'Music industry has taken a shortsighted approach to piracy' - Moby

Tom Pakinkis

Moby has added to debates surrounding piracy, streaming services and artist payments in a digital world, urging musicians, labels and managers to focus on great music first.

Moby himself has given BitTorrent the stems to his most recent album Innocents so that they could be downloaded by fans to make their own mixes and remixes.

“For any person to make the effort to listen to something that I have done is so flattering. It’s such a compliment,” he told Music Ally when asked about the range of digital distribution channels available today and whether artists are being properly remunerated. “I can’t really be worked up about how they are listening to it. For me the focus is on the music itself and the relationship that the listener might have to the music.

“If every musician, label and manager really focused on making the best possible music that they could and doing whatever they could to really focus on and enhance the relationship with the listener, the rest would probably take care of itself.

“For the past 15 years or so, the major labels have been incredibly bent out of shape about piracy and they haven’t accomplished anything,” he added when asked about his stance on piracy. “For the most interesting music companies and musicians it seems like their focus is making music that they really love and then they put it out to the world and see what happens.

“A major label’s criteria for evaluating things are certainly a lot different from mine. I don’t want to criticise or judge too harshly their perspective, but at some point there has to be an empirical look at the effectiveness of their approach. What the major labels hopefully learned a while ago is that punishing listeners is not the way to go.

When asked about when the solution offered by streaming platforms of creating legal services providing a better experience than piracy, Moby argued, “If a musician makes a beautiful piece of music, someone will want to listen to it. Over time an audience will develop who might have stolen the first couple of songs or first couple of albums but they might be willing to, down the road, buy merchandise, buy access to live concerts or go to live concerts.

“I feel like the music business hasn’t benefitted from taking a fairly shortsighted view to piracy in the here and now compared to a much happier and rosier long-term picture.

“I understand that a lot of these companies are beholden to shareholders and quarterly results but I feel there has to be a better and more effective way to see things in the boarder long term rather than in the narrower short term.”


Tags: Piracy, streaming, Moby

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