Fred Wilson is a well known VC.
With investments in Twitter, Foursquare, Zynga, etc. — he is the real deal.
He’s also a passionate music fan, who recently has been obsessively playing the new The Streets album Computers and Blues.
And today Fred explained why he was forced to become a music pirate.
I like to buy music. I buy it from emusic (where I pay $23/month for use it or lose it credits for music downloads), Amazon, and when in a pinch, iTunes. I also have two Rhapsody music subscriptions that cost an additional $20/month. My kids also regularly spend money on iTunes for music (often for tracks we already own somewhere else in the house). I suspect between all of this, our family spends well over $1000/year on mp3s, probably closer to $2000/year.
And yet, today I find myself pirating an album on the Internet. I thought I’d outline how this happened to showcase what a fucked up system we have for content sales on the web.
This is fucked up. I want to pay for music. I value the content. But selling it to some people in some countries and not selling it to others is messed up. And selling it in CD only format is messed up. And posting the entire record on the web for streaming without making the content available for purchase is messed up.
I don’t know whose idea this is of the way to market a record but I’m hoping they read this and never do this to a fan again. Fans love music. They want to support the musicians and they want to pay for music. But if you put enough hurdles in front of them, they will become pirates. As I did this morning.
When The Streets and their record label choose to make the Computer and Blues mp3s available for purchase in the US, I will go buy the record legally. Until then, I’m a pirate.
Final Take: I just spent 30 minutes trying to figure out when The Streets album was coming out digitally in the U.S.
I couldn’t come close. 3o minutes. Look, I’m not saying that a botched roll-out of a cult farewell album is driving huge piracy problems. But I am saying — this kind of stuff is stupid, and the music industry just can’t afford it. Computers and Blues indeed.