The full article on billboard.biz requires subscription, but you can read enough excerpts here and from the Motley Crue fan club site to get the point:
Gene Simmons is an Idiot with a Capitalist I.
“Free Music Nonsense”
In a recent interview with Billboard magazine, Gene Simmons admits that all of this “Free Music Nonsense” could have been prevented if the Recording Industry had taken action from the beginning:
Simmons: The record industry doesn’t have a f*cking clue how to make money. It’s only their fault for letting foxes get into the henhouse and then wondering why there’s no eggs or chickens. Every little college kid, every freshly-scrubbed little kid’s face should have been sued off the face of the earth. They should have taken their houses and cars and nipped it right there in the beginning. Those kids are putting 100,000 to a million people out of work. How can you pick on them? They’ve got freckles. That’s a crook. He may as well be wearing a bandit’s mask.
Gene Simmons must be the RIAA’s wet dream. He’s so entrenched in “the way we’ve always done it” that it is simply outside of his understanding that the world has changed.
And blaming the industry’s poor earnings on pirates instead of the RIAA’s own short-sightedness? Classic. Good luck with that, or haven’t you heard? Johnny Depp and Keith Richards have made pirates cool again.
Sorry Gene, that the internet has made things complicated for you. Here is something for you to think about (when you can break away from your book about all the prostitutes you’ve paid to have sex with)
- You can go online and view a picture of the Mona Lisa any time you want. For Free.
- You can also go to the Louvre and pay to see the real thing for a short time.
- For slightly more money you can own a poster copy.
- With all of the money Gene Simmons has made, you could own the real thing.
Now, why would people pay to see the Mona Lisa, or pay for a poster-sized copy of the Mona Lisa, or pay to own the Mona Lisa, when they can see it online for Free? OH MY FUCKING GOD! HOW CAN THE ARTIST MAKE ANY MONEY WHEN YOU CAN ACCESS THE ART ONLINE FOR FREEEEEEeeee….. [insert sound of Gene Simmons screaming as he falls into the abyss of his own stupidity here]
As a musician, I would rather give my music away online for free (as a matter of fact, I do give it away for free) than to see a dime go into the pockets of the Recording Industry. Until they wise up and change their business practices to work with the technology available they are irrelevant – by their own choice, or lack thereof.
Hey, it’s a free country and it isn’t against the law for them to maintain business practices leading them into obscurity and uselessness. It also isn’t against the law for them to all die of starvation because they refused to change.
You think the system still has some value because it helped make you rich? Perhaps we should all go back to using cassette tapes, so the cassette tape manufacturers can stay in business?
Meet the RIAA’s new way of doing business… Oh wait, it hasn’t changed
Billboard: But some artist [SIC] like RADIOHEAD and Trent Reznor are trying to find a new business model.
Simmons: That doesn’t count. You can’t pick on one person as an exception. And that’s not a business model that works. I open a store and say “Come on in and pay whatever you want.” Are you on f*cking crack? Do you really believe that’s a business model that works?
Someone points the way out of Gene Simmons stupidity, and he asks them if they are on drugs.
You know Gene, as a matter of fact, opening a store with almost negligible overhead and upkeep, ZERO manufacturing and distribution costs, GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION and open 24x7x365, and then asking for donations is a fucking phenomenal business model.
How do you think wikipedia.org is still in business? How do you think the projects on sourceforge are funded? Are you aware that Radiohead are actually making an average of $6 per download by Giving Away their music and letting people donate what they want? And not a penny goes to the RIAA middleman. $6 average per customer, Gene. Do YOU make that much?
I’m not saying the industry should adopt Radiohead’s buisness practices, but at least Radiohead are willing to try something, because it seems like the recording industry would sooner destroy the internet than to learn how to profit from it.
I wonder if the RIAA got this upset about the invention of electricity. “OMG! Electricity is going to ruin our industry! People will stop going to concerts! They are going to stay at home and listen to music broadcast over radio waves for FREE! How will we ever survive? PI-RATES!”
A Lesson In Value
Billboard: So what if music just becomes free and artists make their living off of touring and merchandise?
Simmons: Well, therein lies the most stupid mistake anybody can make. The most important part is the music. Without that, why would you care? Even the idea that you’re considering giving the music away for free makes it easier to give it away for free. The only reason why gold is expensive is because we all agree that it is. There’s no real use for it, except we all agree and abide by the idea that gold costs a certain amount per ounce. As soon as you give people the choice to deviate from it, you have chaos and anarchy. And that’s what going on.
Don’t we already give the music away for free on terrestrial radio? And I’ll bet I can check out Hotter Than Hell as the local library. For free. The difference is that I don’t “own” them in either case.
When we buy music, we aren’t actually buying the music. We’re buying the medium, the “thing” that the music lives on. These things have always been worth what people are willing to pay for them. Now, change “Physical CDs” into “Bits on the internet”…
When the value of the thing decreases, the sticker price should also decrease. But that isn’t happening. The cost of a physical CD with 15 songs is around $15.00. The price of 15 songs on I-tunes is around… $15.00
And you want to know why people aren’t buying?
And you want to know why people are turning to piracy?
Change is Good… just not yet
Gene, calling this change “chaos and anarchy” may be your perception, but in reality it’s just Change. Change from one system to another system, one that you don’t like, because you don’t know how it will make you money. Your diatribe is just another dying gasp from an industry that is choking itself to death, because it isn’t smart enough to move to where the air is.
And blaming pirates. Honestly.
Gene, I know you worked hard using the system you had available at the time, and it worked out well for you. Congratulations. But the rules have changed. Clinging to the old way won’t help. And if people like you and the RIAA won’t figure out how to use the new way, others will. And it will seem like “chaos and anarchy” to you.
We don’t need people like you complaining that “change is bad.” We need people adapting to the change and figuring out how to make things better for both artists and consumers.