Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"Why We Need OiNK" from Rawking Refuses to Stop

from: http://rawkblog.blogspot.com/2007/10/critical-backlash-why-we-need-oink.html

Critical Backlash: Why We Need OiNK

What a thing to wake up to. Alright, RIAA, think about it for five seconds:

FACT: Like Napster before it, OiNK's database was the most comprehensive, convenient, high-quality source of digital music on the Internet. And if you build it, they will come - the site has thousands upon thousands of users, every one a music lover looking for a great way to find albums new and old. Also like Napster before it, the industry has chosen to completely blow a tremendous opportunity by destroying an obviously successful system rather than simply figuring out a way to monetize it and rake in profits.

FACT: There is no one-stop location on the Internet where you can pay $10 and download a 192+ kbps DRM-free MP3 of any album you want - which you can do on OiNK for free. Essentially, the music industry is asking consumers to ignore the gentleman in the street handing out fresh Hebrew National hot dogs (delicious, amirite) and pretending that the gross chunks of meat that've been simmering in 7-Eleven all week are just as good! Why should anyone pay for an inferior product when what they actually want is just sitting there?

FACT: DRM-laden music doesn't work. Subscription services don't work. Why? The same people who buy the most music are also its biggest promoters, making tapes or burning CDs for their friends and now, passing around MP3s. If you can't do this, it's no fun - how can you convince your friend to go to a show with you? Music is communal. Sites like OiNK are the ultimate example of this. Which leads to...

FACT: Career sales trump one-hit-wonders. Touring and merch trumps album sales. How does this happen? AWARENESS. How do people become aware of bands in a way that inclines them to make a connection and develop loyalty in the iPod era? I'll let you guys figure that one out, but it's not happening on MTV or ClearChannel-owned radio stations.

FACT: A download is not a lost sale. The kids with the most MP3s are hoarding them because they can, not because they're trying to save money on paying for CDs. No one is ever going to go out and buy 5-10 albums a week, but that's about how many a good chunk of us download.

FACT: Promotion costs money. Record companies routinely lose tons of cash on bands that sell 100k and call it a career. During the late '90s heyday, they could offset this with the Backstreet Boys, but that was never going to last.

FACT: Promoting your album by letting people listen to it online so they can go out and buy it or see you on tour, and letting buzz build organically through word of mouth? FREE.

FACT: The audience that pirates albums is often a totally different market than the one that still buys CDs. Downloading is never going to cannibalize CD sales - they're two seperate entities, and the industry should be supplying quality products to both markets, not constraining one while the other dies a miserable death.

In short, fellas, the industry is moving in a direction where bands are going to pull a Radiohead and just sell the shit themselves because the industry seems unwilling or incapable of doing the absolute bare minimum of offering their entire catalogs in a quality file format at a reasonable place in a one-stop shop.

Update: Because there's been some confusion about my intentions with this post, I'll make them perfectly clear: I'm not condoning piracy or even promoting OiNK, really. What I'm saying is, the lack of a legitimate, legal service with the same quality, ease and variety of OiNK is a huge, gaping hole in the music business right now and if anyone wants to make money on a recording ever again, you guys had better fill it the hell up.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You forgot 1 fact...

OiNK admins were all assholes and acted like stuck up snobs. Even after the warnings they still continued instead of taking safety percussions.

Anonymous said...

wait wut

If you followed the rules they were pleasant as could be. What a brilliant community destroyed.

Anonymous said...

Rage Against the Machine, in an interview some time back said they'd rather have their music pirated, because they get more revenue going on concert!

A fact from the Napster era, Metallica's CD sales increased 5% over that time.

Praise Radiohead for doing that, because I'd only pay them a cent for it!

I Sort Glass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I Sort Glass said...

Oink was great but there were like everywhere online some complete asses lurking about that site. People can't just share friggin files they gottah be assholes... Sad.

Anonymous said...

first of all, great post. i agree 110% with everything the o.p. said. second of all, i for one never had any problems with the oink admins, and fully supported the ratio requirements

Anonymous said...

how about this for a 'Crazy' idea:

The record industry takes over OiNK and leaves it as but opens it up. If OiNK can get so much donations from just 180,000 users then imagine how much they could get if open. Secondly they now save money of PR and marketing. All their artists are now distributated and known! Word of mouth between users will make the good music spread on OiNK like wildfire. Bands are happy because they are getting known ... and more people come and see them on tour.

Record companies also save money using OiNK as they only need a server to host OiNK as the users are spreading the wealth using their bandwidth! They also need not make so many CDs - saving money.

To encourage users to donate they could offer ratio relief for users who would rather pay then upload.

By keeping the ratio requirements users are happy as donwloads remain very fast.

It's a win:win situation and the record companies need to start acting on models such as OiNK that are obviously making money otherwise they wouldn't be bothered to do the bust !

Anonymous said...

i know of a lot of small, local bands that made it big because when they first started out they freely distributed their music online. everyone downloaded them, liked what they heard, and went to their shows. they allowed all the songs on their album to be downloaded for free. but on the official album they put some special content like videos you couldn't get anywhere else. the die hard fans had to have those and purchased them without a second thought.

it amazes me how many bands don't realize how it works. if you want someone to like your music, give it to them for FREE. if you want someone to buy your music, give them something special that they'll want after they already like you.