It turns out we’re going to pay for music one way or another. We have been circumventing paying for music for years. Napster, torrents, Youtube – they all provide free music. How are we paying for it? Well, it’s not the record companies coming after us. In fact, it’s the environment.
The carbon footprint created by the electricity consumed by streaming music online is actually larger than the production and distribution of CDs. It may seem hard to believe that a CD, its packaging, transporting, production, everything, is better for the environment than playing the album on Youtube. Believe it! Youtube will soon consume 1% of the world’s electricity supply.
A little perspective on that percentage: total file-sharing consumes more that four times the amount of electricity used by UK households.
I get called a hippy by some of my friends, in part because I still buy CDs. Who knew I was so eco-conscious? Buying CDs is not the answer, though. Companies such as MusicTank – a network group for the music industry – are working on one; we’ll just have to wait for it.