money for it, despite the torrents”, that, seeing another repetition on Habré, and actively written, I decided to write a text with specific arguments why this is completely untrue. As a music journalist, I have an idea of ​​what kind of music is being sold, so I’ll bring examples from this area.

1. There are many parameters that are not related to the “quality” of creativity, affecting how much it is in demand. For example, in order to become a super hit, sounding from every iron, a piece of music needs to be a three or four minute song with a couplet-chorus structure of the text and a catchy melody, and not some avant-garde symphony. Or, for example, there is a dependence of popularity on the context: in the USA country is sold with a bang, and nobody needs us. So, even if we assume that sales depend on "quality", this is far from the only thing they depend on, and "quality" in itself does not guarantee success at all. For half an hour ambient tracks will never lead the charts of radio stations and will not overtake the pop singer Kesha in sales, even if they are a hundred times more beautiful than Kesha's songs. A country singer will not actively listen in Russia, even if he is two orders of magnitude higher than what is being listened to in his place in Russia.
2. Even if we consider the cases when the “tactical-technical characteristics” are equal (for example, we will be talking exclusively about pop hits), then there is a difference in “quality” that could really make itself felt and reveal the strongest, doesn't happen anyway. If you rummage in your memory, you will surely recall both the cases when something worthwhile, original, interesting and high-quality turned out to be on the top of the charts, and there were cases when there was another boyband, no different from thousands of others. Yes, it is possible that original and interesting hits will remain alive for centuries, but everyone will forget about the boy's one year after its collapse, but we are not talking about posthumous fame, but about sales here and now - and they turn out to be equal in outstanding works and frank bullshit.

3. Since the argument about quality leads to disputes about p2p, they probably mean that the torrents should put everything in its place: let the charts have a lot of stuff, but they will download it for free, but really worthy to buy for money to proudly put on the shelf. Does this happen? As practice shows, in the case of music, the effect “a person downloaded the album, it turned out to be outstanding, a person bought a licensed disc” is either insignificant in the overall sales scale, or does not lead to any particular result, because people understand the “outstanding” too differently . The overall picture is this: over the past decade, sales of music have fallen by half - and this applies to all music ( update: they are asked to bring at least some links to the data - I found right away about the US, not the whole world, but the essence is clear ). After reading quite a lot of statistical and analytical materials on this topic, not one of them met the words that in one and the same genre sales of some groups fall much faster than others. I do not see any evidence that good music began to sell better than bad (or bad is better than good). Sometimes sales in a particular case may not correlate with general trends, but for other reasons. For example, last year youtube star Susan Boyle’s debut album became the best-selling album. I think this is largely due to the fact that her target audience is women over 40, who, relatively speaking, listen to one new album a year and do not always know which side the computer is turned on. Naturally, they did not get Boyle’s torrent for the album, but during a visit to the supermarket, seeing it in a prominent place, many of them bought it along with the products. But Lady Gaga's album, despite the frenzied rotation, sold less copies - because its audience knows how to use torrents, and in supermarkets it happens less often. It says nothing about which of the two albums is better.

As for the specific situation with “Metro 2033”, in the case with which this thesis was remembered, here I would like to point out several things. Firstly, there is no transparency with the circulation of books in Russia, so Glukhovsky may embellish (after all, he is science fiction :)). Secondly, the book was able to disperse in such a circulation due to the fact that it is an action-packed fiction, intended for mass reading in the same metro, and, therefore, to say to all authors “write better, and they will buy you too” is meaningless: if the author specializes in fat serious novels in a classic style, then, write him a book at least three times better than “Metro 2033”, he cannot reach half a million copies (well, in general, see clause 1). And, thirdly, I want to make the following forecast: in the coming years, with the proliferation of readers, Daria Dontsova will finally become the best-selling author in Russia. Because Pelevin’s readers will switch to readers and torrents, and Dontsov is read by masses who are far from readers and high-tech. Because those who consider literature important and expensive are thinking about buying a reader, and Dontsova is read by those who are not interested in literature, but simply want to kill time in the subway or train. Because a good book for decorating the shelves should be bought in a good hardcover edition, and this is expensive - Dontsova is bought cheaply in paperbacks, read in the subway and then thrown away, it’s not a pity. Do you think that in the era of torrents, people will continue to pay with pleasure only for the best? In this case, you will also have to agree that the best books in modern Russian literature are the books of Darya Dontsova.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/106355/

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