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The Case For Paying For Content

Sometimes 'free' really isn't free, especially if you're seeking quality
Data center (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Data center (Photo credit: Courtesy)

When is the last time you bought a cd? A dvd? Who was president then?

The mp3, torrents and filesharing have shattered the music, film and TV industries and there’s no going back. I’m the only one of my friends who still enjoys the thrill of buying cds at music stores and I’ll never stop.

It’s Only Torrent Wasteland!

Downloading content onto your laptop is just too easy. Let’s admit it – unless you live in a cave, you’ve downloaded pirated content and probably still do. Shutting down filesharing sites is an endless game that will never succeed. We can’t turn back the clock.

Concert tickets cost $100?! That’s ridiculous! Musicians have no choice – only a few of us still buy their cds. Raise your hand if you buy songs on iTunes and other legit sites? I see a few hands up.

Culture Ain’t Free

Artists, musicians and actors really do work. How can they afford rehab if we don’t open our wallets?! The arts shouldn’t be free. By buying music and movies, you are participating in the arts. I appreciate the paintings I have at home – I’m glad I paid for them.

We live in a freeloader culture. Everyone expects content to be free – and for a good reason. This article and almost every piece of content that you read is free. Who pays for news these days? How many of your friends have a paid subscription to the New York Times, Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal? Unless you’re an investor or financial advisor, the answer is “none of the above.”

Quality Counts

You probably listen to YouTube clips on your laptop. You’re doing it all wrong! You’re missing the beauty of the sound. I evolved into an audiophile. Bad sound hurts my ears. Like a song? Forget the mp3 – it’s “lossy” (compressed music). Try the lossless version of a cd and appreciate the sound that no mp3 can reproduce.

I don’t own the world’s most expensive stereo, but I have a damn good one. The sound is a thousand times better than what my laptop will ever be capable of reproducing. Mp3s compress the guitars and drums. There’s a whole lot of depth you’re missing when you listen to 128k mp3s.

The Who’s Baba O’Riley sounds flat on mp3. On a stereo, it comes to life. Same goes for Earth, Wind & Fire’s song September and everything Stan Getz ever played. Listen to The Girl From Ipanema on cd — skip the free and lossy mp3 version. Even minimalist music sounds better on a lossless cd than on mp3.

I take content seriously. I crave quality. I enjoy reading the booklet that comes with the cd and dvd.

The Real ROI for Paying for Content

Good content inspires me. I listen to a lot of music on weekends and come to work ready to give everything I’ve got. Bad sounding music isn’t as inspiring as quality sound and video. I get a huge ROI by listening to music on 5.1 surround sound. You get what you pay for! Invest it content – for your own good!!

About the Author
Kenny Sahr is a startup marketing executive. His first startup, founded in 1996, was featured in Time Magazine and on 60 Minutes. Kenny moved to Israel from Miami, Florida. In his spare time, he is an avid music collector and traveler.
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