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October 3, 2005
Music (Download) Money Muddle
A story in the Reg shows just how muddled up the thinking is around downloaded music and pricing.
Apparently, the standard (ie iTunes) price for a single in the UK is 79p. Out of this, performers get 4.5p. Now the Music Managers Forum, a trade body of artists' representatives, are upset. Why are they upset? Let's see.
This rate is half what artists were getting from CD singles (physical). Has anyone informed these people that the Cartel has been working to kill off the CD single since... oh, 1997 or so? I wouldn't be the first to suggest that the death of this format was a major spur to the upswing in music trading that happened around that time. So if you're making less money now than on a dead format that is iTunes' problem precisely how?
Also, "an artist needs to sell in excess of 1.5m units before they can show a profit." Well, let's see. Who was it put the artists into this forced indentiture where they have to pay up front for production time, tour costs, etc? That would once again be the Cartel. Last time I looked, iTunes wasn't dictating the terms of artists' contracts.
Jazz Summers, MMF chairman further complains that recording companies had been "caught with their pants down" by the legal download services. Hello? What universe do you live in? Caught with their pants down, five years after Napster blew their business model to smithereens? Three years after miserable failures on the part of various Cartel-sponsored and -approved download services? If anyone was caught with his pants down in that situation he's incompetent and should join Michael Brown on the unemployment line for clueless gits.
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