Yesterday people both on- and offline were crowing about how Pink Floyd “won” a legal battle with their record label, EMI. At last, the band can force their fans to buy digital versions of their songs as full albums, rather than individual tracks. Wait, what? This was worth fighting over?
Amidst an industry segment in its death throes, Pink Floyd just took the cake for futility. While the rest of the recording industry dinosaurs beg and plead people to pay money for free digital files, they are trying to ensure that people who do want to spend are as inconvenienced as possible. It’s as though they don’t realize that people have been getting whatever tracks they wanted, however they wanted for the past decade.
This has nothing to do with “artistic vision,” it’s a simple moneygrab to try and overlay a long-outdated scarcity model on an environment of abundance. Instead of giving potential new fans the opportunity to impulse-buy a track and potentially return to buy the album as a whole piece, they’ve made it an “all or nothing choice” and further reduced the utility of a product with plummeting market value.
Instead of attempting to reach out and connect with new fans (or enjoying their fortune), Pink Floyd spends its time in court fighting over how they can continue squeezing money out of work they did more than thirty years ago. Despite incredible talent and musical artistry, artists behaving like this is reprehensible.