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Thread: Recording companies versus Youtube uploaders - your opinion

          
   
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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Recording companies versus Youtube uploaders - your opinion

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    Last edited by Ann Lander (sospiro); January 10th, 2018 at 03:15 PM.
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    I bellieve that YouTube short video clips - 3 to 10 minutes or so - are a valid educational service for the public and a diffusion tool for artists and recording companies. Fighting off these clips as copyright violations is downright stupid. Of course, if a quality fragment of a recording is posted on YouTube, it can only help the recording company's bottom line since viewers would be able to test drive the product and might be motivated to purchase the whole thing. A recording on CD, DVD, or blu-ray, is much more convenient and has much better quality than a clip on YouTube, so, I can't see how the existence of these short clips would jeopardize the market for the companies. Much the opposite, I see it as free publicity, and that's how they should see it as well. The concept is similar to the audio samples of CD tracks that we can find on the website of many CD vendors.

    Now, the issue of whole operas on YouTube is very different. I believe we should divide considerations about it in four radically different ways, depending on the availability of the material.

    One case, is that of old clips from TV broadcasts or amateur video, etc., of performances that have virtually zero chance of ever making it to the mainstream market of commercial CDs, DVDs, and blu-rays. The diffusion of these images on YouTube can't harm anybody. Say, some black-and-white grainy image of a TV broadcast of an obscure opera by an Italian channel, containing some old production out of a regional opera house in Italy, will never see the light of day as a viable commercial piece; so, diffusing it on YouTube can only have educational value and give access to the piece to audiences that would otherwise have no opportunity to see it. This is especially true of operas that are not represented in the catalog of the commercial companies, and wouldn't otherwise be available (therefore, don't fall into category 3 below).

    Another case, is that of viable more recent productions filmed with good quality that haven't been able to find a way to be released commercially. This is more controversial but still falls most of the time under the educational value I'm talking about - think, for example, of the case of world premieres of contemporary operas that may not be easily staged again and won't have enough of a public for a commercial release. Without YouTube, these works would remain virtually unavailable, outside of the few hundred people who live at driving distance from the theater and were able to attend the performance. It is in the composer's best interest to have it out there on YouTube, to make his/her work known and develop a following - maybe another opera by the same composer will then have more of a following and will be revived more often or will make it to a commercial product. Still, in certain cases one might argue that having these operas complete on YouTube might actually hinder the chances of a viable commercial product since people might be content with watching it on YouTube, thus decreasing the pool of people eventually interested in buying a future release of the opera.

    The third scenario is that of operas that are relatively obscure and are represented commercially by only one or a small number of products. If another production of the same opera gets diffused on YouTube, even if that production is not scheduled for commercial release, people might watch it to get to know the opera, and then think - "OK, I got this one under my belt already" - and then not feel compelled to buy the available commercial product. This is potentially detrimental in the same way I'll explain next. Well, this doesn't really apply to the likes of Le Nozze di Figaro, of course. I can't imagine that the market for a good commercial version of Le Nozze would be hurt by the presence of some obscure version of the same opera on YouTube. And another complicator is that if the owners of the copyright of the YouTube-diffused version don't mind, the people who own the rights to the available commercial version wouldn't be able to fight it off anyway. So, while we may talk about what good or bad this does to the market, it's a moot point.

    Now, the fourth scenario is that of complete opera performances on YouTube that also exist as a commercial product. This, I can't support at all, in no circumstance. It's a gross violation of copyrights, and directly impacts on the profits that might be achieved by selling the product to prospective buyers, thus making of operatic releases a less good deal for the recording companies, which might migrate into more profitable niches, dumping the operatic field all together or only releasing those products with a certain public (say, the productions with the likes of Jonas Kaufmann, Anna Netrebko, etc), limiting the market for anything less profitable. Do we want to limit the choice of operatic releases by supporting these copyright violations? No, it is not in our interest as opera lovers, and even more importantly, it is not in the interest of the artists who keep our beloved art form alive. Sure, people will feel tempted to get free stuff from the Internet, but they'll be killing the golden egg goose. We suffer enough competition from mindless pop music and idiotic blockbuster films in terms of what gets released on CD, DVD and blu-ray. We need to strengthen the market for opera, not kill it by stealing these images from their rightful owners. Producing these recordings costs money, is a big investment for the companies, and if we love opera, we want the orchestra, the conductor, the stage director, the singers, etc., and yes, the executives and staff from the recording companies, to get paid for their work. This is why I don't support bootleg makers, and can't support the diffusion on YouTube of complete opera performances that otherwise exist on sale on commercial-grade products.

    So, it depends on the nature and degree of the copyright violation. A short clip of something available out there? Darn, this is free publicity, let it stand, don't be stupid, recording companies! Old stuff that won't be seen otherwise? By all means, keep it there! New stuff that can't find its way to a commercial product? Keep it there too! Now, direct competition with a commercial product? Probably not a good thing, but hard to fight off anyway. But then, straight theft of the complete images and sounds of an existing commercial product? Well, prosecute the bastards who uploaded it to the full extent of the law so that they learn to respect the artists and the hardworking folks who make these products available to be purchased by the opera-loving public, so that the market is kept alive and is seen by the recording companies as still a good investment to make.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); September 1st, 2012 at 09:50 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    I know only one thing for sure.

    I want more Antonella Bandelli!

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    I know only one thing for sure.

    I want more Antonella Bandelli!
    Buy this, and this.



    Then, recording companies might realize that she got a market, and release more of her. That's my point.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Almaviva summarised it all. I agree with his points.

    I use Youtbe to mainly test drive the production before I decide whther to buy the recorded medium or not. That is the biggest advantage of Youtube to me. Even if the whole piece was avaiable on Youtube, not discounting copyright issues, I would still prefer to own a hardcopy of the piece anyway. Other than that, I might have clips playing in the background if I am away from my collection. So Youtube is a fantastic way to learn and sample about pieces and or segments of music.

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    I think Alma to a large extent is right, but there are a few exceptions.

    I have watched whole operas on YouTube (for example Peter Grimes with Ventris) and then bought the DVD. If I hadn't seen it on Youtube I would never have bought it as I thought I had a good version, but it was so excellent and I wanted it in decent quality. Another example is the ROH Tosca.

    Same with the Glyndebourne L'enfant et les Sortileges. I've seen it, and now I want to buy it.

    So in my view even full length versions CAN create an audience, but of course there are plenty who would just watch it and leave it at that.
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Glyndebourne L'Enfant wasn't on YouTube. They decided to stream it themselves for two weeks, that's different. Obviously they wanted to both diffuse their work and foster a market for it when (if) it comes out on DVD, by increasing the word-of-mouth that it is excellent. They did it by just letting it there for two weeks, so, even though some people may see it and not buy it later, more people will likely buy it thanks to word of mouth from those who saw it in this 2-week period. Smart strategy.

    I'd say that statistically speaking your take is likely to be a lot less frequent than the take of people who won't buy a product because they can see it for free on YouTube (that's human nature, much more likely to be the rule). So it's not that these productions you quoted are exceptions. *You* are the exception. Therefore, my points remain valid.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    If one is very pasionate about the opera or at least that particular production, and assuming one has some spare cash, then it is likely they would prefer to buy the product after viewing in part on in entirety on Youtube.

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    I don't believe that anyone but the recording companies really make money from the DVDs - conductors and singers etc make their income from the fees for the live performances.

    One person recital cds are or course another matter.
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    As a rule, I'm with Alma and HarpsicordConcerto. I've often used YouTube clips to listen to singers with whom I'm unfamiliar, or to hear favorite singers performing excerpts from operas (when I don't have commercial recordings of these operas with them). I loved the clips from the Vienna State Opera production of Anna Bolena with La Bellissima and Elina Garanća -- and purchased the DVD as soon as it became available.

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    I don't believe that anyone but the recording companies really make money from the DVDs - conductors and singers etc make their income from the fees for the live performances.

    One person recital cds are or course another matter.
    True, but anyway, the recording companies employ thousands of people and need to pay them, have operational costs, investments, and need a return on their investments so that they continue to support the operatic niche-market.

    Besides, I've just learned from a search on opera singers income that major houses like the Met often top up singers fees with money the recording companies give them when there is a planned DVD. So at least they make some money upfront, even if they don't participate in the profits of subsequent DVD sales.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    So the discussion is really about recording companies's profits rather than depriving

    the orchestra, the conductor, the stage director, the singers
    of much needed income.

    So for instance if I see a production of a commercial DVD on YouTube (say the recent Bayreuth Lohengrin) and decide that I'm not going to buy it because it's daft (and I wasn't considering spending my hard earned money on it anyway because I knew it was going to be daft), but fall in love with the tenor and proceed to buy three CDs and one DVD with him in it, how is that depriving the record companies of their profits?

    I know you say I am an exception but I can't be the only one (Nat panics that she is the only one with OCDVDCS)

    (Obsessive Compulsive DVD Collecting Syndrome)
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    So the discussion is really about recording companies's profits rather than depriving of much needed income.
    What is wrong with the companies having profits? That's capitalism, it's what moves the world. We need them as much as they need us. Would you like all the main companies to ditch the operatic market all together and keep releasing DVDs with Andrea Bocelli, Katherine Jenkins, Paul Potts, and the likes of Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, etc?

    We need to keep the companies that do classical music and opera in business.

    Well, you can't be the only exception, but do you seriously think that having a complete video of an existing commercial product available for free on YouTube as a rule helps the company? Of course it doesn't. Many more will go for the free ride and ditch the purchase of the commercial product, as compared to the few who will do what you do.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Well, you can't be the only exception, but do you seriously think that having a complete video of an existing commercial product available for free on YouTube as a rule helps the company? Of course it doesn't. Many more will go for the free ride and ditch the purchase of the commercial product, as compared to the few who will do what you do.
    I wonder, though. We're not talking about fourteen year olds listening to their favorite pop songs. I would think the person cultured and devoted enough to watch an entire opera on YouTube might be a good deal more likely (and financially able) to purchase the DVD.

    I don't have any statistics on this, though, so take it as pure speculation.

  19. #15
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    So for instance if I see a production of a commercial DVD on YouTube (say the recent Bayreuth Lohengrin) and decide that I'm not going to buy it because it's daft (and I wasn't considering spending my hard earned money on it anyway because I knew it was going to be daft), but fall in love with the tenor and proceed to buy three CDs and one DVD with him in it, how is that depriving the record companies of their profits?

    I know you say I am an exception but I can't be the only one (Nat panics that she is the only one with OCDVDCS)

    (Obsessive Compulsive DVD Collecting Syndrome)
    You're not the only one.

    In my opinion, most opera lovers don't want to watch full length opera on YouTubes instead of on Blu-ray or DVD. We want good quality sound and picture & we don't get that on YouTube.

    My internet speed is poor so I can never watch a whole opera on YouTube anyway. But I've lost count of the times I've watched a clip & then bought the DVD.

    Also, within the last couple of years, ROH performances of Don Carlo, Simon Boccanegra & Tosca have been broadcast on terrestrial TV in the UK. I've watched them on TV & recorded them, I've watched them while they were briefly on YouTube and have still bought/will still buy the DVD.
    "The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland."
    Lucy Maud Montgomery

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