SXSW 2017: Is a Mega Artist Going to Stand Up For Hi-Rez Music?
The panel also examined the issue of people actually paying for high-resolution tracks as opposed to buying or stealing MP3s. Questions were posed about why music fans will pay exorbitant fees for concert tickets yet will balk at paying slightly more for much better sound. Another audience member asked why record labels don't just eat the cost of taking down the MP3s they have for sale across their entire catalog and put up high-resolution tracks of the same material instead? However, another audience member wondered aloud if anyone in the audience could even tell the difference between a well-mastered 16-bit audio file and a well-mastered 24-bit audio file? And of course one gloom purveyor was sure none of this mattered if you listened to your music through Beats headphones.
While everyone agreed that although Pono's timing was bad, it was still a valiant effort that pointed the music industry as a whole in the direction of higher-resolution music.
But by the hour's end, the panel, led by Peter Downton of 7digital and Lisa Sullivan of MQA Ltd., still wondered aloud whether any artists would stand up and shout "Hi-Rez" and lead this much-needed campaign?