How to be happy paying for stuff

Does anyone think there is a stigma attached to actually paying for something these days? I think there is. I also think we are in a transition period. Because people have been forced to buy things at prices arbitrarily set by the maker/distribitor, it became a huge game to try to “find a better price.” To be able to steal it or get things free, feels very liberating, very empowering to many people. It is a way of asserting yourself against the big power structure.

Inspired by a discussion over at JetSetShow, asking How will producers and studios get paid?. Here’s a snapshot:

Kyle said:

bq. Zadi brought up a fairly common question in her response to Steve’s question about THE CODE, and I don’t really think it truly belongs there, in a response. It really belongs to be a centerpiece topic, one that can’t be shirked away from, one that really has good minds attacking it. That question: “how do producers and studios make money if people can just ‘take’ it without paying”? There’s an inherent assumption in this question: it assumes that people will simply “take” it if they can take it without paying for it.

Rick Rey said:

bq. Cut out the middle men and create a system where artists can easily produce and distribute their own material. Educate artists before they sign deals and make it big.

I think as more people become creators and not just consumers, and as ugc competes with msm, each side gets insight into each other’s challenges. Sitting on the sidelines are the consumers (which we are all a member of, depending on the situation). Being able to “walk a mile in each others’ shoes” is incredibly valuable in mediating the hostility that has developed where companies resent and don’t understand their customers and customers resent and rebel against the manufacturers.

It’s why companies who blog and tell their side of the story, can only help themselves. Information. It’s power. If people understand that you put that door on the right instead of the left for these 5 reasons, they will be much more willing to adjust to the change than if you just impose it on them. Better still, if you can set it up for them to choose whether they have the door on the left or the right, you’ve just made a better product and a better sales transaction!

Organizations like the RIAA still won’t cop to the fact they have problems inside (be it processes, excessive executive pay, poor treatment of artists, etc.) and they still don’t grok the deep resentment their customers have for them. Fighting a legal-eze nitpick battle is only inspiring more people to steal music, as that is the easiest, fastest way to vote for disapproval of the RIAA practices.

I believe in time, once we get over the initial “high” of “free” that people will want to pay for (aka support) people and things they love. But it will be a much more organic, case-specific transaction based on so many factors – how much you like/love something, how much discretionary $ you think you have, and a whole slew of other more subtle factors. When we can give and receive in a genuine flow of energy, (as happens on twitter for example, with ideas) it will be an “enriching” experience for both of us as you share your music with my wallet.

It’s just gonna take some time, that’s all. What is brewing now is a wonderfully exciting mix of rebel behavior, do-it-yourself creators, curious, even ravenous consumers, and a bunch of geeks building stuff to enable it all to happen. How cool is that?

Any bets on when this will go from Roxy’s idealistic brain into a SOP in the marketplace?

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