Guvera,

I’m not sure, but I think that’s a play on Che’s last name.

Guvera

Basically, they use advertising to pay for the mp3 songs you would otherwise just download.

I’m interested in your opinions. Do you think this could be a way to balance free music without “stealing” money from the bands? Do you think this will work?

4/9 Edit: A couple of things

I forgot to put this in. How do YOU think music lovers can keep listening to music for free without “breaking the law?” The argument that sharing music is illegal or immoral is moot, because it’s simply not going away. In light of this, how do we compensate for it?

Professor Vanacker presented a study that said the music industry was losing a generous portion of money to illegal file sharing. There are numerous other studies that come to the same conclusion, as well as the opposite. What should be taken away from this is that these studies on the effects of illegal file sharing on the record industry revenue range from not statistically differentiable from zero to substantial. Obviously, those against it will cite the substantial studies, and those for it will cite the low impact studies.

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5 thoughts on “Guvera,

  1. I think it’s an ingenious idea for the moment, but who knows how long it will last – subsisting merely on advertising space won’t be enough for the high traffic this site is sure to attract. Though maybe they’ve already solved this problem by making it an invitational membership? Regardless, I think this is a good alternative to “stealing” money from the bands aka downloading; it sounds like a portion of the advertising profit will go the band/record company-to-band instead of them getting shafted as illegal downloads do.

    Wired.com reported in February that the advertising model works as such: “Instead of advertisers trying to figure out which channels their [targeted] people are listening to and watching, and how to get onto those, and how to measure how many people actually saw it within the target demographic that we have, the Guvera concept is that the brand actually becomes the channel … [which removes] the need for content-disruptive-based advertising.” I suppose that’s the point of the questionnaire you have to fill out after the free registration.. so you’re choosing, based on personal preference, what ads will appear.

    Hopefully this means I won’t be bored with the advertisements, and at least I know they’re going to be tailored to me unlike the surprise!Facebook adverts Lizzie wrote about in a post below.

    Wired article: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/02/guvera-unveils-free-ad-supported-music-with-a-twist/

  2. I really like the idea of this Web site, but as much as I like it, I cannot see myself using it. Not for any particular reason, just out of laziness.

    Also, you asked for our opinion on this sort of… Robin Hood-esque relationship each sucker… ahem, consumer… has with the large record industries.

    I do not think I could see myself stealing music from an artist’s Web site or stealing music from a self distributing artist. Each CD sale effects their ability to create more, record more, tour more directly. But somehow, yes, stealing from record companies just doesn’t seem that bad because they, themselves, steal all of the time.

    The acclaimed ’90s pop band TLC sold 10 million albums, had many #1 singles, countless top 10 singles, had successful world tours… and went bankrupt after the release of their hit CD. Why? Because the record industry and their goonies stole from, manipulated and cheated them. 10 million albums times $15 a piece is quite a bit of revenue for something that probably cost $5 million to record, package, market and release.

    So I didn’t feel bad stealing this album last week.

    This may be justification after the fact, but if record sales worked differently… if there was no record company middleman (who I picture to be heavy, white, sitting in a huge corner office with his feet on his desk and smoking a cigar) and the money from record sales went directly into the hands of the artists… this would be a whole new ballgame indeed.

  3. Carla (and others who agree, who I presume are numerous), I just can’t back your justification for stealing from record labels.

    You’re perpetuating a vicious cycle: Less sales=higher prices. Sorry, that’s market capitalism.

    Inventing straw-man antagonists won’t solve the ethical dilemma we have here. Just like “j4ck0f4lltr4d3s” wrote, “The argument that sharing music is illegal or immoral is moot, because it’s simply not going away,” we can’t rationalize an entire transformation of the music industry because we dislike the corporate suits. They are “not going away,” as is a “bureaucracy” vanishes from damn near any post-medieval large state, economic, or social (hell, even religious) institution.

    I can support changing the business model on grounds of efficiency and a superior product for the consumer — as John’s post may-or-may-not lead towards. I can’t support self-identifying as vigilant-esque Robin Hoods in the digital Nottingham. That’s logically unconstructive and a bit self-serving.

  4. I am leaning a bit towards Kevin’s opinion. Stealing is stealing regardless of what medium it may be through. This site is providing us with a way to correct this problem. It'[s essentially like television. Advertisers pay for spots on public TV so why not pay for artists music in return for their advertisements being shown (to people who are actually interested in them).

    It’s become completely inevitable that the continuation of “free downloading” will have a negative impact. The idea of supply and demand our country revolves around can’t maintain itself (regarding the music industry) at this pace forever. There is always a demand for music, now more than ever, but the supply (music producers) will decrease if the only demand is by those not willing to properly give back to the producers.

  5. It seems that through all of this, the music industry is trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube. They made some lofty missteps during the Napster age and now they’re having trouble incorporating their dated business model with the digital age. While Guvera might be a small step in right the right direction, it definitely doesn’t solve the problem. Illegal downloading will continue and until major leaps in restricting this develop, we’re given the choice to either steal someone’s work or rightfully pay for it.

    I’m with Kevin and Natalie on the stealing topic, as well. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, stealing is never right. It’s never ethical, and under no circumstances, can it be justified.

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