Music Piracy Solutions: I play clarinet with a state orchestra in Ireland, and part of my master’s thesis was on music piracy. So I know a little about the subject. Music is my day job, and I moonlight as a journalist. (Read my article about two vastly different approaches to the problem, being tried in Ireland and on the Isle of Man, here.)
There’s a shift away from young musicians seeking the holy grail of getting a recording company contract. With MySpace and Facebook, you have new ways of distributing music and becoming popular. The Arctic Monkeys proved that.
Classical music has been hit the hardest by piracy and the decline in CD sales because they don’t get any where nearly as much revenue as pop musicians do from other sources, such as concerts and, merchandising. No matter how popular an orchestra or classical musician may be, they rarely sell out stadiums or make a lot of money on T-shirts.
At the end of the day, I think the flat-rate fee on downloads will be the preferred business model. I know of a smaller classical label that streams their entire catalog for a $20-per-year fee.