You hear a song on the radio. You want to buy it – not stream it – because you want to keep it and play it again and again; so you go to iTunes or Amazon and you purchase it, roughly £0.99 a track, £9.99 an album. There. Lovely stuff. You’ve bought your new favourite song or album. It’s yours. You think you own it. But you don’t.
It might surprise you, but in most cases you are renting, or leasing, the song, not buying it. When you buy from Apple and Amazon you are being sold a licence to use the song/film or ebook but are not buying the actual item itself.
Thinking many years ahead, what about when you die; who can you leave your music collection to? According to Apple, you can leave your family or friends your iPod with your music on, but you cannot leave instructions to share out your iTunes account after you are gone. So as the law currently stands one cannot leave their iTunes music to their family.
For years families have been passing down their music collection to their children and grandchildren to share their past with them via music. They’ve been able to do this as their music is in a physical form; on vinyl, tape or CD. What’s more, your parents’ and grandparents’ music collections act as a wonderful history of songwriting, educating you on how and why music has evolved through the decades. But in our over-technological era, the songs you’ve downloaded and “purchased” in your life may end up resting in peace with you.
Think about all the songs you have on your computer – what if you couldn’t give those songs that you’ve paid for to your children or friends? Do you think people will go back to illegally downloading mp3s, because they’d rather own them illegally, than pay for “renting” them? Or do you think this will regenerate an interest in CDs and Vinyls with people being able to buy them and own them physically, not digitally, and thus be able to pass them on to their loved ones?
Tweet us at @songacademyUK to let us know your thoughts.