Author Topic: Taking a Leak  (Read 205 times)

actwithoutwords

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Taking a Leak
« on: April 02, 2007, 10:14:14 PM »
Not sure if there's been a discussion on this before, but it's becoming an increasingly relevant question/problem. Leaks are pretty much guaranteed for every release these days, even pretty small ones. They happen months in advance now as well. The LCD Soundsystem record that came out a few weeks ago has been swilling around the internet since December, if not November.

I downloaded my first leaked album on Friday, Boxer by The National, which isn't coming out until late May (in exchange for a promise from myself that I wouldn't download anything off the new Interpol or Radiohead albums). I am very ambivalent about the whole phenomenon really. I think it really spoils the anticipation for a new album and makes the whole process terribly anticlimactic.

Obviously the first thing you could say is just don't download leaks, which is what I have been doing thus far. But I think even when you don't participate in it yourself, short of turning off the internet, it's difficult to avoid. Leaks split the online communities of bands, half have listened to the leak and are exulting/critiquing it for months while the rest are a mixture of frustrated and self-righteous with their self-imposed abstinence. By the time the album comes out, it means nothing to the people who have downloaded the leak and those who didn't feel like they are only just catching up on old news. It really dilutes any sense of excitement or occasion. Plus it ruins any plans bands have for allowing sneak previews etc. Thom Yorke had a pretty cool treasure hunt type thing in London before the Eraser was released last year. But it came off as a bit lame because "everyone" (i.e. the type of fan that this kind of stuff is most likely to excite) had been listening to it for a month and a half beforehand.

It also seems to have created a class of ubermensch musos who seem to spend most of their time on Oink or whatever downloading every single new release. Compared to the hardcore musos of the past who would spend their time scouring record shops and record fairs.

The whole thing annoys me because it creates a two-speed indie music industry, which I don't think is particularly healthy.
There's fuck all that can be done really, leaks just seem to be inevitable regardless of the security measures bands are taking. I just think it's a pity.
So what do others think? Do you hungrily hoover up leaks when they appear? Do you put yourself through months of torture for the delayed gratification of a release day purchase? Do you want to strangle dickheads who constantly butt into message board threads namedropping albums that won't be released for months?

CaledonianGonzo

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Taking a Leak
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2007, 10:20:58 PM »
When Belle and Sebastian's The Life Pursuit leaked, they put a message on their website that they were fine with the fans downloading it and listening to it as long as they still bought it when it came out (their tour was scheduled prior to the album's actual release and they thought it was fair to people to hear the new material before the gigs so they'd know the songs and be able to sing along or somesuch).

Then it was released and, lo and behold, it was their most commercially succesful album.

Couldn't say one way or the other what that proves, though.

Cack Hen

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Taking a Leak
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2007, 10:23:13 PM »
That The Life Pursuit is their best album in ten years? Well, probably.

Yeah, I download leaks. I just can't help myself, I know it ruins the experience a bit but if it's there I have to have it. But I'm like that with anything, if there's a cake left I can't save it for later, I have to eat it right now.

Cakes, leaked albums - it's all the same.

actwithoutwords

  • Clowns to the left, Yoker's to the right
    • Like Hearts Swelling (podcast and videos)
Taking a Leak
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2007, 10:28:33 PM »
I know the feeling. I just wish the cake wasn't in front of me in the first place. It would make things a lot easier.

Taking a Leak
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2007, 10:31:58 PM »
Quote from: "CaledonianGonzo"
When Belle and Sebastian's The Life Pursuit leaked, they put a message on their website that they were fine with the fans downloading it and listening to it as long as they still bought it when it came out (their tour was scheduled prior to the album's actual release and they thought it was fair to people to hear the new material before the gigs so they'd know the songs and be able to sing along or somesuch).

Then it was released and, lo and behold, it was their most commercially succesful album.

Couldn't say one way or the other what that proves, though.


My economist buddy claims to have done a study on this and proved that downloads are good for the music industry rather than bad.