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mdntcallr
Nov 9, 2006, 11:02 AM
Microsoft is trying to change the portable music player market. With Xbox and xBox 360, they have lost 4 billion dollars. Now they plan on not only losing money with each unit sold of Zune, but they want to make it industry standard to pay a royalty to record labels for each unit sold. Weird... but you know this strategy is decidely to try and make apple pay money for the ipods. thus raising their costs. and our price to buy the players.

Microsoft is devious!!! and decidedly evil. wish they would just let apple be.

They may want to justify this as labels have been paid money by Sirius and XM for some players which can save content for later play. ie their ipod like models. but this was hardly a call for industry wide payments. the only reason why they are doing this is to try and sabotage apple's most successful product line for growth. (aside from laptops, but they sell more of these cause ipods are driving attention)
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Universal Music Group has opened yet another revenue stream, and this one’s a biggie, as Microsoft agrees to pay UMG an undisclosed fee for every Zune player sold. The two companies made the joint announcement this morning. This fee is in addition to the standard payments Microsoft will make to UMG for the sale of its music. The software giant plans to offer a similar arrangement to other major music labels and music publishers.

For perspective, imagine a world in which Apple had paid the majors for every one of the tens of millions of iPods it sold in the last five years. Whoa.

“It’s a major change for the industry,” David Geffen told N.Y. Times reporter Jeff Leeds, who broke the story. “Each of these devices is used to store unpaid-for material. This way, on top of the material people do pay for, the record companies are getting paid on the devices storing the copied music.”

Leeds further noted that UMG had plenty of leverage in the negotiations that resulted in this groundbreaking pact: Microsoft couldn’t launch the device and service without content from the #1 major.

"This agreement with Microsoft around Zune is a significant milestone for our company and our artists," said Morris in a statement. “This move demonstrates there can be a win-win situation where consumers have a great experience while labels and artists are also fairly compensated. We applaud Microsoft for its innovative and consumer-friendly Zune store and device."

Microsoft Corporate VP of Entertainment & Devices Bryan Lee chimed in: "This is an industry in transition, and we at Zune feel that artists should be paid fairly. The agreement we are announcing today is one of many innovations we plan on introducing to the entertainment industry with our partners and highlights our commitment to growing the digital music space. We believe that the music consumer will appreciate knowing that when they buy a Zune device, they are helping their favorite artists get paid."

The Zune device and online store, which launch next Tuesday (11/14), will include content from all of the Big Four as well as most of the indies.



Queso
Nov 9, 2006, 11:10 AM
Even if it's $10 per Zune, it translates to nothing if the unit does not sell. If Zune fails as we all expect it to, the labels have no more leverage against Apple than they had six months ago.

The writing is on the wall for the major record companies. Artists are selling their music directly from their MySpace sites. They aren't going to be making billions via this route, and if anything they are alienating their customers further with their pronouncements about "not paid for" content.

Blue Velvet
Nov 9, 2006, 11:12 AM
This 'undisclosed' fee is something that Apple apparently drew the line at... but if the labels can get a revenue stream from elsewhere, that doesn't bode well at all.

Personally, I find it outrageous. Especially because my iPod is full of content, every single song paid for. It's like paper manufacturers wanting a cut from ink suppliers...

Loyalizer
Nov 9, 2006, 11:28 AM
This I read today @ macdailynews.com - this can be very disturbing...


Microsoft to pay Universal for every Zune sold

Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 12:24 AM EST



"Microsoft Corp. has agreed to pay Universal Music Group a fee for each new Zune digital music player it sells when the iPod rival launches next week, the companies said on Thursday," Yinka Adegoke reports for Reuters.

"The groundbreaking deal could redefine the digital music business pioneered by Apple Computer Inc.," Adegoke reports. "Microsoft is trying to break into an industry closely aligned with archival Apple, which is credited with nearly single-handedly building the legal Web music world with its iPod players and iTunes music store."

Adegoke reports, "But Apple does not give a cut of sales of iPods to music companies. It only pays labels for songs sold on its iTunes music store."

"'We felt that any business that's built on the bedrock of music we should share in,' said Doug Morris, chief executive of Universal, owned by French media giant Vivendi," Adegoke reports. "He did not disclose the amount of the fee for the Zune, which launches next Tuesday."

"The iPod has a nearly 80 percent share of digital media player sales, and its iTunes music downloads site is also the dominant online music store," Adegoke reports.

Adegoke reports, "Like other record companies, Universal has a revenue-share deal with iTunes but no share of iPod sales. 'We have a current contract with him and at the end of that I'm sure we'll negotiate,' said Morris, whose company accounts for nearly one in three CDs sold in the United States. Morris said the deal could set a precedent in negotiations with other device manufacturers, including mobile phone makers, who are increasingly seeing music as important to the future of their businesses."

MacBoobsPro
Nov 9, 2006, 11:35 AM
Even if it's $10 per Zune, it translates to nothing if the unit does not sell. If Zune fails as we all expect it to, the labels have no more leverage against Apple than they had six months ago.

The writing is on the wall for the major record companies. Artists are selling their music directly from their MySpace sites. They aren't going to be making billions via this route, and if anything they are alienating their customers further with their pronouncements about "not paid for" content.

Its getting easier and easier to make and distribute music. Soon artists will create there own tracks (on a Mac of course) then create their own website to distribute it. Cutting out the middle man and maximising profits for the artist. Whoever comes up with a consumer DRM system will be a big winner as it will allow these new artists to protect their work while still maximising profits.

Porco
Nov 9, 2006, 11:36 AM
“It’s a major change for the industry,” David Geffen told N.Y. Times reporter Jeff Leeds, who broke the story. “Each of these devices is used to store unpaid-for material. This way, on top of the material people do pay for, the record companies are getting paid on the devices storing the copied music.”

Yes, because I always listen to my CDs at the same time as listening to my MP3s of them. :rolleyes:

They want it both ways, whether they are talking about copying tracks from a CD or pirated downloads.

They say that we are effectively buying a 'license' to play the music on a CD, that we own the physical CD, not the rights to the music. But if that is true, the 'licence' is not a physical thing, and so should be transferable to a copy on an MP3 player. If it's not true then we own the CD including the music and we can do what we like with it anyway. It's just about getting people to pay for the same thing twice.

If he's talking about pirated music, then how do you get the money from people who steal the Zune as well as the music they put on it? It also penalises every person who has never pirated a music track in their lives and encourages the idea that it's perfectly fine to pirate music, after all if that's why they're getting the money what incentive is there to spend an 'undisclosed'[!] portion of the Zune's price on music rather than pirating it instead?

As for Microsoft, why don't they cut the complicated tactics and just give the music companies a big fat pile of cash to dump iTunes!? It wouldn't be too different.

Loyalizer
Nov 9, 2006, 11:37 AM
Microsoft has nothing to lose, they could be giving up insane concessions to music companies to force Apple hand in renegotiations in the future with the music industry. If all the companies demand a cut of every iPod sold then that translates into higher cost for consumers...

This is a competitor to the iPod that must be defeated, Hopefully going down Zune......


This is scary - an odd form of Orwellian economics....

OllyW
Nov 9, 2006, 11:39 AM
Microsoft must be totally desperate to get in with the music companies.



"Microsoft Corp. has agreed to pay Universal Music Group a fee for each new Zune digital music player it sells"



Let's hope they don't need to pay them a lot then. ;)

Queso
Nov 9, 2006, 11:51 AM
Microsoft must be totally desperate to get in with the music companies.
Not going to make one jot of difference unless they also get in with the consumers. Unless Zune takes off, this is just another "iPod killer" rumour that'll come to nothing.

Spanky Deluxe
Nov 9, 2006, 11:52 AM
This doesn't matter. No one's going to buy a Zune anyway. The only companies that will lose out will be Creative and the like who currently offer alternatives to iPods. The small minority that choose to not buy an iPod anyway would consider the Zune. Everyone else will buy an iPod. Because its cool. Microsoft is not cool.

haleyvan
Nov 9, 2006, 12:00 PM
[QUOTE=dynamicv;3036177]Even if it's $10 per Zune, it translates to nothing if the unit does not sell. If Zune fails as we all expect it to, the labels have no more leverage against Apple than they had six months ago.

i thought the zune was supposed to do pretty well. is everyone really expecting it to not sell?

OllyW
Nov 9, 2006, 12:02 PM
Perhaps Apple can get the music labels to pay a fee for every CD sold because it's possible they may have used Logic Pro in the studio during the recording of the music.

Queso
Nov 9, 2006, 12:05 PM
i thought the zune was supposed to do pretty well. is everyone really expecting it to not sell?
Most people I speak to haven't even heard of it. When they go look on the web, they all pretty much say the same thing.

"I'll stick with the iPod."

Toe
Nov 9, 2006, 12:06 PM
"We feel that everyone should give us money for everything, and that we shouldn't have to do anything in return."

Typical music industry rep. It's almost enough to make me want to steal music. The friggin' nerve!

Object-X
Nov 9, 2006, 12:07 PM
"'We felt that any business that's built on the bedrock of music we should share in,' said Doug Morris, chief executive of Universal, owned by French media giant Vivendi," Adegoke reports. "He did not disclose the amount of the fee for the Zune, which launches next Tuesday."

That is such BS! No one in business does this sort of thing without a financial reason. The reason is that by signing more lucurative deals with the music companies Microsoft hopes that it will encourage Music labels to pressure Apple to do likewise thus cutting into their profitability.

Microsoft can't win on innovation, product design, or value, so they will throw money at the problem hoping to hurt their competition and make it easier for them to gain a foothold to sell their crap.

This has nothing to do with music, and everything to do with the threat OS X is to Windows. Apple's resurragance is being fueled by the success of the iPod, hurt that and you cripple it's halo affect. The problem is that it may already be too late. Apple's market share will soon cross double digits, Vista will be a failure, and the demise of Microsoft will be more openly discussed.

emotion
Nov 9, 2006, 12:09 PM
Personally, I find it outrageous. Especially because my iPod is full of content, every single song paid for.

Yeah, all my music is payed for. Absolutely nothing is ripped off.

If this becomes the standard I'd consider it my right to rip off music from any of the companies (Universal etc etc) that get this cut. It's only fair no?

robbyx
Nov 9, 2006, 12:12 PM
“It’s a major change for the industry,” David Geffen told N.Y. Times reporter Jeff Leeds, who broke the story. “Each of these devices is used to store unpaid-for material. This way, on top of the material people do pay for, the record companies are getting paid on the devices storing the copied music.”

Is this for real? So now the music industry automatically assumes that everyone is a criminal? I buy *ALL* of my CDs. But with an attitude like this, why should I?

What's next? Does the music industry get paid for every CD player sold, every radio, every hard drive (after all, they store music too)? Where does this stop? I applaud Apple's resistance to these heavy-handed tactics. This is one more reason Zune deserves to fail miserably.

interlard
Nov 9, 2006, 12:15 PM
I've been buying plenty of CDs and iTunes songs, but if the big record corporations threaten Apple with this crap... and win, I will seriously consider not buying any more music.

If the companies feel they are getting their money from an iPod tax so be it. Consider yourselves paid. Now go out and find another job, 'cos that's all you're getting.

It's just the bands I feel bad for. I'll just have to buy their t-shirts. I know they get a share of that money.

jettredmont
Nov 9, 2006, 12:15 PM
Here's the deal. You're a convicted monopolist sitting on hundreds of billions of dollars in cash. Your competition is either nearing bankruptcy or, at best, has tens of billions of dollars to support themselves. How can you use the cash advantage to support your new music player?

Use the cash to subsidize your music player, selling it for, say, $100 instead of $250? First, you'll run afoul of "dumping" charges given the presence of equivalent devices already in the market at the non-dumped price; you can provide better features at the same price sold at a loss, but not for a significantly undercut price. Second, though, you will have a devil of a time ever making money from the device; once the competition dies off, you won't be able to raise prices without class action lawsuits. Still, you could stagnate the technology at that point until the cost of producing the device comes down to the price you are selling it, but that's an iffy proposition. You can go this route, but there are limits. Sell the device which costs you $400 per unit for $250. That's about it.

Use the cash to bribe record companies to not use a competitor's product. This would get you, pretty quickly, into legal troubles. Still, again, you can do it, just not to a huge extent. The main thing you need is a good cover.

Cover? Did we say cover? How about this: since our new device is useless without music, we'll give a small "fee" to the music producers of the world out of the goodness of our hearts!

Voila! A way to use mountains of cash to purchase market favorability without directly running afoul of corporate governance laws!

Queso
Nov 9, 2006, 12:16 PM
What's next? Does the music industry get paid for every CD player sold, every radio, every hard drive (after all, they store music too)?
Exactly what they want. Easy income whilst putting out the same commercialised repetitive ***** that nobody wants to buy.

narco
Nov 9, 2006, 12:16 PM
Maybe Microsoft had to pay the fee because of their Wireless song swapping capabilities? That seems like the easiest way to pirate music (speaking of non-DRM files, of course). Either that, or Microsoft is trying to buddy up with the labels so that they can cut better/exclusive deals. Again, Microsoft isn't innovating, they're just using their money to buy popularity. Totally lame.

Fishes,
narco.

BoyBach
Nov 9, 2006, 12:16 PM
Yeah, all my music is payed for. Absolutely nothing is ripped off.

If this becomes the standard I'd consider it my right to rip off music from any of the companies (Universal etc etc) that get this cut. It's only fair no?


I have over 4,500 songs in iTunes, all ripped from my own CD collection or bought from the iTunes Store. If these music companies continue with their current attitude then I'm with you.

It will be: Bit Torrent here I come = no money for the music companies from me.

balamw
Nov 9, 2006, 12:16 PM
Apple could always make a deal with the labels like the one they made with Creative.

In this case it might be: We'll pay you $X per iPod, but if you sell more than Y tracks on iTMS it goes down to $X/2 and if it's 2*Y go jump in a lake you've got an established revenue stream.

B

Toe
Nov 9, 2006, 12:17 PM
Hm, yes... they should get a cut on every set of headphones and speakers too. Oh, and on every car. And every telephone, 'cause who knows... those might carry music too.

I think we'd all be better off if we each just sent $5,000 to the music industry every month.

gregarious119
Nov 9, 2006, 12:17 PM
In other news...Steelcase Corp. will be paying Sony a small fee for every bookcase and hutch sold in the United States.

"Steelcase is honored to be able to store Sony CD's on their shelves. We'll be happy to pay them whatever is necessary for this honor"

On a related note, Pioneer will be paying Arista Records a small fee every time one of their CD players is sold.

yellow
Nov 9, 2006, 12:19 PM
Microsoft is paying extortion money. :rolleyes:

Gizmotoy
Nov 9, 2006, 12:20 PM
“It’s a major change for the industry,” David Geffen told N.Y. Times reporter Jeff Leeds, who broke the story. “Each of these devices is used to store unpaid-for material. This way, on top of the material people do pay for, the record companies are getting paid on the devices storing the copied music.”

If this is true, then at least in the best case those people sued by the RIAA will have another defensive tactic. "I paid to have these songs when I bought my player" would be nice. Of course, if you get your music legally you should be owed a refund, but that'd never happen. Overall a stupid move my MS that may pose a problem for other players in the future. They just effectively unraveled the RIO case-law. Nice job guys!

Ryanr14
Nov 9, 2006, 12:21 PM
Perhaps Apple can get the music labels to pay a fee for every CD sold because it's possible they may have used Logic Pro in the studio during the recording of the music.

Makes sense doesn't it?! David Geffen. Then Maybe pay them for using Final Cut to make their music videos... and send some to Adobe for using CS2

tutubibi
Nov 9, 2006, 12:22 PM
If Zune is even somewhat successful, this can get very bad.

It could lead to software style licenses for hardware.
Imagine TV or VCR manufactures paying money to every TV station?
Basically, you will not own your TV, you just purchased license to watch TV. On top of that, "please pay for any content".

scotty321
Nov 9, 2006, 12:23 PM
This is totally unreal & unbelievable.

Just goes to show how evil Microsoft is, and how greedy the record industry is. And how NEITHER of them have the consumers' best interests in mind.

As MacDailyNews said yesterday:

"To share hardware profits with the music labels makes no sense. Did phonograph makers share record player profits with music labels? No. Did Sony share Walkman profits with music labels? No. Do AM/FM radio makers share profits with music labels? No. Do TV makers share profits with TV networks and producers? No."

Maestro64
Nov 9, 2006, 12:23 PM
So M$ is paying one label some amount of money for every units sold. How long does it take for the other labels to come to the table with their hands out too.

If M$ think this is going to work they will have to pay every label a cut otherwise it will not work. Think about the negotiations, your Label A and you just found out Label B gets more than you. before you know it M$ is paying everyone money and not making a thing.

Maestro64
Nov 9, 2006, 12:25 PM
If Zune is even somewhat successful, this can get very bad.

It could lead to software style licenses for hardware.
Imagine TV or VCR manufactures paying money to every TV station?
Basically, you will not own your TV, you just purchased license to watch TV. On top of that, "please pay for any content".

I think the UK use to do that, I beleive people in the UK had to have, I think, an antenna license to watch TV

Ja Di ksw
Nov 9, 2006, 12:29 PM
This is unbelievable. As others have said, should they now get a cut of every radio sold? What about tv? Do the cable companies get a cut of every tv sold? You know, come to think of it, my lamps, tv's, refrigerator, etc, would be useless without electricity. Maybe the electrical companies should get a cut for every item I buy that I can plug into the wall.

If this tactic becomes common place, I will stop buying (you hear that Universal? People BUY music) songs and instead download them.

hob
Nov 9, 2006, 12:29 PM
I think the UK use to do that, I beleive people in the UK had to have, I think, an antenna license to watch TV

It's called a TV license. Each year, if you want to have a TV, you have to pay around £120. Most of it goes straight to the BBC.

That being said, we have no advertising on the BBC.

I'd rather pay a tenner a month than have a load of baloney at the start, end and middle of my shows...

It's not really comparable to the Zune situation though - in that record companies are asking for money for nothing...

SRSound
Nov 9, 2006, 12:29 PM
For what it's worth, and as someone in the music industry, let me just try to clarify one thing: From the outside, big labels must seem like corrupt businesses considering the finances involved in making and selling a record. I mean, $50 million to produce and sell a CD? Well the truth is that nearly 90% of all albums produced do not generate enough sales to cover their cost of recording (paying the studio, the session musicians, copyright fees, etc); therefore, it is up to the remaining 10%(ish) to make up for the lost revenue. It is those top few grossing CDs that are relied on to allow the creation of everything else (most likely the music YOU listen to).

Because of piracy, even those top grossing CDs are no longer producing enough revenue to support the vast majority of “small” artists, and so the record labels are forced to cut off the bottom rungs one by one. This, in turn, has caused those lesser known artists to turn to independent and P2P methods of sale, which (in turn) draws even more revenue from the companies.

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Steve Barnett, chairman and CEO of Columbia Records, who acknowledges this very serious problem and desperately seeks change from all parties involved. He explained that back when he was AC/DC’s manager, bands weren’t expected to have a hit record until maybe their 3rd or 4th album. A&R reps would look for bands based on their potential to grow, not their immediate potential to earn profit. However, because record labels can no longer afford to take risks due to low record sales, only those artists who they can guarantee to have a hit record are picked up, and all those potential talents are swept aside. In today’s market, as he explains, little bands like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones never would have made it because no one would have taken a chance on them.

Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today…

Maestro64
Nov 9, 2006, 12:30 PM
As MacDailyNews said yesterday:

"To share hardware profits with the music labels makes no sense. Did phonograph makers share record player profits with music labels? No. Did Sony share Walkman profits with music labels? No. Do AM/FM radio makers share profits with music labels? No. Do TV makers share profits with TV networks and producers? No."

I wouldn't say this did not happen, this concept is not new and has been tried in the past with little success. You know Intel pay Dell money for each processor that goes into a computer and has a Intel inside label on it. So this has been successful

Dan==
Nov 9, 2006, 12:30 PM
... encourages the idea that it's perfectly fine to pirate music, after all if that's why they're getting the money...

It certainly does. This is, I think, a really dangerous thing the music industry is getting into because it legitimizes downloads without purchase. Similar, if I'm not mistaken, to how Canada operates.

Also, Microsoft is paying UMG - what about the rest of the players. Let's see now... $5 for you, ...and oh, $5 for you, and oh, $5 for you, and you, and um, where did my pile of cash go?

MS stands to lose a big chunk of change by allowing this. I'm glad I don't own their stock any more.

apple-science
Nov 9, 2006, 12:30 PM
Just one more (as if you really needed one more) reason to pass on the Zune. It's sad to see Microsoft drop so low (I'm kidding - it's just great).

QCassidy352
Nov 9, 2006, 12:31 PM
"We feel that everyone should give us money for everything, and that we shouldn't have to do anything in return."

Typical music industry rep. It's almost enough to make me want to steal music. The friggin' nerve!

My thoughts exactly. These people remind me of James Taggart and Orren Boyle from "Atlas Shrugged." They think that whenever someone else comes up with a good idea, they deserve a cut of that idea despite doing nothing whatsoever to earn it. I hope every major record label goes under and a direct-distribution music industry arises - these guys deserve it.

robbyx
Nov 9, 2006, 12:31 PM
Tell Universal what you think: communications@umusic.com

Not that it will do much good, but the more negative reaction they get from this move, the better. I told them I was digusted by their labeling me a criminal and that I would no longer buy any of their music.

I'm really over corporate greed. We talk about how it needs to change, yet every day there's another example of a company getting greedier - and no one does anything.

This has nothing to do with Zune or M$ in my mind. It's about using "fairness to the artist" as a cover for yet another cash grab by the industry. I used to champion the idea of buying CDs because it is the "right" thing to do. Now I'm no longer certain. Why respect someone (or some company) that does not respect me?

Sorry artists, but (once again) you're the losers. :mad:

SRSound
Nov 9, 2006, 12:34 PM
Tell Universal what you think: communications@umusic.com

Not that it will do much good, but the more negative reaction they get from this move, the better. I told them I was digusted by their labeling me a criminal and that I would no longer buy any of their music.

I'm really over corporate greed. We talk about how it needs to change, yet every day there's another example of a company getting greedier - and no one does anything.

This has nothing to do with Zune or M$ in my mind. It's about using "fairness to the artist" as a cover for yet another cash grab by the industry. I used to champion the idea of buying CDs because it is the "right" thing to do. Now I'm no longer certain. Why respect someone (or some company) that does not respect me?

Sorry artists, but (once again) you're the losers. :mad:

Read my post ^

BoyBach
Nov 9, 2006, 12:35 PM
For what it's worth, and as someone in the music industry, let me just try to clarify one thing: From the outside, big labels must seem like corrupt businesses considering the finances involved in making and selling a record. I mean, $50 million to produce and sell a CD? Well the truth is that nearly 90% of all albums produced do not generate enough sales to cover their cost of recording (paying the studio, the session musicians, copyright fees, etc); therefore, it is up to the remaining 10%(ish) to make up for the lost revenue. It is those top few grossing CDs that are relied on to allow the creation of everything else (most likely the music YOU listen to).

Because of piracy, even those top grossing CDs are no longer producing enough revenue to support the vast majority of “small” artists, and so the record labels are forced to cut off the bottom rungs one by one. This, in turn, has caused those lesser known artists to turn to independent and P2P methods of sale, which (in turn) draws even more revenue from the companies.

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Steve Barnett, chairman and CEO of Columbia Records, who acknowledges this very serious problem and desperately seeks change from all parties involved. He explained that back when he was AC/DC’s manager, bands weren’t expected to have a hit record until maybe their 3rd or 4th album. A&R reps would look for bands based on their potential to grow, not their immediate potential to earn profit. However, because record labels can no longer afford to take risks due to low record sales, only those artists who they can guarantee to have a hit record are picked up, and all those potential talents are swept aside. In today’s market, as he explains, little bands like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones never would have made it because no one would have taken a chance on them.

Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today…


Well boo-hoo to the record companies. If it cost's so much to record, manufacture and market these CD's then that's their problem.

They should try signing the 'new' Led Zeppelins, Rolling Stones and AC/DC's who will produce music that will sell consistently over decades, instead of the crap that gets released today and is forgotten tomorrow.

Maestro64
Nov 9, 2006, 12:35 PM
This is unbelievable. As others have said, should they now get a cut of every radio sold? What about tv? Do the cable companies get a cut of every tv sold? You know, come to think of it, my lamps, tv's, refrigerator, etc, would be useless without electricity. Maybe the electrical companies should get a cut for every item I buy that I can plug into the wall.

Trust me you would be surprise who all gets a cut of things you buy especially when one thing depends on another thing work. Hell, your local government gets a cut of your cable bill every month. Thus, the reason I have Directv, since no one gets a cut of what I watch. Local governments hates DirectV and tries to pass laws to keep the dish off the house so they can get the cut from the cable company.

AoWolf
Nov 9, 2006, 12:38 PM
Few and far are greedier industries than music. As disgusting as this is it doesn't come as a shock.

robbyx
Nov 9, 2006, 12:38 PM
For what it's worth, and as someone in the music industry, let me just try to clarify one thing: From the outside, big labels must seem like corrupt businesses considering the finances involved in making and selling a record.

They aren't corrupt. They are just pathetically greedy. Your argument is a sound one. It's the one I've often used when urging my friends to buy music, not download it. However, this move by UMG has nothing to do with fairness. It's transperantly greedy and has so totally turned me off that I don't think I'll have any trouble stealing music in the future. Not from indies, but certainly from UMG (and any other label stupid enough to make a deal like this).

The problem the music industry has is that they do not control the format. If they were smart, they would have hired a team of programmers five years ago instead of whining and griping and suing kids, and developed their own DRM system. That way anyone making a device would have to agree to use their DRM technology in order to sell content. After all, it's the content people want. The iPod is pretty much useless without the music...

But they have no vision. Just greed, greed, greed.

mmmcheese
Nov 9, 2006, 12:40 PM
Ah yes...David Geffen...the same guy that sued Neil Young because he released an album that didn't sounds like "typical Neil Young."

briantology
Nov 9, 2006, 12:41 PM
Perhaps Apple can get the music labels to pay a fee for every CD sold because it's possible they may have used Logic Pro in the studio during the recording of the music.

Indeed. In almost EVERY 'making of the album' DVD I watch from the bands I listen to, I can always spot out the Apple gear... and there's a lot of it.

bartelby
Nov 9, 2006, 12:42 PM
Well boo-hoo to the record companies. If it cost's so much to record, manufacture and market these CD's then that's their problem.

They should try signing the 'new' Led Zeppelins, Rolling Stones and AC/DC's who will produce music that will sell consistently over decades, instead of the crap that gets released today and is forgotten tomorrow.

Maybe they could cut back on the huge amount of money they spend on hyping the crap too!

mcdermd
Nov 9, 2006, 12:43 PM
It will be: Bit Torrent here I come = no money for the music companies from me.

Do it legally - buy used CDs.

thejadedmonkey
Nov 9, 2006, 12:43 PM
Since Universal would be getting a cut, does this mean that I can download Universal's music off of torrent sites and limewire legally if I own a Zune?

jettredmont
Nov 9, 2006, 12:45 PM
Maybe Microsoft had to pay the fee because of their Wireless song swapping capabilities? That seems like the easiest way to pirate music (speaking of non-DRM files, of course). Either that, or Microsoft is trying to buddy up with the labels so that they can cut better/exclusive deals. Again, Microsoft isn't innovating, they're just using their money to buy popularity. Totally lame.

Fishes,
narco.

ANY song "squirted" to someone else via wireless gets the 3-play/3-day DRM wrapper added to it. You can't even share that crappy GarageBand track you threw together.

So, while this may be the "reason" for the bribe, it's not the reason.

cecildk9999
Nov 9, 2006, 12:47 PM
Not trying to be redundant, but the only way for this initiative to really work is if M$ can market the Zune (imagine them trying to do an 'iPod' style commercial --a la the latest Nano-- with a brown Zune). In the end, market trends are going to be driven by sales; Universal can tell Apple that they want a cut of iPod sales in renegotiating their contract, but they lose bigger if Apple says no (and at this point, pulling content from the iTMS makes people angry at the label, not the retailer). Money is really Microsoft's only leverage tool at this point, and unless they start handing out $250 rebate checks to buyers, I can't see the MS music initiative really taking off.

SRSound
Nov 9, 2006, 12:48 PM
Well boo-hoo to the record companies. If it cost's so much to record, manufacture and market these CD's then that's their problem.

They should try signing the 'new' Led Zeppelins, Rolling Stones and AC/DC's who will produce music that will sell consistently over decades, instead of the crap that gets released today and is forgotten tomorrow.

That's the point! The "GOOD" music doesn't appeal to the majority of CD-buyers (physical music consumers). They did try, and failed to get enough interest in people who still know how to play real instruments and sing. Those who buy the most CDs only want to hear Fergie "talk-sing" to regurgitated samples, so that's what the labels are forced to produce. Talk to MTV, VH1 and all of the music advertising companies if you want to change the influence of popular-genre; not the labels.

The problem the music industry has is that they do not control the format. If they were smart, they would have hired a team of programmers five years ago instead of whining and griping and suing kids, and developed their own DRM system. That way anyone making a device would have to agree to use their DRM technology in order to sell content. After all, it's the content people want. The iPod is pretty much useless without the music...

Yeah, if only... But since that didn't happen, they're struggling to keep their heads above water until they do figure out a solution. In fact, Columbia records is recruiting a "task force" of 80 or so of the brightest college students in Business, Law and Music and sending them away for the summer in hopes of devising a solution. If you have any feasible ideas, Barnett & Co would be more then happy to hear them and I would gladly forward them to him...

gekko513
Nov 9, 2006, 12:49 PM
Most people I speak to haven't even heard of it. When they go look on the web, they all pretty much say the same thing.

"I'll stick with the iPod."

That's now, but advertising can change a lot. I have no doubt that Microsoft will use gazzilions to promote this thing.

Play Ultimate
Nov 9, 2006, 12:50 PM
Silly me for thinking that the reason for MP3 players, CD players, etc was to provide a way for people to listen to music. And thus maybe BUY music. It seems that without these players, there would be no music industry. :confused:

Further, I could see Apple, at this point in time, cutting off the major labels if they tried to push this type of arrangement. Apple could probably work directly with artists and open up their own music label, provided they sign a deal first with Apple Music. :rolleyes:

tripleanica
Nov 9, 2006, 12:51 PM
i have my own label, i think microsoft, apple, and sony should pay me 1% on every zune, ipod, or walkman sold. i'm sure someone's going to illegally download the music on my label. :rolleyes:

bartelby
Nov 9, 2006, 12:51 PM
That's the point! The "GOOD" music doesn't appeal to the majority of CD-buyers (physical music consumers). They did try, and failed to get enough interest in people who still know how to play real instruments and sing. Those who buy the most CDs only want to hear Fergie "talk-sing" to regurgitated samples, so that's what the labels are forced to produce. Talk to MTV, VH1 and all of the music advertising companies if you want to change the influence of popular-genre; not the labels.

I think the record labels have forced this situation on themselves! They went for the fast buck in the 80s but unfortunately they can't find they way out. Spending millions on promoting one hit wonders isn't good business sense. No wonder ****** all artists make the money back!

andiwm2003
Nov 9, 2006, 12:51 PM
For what it's worth, and as someone in the music industry, let me just try to clarify one thing: From the outside, big labels must seem like corrupt businesses considering the finances involved in making and selling a record. I mean, $50 million to produce and sell a CD? Well the truth is that nearly 90% of all albums produced do not generate enough sales to cover their cost of recording (paying the studio, the session musicians, copyright fees, etc); therefore, it is up to the remaining 10%(ish) to make up for the lost revenue. It is those top few grossing CDs that are relied on to allow the creation of everything else (most likely the music YOU listen to).

Because of piracy, even those top grossing CDs are no longer producing enough revenue to support the vast majority of “small” artists, and so the record labels are forced to cut off the bottom rungs one by one. This, in turn, has caused those lesser known artists to turn to independent and P2P methods of sale, which (in turn) draws even more revenue from the companies.

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Steve Barnett, chairman and CEO of Columbia Records, who acknowledges this very serious problem and desperately seeks change from all parties involved. He explained that back when he was AC/DC’s manager, bands weren’t expected to have a hit record until maybe their 3rd or 4th album. A&R reps would look for bands based on their potential to grow, not their immediate potential to earn profit. However, because record labels can no longer afford to take risks due to low record sales, only those artists who they can guarantee to have a hit record are picked up, and all those potential talents are swept aside. In today’s market, as he explains, little bands like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones never would have made it because no one would have taken a chance on them.

Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today…


so the music industry is not profitable enough. then they should do what all other companies do: cut costs, reduce salaries and bonusses, lay off people, focus on profitable business oppurtunities, restructure, have less million dollar costing music awards, don't pay the hosts of those awards huge money.....

why should I pay more for my mp3 player? i don't even listen to new music and the little music i listen too i have paid already 10 years ago.:rolleyes:

and those small independent artists will have to find a way to publish their music like any other small business owner. why should I pay for them?

tennisbum
Nov 9, 2006, 12:55 PM
Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today…

Think of all those other wonderful artists not picked up by the labels today that we have never heard about because the label has a formula for signing an artist.

As with most industries, times are changing. Companies need to innovate. If the past formula doesn't work for the record labels anymore, perhaps they need to look into who they are signing.

Another analogy for this will be that, on average, today's collegiate athletes are probably as good as most of pro athletes from 20 years ago. Does that mean every collegiate athletes should be signed by the pro teams? Teams make mistakes signing potentials athletes who turned out not producing any results. Yet they move on. If the team is producing result, people come and see the game. If not people don't. Teams (and record labels) need to make smarter decisions on who they pick. There will always be concerns from fans (consumers) about a potential wrong pick. As long as the team (record label) is producing good result, no one will care about a sour pick.

I think mutual fund vs. record label is another good analogy. ;-)

soosy
Nov 9, 2006, 12:56 PM
You'd think that after all these years, the record companies would START to get a clue....

I can just imagine Steve Jobs quoting Napoleon Dynamite while negotiating with the record companies, "Idiots!". Seriously, he's dragging their butts into the digital age and still they just act like greedy children.

iLunar
Nov 9, 2006, 12:59 PM
Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today…

Or, think of all the wonderful artists we NOW hear of thanks to youtube, myspace, P2P clients, etc. The record companies have an outdated business model. It happens in all kinds of industries, and they can fight tooth and nail to try to stay afloat...or they can adapt. Those companies that adapt have better long term success.

Web content is hear to stay, its incorporated in the culture. People now expect video, music, rich media in their web content, and when they don't get it, they'll go elsewhere. The music industry keeps burying their head in the sand saying no no no no no no no, we want to sell CDs! Buy our CDs! But they fail to realize, consumers are now interested in discussion, communities, and active content that CDs don't provide.

The music industry is sinking because they are alienating their core audience of music listeners.

BoyBach
Nov 9, 2006, 01:00 PM
Do it legally - buy used CDs.


Good point!

More like: eBay here I come = no money for the music companies. (But I'll have to use the monstrosity that is Paypal. D'oh! ;) )

Maestro64
Nov 9, 2006, 01:04 PM
Since Universal would be getting a cut, does this mean that I can download Universal's music off of torrent sites and limewire legally if I own a Zune?

I think people are confusing the topic here. It did not say M$ was going to pay Universal money to make up for losses due to pirated music. It a payment to get them to promote their product over anyone elses products.

hamhead
Nov 9, 2006, 01:05 PM
Now I'm no lawyer, but it would seem to me that if they are charging a licence for the player because the player has unlicenced music on it, that would seem to make anything on the player legal because the player would then be licenced. There is no way that Vivendi or anybody else could preemptively charge for potential pirated music and get away with it long term. They could certainly say "we expect a certain number of players will contain unlicensed music, therefore we will make manufacturers bare the burden of those lost licencing fees when they sell the players."

I think if they do this, then in effect the consumer pays for the songs when they buy the player??

Or am I way off.

Rocketman
Nov 9, 2006, 01:05 PM
So now that Microsoft's Zune is DOA based on results and polls, they are simply adding "innovative" policies to try to suck down Apple at minimal additional impact to their bottom line, beyond the huge loses Zune has already promised to generate.

Isn't that "restraint of trade"?

Rocketman

BoyBach
Nov 9, 2006, 01:07 PM
Further, I could see Apple, at this point in time, cutting off the major labels if they tried to push this type of arrangement. Apple could probably work directly with artists and open up their own music label, provided they sign a deal first with Apple Music. :rolleyes:


The only people to make any money then would be the lawyers! Apple Computers vs Apple Corps all over again.

barakthecat
Nov 9, 2006, 01:08 PM
I'd pay an extra $50 for my iPod if it came with a license for every song ever published. Then we can get out of this stupid DRM business, stop paying for the same music in different formats, download in whatever bitrate we want.

Of course the music companies will lose out since I buy way more music than iPods, but hey, they chose their strategy.

On a serious note, this gives MS a very limited window to be successful. If the Zune doesn't pick up significant market share by the next time Apple's contracts with the music companies expires, there will be no leverage to use against Apple in contract re-negotiation, and all MS accomplished was making the Zune a bigger loss than before. Would you rather make 50 cents per song when hundreds of millions of songs are being sold each year ($50 million+), or $5 per unit when you are only selling 2 million units a year (10 million). I don't how they work the song royalties since most Zune users will be subscribers that don't buy music all, but just pay a monthly fee for everything.

End result, unless the Zune is a runaway success, the music companies will not be able to afford to walk away from Apple.

whooleytoo
Nov 9, 2006, 01:12 PM
It's called a TV license. Each year, if you want to have a TV, you have to pay around £120. Most of it goes straight to the BBC.

That being said, we have no advertising on the BBC.

I'd rather pay a tenner a month than have a load of baloney at the start, end and middle of my shows...

In Ireland, they are planning on extending this, so owning any device capable of displaying a "TV" image is liable for a license; including Macs/PCs and even 3G mobile phones.

Queso
Nov 9, 2006, 01:16 PM
Well boo-hoo to the record companies. If it cost's so much to record, manufacture and market these CD's then that's their problem.
That's the great bit, the recording costs all come out of the artist's share. So that's a big chunk of cash they save right there.

Prince had it right when he used to right Slave on his cheek.

emotion
Nov 9, 2006, 01:16 PM
In Ireland, they are planning on extending this, so owning any device capable of displaying a "TV" image is liable for a license; including Macs/PCs and even 3G mobile phones.

The TV license is already required for the above devices if you watching TV on them in the UK. I've just renewed my license and they've changed the wording and even mention PCs explicitly.

jephrey
Nov 9, 2006, 01:32 PM
So try to set precedent on something where precedent has already been set. What will M$ lose per unit if they also have to pay this fee? I find this idiotic, but I wouldn't put it past M$ to agree to it.

J

geerlingguy
Nov 9, 2006, 01:34 PM
Is this for real? So now the music industry automatically assumes that everyone is a criminal? I buy *ALL* of my CDs. But with an attitude like this, why should I?

Agreed. If we are going to pay a 'pirate tax,' and we're all assumed pirates for simply purchasing a music storage device, no one should have to pay for music *from those labels who participate in this practice*.

robbyx
Nov 9, 2006, 01:34 PM
Yeah, if only... But since that didn't happen, they're struggling to keep their heads above water until they do figure out a solution. In fact, Columbia records is recruiting a "task force" of 80 or so of the brightest college students in Business, Law and Music and sending them away for the summer in hopes of devising a solution. If you have any feasible ideas, Barnett & Co would be more then happy to hear them and I would gladly forward them to him...

Business, Law, and Music? What about TECHNOLOGY?!!! The labels just don't get it. The only solution is technology. Here's what they need to:

CONTROL THE FORMAT!!!

The big five need to put their heads together and develop a DRM format. Don't get greedy, but allow anyone --- from the iTunes Music Store to some guy in his basement --- to sell tracks protected by DRM.

Let anyone --- hardware company, software company, content creator ---license the DRM technology for free.

Make the DRM interoperable so that we don't have a player war and so that for once the consumer actually benefits.

By creating a standard format and DRM technology, everyone benefits. I can buy songs online and not worry about whether or not they will play on my iPod as well as my phone or stereo or whatever. I can buy a new device and not worry about losing all of the music I've bought. That's why I still buy CDs. Music from the iTunes Music Store won't play on my SlimDevices SqueezeBox. Too many formats and incompatible products just make consumers angry - and that leads to piracy.

If the industry came up with its own format and said "Apple, Microsoft, Creative...and everyone else out there...if you want to sell music online, you have to implement our format", the tech companies would have no choice but to adopt the format. They'd hate losing control, but what choice would they have? Not sell music? Have no content for their devices?

The industry needs to stop outsourcing bad technology (Sony's copy-protected CDs...ugh!) and start rolling its own. The landscape has changed and, like it or not, content companies are going to HAVE to become tech companies too. Start now, create a fair DRM system shared by all major labels and open to anyone, and give away the DRM technology to anyone wishing to implement it.

But I'm sure all of the Business, Law, and Music wonks will simply suggest more lawsuits, more greedy deals like the one between Micro$oft and UMG, and more hardship for the consumer.

I've been in the tech industry for a long time. I (fondly) remember the days of "cracked" games on my Apple II. The simple fact of the matter is, piracy cannot be stopped. There's always someone who is one step ahead. It's a fruitless battle. So you must make it easier for the consumer to not become a pirate. Apple has done this with the iTMS to a limited degree. However, if the industry truly wants to address this issue, it will innovate, not litigate, it will think outside the box, not make stupid deals like the one between UMG and M$.

The industry needs to work together...or it's Hello BitTorrent!

MrFirework
Nov 9, 2006, 01:36 PM
Does it strike anyone else that M$ just may be the Devil? Maybe?:(

mdntcallr
Nov 9, 2006, 01:38 PM
I'd pay an extra $50 for my iPod if it came with a license for every song ever published. Then we can get out of this stupid DRM business, stop paying for the same music in different formats, download in whatever bitrate we want.

Of course the music companies will lose out since I buy way more music than iPods, but hey, they chose their strategy.

On a serious note, this gives MS a very limited window to be successful. If the Zune doesn't pick up significant market share by the next time Apple's contracts with the music companies expires, there will be no leverage to use against Apple in contract re-negotiation, and all MS accomplished was making the Zune a bigger loss than before. Would you rather make 50 cents per song when hundreds of millions of songs are being sold each year ($50 million+), or $5 per unit when you are only selling 2 million units a year (10 million). I don't how they work the song royalties since most Zune users will be subscribers that don't buy music all, but just pay a monthly fee for everything.

End result, unless the Zune is a runaway success, the music companies will not be able to afford to walk away from Apple.

Microsoft has plenty of a window, they have lost 4 billion dollars on xbox and they continue it.

drlunanerd
Nov 9, 2006, 01:43 PM
This is a load of bollocks.

Microsoft can go **** themselves, along with the major label record companies :mad:

Stridder44
Nov 9, 2006, 01:43 PM
What surprises me is some of you still feel the world is just enough to pay for music. My hatred for the record companies was conceived a long time ago.

I hope they die, but sadly with such talented artists such as K-Fed around they will probably continue to make money.

In any case, here's to Microsoft's death. *cheers*

shamino
Nov 9, 2006, 01:44 PM
Because of piracy, even those top grossing CDs are no longer producing enough revenue to support the vast majority of “small” artists ...
Or so the labels claim. Even though plenty of studies show that piracy has nothing to do with their sales figures. The fact that they don't sell what people want to buy has a lot more to do with their problems. They also have problems from internet-based stores, because these stores don't keep inventories of stuff that doesn't sell. They also have problems from wholesalers (including their own, like the BMG music club) that sell at cut-rate prices, and almost certainly pay less back to the original labels.

But whatever the cause of the supposed losses....
This, in turn, has caused those lesser known artists to turn to independent and P2P methods of sale, which (in turn) draws even more revenue from the companies.
But the music still gets produced and sold. It just doesn't go to Sony. This, I couldn't care less about.
Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today…
We'll hear about them all. We'll just be buying the songs from the band's own web site and iTunes instead of from Sony.

robbyx
Nov 9, 2006, 01:45 PM
End result, unless the Zune is a runaway success, the music companies will not be able to afford to walk away from Apple.

And if it is a runaway success, M$ will screw over the labels the first chance they get, just as they do all of their other "partners."

Jobs has offered a simple and fair, maybe not perfect, solution to the music industry. Unfortunately, the industry is so greedy that it can't see what's happening. Let M$ in and you are doomed. If Zune is a success and somehow manages to displace the iPod, the industry will long for the days of Apple as they pay endless licensing fees so that M$ doesn't turn off the cash flow.

toughboy
Nov 9, 2006, 01:53 PM
Apple is trying to make legal music listening more affordable and they had accomplished that. 99 cents a song is a fair amount and 200 bucks for a moderate iPod is ok. Because Steve knows that if they make it more expensive, people are going to find a way to listen to music at a less charge or even free.

If Zune is gonna be somewhat successful and this **** will make us pay more to our iPods, then people save the money they are paying more by using more Limewire and less iTunes to get their music. People wont purchase less music just because M$ is evil, they will go on using iPods for more money and get their music by pirating..

Nothing good comes from neither frenchs nor M$... :mad: :mad: :mad:

Maccus Aurelius
Nov 9, 2006, 01:58 PM
The industry needs to work together...or it's Hello BitTorrent![/QUOTE]

And I'll bet that Acquisition will STILL link up to iTunes well into 10 or higher.

As for the Zune, that thing was dead to me the moment I heard about it. I doubt it will work on OS X, and I have no intention whatsoever to put windows oh my machine just for a digital music player.

As for a piracy tax, I don't see how that's legal. You can't rightly assume that because you own the device, you'll also have ill-acquired music on it. In my case i will definitely have some illegally downloaded music on it, but it's essentially like the plot to Minority Report, arrest the perpetrator before the crime takes place. That's like fining people who own cars because they have the potential to go speeding.

I won't say officially that the Zune will fail, but this isn't the first Microsoft-built hardware to fail miserably. people may like windows and all, but people who already own ipods will probably never even give the zune a second look unless it really offers something even worth remembering.

Meatball
Nov 9, 2006, 02:02 PM
There's alot more to this than Microsoft wont people to think. Why would a company willingly give away money? They obviously hope UMG will return the favour at some point, money of Zune or download free zune track with every UMG song? Who knows! As people have said, The music industry is in a complete mess at the moment and something needs to be done about it!

aricher
Nov 9, 2006, 02:08 PM
Nothing can change the fact that the Zune is a clunker.
Hmmm - maybe if it came with pre-installed video:
http://static.flickr.com/106/293237792_359442cd12_o.jpg
Mr. Hanky the Christmas Zune.

Meatball
Nov 9, 2006, 02:11 PM
I really don't think the Zune will fail that much, it's got Microsoft behind it and they'll promote it till they die. People who dispise iPods *sticks out tongue at them* will really love the Zune but I think for most people they'll stick with the iPod. Most people know the iPod/iTunes way and if they're happy they wont change :D

MikeTheC
Nov 9, 2006, 02:16 PM
This really reminds me of something they used to say about the F4 Phantom:

"With enough thrust, you can fly a brick."

Microsoft did this with each iteration of the XBox, and now they're going to do it again with the Zune. They will forcibly make their player popular and dry up the market resources that Apple's iPod, and anyone else out there who wants to make their own portable player, depend upon.

In the mean time, Microsoft doesn't even care that they're feeding us, the general public, to the lions and wolves which are the entertainment industry.

One day, you'll have to agree to licensing agreements for everything you want to do. And the culture will get their sense of reality warped to the point where they think this is a good thing.

How dare ANYONE try to make me agree to licensing terms for anything that isn't simply a business-to-business deal or proposition?

SRSound, you want to make it seem like the music industry is innocent of wrong-doing and should be immune to criticism. Yet it's your industry that puts (either directly or by suggestion) filler content on most CDs; recent times notwithstanding, it's a known fact that if you buy a typical 10-14 track CD, only 2-4 of those tracks are going to be any good. The proof of this can even be found in your industry's own promoting activities: If the CD is *full* of good content, how come you folks only seem to get airtime for the couple 2-4 actually good tracks on a given album? Hmm?

And as for trying to say, well, we're taking it in the shorts because of slacking sales, what the hell do you expect? You overcharge us, the general public, for CDs full of mostly garbage, and when the means comes along to allow us to acquire (for free or for a fee) only the content we want, you're actually surprised at this? All those college-graduate people you employ, all those marketing "geniuses", all those great strategists, and you can't see something as blindingly obvious as this?!?

No matter what the truth or the "true reality" is regarding how we, the general public, acquire our entertainment, the bottom line is that your companies are in it *for the money* no matter what, and for no other reason. So if you folks want to keep selling stuff that people don't really want, you have only yourselves to blame when you're left flush with inventory and bereft of sales revenue.

tk421
Nov 9, 2006, 02:20 PM
This is absurd!! I paid for my music already. :mad:

"We felt that any business that's built on the bedrock of music we should share in." But what about those that use iPods primarily for audiobooks? What about podcasts? What about indie music? What about the song I wrote and recorded myself? Does a record label need a cut of that?!?

This makes me so angry. I cannot believe the sheer absurdity of this!

Ja Di ksw
Nov 9, 2006, 02:21 PM
Trust me you would be surprise who all gets a cut of things you buy especially when one thing depends on another thing work. Hell, your local government gets a cut of your cable bill every month. Thus, the reason I have Directv, since no one gets a cut of what I watch. Local governments hates DirectV and tries to pass laws to keep the dish off the house so they can get the cut from the cable company.

I understand people get shares, but to **** extent? Honestly?

mackensteff
Nov 9, 2006, 02:22 PM
"We believe that the music consumer will appreciate knowing that when they buy a Zune device, they are helping their favorite artists get paid."

How much do you think the artist will see from this deal?

None, is my bet!

robbyx
Nov 9, 2006, 02:26 PM
"We believe that the music consumer will appreciate knowing that when they buy a Zune device, they are helping their favorite artists get paid."

How much do you think the artist will see from this deal?

None, is my bet!

Exactly!

And what if my favorite artist is on an indie label? Is M$ planning to pay a fee to every label out there...or just the big bloated UMG?

If people are stupid enough to believe this has ANYTHING to do with the artist, well, they deserve whatever they get.

prady16
Nov 9, 2006, 02:27 PM
This is classic example of grabbing someone afloat to drown with you.
Damn you Microsoft! You and your zune is going to stink, why hurt Apple?
Just coz their iPod costs cheaper to be built than your ugly zune?

Don't know if anyone has read this, but the facts about Zune market place range from Shocking, Surprising to Uggghhh....
Read on...
http://blogs.forbes.com/digitaldownload/2006/11/zune_stinks.html

dr_lha
Nov 9, 2006, 02:28 PM
Shocking, quite shocking. What is Microsoft's reason for doing this other than trying to screw with Apple? From a business standpoint why would you voluntarily give over some of your profits to another company unless you were forced to by law?

I hate the music industry for even suggesting that they have some sort of entitlement on profits from a music player. I'm sure Jobs laughed in their faces when they said this to him.

Music companies need to get back to grass roots, trying to figure out how to sell us music. Here's a hint, stop promoting **** that only appeals to 12-19 year olds. TV and Film companies know that quality sells to the much needed 18-35 market. Its like the music industry is stuck in the "reality TV" type phase right now, i.e. tossing out cheap garbage.

bartelby
Nov 9, 2006, 02:28 PM
How much do you think the artist will see from this deal?



$0.00002

davidee
Nov 9, 2006, 02:29 PM
In today’s market, as he explains, little bands like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones never would have made it because no one would have taken a chance on them.

Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today…

Fine then...Let's set up a contribution network. The artists have accounts created and we post payments _directly to them_. I have several ACDC Albums (yes albums) and CDs, and even some ITMS downloads, so I figure 1$ per album directly to the artist is probably a huge direct percentage...If this really is about the artists then fine...to hell with the record companies, they already got their money from the agreements with $bands.

heyjp
Nov 9, 2006, 02:31 PM
While I am a total proponent of proper reimbursement for use of copyrighted materials, I totally don't believe in a "hardware tax" to the publisher when there are no "rules of engagement."

I am a law abiding ethical citizen that has paid hard cash for all 950 CDs in my collection and ripped onto my iTunes. I also have bought a couple hundred songs from the Apple Music Store. So I despise paying a hardware tax that assumes that I have been or will be playing illegal music.

Such "taxes" have been placed on blank cassette tapes and "Music" CDRs with the assumption that anything you record on it will be copyrighted materials. At least in that case, it is associated with a "fair use right".

In this case, you pay the tax, but you are still not given any new right from Universal Music. Its not like you get X number of songs with the purchase, or the "right" to play non-paid-for music. You just pay the tax.

Define both sides of the model so we get something for what we pay for. Or don't do it.

Jim

prady16
Nov 9, 2006, 02:32 PM
It's like paper manufacturers wanting a cut from ink suppliers...
Excellent analogy!

petej
Nov 9, 2006, 02:35 PM
I can feel an ad campain starting now.
iPod Red -> money to charity
Zune -> money to big business

As someone who has invested a huge sum of money in CD's that I now store on my PC and iPod I really resent this move. SRSound makes a good description of the state of the music industry at the moment. As such it's business model clearly sucks. Let us hope that the time is ripe for the indie labels to come along an get a fair crack of the whip. There is so much good music out there that the industry hides from us. By this I mean the record labels over hyping one or two artists. The radio and TV stations having such a limited playlist that you hear the same drivel every 5 mins, when some muppet isn't spouting a load of crap. The challenge to all is to get more bands / performers into our minds. iTunes and others can help with this. Weekly freedownloads are great but limited to one artist. Previews on iTunes should be full length. I could tolerate a reduction in quality if I could get to hear more of a track before purchase. Radio stations or Podcasts dedicated to genres of music.
And please lets get rid of this over produced music and get to hear something a little closer to what me and me mates could do ourselves.

prady16
Nov 9, 2006, 02:36 PM
Perhaps Apple can get the music labels to pay a fee for every CD sold because it's possible they may have used Logic Pro in the studio during the recording of the music.
Hahahaha....Classic....
This entire concept of giving a cut is ridiculous and does not make economic sense....It is going to go away really soon...

tk421
Nov 9, 2006, 02:43 PM
“It’s a major change for the industry,” David Geffen told N.Y. Times reporter Jeff Leeds, who broke the story. “Each of these devices is used to store unpaid-for material. This way, on top of the material people do pay for, the record companies are getting paid on the devices storing the copied music.”

"This agreement with Microsoft around Zune is a significant milestone for our company and our artists," said Morris in a statement. “This move demonstrates there can be a win-win situation where consumers have a great experience while labels and artists are also fairly compensated. We applaud Microsoft for its innovative and consumer-friendly Zune store and device."

Microsoft Corporate VP of Entertainment & Devices Bryan Lee chimed in: "This is an industry in transition, and we at Zune feel that artists should be paid fairly. The agreement we are announcing today is one of many innovations we plan on introducing to the entertainment industry with our partners and highlights our commitment to growing the digital music space. We believe that the music consumer will appreciate knowing that when they buy a Zune device, they are helping their favorite artists get paid."


It sounds to me like they are saying anyone that buys a digital music player is a thief. They are broadly accusing each of us of stealing from artists. I don't appreciate that, and I think we should all voice our disapproval.

Universal Music Group:
USA (212) 841 8000
France +33 1 44 41 91 91
UK +44 0 20 77 47 4000

feedback_fr@vivendi.com

Phone calls are more effective than email, but feel free to do either.

Tymmz
Nov 9, 2006, 02:44 PM
Nothing can change the fact that the Zune is a clunker.
Hmmm - maybe if it came with pre-installed video:
http://static.flickr.com/106/293237792_359442cd12_o.jpg
Mr. Hanky the Christmas Zune.

excellent!

G.Kirby
Nov 9, 2006, 02:48 PM
How many years have we had the iPod? and this is the Microsofts first dip in the music ocean? Not only has this ship saled but it has been on a round the world cruse, got funky with some plugins, had a few kids, a face lift or two. Saled back to the Zune boat yard laughed, moonied, got funky with more plugins had more kids, grew in inteligence and moved the goalposts again and again and again.

I hear that the Zune2 is to be released around 2012....may be a little later in time to work with Longhorn or whatever they are calling it now. lol :D :p

ready2switch
Nov 9, 2006, 02:53 PM
For what it's worth, and as someone in the music industry, let me just try to clarify one thing: From the outside, big labels must seem like corrupt businesses considering the finances involved in making and selling a record. I mean, $50 million to produce and sell a CD? Well the truth is that nearly 90% of all albums produced do not generate enough sales to cover their cost of recording (paying the studio, the session musicians, copyright fees, etc); therefore, it is up to the remaining 10%(ish) to make up for the lost revenue. It is those top few grossing CDs that are relied on to allow the creation of everything else (most likely the music YOU listen to).

Because of piracy, even those top grossing CDs are no longer producing enough revenue to support the vast majority of “small” artists, and so the record labels are forced to cut off the bottom rungs one by one. This, in turn, has caused those lesser known artists to turn to independent and P2P methods of sale, which (in turn) draws even more revenue from the companies.

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Steve Barnett, chairman and CEO of Columbia Records, who acknowledges this very serious problem and desperately seeks change from all parties involved. He explained that back when he was AC/DC’s manager, bands weren’t expected to have a hit record until maybe their 3rd or 4th album. A&R reps would look for bands based on their potential to grow, not their immediate potential to earn profit. However, because record labels can no longer afford to take risks due to low record sales, only those artists who they can guarantee to have a hit record are picked up, and all those potential talents are swept aside. In today’s market, as he explains, little bands like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones never would have made it because no one would have taken a chance on them.

Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today…

Nice sentiment, and I understand that p2p piracy can play a part in this. Two things, though. First, to outright say that every player contains unpaid-for music is insulting and offensive to those of us who get our music legally. Secondly, with the Zune offering "beaming" or whatever it is for music sharing, how is it that this feature isn't being viewed as piracy? They're the ones allowing p2p sharing and so they're the ones paying the "fee". They didn't raise the price of the Zune, so whoever buys them (who's going to anyway?) won't be paying any more. As for setting a precident, Apple doesn't facilitate p2p sharing and so why should they even consider paying this "fee".

OhEsTen
Nov 9, 2006, 02:55 PM
For what it's worth, and as someone in the music industry, let me just try to clarify one thing: From the outside, big labels must seem like corrupt businesses considering the finances involved in making and selling a record.

After reading your post - I believe you, I'm sure the costs of producing an album are insane, but the music industry is greedy. The problem is the industry is still operating on an "antiquated" business strategy. Back in the 50's & 60's yes, you HAD to have a manager, get signed up with a big label, cut an album, tour and start all over.... I know that studio time can be rediculously expensive... BUT.....

Today is totally different. Bands can do a lot of the "studio work" on their own for a lot less money. That's what has fueled the indy movement.... garage bands that can make an album and sell their own tracks online and pocket their own money.... They don't need to pay huge sums for marketing, since they market through online channels and have access to way more people, and get their sound out to a huge audience....

So the recording industry probably is losing money every year. But high CD prices for years, 13-year- old-suing shananegans, and their attempt to force Apple to raise iTunes prices on tracks that Apple bears all of the distribution costs for - they have dug their own grave and no one cares that big-wig music exes won't be able to get a $400k bonus this year.

All the bands have to do is cut out the labels, and sell directly through iTunes (or their own sites).

Swytch
Nov 9, 2006, 02:56 PM
Microsoft Corporate VP of Entertainment & Devices Bryan Lee chimed in: "This is an industry in transition, and we at Zune feel that artists should be paid fairly. The agreement we are announcing today is one of many innovations we plan on introducing to the entertainment industry with our partners and highlights our commitment to growing the digital music space. We believe that the music consumer will appreciate knowing that when they buy a Zune device, they are helping their favorite artists get paid."

yes artists should be paid fairly, but this fee is not going to mean the artists are paid any more fairly. I would be extremely surprised if any of this fee goes to the artist... The only way for artist to be paid fairly is to eliminate record companies altogether...

CD's and Music downloads are already WAY overpriced due to how greedy record companies are, and all microsoft is doing is allowing them to be even more greedy.

What record companies need to realize is that "pirated music" is FREE ADVERTISING... There have been plenty of times I have downloaded music I would have otherwise never listened to, and went out and bought the CD a few days later cause I liked it so much...

tech4all
Nov 9, 2006, 02:56 PM
I really don't think the Zune will fail that much, it's got Microsoft behind it and they'll promote it till they die. People who dispise iPods *sticks out tongue at them* will really love the Zune but I think for most people they'll stick with the iPod. Most people know the iPod/iTunes way and if they're happy they wont change :D

That's enough of a reason for me not to like it.

;)

mdntcallr
Nov 9, 2006, 02:59 PM
I completely disagree with the assessment that major labels are evil and corrupt.

Honestly, they have good people working at them doing publicity, touring, graphics, marketing, A&R and much more. all of this costs money.

Music also costs much less in the US than europe. It is easy to blame people for not all the money going to the artist, but alot of money does go to artists.

the problem is that very few records released are profitable. for all the records coming out, with advances to artists, producers, after marketing costs it is hard to make a buck. for artists, but also for labels.

piracy has cost many friends of mine jobs. people with families and people to support. the next time you steal a song on p2p or another method.

know you are harming people. not everyone is living the high life. there are middle class people trying to make an honest living in the record biz.

mdntcallr
Nov 9, 2006, 03:01 PM
So the recording industry probably is losing money every year. But high CD prices for years, 13-year- old-suing shananegans, and their attempt to force Apple to raise iTunes prices on tracks that Apple bears all of the distribution costs for - they have dug their own grave and no one cares that big-wig music exes won't be able to get a $400k bonus this year.

All the bands have to do is cut out the labels, and sell directly through iTunes (or their own sites).

Your wrong. when you compare prices of music here to Japan and Europe, it is way cheaper. the costs of touring an artist, music videos, promotion, marketing and more. artists get a very good deal.

they don't have to cut labels in on their touring or merch. its a difficult business. but people are doing what they can to do ok. and the era of big bonuses is history dude.

ready2switch
Nov 9, 2006, 03:02 PM
I completely disagree with the assessment that major labels are evil and corrupt.

Honestly, they have good people working at them doing publicity, touring, graphics, marketing, A&R and much more. all of this costs money.

Music also costs much less in the US than europe. It is easy to blame people for not all the money going to the artist, but alot of money does go to artists.

the problem is that very few records released are profitable. for all the records coming out, with advances to artists, producers, after marketing costs it is hard to make a buck. for artists, but also for labels.

piracy has cost many friends of mine jobs. people with families and people to support. the next time you steal a song on p2p or another method.

know you are harming people. not everyone is living the high life. there are middle class people trying to make an honest living in the record biz.

What really gets me is that they assume that EVERYONE is pirating music. If everyone were, they would be making NO money, not "less".

Toe
Nov 9, 2006, 03:08 PM
the problem is that very few records released are profitable. for all the records coming out, with advances to artists, producers, after marketing costs it is hard to make a buck. for artists, but also for labels.
I feel sorry for the individuals, but not the lot. Not at all. Just like I have no sympathy for all the typewriter manufacturing jobs that were lost when computers moved into the office.

Music is about art. About sharing sentiment. About feeling emotions. About making a statement. Trying to make it into a major money-maker is the best way to kill it. Just listen to the heartless droll of pop to see what I mean.

I'd rather listed to music from kids playing in GarageBand than pay to listen to mass-market crap like what's-her-name-flavor-of-the-month. At least the kids are trying to make a good sound. Trying to make art. Not trying to make money.

Maccus Aurelius
Nov 9, 2006, 03:13 PM
I couldn't agree more on the filler content comment. The reason i buy so few CD's is because there's usually only 1-to possibly 3 songs that i actually care to own on there. unfortunately lots of things arent even available on iTunes. Since i REFUSE to pay 15 dollars for just 2-3 songs that i cant even download legitimately, screw it, i'll just go with acquisition and find what i want. The joy of online music is the ability to pick and choose things out of any album without having to take the whole thing wasting space on music you dont like. CD's will probably not phase out anytime soon, since so many people have CD players and such, but with more players supporting mp3 format, burned music downloaded on the internet has nowhere to go but up when it comes to popularity, while prerecorded CD's are destined to plummet, but the people that peddle this stuff will probably work hard to keep it on a respirator.

Swytch
Nov 9, 2006, 03:18 PM
Because of piracy, even those top grossing CDs are no longer producing enough revenue to support the vast majority of “small” artists, and so the record labels are forced to cut off the bottom rungs one by one.

Piracy is not the reason record sales are going down, most people who download music download because they cannot afford the music, if it were never possible to download music, it does not mean they would suddenly have the money to buy the music... they just wouldnt be able to buy it or download it...

If anything, the music industries reaction to music downloads has caused people to realize how greedy they are and decide "screw you im not paying for your overpriced CD's", and caused music piracy to happen more and more.

This, in turn, has caused those lesser known artists to turn to independent and P2P methods of sale, which (in turn) draws even more revenue from the companies.

Cry me a river, this is called competition, the artists are getting smart enough to realize they dont need the record companies.

Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today…

actually, if an artist is truly wonderful, they dont need a record company to get their music out, as i stated in my previous post, free music downloads are free advertising... More and more artists are encouraging people to download their music for free, it gets the word out... Some of my favorite bands would not be arround today if it werent for free music downloads...

ghall
Nov 9, 2006, 03:20 PM
Zune must die. If iPod doesn't kill it, I will. :rolleyes:

ClimbingTheLog
Nov 9, 2006, 03:20 PM
How can you use the cash advantage to support your new music player?... Voila! A way to use mountains of cash to purchase market favorability without directly running afoul of corporate governance laws!

Give jettredmont a cookie. Insightful analysis.

iMikeT
Nov 9, 2006, 03:22 PM
This is a prime example of payola at its best.

I hope this does not impact what could ultimately happen to the iPod. That is, some record company nut has a "brilliant" idea and decides to charge Apple for every iPod sold.

I find it funny how Microsoft wants to go through great lengths to stop piracy. Yet with actions like this, Microsoft will only further increase the amount of pirated music to be playable on its Zune player and if others catch on to this move, the rest of portable digital players on the market including the iPod.

Here we go again... Microsoft first ruined the computer industry while Apple was on top and now, they're doing the same with portable digital players and the music industry while Apple is on top...

Maccus Aurelius
Nov 9, 2006, 03:23 PM
I feel sorry for the individuals, but not the lot. Not at all. Just like I have no sympathy for all the typewriter manufacturing jobs that were lost when computers moved into the office.

Music is about art. About sharing sentiment. About feeling emotions. About making a statement. Trying to make it into a major money-maker is the best way to kill it. Just listen to the heartless droll of pop to see what I mean.

I'd rather listed to music from kids playing in GarageBand than pay to listen to mass-market crap like what's-her-name-flavor-of-the-month. At least the kids are trying to make a good sound. Trying to make art. Not trying to make money.

This is true, and I agree with you, but when you aim to make a business distributing their sound, you also want to know that people will buy it and bring in profits for you. It sucks, and its not art, but thats the way it is for lots of things, especially motion pictures.

mahonmeister
Nov 9, 2006, 03:26 PM
*holds tightly to iPod and CD collection*

While I understand that p2p is a big problem but this is perhaps a pathetic attempt to get even, and simply isn't fair. If they would just make CDs more appealing like adding more artwork, music videos, bios, and other incentives to buy an album then perhaps the problem wouldn't be so huge. I personally rarely buy CDs at full price because it simply isn't worth it to me.

Maccus Aurelius
Nov 9, 2006, 03:27 PM
Zune must die. If iPod doesn't kill it, I will. :rolleyes:

Need help? :D

Dagless
Nov 9, 2006, 03:28 PM
Lollypops!

ClimbingTheLog
Nov 9, 2006, 03:31 PM
Because of piracy

citation, please.

even those top grossing CDs are no longer producing enough revenue to support the vast majority of “small” artists, and so the record labels are forced to cut off the bottom rungs one by one. This, in turn, has caused those lesser known artists to turn to independent and P2P methods of sale, which (in turn) draws even more revenue from the companies.

Sounds good for the lesser known artists.

Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today…

But we will hear about them, online. The infrastructure just isn't quite done yet.

The A&R man is extinct; the record industry, which was only born of an artificial scarcity, is collapsing under it's own weight. The record execs can go hang out with the buggy-whip manufacturers and we'll all be just fine.

In Ireland, they are planning on extending this, so owning any device capable of displaying a "TV" image is liable for a license; including Macs/PCs and even 3G mobile phones.

Sweet - assuming they're feeding TV over the Internet and 3G networks. This could spur some real innovation in the video codec and distribution space.

Or are they just scamming the buyers and running back to their old PAL production studios?

Does it strike anyone else that M$ just may be the Devil? Maybe?:(

Welcome to the 90's, MrFirework. We're glad you could make it. :)

donlphi
Nov 9, 2006, 03:33 PM
Let the Universal execs try to push Steve and his "crew". I have a hunch there are going to be a lot of options for musicians in the near future.

Does anybody remember the "MADE IN ITUNES" section that showed up in other countries?

http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/06/20060620030809.shtml

Wouldn't it be funny if Apple offered a simplified online music submission service.

Cut the middle man out completely. With the development of myspace.com puremusic.com and other music websites, you are hearing more and more about independent groups.

A lot of these groups are getting air time (radio), which doesn't get your stuff played on MTV, but when is the last time you saw a video on MTV or VH1?

Now imagine a famous musician like John Mayer in a studio office and it's time to sign contracts and he decides to go on his own. He gets paid for the sale of every tune, rather than some greedy bastard in a not-so-cheap suit.

The whole MS paying Universal is as nuts as a fork, spoon, or knife manufacturer paying money to farmers for providing food for their utensils. I hear some of you saying "It's been this way for blank cassettes, blank CDs, and probably blank 8 tracks in the PAST"

WE'VE MADE A LOT OF DUMB MISTAKES IN THE PAST... slavery existed, women couldn't vote, teachers used to be able to slap students, we used to be able drive without seatbelts, the Flintstones cartoon used to advertise Kent cigarettes.

Just because these things happened IN THE PAST doesn't make it right.

Microsoft made a deal with the devil. We better all learn to play the fiddle really soon.

iMikeT
Nov 9, 2006, 03:35 PM
Piracy is not the reason record sales are going down, most people who download music download because they cannot afford the music, if it were never possible to download music, it does not mean they would suddenly have the money to buy the music... they just wouldnt be able to buy it or download it...


A bad deed plus a bad deed does not equal a good deed.

There are many people that I know who can afford to buy music but decide to download it illegally. What's your point?


If anything, the music industries reaction to music downloads has caused people to realize how greedy they are and decide "screw you im not paying for your overpriced CD's", and caused music piracy to happen more and more.


Before you say anything else about how greedy the record companies are and rally protests of anti-record companies, please please please please... have something to support your claim. You don't have any idea how much it takes to produce one album and be able to sell it well. But I guess $12 for a cd is way overpriced for everyone now.:rolleyes:

howard
Nov 9, 2006, 03:44 PM
these music industry problems have been discussed to death, because theres no right or wrong answer here.

at least now, as an artist, we have options. we can get our music heard if we are not on a label, and if we want to just make money we can do that with a label.

90% of records might not make back the money it took to make them but whose problem is that? certainly not the consumers. Its not our problem if the record industry is pumping money into crap.

the record company has no business taking a cut of a product they had nothing to do with creating.

aricher
Nov 9, 2006, 03:45 PM
artists get a very good deal.

This article (http://negativland.com/albini.html) by producer Steve Albini helps to dispel that myth. It breaks down all expenses for a typical album deal. It's a great read but here's the bottom line:

"The Balance Sheet: This is how much each player got paid at the end of the game.

Record company: $ 710,000
Producer: $ 90,000
Manager: $ 51,000
Studio: $ 52,500
Previous label: $ 50,000
Agent: $ 7,500
Lawyer: $ 12,000
Band member net income each: $ 4,031.25

The band is now 1/4 of the way through its contract, has made the music industry more than 3 million dollars richer, but is in the hole $14,000 on royalties. "

mackensteff
Nov 9, 2006, 03:45 PM
WE'VE MADE A LOT OF DUMB MISTAKES IN THE PAST... slavery existed, women couldn't vote, teachers used to be able to slap students, we used to be able drive without seatbelts, the Flintstones cartoon used to advertise Kent cigarettes.

As a college professor the mistake was to do away with slapping students. Believe some really nead it.

nemaslov
Nov 9, 2006, 03:47 PM
NO way could it be 10 bucks per Zune. More like cents (like audio cassettes used to be) but then they will haver to give a cut to EVERY FRIGGEN LABEL. How does that work and why? The Labels make money when the songs sell. Bad precedent to give a cut of the hardware too.

Maccus Aurelius
Nov 9, 2006, 03:49 PM
"But I guess $12 for a cd is way overpriced for everyone now."

That would depend on one important thing: whether or not the majority of the songs on the CD are worth purchasing. If you like one track on a CD, it would be a waste of money to buy the entire thing for one song and be stuck with lots of crap on disc.

bgai
Nov 9, 2006, 03:49 PM
What do you think Universal uses to make all of their money?

WE make their computers
WE make their recording devices
WE make their websites
WE mop their floor at night so they can focus on stealing money from us everyday.


So doesn't that mean their success at stealing money is largely due to our hard work? C'mon Universal, the floor is so clean you can eat off of it. Now give me my 50% cut from your dirty business!

howard
Nov 9, 2006, 03:50 PM
NO way could it be 10 bucks per Zune. More like cents (like audio cassettes used to be) but then they will haver to give a cut to EVERY FRIGGEN LABEL. How does that work and why? The Labels make money when the songs sell. Bad precedent to give a cut of the hardware too.

yeah..right? good point, is just universal getting $?? what about other labels?

robbyx
Nov 9, 2006, 03:52 PM
[I]But I guess $12 for a cd is way overpriced for everyone now.:rolleyes:

While I do think the labels are greedy and hostile towards consumers, I don't think CD pricing is the problem. You buy a CD for $12 and get to enjoy it for years and years. If you listen to an album 100 times, each listen has only cost you a mere $0.12. Listen a thousand times...and you get the point.

Or, you can spend the same $12 on a fancy cocktail or dinner entree (you're lucky if $12 buys you an entree!)...and it's gone in no time.

I'm sick and tired of people saying that price is the problem. It's not. It's crap. Everything sounds the same. Everything is so over-produced to the point of being utterly dull and lifeless. And the labels are resorting to suing kids instead of addressing problems. All of this makes people angry and less likely to support the industry.

Give us quality music and a GOOD ATTITUDE towards the consumer, and maybe things will turn around.

mlprater
Nov 9, 2006, 03:55 PM
Microsoft is using what should be illegal monopoly money to pay to enter into a market where they will no doubt provide an inferior product.

I love it.

Maccus Aurelius
Nov 9, 2006, 03:56 PM
these music industry problems have been discussed to death, because theres no right or wrong answer here.

at least now, as an artist, we have options. we can get our music heard if we are not on a label, and if we want to just make money we can do that with a label.

90% of records might not make back the money it took to make them but whose problem is that? certainly not the consumers. Its not our problem if the record industry is pumping money into crap.

the record company has no business taking a cut of a product they had nothing to do with creating.

Amen.

howard
Nov 9, 2006, 04:04 PM
Does anybody remember the "MADE IN ITUNES" section that showed up in other countries?



I would love it if itunes become a music distributor, or as someone else mentioned, if someone made DRM that anyone can implement easily.

artists could make so much more money for themselves. that way they could produce their own records the way they want, rather than the record industry having its way with them.

nemaslov
Nov 9, 2006, 04:05 PM
So here is what I do...I still LOVE to own the music (or so it may seem) and buy the CD. So I pay 12-14 bucks for a CD sometime less. I load the music into iTunes. NO limitations. Can take anywhere, burn (for myself) unlimited times. If my computer or backup drive crashes I STILL have the CD with all of the artwork...

OK I am lucky enough to live in San Francisco which has one of the best Record Stores in the world AMOEBE. So if I really don't like the CD or tired of it or just want to trade it in, I can there. So maybe I get 3 or 4 bucks back or in trade towards new CDs. So now my net cost for a new album is 8 to 10 bucks (5-7 if it is used). That is CHEAPER than downloading the album on iTunes or anywhere else. Again a better deal with the best possible quality and NO limitations.

Now granted if I only want one or two cuts, downloading makes sense but for an entire new (or old ) album? I think not..

And the labels still want to jack up the online cost:rolleyes:

JAT
Nov 9, 2006, 04:12 PM
I'm sick and tired of people saying that price is the problem. It's not. It's crap. Everything sounds the same. Everything is so over-produced to the point of being utterly dull and lifeless. And the labels are resorting to suing kids instead of addressing problems. All of this makes people angry and less likely to support the industry.

Give us quality music and a GOOD ATTITUDE towards the consumer, and maybe things will turn around.

Price has been a problem. It has come down a bit, and isn't so much right now. Part of the reason CDs all sound the same is also the technology. CD sucks. Unfortunately, not enough people actually care about quality sound or quality music.

weev
Nov 9, 2006, 04:13 PM
"'We felt that any business that's built on the bedrock of music we should share in,' said Doug Morris, chief executive of Universal, owned by French media giant Vivendi," Adegoke reports. "He did not disclose the amount of the fee for the Zune, which launches next Tuesday."

That is such BS! No one in business does this sort of thing without a financial reason. The reason is that by signing more lucurative deals with the music companies Microsoft hopes that it will encourage Music labels to pressure Apple to do likewise thus cutting into their profitability.

Microsoft can't win on innovation, product design, or value, so they will throw money at the problem hoping to hurt their competition and make it easier for them to gain a foothold to sell their crap.

This has nothing to do with music, and everything to do with the threat OS X is to Windows. Apple's resurragance is being fueled by the success of the iPod, hurt that and you cripple it's halo affect. The problem is that it may already be too late. Apple's market share will soon cross double digits, Vista will be a failure, and the demise of Microsoft will be more openly discussed.

Totally agree with you here.

Remember, these record producers (they still call themselvse that) live in big houses and snort high-grade coke. They will say and do anything to maintain their privileged lifestyles, and Micro-samesamebutdifferent-soft is also desparate too.

I have never really despised a record company, but Universal is gonna top the list.

And Zune will fail, I mean who really gives a stuff, it will have advertising hoopla around it but who needs one. The iPod is the Walkman of its day, and deserves its place in the sun until something completely better comes along, and that something wont be from M$.

Iron_Chef
Nov 9, 2006, 04:14 PM
why not offer them a piece of the your OS revenues too?

shamino
Nov 9, 2006, 04:15 PM
I have several friends who write/perform music for a living. None are signed to major labels.

They rehearse in home studios and rent a proper studio (with engineer) for the hour or two it takes to record the final results. They pay for their own CD publication and sell discs at their concerts (and at the band's web site.) They also offer tracks on iTunes.

Concerts are usually local and are usually low-budget. The band goes home at night. They transport their own equipment in their own cars/vans/SUVs. The fans don't complain about the budget - the music is good and they go home happy. They also buy a lot of CDs.

These friends will never get rich. They make enough to just barely get by, and live OK when combined with a day job. But this is still more income than a band signed to a major label gets. (Almost nobody becomes a mega-star, and even the mega-stars often end up massively in debt, thanks to record label contracts.)

But the icing on the cake here is that they have no multi-album contracts to fulfill, they aren't in debt to any label, they own their own copyrights, and no outsiders can force unwanted creative input on them. This is priceless.

szark
Nov 9, 2006, 04:23 PM
I agree with some of the other posters here -- this is a negotiating tactic which is doomed to failure.

Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today…

Let's see...based on this source (http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/yesterday/july2006#072806uni), UMG earned net incomes of:

$912.6 million -- 2003
$705.7 million -- 2004
$609.4 million -- 2005

...so their business does seem to be shrinking, but it looks to me like they could afford to take a couple of risks.


This article (http://negativland.com/albini.html) by producer Steve Albini helps to dispel that myth.

Very nice article. Really gives a nice perspective to this discussion, and reminds me of this speech (http://www.jdray.com/Daviews/courtney.html) given by Courtney Love.

shamino
Nov 9, 2006, 04:24 PM
OK I am lucky enough to live in San Francisco which has one of the best Record Stores in the world AMOEBE. So if I really don't like the CD or tired of it or just want to trade it in, I can there. So maybe I get 3 or 4 bucks back or in trade towards new CDs. So now my net cost for a new album is 8 to 10 bucks (5-7 if it is used). That is CHEAPER than downloading the album on iTunes or anywhere else. Again a better deal with the best possible quality and NO limitations.
You don't have to live in SF for this either. Used record stores exist everywhere.

And depending on what you like to buy, music clubs, like BMG, can give you very good deals. BMG's prices are officially MSRP ($19 per disc, plus about $3.50 for shipping, handling, and taxes.) But there are always special offers that drastically lower the price. For instance, this month's offer is "buy 1 get 4 free". So I pay $36.50 ($19 for one disc, plus shipping on all 5) for 5 discs - an average cost of $7.30 per disc.

Of course, you have to be able to be able to buy five albums at once in order to take advantage of the deal. Otherwise, it isn't nearly as nice.

And yes, I'm aware that this beats the iTunes prices. When buying whole albums, you can almost always beat iTunes. iTunes's big advantage is when you only want to buy a single, or if you can't find the tracks anywhere else (as is often the case for some indy bands.)

Groovey
Nov 9, 2006, 04:34 PM
Praise vinyl...

Foxer
Nov 9, 2006, 04:46 PM
So, with the number of Zunes that will actually be sold, they're on the hook for, what, 30 bucks?

Flunki
Nov 9, 2006, 04:50 PM
So I pay $36.50 ($19 for one disc, plus shipping on all 5) for 5 discs - an average cost of $7.30 per disc.

Wow, that's cheap. In Europe you have to pay up to 20€ (about $25) for a new album. I almost completely stopped buying CDs because most of the music is just not worth it.


And there already is a "music-tax" on every device that can copy or play copied music here. That means you pay them money every time you buy a computer, DVD burner, iPod or whatever. However, you are not allowed to actually use it for copying CDs :rolleyes:

howard
Nov 9, 2006, 05:03 PM
Praise vinyl...

yeah,

there was a comic i saw somewhere that mentioned how vinyl is a high-fi drm proof music storage media. wish I could find that...

I wish vinyl was more common. I'd pay a lot for a vinyl album with some sort of pass to download mp3s of it online for my portable listening.

SRSound
Nov 9, 2006, 05:03 PM
Hahahaha I leave for a couple hours and look what happens! Let's see here

Business, Law, and Music? What about TECHNOLOGY?!!! The labels just don't get it. The only solution is technology. Here's what they need to:

CONTROL THE FORMAT!!!

The big five need to put their heads together and develop a DRM format. Don't get greedy, but allow anyone --- from the iTunes Music Store to some guy in his basement --- to sell tracks protected by DRM.

Let anyone --- hardware company, software company, content creator ---license the DRM technology for free.

Make the DRM interoperable so that we don't have a player war and so that for once the consumer actually benefits.

By creating a standard format and DRM technology, everyone benefits. I can buy songs online and not worry about whether or not they will play on my iPod as well as my phone or stereo or whatever. I can buy a new device and not worry about losing all of the music I've bought. That's why I still buy CDs. Music from the iTunes Music Store won't play on my SlimDevices SqueezeBox. Too many formats and incompatible products just make consumers angry - and that leads to piracy.

If the industry came up with its own format and said "Apple, Microsoft, Creative...and everyone else out there...if you want to sell music online, you have to implement our format", the tech companies would have no choice but to adopt the format. They'd hate losing control, but what choice would they have? Not sell music? Have no content for their devices?

The industry needs to stop outsourcing bad technology (Sony's copy-protected CDs...ugh!) and start rolling its own. The landscape has changed and, like it or not, content companies are going to HAVE to become tech companies too. Start now, create a fair DRM system shared by all major labels and open to anyone, and give away the DRM technology to anyone wishing to implement it.

But I'm sure all of the Business, Law, and Music wonks will simply suggest more lawsuits, more greedy deals like the one between Micro$oft and UMG, and more hardship for the consumer.

I've been in the tech industry for a long time. I (fondly) remember the days of "cracked" games on my Apple II. The simple fact of the matter is, piracy cannot be stopped. There's always someone who is one step ahead. It's a fruitless battle. So you must make it easier for the consumer to not become a pirate. Apple has done this with the iTMS to a limited degree. However, if the industry truly wants to address this issue, it will innovate, not litigate, it will think outside the box, not make stupid deals like the one between UMG and M$.

The industry needs to work together...or it's Hello BitTorrent!

A wonderful sentiment, and I didn't even think of the tech side. If you have time to draft up some type of formal proposal, I will send it right out to Barnett and other parties who have expressed great concern. Believe me, they really DO want to find a solution that benefits everyone (YES including the artists AND consumers).

Fine then...Let's set up a contribution network. The artists have accounts created and we post payments _directly to them_. I have several ACDC Albums (yes albums) and CDs, and even some ITMS downloads, so I figure 1$ per album directly to the artist is probably a huge direct percentage...If this really is about the artists then fine...to hell with the record companies, they already got their money from the agreements with $bands.

Same to you, draft up a proposal and I’ll see to it that it’s forwarded to the powers that be.

Nice sentiment, and I understand that p2p piracy can play a part in this. Two things, though. First, to outright say that every player contains unpaid-for music is insulting and offensive to those of us who get our music legally. Secondly, with the Zune offering "beaming" or whatever it is for music sharing, how is it that this feature isn't being viewed as piracy? They're the ones allowing p2p sharing and so they're the ones paying the "fee". They didn't raise the price of the Zune, so whoever buys them (who's going to anyway?) won't be paying any more. As for setting a precident, Apple doesn't facilitate p2p sharing and so why should they even consider paying this "fee".

I’m sorry I didn’t clarify – I agree entirely; my post was simply to bring light to the fact that piracy is a much deeper issue then most realize. I think beaming maintains the DRM information and sets limits on it’s use (like 3 listens or something), but I really don’t know.

After reading your post - I believe you, I'm sure the costs of producing an album are insane, but the music industry is greedy. The problem is the industry is still operating on an "antiquated" business strategy. Back in the 50's & 60's yes, you HAD to have a manager, get signed up with a big label, cut an album, tour and start all over.... I know that studio time can be rediculously expensive... BUT.....

Today is totally different. Bands can do a lot of the "studio work" on their own for a lot less money. That's what has fueled the indy movement.... garage bands that can make an album and sell their own tracks online and pocket their own money.... They don't need to pay huge sums for marketing, since they market through online channels and have access to way more people, and get their sound out to a huge audience....

So the recording industry probably is losing money every year. But high CD prices for years, 13-year- old-suing shananegans, and their attempt to force Apple to raise iTunes prices on tracks that Apple bears all of the distribution costs for - they have dug their own grave and no one cares that big-wig music exes won't be able to get a $400k bonus this year.

All the bands have to do is cut out the labels, and sell directly through iTunes (or their own sites).

While bands can (and do) a lot of home recording, radio’s and record printing companies have strict standards (red book standards) that not a lot of “home equipment” can adhere to. That’s besides the fact that engineering and production is an art just like playing the actual instruments and requires a great deal of skill and specialization to produce quality results. It’s true that someone can go out to a store and buy a multi-track computer interface that records 24bit/96KHz for near $200, BUT without a talented engineer/producer, it’s not gonna get you too far. As for bands cutting out the labels to sell directly to retailers, it costs a small fortune to print production quantities of a record, and it’s the labels who cover that cost. Labels also have deals with many resellers (like Tower Records, before they went out of business) where they can get their products stocked for a cheaper stocking fee. Most importantly though, if bands cut out the labels, who’s going to book their tours? Many venues REQUIRE a contract with a label in order to host a band. Cut out the labels and they’re outta luck in the vast majority of American venues. I think ClearChannel had something to do with that while they still owned all those venues…

Piracy is not the reason record sales are going down, most people who download music download because they cannot afford the music, if it were never possible to download music, it does not mean they would suddenly have the money to buy the music... they just wouldnt be able to buy it or download it...

If anything, the music industries reaction to music downloads has caused people to realize how greedy they are and decide "screw you im not paying for your overpriced CD's", and caused music piracy to happen more and more.

Cry me a river, this is called competition, the artists are getting smart enough to realize they dont need the record companies.

actually, if an artist is truly wonderful, they dont need a record company to get their music out, as i stated in my previous post, free music downloads are free advertising... More and more artists are encouraging people to download their music for free, it gets the word out... Some of my favorite bands would not be arround today if it werent for free music downloads...

First of all, the RIAA has gone about this terribly – I agree. No doubt you heard about when they sued the dead man, or the woman who never used a computer once in her life. But the RIAA really can’t be associated with the REAL music industry – the fact that not a penny of their settlement money has gone to any artist or label is proof of that.

But if you think those bands are going to last supporting themselves, think again. No more then 20 years ago, being a musician – an entertainer – was a lifelong career. An artist would make the choice to pursue their passion and that would be what they did. Today, without the support of labels and advertising and tour booking agencies, good luck staying in the public eye for more then 4 years. Sure I can upload master tracks to iTunes or myspace for a band, but that’s simply not enough to sustain them.

citation, please.

The A&R man is extinct; the record industry, which was only born of an artificial scarcity, is collapsing under it's own weight. The record execs can go hang out with the buggy-whip manufacturers and we'll all be just fine.

Right back at you. But the A&R man isn’t extinct. They're just being not taking risks like they used to because of financial limitations.

Praise vinyl...

Agreed.

emotion
Nov 9, 2006, 05:10 PM
Praise vinyl...

All my music (about £50 a week on average) is bought on vinyl.

Rocketman
Nov 9, 2006, 05:18 PM
I own an independent music production company. Some of our music is sure to be played on Zune. I want a cut proportional to our market share too.

Universal is not the only music producer on the planet.

Rocketman

balamw
Nov 9, 2006, 05:19 PM
While bands can (and do) a lot of home recording, radio’s and record printing companies have strict standards (red book standards) that not a lot of “home equipment” can adhere to.
?!? :confused: (This is not really on topic, but my curiosity is piqued).

I thought that Red Book (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Book_(audio_CD_standard)) refers to the CDDA standard, and the only relevant standards are 16 bit 44.1 kHz stereo PCM.

I presume that most studios, home or not, typically do 24 bit with a higher sampling rate pretty routinely.

B

Groovey
Nov 9, 2006, 05:20 PM
yeah,

there was a comic i saw somewhere that mentioned how vinyl is a high-fi drm proof music storage media. wish I could find that...

I wish vinyl was more common. I'd pay a lot for a vinyl album with some sort of pass to download mp3s of it online for my portable listening.

Cool! :) If you find it, please send it to me too. It sure is hi-fi. With about 60-70€ people could get a nicely working second hand turntable and a new cartridge which together would blow their cd's out of the shelf. And no unjustified bribe-style-royalties are passed. I think we all would love to have more content, less corporate capitalism. (It's not mobile though :rolleyes: )

sweet160
Nov 9, 2006, 05:21 PM
what a bunch of loser,
looosers
loohoooseeheers!!!

dvdh
Nov 9, 2006, 05:37 PM
If for example, I was a rival label and not so happy that I was not getting a cut from microsoft, what would prevent me from going out of my way to prevent my music from being played on a Zune (or WiMP for that matter). While it might be tough to prevent people from ripping CDs to play on their player, downloads could certainly be DRMed 'antiZune' or for that matter the an end user agreement for the purchase of the music could limit it use on 'music players supported by business engaging in aggresive and unethical anti competition strategies'. If this happened soon enough, the potential sales losses would be minimal, as the market intrusion of the player could be crippled.

I would hate to see it come to something like this (personally I would like Apple to open things up a little too), but when you are dealing with such questionable business practices, sometimes the only option is to fight back with the same low blows.

Of course the simplest solution (and probably the best) would be to raised awareness to the un-fairness of this practice and target a boycott at Universal and Microsoft. As it is, that strategy would take much adjustment for my part.

MikeTheC
Nov 9, 2006, 05:39 PM
Nah, I want my vinyl portable.

I say we get these recording studio people and have them carry around the turntable box plus the car-sized lead acid battery to drive it, I guess they could carry the receiver on their back...

Just make sure to use a loooooooong headphone cord because they can really stink up the place.

Oh, and nice comment about Microsoft sharing their OS profits. They really should do that, you know; and that would be two groups of people by my reckoning:


The companies that manufacture the individual components which, when assembled together, run the OS and all that lovely Win32 code.
The companies that then take the manufactured subsystems and build whole computers from them.


Yup, I think that should about cover it.

donlphi
Nov 9, 2006, 05:53 PM
I own an independent music production company. Some of our music is sure to be played on Zune. I want a cut proportional to our market share too.

Universal is not the only music producer on the planet.

Great point. There are a ton of labels out there that must be pissed off about this, particularly if they do not get their cut.

It's gonna start looking like Goodfellas in the music industry. Payoffs, bribes, whatever. This is the start of something really bad.

cecildk9999
Nov 9, 2006, 06:00 PM
Further, I could see Apple, at this point in time, cutting off the major labels if they tried to push this type of arrangement. Apple could probably work directly with artists and open up their own music label, provided they sign a deal first with Apple Music. :rolleyes:

I don't know if Apple is technically allowed to do this; check out their legal squabbles with the Beatles' Apple Corps over the past 20 years (Apple computer is distinctly computer sphere; Apple Corp is allowed music liscence, or some other BS) :rolleyes:

joemama
Nov 9, 2006, 06:05 PM
I don't know if Apple is technically allowed to do this; check out their legal squabbles with the Beatles' Apple Corps over the past 20 years (Apple computer is distinctly computer sphere; Apple Corp is allowed music liscence, or some other BS) :rolleyes:

Yes, they are - by simply using the iTunes umbrella, not Apple. This is how it is going to play out - Apple will spin off a music distribution company. They are not a record label, they do not produce music, just distribute content and collect a small fee for doing so.

It will be up to the artist to book studio time, producers, etc. I give it 2-4 years when current contracts run out.

Swytch
Nov 9, 2006, 06:27 PM
A bad deed plus a bad deed does not equal a good deed.

There are many people that I know who can afford to buy music but decide to download it illegally. What's your point?

you obviously missed my point entirely

Before you say anything else about how greedy the record companies are and rally protests of anti-record companies, please please please please... have something to support your claim. You don't have any idea how much it takes to produce one album and be able to sell it well. But I guess $12 for a cd is way overpriced for everyone now.:rolleyes:

actually I have a pretty good idea how much it costs to produce an album, I run a recording studio with my brother, it does not cost millions of dollars to produce an album, in fact the bands end up paying less than $5 a CD, and they sell to listeners for $5-10... or give away...

and no, they are not crappy quality, just as good as any record labels album...

SRSound
Nov 9, 2006, 07:04 PM
?!? :confused: (This is not really on topic, but my curiosity is piqued).

I thought that Red Book (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Book_(audio_CD_standard)) refers to the CDDA standard, and the only relevant standards are 16 bit 44.1 kHz stereo PCM.

I presume that most studios, home or not, typically do 24 bit with a higher sampling rate pretty routinely.

B

Sorry - to clarify, I meant things like having the text information properly assigned with track spacing codes and such, having dynamic levels that wont be destroyed by radio station's heavy compression and limiting, etc - not so much bit and sample rates. Sorry, you're right - we routinely record at 192KHz/24bit eventhough it gets knocked down to 44.1KHz/16bit for the printing master.

Sesshi
Nov 9, 2006, 07:26 PM
That throwaway comment is going to cost Geffen dearly.

robbyx
Nov 9, 2006, 07:35 PM
A wonderful sentiment, and I didn't even think of the tech side. If you have time to draft up some type of formal proposal, I will send it right out to Barnett and other parties who have expressed great concern. Believe me, they really DO want to find a solution that benefits everyone (YES including the artists AND consumers).

I'll bite.

I tried sending you an email, but the system says you do not accept emails. So how am I supposed to send you anything?

Surreal
Nov 9, 2006, 07:36 PM
While I do think the labels are greedy and hostile towards consumers, I don't think CD pricing is the problem. You buy a CD for $12 and get to enjoy it for years and years. If you listen to an album 100 times, each listen has only cost you a mere $0.12. Listen a thousand times...and you get the point.

$12?

i pay $12 for CDs. it's the $15+ CDs i don't dig.

robbyx
Nov 9, 2006, 07:42 PM
$12?

i pay $12 for CDs. it's the $15+ CDs i don't dig.

$3 is really going to break the bank? Have one less beer at the bar...

When you consider the total cost of ownership of a CD, it's dirt cheap. I have CDs that I bought in high school that I still throw on every now and then. I've probably listened to some of them a few hundred times, maybe a few thousand. So, each listen has cost me a penny, give or take.

I don't have an issue with pricing. It's about quality (or lack thereof).

zap2
Nov 9, 2006, 07:54 PM
$3 is really going to break the bank?


Were do YOU draw the line? Why not make it 30 bucks a CD? Its only a "few less beers" right? Hell make it 50! Just cut back a little more!

SMM
Nov 9, 2006, 08:05 PM
I do not know how many of you have witnessed first-hand the history of the PC and Microsoft. I graduated from college in 1983 and basically went straight into PC's. Many of my friends went to work at Microsoft (I live in Seattle). There were a few times when I was tempted to do the same. But, I really liked the company I worked for and was really interested in building MRP systems.

During the '80's it was R:Base/Dbase on Novell. Then in the '90's, we outgrew that technology and I also worked concurrently with Sun Unix. In 2000 it went back to NT/SQL Server/VB. So, here I am. I have been part of this evolution and I can definitely see this Zune deal as a continuation of what MS has done for a couple decades.

Redmond is definitely afraid of Apple. The two companies go way back. MS has shafted Apple a couple times already. But, Apple has stayed within an acceptable market share and not really been in a threatening position. They also have spent much of their existence living on a shoestring. They did not challenge their stranglehold of the business customer. MS could afford to be ambivalent about Apple. Then things began to change.

Apple became much better managed strategically and financially. They could now leverage their superior engineering. Then came the iPod. This little device completely changed the landscape between the two companies. Now, Apple had a hugely profitable product which commanded ~80% of its' market. This generated capital assets that Apple never had.

MS did not need a an analysts report to realize the universe changed. With R & D money, Apple finally has the capital to build additional manufacturing capacity, enter into strategic partnerships (like Intel), increase their product line, and expand their software business. MS, without its' software revenue, is little more than a merger between Nintendo and Logitech. They do not make computers (thank God). If you thing about it, Apple is a more diverse company.

So, what do you do if you are MS? You go after the 'cash cow', the iPod. You cannot discredit it (even they produce a lot of anti iPod spam). It is far too popular. What you do is make a competing product and hope to grab significant market share).

Everyone knows the axiom about the 'first to market...'. MS is really late to the dance. I would be surprised if their 'focus groups' gave them any hope the Zune would greatly impact iPod sales. So, now what do you do? (and what I have spent far too much time getting to).

MS is doing what they have always done. They are offering incentives to others (maybe taking a loss in the process) to make their INFERIOR product sell better. Thus it will still accomplish its' goal; take sales away from Apple. I wonder if some of you see a certain irony here. In the past, MS was hugely discounting their SW to entice computer (hardware) sellers to only promote MS products. In this case, MS is offering SW (movie/music) vendors incentives to only promote their hardware (Zune).

I believe Apple's management is insightful enough to have seen this move. Let's face it, MS has almost evolved into the same category as the Nixon whitehouse (not very clever dudes). Going forward, what we can all expect to see is more assaults on profitable Apple products, and disinformation trolls.

hooch
Nov 9, 2006, 08:10 PM
You know, I was thinking. I have never heard about the iPod tax until now. But I was think if they are going to try to tax an iPod because of the threat of pirated music, then they might as well have a computer tax. I mean afterall, you are not downloading the pirated music with the iPod. You can play music on a computer like an iPod. Isn't the real culprate the computer??? This is just the biggest joke I have ever heard.

tripleanica
Nov 9, 2006, 08:11 PM
I own an independent music production company. Some of our music is sure to be played on Zune. I want a cut proportional to our market share too.

Universal is not the only music producer on the planet.

Rocketman

i said the exact same thing

i have my own label, i think microsoft, apple, and sony should pay me 1% on every zune, ipod, or walkman sold. i'm sure someone's going to illegally download the music on my label. :rolleyes:

but great minds think alike, so i'm not complaining

balamw
Nov 9, 2006, 08:16 PM
I don't have an issue with pricing. It's about quality (or lack thereof).
I do have a problem with pricing, especially since $12-$15 is often a sale price for CDs, which I can also buy directly from BMG's yourmusic.com for $5.99 a few months later.

If all CDs were available for $5.99 including shipping (or download), I'd buy a heck of a lot more CDs. In fact I already do as I have been using yourmusic to fill my back catalog, replace LPs in a more artist friendly way than buying used.

B

orbea847
Nov 9, 2006, 08:42 PM
I found this but don't know if its been posted:

"To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you've already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They'll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it'll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player."

Eric

SRSound
Nov 9, 2006, 08:42 PM
I'll bite.

I tried sending you an email, but the system says you do not accept emails. So how am I supposed to send you anything?

Hey, if the PM doesnt work I'll send you an email.

robbyx
Nov 9, 2006, 09:20 PM
If all CDs were available for $5.99 including shipping (or download), I'd buy a heck of a lot more CDs. In fact I already do as I have been using yourmusic to fill my back catalog, replace LPs in a more artist friendly way than buying used.

This isn't realistic. You are forgetting where most of the money goes: marketing. It costs hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars to launch and promote an artist.

You listen to a CD over and over again and pay $15 for it. You read a book once and pay at least that. But no one is up in arms over book pricing. And what about DVDs? You pay anywhere between $10 and $20 for a DVD and maybe watch it three times.

When it comes to the consumption of content, CDs are still dirt cheap compared to other stuff - when one considers how many times one "uses" the content. Sure, labels could sell CDs for $5.99, but there would be no videos, no tour support for artists, no advertising of the new release, no website, no radio servicing, etc.

As someone who ran an indie label for years, I can tell you that CD manufacturing is very affordable. It's the advertising and promotion that eats you alive. Running ads, even in smaller "zines", still ends up costing thousands of dollars. Try advertising in Rolling Stone.

Do some simple math. Let's say that it costs $1 to manufacture each CD and you manufacture 2,000 dics. You then spend $10,000 on marketing. You've now spent $12,000 on the release - or $6 per disc. You sell to a distributor for $8. They sell to a store for $10. The store sells for $14.99. At $8 per disc, you need to sell 1,500 copies of the album before you even make a penny. And in the indie world, 1,500 copies is quite an accomplishment.

Now imagine the numbers on a major label scale. Your marketing budget is measured in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. You have to advance the artist a large sum of money. Etc. How many albums do you need to sell to break even? 50,000? 100,000? Who knows. The point is, marketing music is very costly - and given all those costs, CDs are still pretty cheap.

Nemesis
Nov 9, 2006, 10:45 PM
Considering how ugly Zune is, which looks like a cheapo plastic toy with no real, appealing substance, deprived of all love when it was designed and constructed .. Microsoft has to pay not only Universal, but to me as well, if they wish to sell it to me.
Yuck!
Anyway, for such an ugly and inferior user experience, no doubt they have to do something extra to even start the product promotion.

tk421
Nov 9, 2006, 11:01 PM
As someone who ran an indie label for years, I can tell you that CD manufacturing is very affordable. It's the advertising and promotion that eats you alive. Running ads, even in smaller "zines", still ends up costing thousands of dollars. Try advertising in Rolling Stone.

Do some simple math. Let's say that it costs $1 to manufacture each CD and you manufacture 2,000 dics. You then spend $10,000 on marketing. You've now spent $12,000 on the release - or $6 per disc. You sell to a distributor for $8. They sell to a store for $10. The store sells for $14.99. At $8 per disc, you need to sell 1,500 copies of the album before you even make a penny. And in the indie world, 1,500 copies is quite an accomplishment.

Now imagine the numbers on a major label scale. Your marketing budget is measured in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. You have to advance the artist a large sum of money. Etc. How many albums do you need to sell to break even? 50,000? 100,000? Who knows. The point is, marketing music is very costly - and given all those costs, CDs are still pretty cheap.

You're right. I think that artists, and labels, deserve their fair share. We see the same grumbling about movie downloads. People say there's no packaging, no shipping, no physical media costs. It's just bandwidth and servers, they say. But they forget that the movie cost $100 million to make and $50 million in marketing. Of course many films are significantly more expensive than that.

That isn't my problem with this Zune deal. My problem is that there is the assumption that everyone with a digital music player steals music. The major record labels thus get compensated twice. Furthermore, what is Microsoft going to do about indie labels like yours? My brother is a musician and sound engineer. Where's his cut? Surely they're not paying everyone!

I resent being accused of stealing music. And I resent my money going to someone of Microsoft's choosing for so-called compensation. That's why I think this is a terrible idea.

Marble
Nov 9, 2006, 11:27 PM
I found this but don't know if its been posted:

"To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you've already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They'll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it'll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player."

Eric

Now that is aggressive! Scanning your opponent's network is low, and some of these people are going to be coming over with hundreds of purchased songs!

Ja Di ksw
Nov 9, 2006, 11:38 PM
I found this but don't know if its been posted:

"To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you've already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They'll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it'll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player."

Eric

Wow. Just . . . . Wow. I don't know anything about law, but it seems like there should be *something* illegal about that.

orbea847
Nov 10, 2006, 12:14 AM
Also rumored:

"Microsoft isn't stopping with a WiFi-enabled PMP, they're actually going to launch an MVNO next year using all Windows Mobile-powered HTC handsets. These handsets will let users connect to the same social network you'll be able to access over WiFi using the portable media player."

The Zune brand is intended to be an entirely vertically integrated end-to-end solution, not unlike the iPod / iTunes / iTunes Music Store triumvirate.

Eric

corywoolf
Nov 10, 2006, 12:22 AM
To be honest, I have had a lot of folks come up to me at CompUSA and ask when the Zune will be out. I think MS has a winner on their hands, the iPod is getting stale and people are looking for a change. Apple just hasn't been making any significant upgrades to it for a while. All I can say is that I hope Apple's long rumored True Video iPod is around the corner and can be a major milestone. I may get a Zune if it does decent. I can always put Vista on my MBP and use both my iPod and Zune with my external HD holding my music. I just hope this kicks Apple in the butt and makes them quit messing around. I am getting sick of the weak iPod updates. May the fight begin!

robbyx
Nov 10, 2006, 12:35 AM
[I]I resent being accused of stealing music. And I resent my money going to someone of Microsoft's choosing for so-called compensation. That's why I think this is a terrible idea.

I agree 100%. I --- and the 1500+ plus purchased CDs sitting in my basement (as I've ripped them all to iTunes) --- resent being labeled a criminal by the industry I have supported for years.

robbyx
Nov 10, 2006, 12:48 AM
...the iPod is getting stale and people are looking for a change. Apple just hasn't been making any significant upgrades to it for a while...I just hope this kicks Apple in the butt and makes them quit messing around. I am getting sick of the weak iPod updates. May the fight begin!

I don't know if the problem is that the iPod is "stale" or that Apple simply hasn't expanded their product ecosystem.

I think iTV is a great idea. As someone who has struggled with lousy UPnP devices and software, I can't wait for Apple to deliver a truly elegant system for video, photos, and other content stored on one's computer.

I also think it's time for Apple to get serious about a home server/NAS. How about a headless Mac Mini with 4 drive bays and RAID support? Users can store their iTunes and iPhoto libraries on the system with the click of a button --- and iTV can access all of the content.

The rumored iPhone is also a great move. Combine an elegant phone GUI (now wouldn't that be nice!) with an iPod and you have a winner. Throw in a 3 megapixel camera and you have the perfect convergence device. Take snapshots at a party, call your friend, and rock out to some tunes on the cab ride home. One device. Do such devices already exist? Absolutely (I'm considering a Sony Ericsson K790a right now), but are any of them as simple and elegant as the iPod? Heck no.

How about a Tablet Mac? I'd love to have a super thin and lightweight tablet computer to use for surfing the web from my couch or jotting down notes at a meeting. It wouldn't replace my iMac, but it would be a welcome assistant...assuming the price was right.

*True* Video iPod. D'uh.

Okay, I'll stop with my wishlist. :D There are plenty of new and exciting directions Apple could take. If they don't WOW us at MacWorld this year (and, no, the iTV is not enough), I worry that their industry leading position could be at risk.

thejadedmonkey
Nov 10, 2006, 01:07 AM
I found this but don't know if its been posted:

"To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you've already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They'll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it'll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player."

Eric

If MS would let me trade in an iPod for a Zune, I would do it in a heartbeat. But I can't see spending $250 on another mp3 player that I wouldn't use much.

Jetson
Nov 10, 2006, 02:07 AM
I am so sick and tired of hearing about Microsoft's stupid little Zune player.

The freakin' thing is not even for sale yet.

It's utterly disgusting, all the attention this thing gets just because it's "Microsoft".

Ugg
Nov 10, 2006, 02:53 AM
For what it's worth, and as someone in the music industry, let me just try to clarify one thing: From the outside, big labels must seem like corrupt businesses considering the finances involved in making and selling a record. I mean, $50 million to produce and sell a CD? Well the truth is that nearly 90% of all albums produced do not generate enough sales to cover their cost of recording (paying the studio, the session musicians, copyright fees, etc); therefore, it is up to the remaining 10%(ish) to make up for the lost revenue. It is those top few grossing CDs that are relied on to allow the creation of everything else (most likely the music YOU listen to).

Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today…

Then why didn't they hop on the digital bandwagon when they had a chance? This isn't about not being able to afford to do something, this is about their own stupidity and inability to harness one of the most revolutionary means of content distribution.

Ah, therein lies the rub, we'll be hearing a lot more truly great music these days simply because small bands don't need to sell their souls to the record companies to make music. There's a big and powerful local music scene in every corner of the world. With services like iTunes, it's now possible for every single one of those bands to have worldwide exposure. We've already begun to see how powerful this can be.

For music, the internet is the great equalizer, even the duds at clearchannel have realized this as their generic format has become increasingly irrelevant.

It's nice to know that no longer will manufactured bands be foisted on the public. Universal's grave is already being dug.

mcmadhatter
Nov 10, 2006, 03:48 AM
If I had a zune, and I knew $10 or so was going to Universal to cover the costs of pirate music, I would not buy another Universal record, I would bittorrent them as I would have paid for it already in a roundabout way.

Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today… Think about all the wonderful artists we do hear about here in the UK because the big national radio stations devote time to listening to demo tapes and stuff off myspace, The arctic monkeys over here got to #1 in the charts on the back of free p2p, self premoting themselves, myspace and Radio 1 having mainstream shows devoted to getting music that is good and unsigned/signed to small record labels played to the nation. We don't need big record companies to take the risk, you just need decent radio stations that aren't bribed to play generic big label rubbish, and will air music that is small and good, you also need a place like myspace, and then you will find that the good music will find it's way to the top anyway, the artists will get a better deal, everyone is happy (apart form universal, bmg etc, but who cares about them anyway)

Dunepilot
Nov 10, 2006, 04:10 AM
A&R reps would look for bands based on their potential to grow, not their immediate potential to earn profit. However, because record labels can no longer afford to take risks due to low record sales, only those artists who they can guarantee to have a hit record are picked up, and all those potential talents are swept aside. In today’s market, as he explains, little bands like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones never would have made it because no one would have taken a chance on them.

Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today…

I don't think that we'll necessarily not hear the artists. What will happen is that almost noone will make a living from recording and selling their music because they'll be working day-jobs instead of seeing music as a full-time paying occupation. I personally see most music as heading for independent labels. If I look at my last 20 purchases, only the new Mars Volta LP came from a recording backed by a major label, and the vinyl version is released by Gold Standard Labs, if I remember correctly.

With the big 3 music companies pursuing their culturally-bankrupt agendas, most music worth listening to these days isn't coming from them anyway.

Anyway, just wanted to register my digust at this move by Microsoft. It's very clear what their intentions are by introducing this 'Universal Music tax'.

One other thing. The big record companies aren't about supporting live music either. That's why they're so concerned about protecting their revenue streams from music sales. I'd advise people to support live music wherever they can, and make music purchases at live shows, because a much greater proportion of your money spent that way goes to the band.

bdj21ya
Nov 10, 2006, 05:33 AM
Didn't have time to read through EVERY post, but has anyone mentioned that we've been paying a cut to the record labels for years on every CD burner?

Bonte
Nov 10, 2006, 05:56 AM
Personally, I find it outrageous. Especially because my iPod is full of content, every single song paid for. It's like paper manufacturers wanting a cut from ink suppliers...

In Europe there is a copyright-fee on every copy made in a copyshop and on every copier sold, maybe in the US also. Blank CD's, DVD's and cassettes to.

Loge
Nov 10, 2006, 06:10 AM
So how much cheaper will Universal's content be from the online store, compared to the other labels, now that Zune purchasers will have partially pre-paid?

Dunepilot
Nov 10, 2006, 06:23 AM
So how much cheaper will Universal's content be from the online store, compared to the other labels, now that Zune purchasers will have partially pre-paid?

Ha ha. Good gag.

mdntcallr
Nov 10, 2006, 06:41 AM
Ahh, I am hearing more on why Microsoft paid Universal a not too big amount per machine sold.

They have a new format for the store. not quite what they had before on MSN. so basically they greased the wheels with Universal Music Group to get them to say yes to getting their content for sale within it.

Doesnt make complete sense. but thats what supposedly happened

mkrishnan
Nov 10, 2006, 07:56 AM
So how much cheaper will Universal's content be from the online store, compared to the other labels, now that Zune purchasers will have partially pre-paid?

Hehehehehe... Zune purchasers! :eek: :rolleyes:

This price reduction will have to be coupled with the price reduction the poor sobs get for having already bought the same music in a Plays For Sure store only to find it no longer works with their Zune and being forced to purchase it again.

Macnoviz
Nov 10, 2006, 08:19 AM
Their most devious act for me was to sell songs at 79 MShit points, which is exactly the iTS price, but I'm guessing that little detail won't make it into articles and such and such. (especially not outside the IT world)

kalisphoenix
Nov 10, 2006, 09:22 AM
Cool! :) If you find it, please send it to me too. It sure is hi-fi. With about 60-70€ people could get a nicely working second hand turntable and a new cartridge which together would blow their cd's out of the shelf. And no unjustified bribe-style-royalties are passed. I think we all would love to have more content, less corporate capitalism. (It's not mobile though :rolleyes: )

This "Vinyl 4Ever!" nonsense has got to stop.

The truth is that vinyl is not a great medium. Yeah, I said it. There are many reasons for this, chief among them that the record sounds worse every time you play it. There's also the crap with buying a brand new record (made of recycled PVC) that already has clicks and pops in it. The static charge that accumulates, cheerfully gluing dust into the tiny nooks and crooks of your "Kenny Rogers and the First Edition" LP. Clicks, pops, skips, wow, flutter, tonearm vibrations, a noise floor that is put to shame by normal consumer grade digital stuff. Each copy made is inferior.

Not to mention the ease of using something like iTunes to skip around tracks, to categorize them however I see fit, to cheerfully random around until I find something I want to listen to, to not have to ever listen to that horrible "Bennie the Bouncer" or "Lady Godiva" or whatever. I might be wrong, but I don't believe there are any turntables with remote controls, 1000-album changers, shuffle mode, a rating system, or, you know, portability.

It's also nice to be able to listen to Quad albums in glorious surround sound, rather than trying to find an expensive quad turntable and receiver, not to mention the prices of quad albums.

Pft... keep the damned vinyl. It's crap. Seriously.

macdong
Nov 10, 2006, 09:22 AM
"We felt that any business that's built on the bedrock of music we should share in," said Doug Morris, chief executive of Universal, owned by French media giant Vivendi.

if this isn't the sound of greediness, i don't know what is.

Gasu E.
Nov 10, 2006, 09:32 AM
Because of piracy, even those top grossing CDs are no longer producing enough revenue to support the vast majority of “small” artists, and so the record labels are forced to cut off the bottom rungs one by one. This, in turn, has caused those lesser known artists to turn to independent and P2P methods of sale, which (in turn) draws even more revenue from the companies.


SRS, I'm sure you are accurately describing the current conditions in the recording industry. The problem with the MS "solution" is that it distorts overall economics in the MP3-player industry (by allowing a deep-pocketed monopolist to buy their way in) while giving the recording industry another excuse to refuse to adapt to the new market realities. Businesses SHOULD have to adapt, or die so new businesses and industries can replace them.

Other similiar industries have faced this challenge before and either adapted, died, or learned to live with the consequences. Content providers rarely if ever get a cut of the revenues from playback, display or recording devices.

Besides, the solution to the problem of the recording industry is simple, obvious, and not even original. The answer is simply for the recording industry to stop pretending Brittney Spears is an "artist" and recognize that she is a 100% commercial property. Brittney songs should have paid placements (i.e., Pepsi product references ) as a matter of course. Then it would become in everyone's interest to have these pop songs be played as often as possible regardless of actual CD sales, as Brittney could command huge placement fees. Imagine a product commercial that millions of a prime market demographic--silly teenage girls-- actually turn up when it comes on the radio.

corywoolf
Nov 10, 2006, 09:43 AM
I don't know if the problem is that the iPod is "stale" or that Apple simply hasn't expanded their product ecosystem.


Let's face it, the iPod Photo and 5.5 G iPod were not stellar upgrades. And as far as a Mac Mini with a raid... were is the market for that? Why not just plug in an external FW drive if you need to expand? They might as well make a Mac (Sub) Pro that is $1499 with a Conroe and a four tray HD system with a similar form factor.

lelereb
Nov 10, 2006, 09:57 AM
And Virgin not? And EMI not? And my grandmother not?

Jman888
Nov 10, 2006, 10:05 AM
I completely disagree with the assessment that major labels are evil and corrupt.

Honestly, they have good people working at them doing publicity, touring, graphics, marketing, A&R and much more. all of this costs money.

Music also costs much less in the US than europe. It is easy to blame people for not all the money going to the artist, but alot of money does go to artists.

the problem is that very few records released are profitable. for all the records coming out, with advances to artists, producers, after marketing costs it is hard to make a buck. for artists, but also for labels.

piracy has cost many friends of mine jobs. people with families and people to support. the next time you steal a song on p2p or another method.

know you are harming people. not everyone is living the high life. there are middle class people trying to make an honest living in the record biz.
Actually Even some artists have said they get .5 - 3 Cents per song. They sell a lot but still. Even though they got sued after coming out about what they get paid.

Jman888
Nov 10, 2006, 10:12 AM
NO way could it be 10 bucks per Zune. More like cents (like audio cassettes used to be) but then they will haver to give a cut to EVERY FRIGGEN LABEL. How does that work and why? The Labels make money when the songs sell. Bad precedent to give a cut of the hardware too.
Well microsoft Did Lose over 150 Dollars per X-Box Losing way more now.

SRSound
Nov 10, 2006, 11:33 AM
Then why didn't they hop on the digital bandwagon when they had a chance? This isn't about not being able to afford to do something, this is about their own stupidity and inability to harness one of the most revolutionary means of content distribution.

Ah, therein lies the rub, we'll be hearing a lot more truly great music these days simply because small bands don't need to sell their souls to the record companies to make music. There's a big and powerful local music scene in every corner of the world. With services like iTunes, it's now possible for every single one of those bands to have worldwide exposure. We've already begun to see how powerful this can be.

For music, the internet is the great equalizer, even the duds at clearchannel have realized this as their generic format has become increasingly irrelevant.

It's nice to know that no longer will manufactured bands be foisted on the public. Universal's grave is already being dug.

Have you ever filled out the necessary forms to get media content on iTunes? Not easy. Go back and read earlier posts – there’s a lot more to it then just getting digital content out to the public. Small bands need the assistance of labels to stay afloat for more then a year or so. It just isn’t possible for a band to last here in the US, self supported for an extended period of time.

Think about all the wonderful artists we do hear about here in the UK because the big national radio stations devote time to listening to demo tapes and stuff off myspace, The arctic monkeys over here got to #1 in the charts on the back of free p2p, self premoting themselves, myspace and Radio 1 having mainstream shows devoted to getting music that is good and unsigned/signed to small record labels played to the nation. We don't need big record companies to take the risk, you just need decent radio stations that aren't bribed to play generic big label rubbish, and will air music that is small and good, you also need a place like myspace, and then you will find that the good music will find it's way to the top anyway, the artists will get a better deal, everyone is happy (apart form universal, bmg etc, but who cares about them anyway)

Yeah. If only it were so here in the US. Clearchannel owns something like 75% of the radio stations in the country, and they often play what pay’s most. While independent artists can and do join the blanket organizations like ASCAP and BMI, good luck getting DJ’s to actually play it without payola or papering.

I don't think that we'll necessarily not hear the artists. What will happen is that almost noone will make a living from recording and selling their music because they'll be working day-jobs instead of seeing music as a full-time paying occupation. I personally see most music as heading for independent labels. If I look at my last 20 purchases, only the new Mars Volta LP came from a recording backed by a major label, and the vinyl version is released by Gold Standard Labs, if I remember correctly.

With the big 3 music companies pursuing their culturally-bankrupt agendas, most music worth listening to these days isn't coming from them anyway.

Anyway, just wanted to register my digust at this move by Microsoft. It's very clear what their intentions are by introducing this 'Universal Music tax'.

One other thing. The big record companies aren't about supporting live music either. That's why they're so concerned about protecting their revenue streams from music sales. I'd advise people to support live music wherever they can, and make music purchases at live shows, because a much greater proportion of your money spent that way goes to the band.

Yes, and when all the artists can’t afford to be full-time artists, say goodbye to tours or bands with more then 1 (maybe 2) CDs. As I wrote earlier, being an artists and entertainer was a career and people would learn and grow as they played more and more. Today, however, if you don’t have a hit within the first year (or right off the bat), you’re gone.

On the contrary, labels ARE supporting live music because a tour is the #1 way to increase music sales and band revenue. Labels are also responsible for pairing artists up with booking agents, and as I wrote earlier, some venues REQUIRE a label as an intermediary in order to even sign a contract.

SRS, I'm sure you are accurately describing the current conditions in the recording industry. The problem with the MS "solution" is that it distorts overall economics in the MP3-player industry (by allowing a deep-pocketed monopolist to buy their way in) while giving the recording industry another excuse to refuse to adapt to the new market realities. Businesses SHOULD have to adapt, or die so new businesses and industries can replace them.

Other similiar industries have faced this challenge before and either adapted, died, or learned to live with the consequences. Content providers rarely if ever get a cut of the revenues from playback, display or recording devices.

Besides, the solution to the problem of the recording industry is simple, obvious, and not even original. The answer is simply for the recording industry to stop pretending Brittney Spears is an "artist" and recognize that she is a 100% commercial property. Brittney songs should have paid placements (i.e., Pepsi product references ) as a matter of course. Then it would become in everyone's interest to have these pop songs be played as often as possible regardless of actual CD sales, as Brittney could command huge placement fees. Imagine a product commercial that millions of a prime market demographic--silly teenage girls-- actually turn up when it comes on the radio.

I agree entirely that taking a cut for hardware is absolutely unreasonable. My original post was just an effort to bring light to how deep the issue of piracy really goes.

Also, my offer from before still stands. If you are willing to draft up a formal proposal with a solution to the problem at hand, I will be more then happy to send it on to the powers that be.

Ryanr14
Nov 10, 2006, 11:45 AM
After reading your post - I believe you, I'm sure the costs of producing an album are insane, but the music industry is greedy. The problem is the industry is still operating on an "antiquated" business strategy. Back in the 50's & 60's yes, you HAD to have a manager, get signed up with a big label, cut an album, tour and start all over.... I know that studio time can be rediculously expensive... BUT.....

Today is totally different. Bands can do a lot of the "studio work" on their own for a lot less money. That's what has fueled the indy movement.... garage bands that can make an album and sell their own tracks online and pocket their own money.... They don't need to pay huge sums for marketing, since they market through online channels and have access to way more people, and get their sound out to a huge audience....

So the recording industry probably is losing money every year. But high CD prices for years, 13-year- old-suing shananegans, and their attempt to force Apple to raise iTunes prices on tracks that Apple bears all of the distribution costs for - they have dug their own grave and no one cares that big-wig music exes won't be able to get a $400k bonus this year.

All the bands have to do is cut out the labels, and sell directly through iTunes (or their own sites).

I know of a few bands that have already did this, i dont remember the exact details of how they are doing this but for example The Format's new cd "Dog Problems" they recorded on their own and are selling it on their own the only thing i believe they have is a distribution channel, so this sounds like a good thing since they were dropped from their label.

SRSound
Nov 10, 2006, 12:24 PM
I don't know how to do a poll, but there is something I would love to know. How many people actually care about the sound quality of their music? And I don't mean that in terms of 128kbps vs. 320kbps or even 192KHz vs. 44.1KHz; I mean who here is okay paying $12-20 for a CD that sounds quite clearly like it was recorded in someone's basement? Who here thinks they can even tell the difference?

It can be a little disenchanting for those of us who spend massive ammounts of money on the best and highest fidelity audio equipment to produce the best sounding results when we hear from numerous consumers that "garageband would work just as well." So what do you think?

cropcircles
Nov 10, 2006, 12:58 PM
This is totally wrong! Why is it that if a realtor sells a piece of property for a seller that the realtor is only allowed to get the commision and not share it with non licensed persons such as the seller...well same reasoning should apply here.. this should be considered as such. Basically this tips the scale of fairness and in doing so it becomes illegal. Its the same reason why an appraiser does not work on commision or kickbacks.

shamino
Nov 10, 2006, 01:18 PM
I don't know how to do a poll, but there is something I would love to know. How many people actually care about the sound quality of their music? And I don't mean that in terms of 128kbps vs. 320kbps or even 192KHz vs. 44.1KHz; I mean who here is okay paying $12-20 for a CD that sounds quite clearly like it was recorded in someone's basement? Who here thinks they can even tell the difference?
You still seem to think that non-label studios inevitably have to produce garbage.

It just isn't true. Nobody is talking about bands slapping something together in their garage, complete with the sound of traffic driving by.

But no matter what the labels would like to claim, it doesn't cost millions of dollars to build and operate a good studio. $30,000-50,000 (well within the cost of a home improvement loan) is enough to design and build a kick-ass studio. And $5,000-10,000 is enough to hire a competent engineer (but without a billion-dollar reputation) for the few days needed to do the final recording/mixing of an album. There is no need for an expensive engineer while you're rehearsing.

There are also plenty of independent studios that you can rent time (and even an engineer) from, if you don't have the money to build one in your own home. And again, you don't need an expensive studio for rehearsals.

The results of this kind of production can be every bit as good as what a studio puts out, and it doesn't leave the band massively in debt and without any rights to their own compositions.

I've purchased many such albums, and the production quality is every bit as good as what the major labels put out.

Yes, nobody is going to pay full price for an album that was slapped together in someone's bedroom, but if you think the only possible alternative is a label-sponsored studio that costs millions of dollars to operate, you're fooling yourself.

SRSound
Nov 10, 2006, 02:14 PM
You still seem to think that non-label studios inevitably have to produce garbage.

It just isn't true. Nobody is talking about bands slapping something together in their garage, complete with the sound of traffic driving by.

But no matter what the labels would like to claim, it doesn't cost millions of dollars to build and operate a good studio. $30,000-50,000 (well within the cost of a home improvement loan) is enough to design and build a kick-ass studio. And $5,000-10,000 is enough to hire a competent engineer (but without a billion-dollar reputation) for the few days needed to do the final recording/mixing of an album. There is no need for an expensive engineer while you're rehearsing.

There are also plenty of independent studios that you can rent time (and even an engineer) from, if you don't have the money to build one in your own home. And again, you don't need an expensive studio for rehearsals.

The results of this kind of production can be every bit as good as what a studio puts out, and it doesn't leave the band massively in debt and without any rights to their own compositions.

I've purchased many such albums, and the production quality is every bit as good as what the major labels put out.

Yes, nobody is going to pay full price for an album that was slapped together in someone's bedroom, but if you think the only possible alternative is a label-sponsored studio that costs millions of dollars to operate, you're fooling yourself.

You're absolutely right, Im sorry I failed to clarify again. Believe me, I know independents can produce music just as well as the big-timers (that's how I started out). I am simply referring to the massive ammount of my-space demo CDs that I've heard that DO sound like, well, not so hot. And sometimes it's not even because of production quality, but people can be bothered to use even decent sounding drum samples, or more realistic virtual instruments. There's a lot of casio keyboard demo-type stuff, and I'm wondering if it's becoming a new style...

APPLENEWBIE
Nov 10, 2006, 02:17 PM
The real reason MS agreed to this... is this, I think. The studios took a look at zune, realized it was not going to sell. They further realized if zune does not sell, zune marketplace will sell no stuff. if zune marketplace sells no stuff, why should we (record company) bother to put our stuff on Zune marketplace. Waste of time! Forget it MS, we don't wanna play. (MS panics...) Oh, wait.... MS is offering us $10 to basically do nothing? SOLD!

nemaslov
Nov 10, 2006, 03:15 PM
I don't know if Apple is technically allowed to do this; check out their legal squabbles with the Beatles' Apple Corps over the past 20 years (Apple computer is distinctly computer sphere; Apple Corp is allowed music liscence, or some other BS) :rolleyes:

I know alot of you here were against when Apple (Beatles) sued Apple Computer...I for one felt that the Beatles Apple was correct in that one.. Anyway Apple Computer would be smart about now to give the Beatles Apple a huge chunk maybe 100 milion dollars and get the Beatles remastered catalogue on iTunes as fast as they can. Maybe online exclusive for six months or a year. It would help both. Spurr sales of the Beatles remasterd catalogue (which should come soon-maybe) and you know that Microsoft would write any check they want to the Beatles. And they would do it just to get interest in the Zune.

Eben iof you don't give a crap about the BEatles, they have major BRAND recognition and would be a very smart business move.

But no hardward company should give a cut to the labels. Next TV manufacturers would be giving cuts to studios. Really stupid.

nemaslov
Nov 10, 2006, 03:19 PM
To be honest, I have had a lot of folks come up to me at CompUSA and ask when the Zune will be out. I think MS has a winner on their hands, the iPod is getting stale and people are looking for a change. Apple just hasn't been making any significant upgrades to it for a while. All I can say is that I hope Apple's long rumored True Video iPod is around the corner and can be a major milestone. I may get a Zune if it does decent. I can always put Vista on my MBP and use both my iPod and Zune with my external HD holding my music. I just hope this kicks Apple in the butt and makes them quit messing around. I am getting sick of the weak iPod updates. May the fight begin!

Yes but you know come January at MACworld (or soon therafter) the next iPod will kick butt. This ZUNE is already so last year

nemaslov
Nov 10, 2006, 03:23 PM
Didn't have time to read through EVERY post, but has anyone mentioned that we've been paying a cut to the record labels for years on every CD burner?

Yes but that is because you use it to copy CDs. Blank cassettes also had a "tax."

But the Zune only stores and plays back. Like my CD player, turntable, VHS, Betamax, Quadrophonic stereo, 8 :p track player, reel to reel, and cave walls.

nemaslov
Nov 10, 2006, 03:29 PM
Let's face it, the iPod Photo and 5.5 G iPod were not stellar upgrades. And as far as a Mac Mini with a raid... were is the market for that? Why not just plug in an external FW drive if you need to expand? They might as well make a Mac (Sub) Pro that is $1499 with a Conroe and a four tray HD system with a similar form factor.

I am tired of complainers of the iPod upgrade thing. Crap I just want to hear music!. I have stereos that I have had for many many years. The last iPod upgrade was amazing. More storage, cheaper prices. so you can't have a song you purschased go wireless up your ass? so friggen what! The new iPod upgrade you seem to want will probably come out in the next few months-you know it is coming. So many expect major changes too quickly. That's absurb. Apple is pretty quick. Look at these new Macbooks.. Less than six months after the first new ones.. Amazing!

Remember the quote: "it's the music stupid."

shamino
Nov 10, 2006, 03:55 PM
You're absolutely right, Im sorry I failed to clarify again. Believe me, I know independents can produce music just as well as the big-timers (that's how I started out). I am simply referring to the massive ammount of my-space demo CDs that I've heard that DO sound like, well, not so hot. And sometimes it's not even because of production quality, but people can be bothered to use even decent sounding drum samples, or more realistic virtual instruments. There's a lot of casio keyboard demo-type stuff, and I'm wondering if it's becoming a new style...
Ah.

One of the downsides of the cheap publishing is that tons of junk ends up there.

These are the same people who, in previous years, would've recorded the same material to cassettes and given them out to family and friends. The fact that web pages are now the distribution medium doesn't change much, IMO.

howard
Nov 10, 2006, 04:10 PM
I am tired of complainers of the iPod upgrade thing. Crap I just want to hear music!. I have stereos that I have had for many many years. The last iPod upgrade was amazing. More storage, cheaper prices. so you can't have a song you purschased go wireless up your ass? so friggen what! The new iPod upgrade you seem to want will probably come out in the next few months-you know it is coming. So many expect major changes too quickly. That's absurb. Apple is pretty quick. Look at these new Macbooks.. Less than six months after the first new ones.. Amazing!

Remember the quote: "it's the music stupid."

yeah, i agree. I was holding my girlfriends old 2g 20gig ipod in my hand the other day thinking, wow this thing is amazing.

as far as production quality goes, thats such an opinion based thing. Some of my favorite cds are some early independent bands stuff that doesn't technically sound that great, but the music was there and it shows through the cheaper production. Yes there are idiots out there producing crap on their computers, its more cause they don't know anything about music, not production. Take "How I made my millions." by thom yorke for example. recorded with a mini disc in is house. sounds like balls but its still a great song. or early albums by death cab, their best stuff and it wasn't recorded that well. Then you get these pop songs that are comprised of cheap kick snare and hi-hat samples with some bass and vocals, slap together some production on it and its all the sudden on the charts.

I agree with the typical saying "you can't polish a turd" but I would like to add my own saying, the reverse of that one:

you can't dull a diamond

if its a good song its a good song, better production might make it better, but no matter what it will always be a good song.

Bubbajim
Nov 10, 2006, 04:42 PM
Seriously folks, we need to keep the artists in mind. I feel like this is all a long marathon for Jerry's Kids!

I've seen enough of MTV's Cribs to know that the artists be gettin' paid. I mean really, does Ja Rule need anymore money from me? You think Paul Wall needs another dime from Zume sales to fill his mouth will diamonds?

These artists get paid way TOO much!

Don't come to me and say, but there are artists that get signed on and don't get much money at all. Guess who's fault is that?? NOT MINE! I don't sign any contracts unless I feel I'm getting what I deserve.

The music industry makes plenty of profit...check out a clip from a 2004 article regarding BMI "BMI reported revenues of $673 million for the 2004 fiscal year, an increase of nearly $43 million, 6.8% over the prior year. The performing rights organization generated royalties of more than $573 million for its songwriters, composers and music publishers. Royalties increased by $40 million or 7.5% from the previous year. BMI President and CEO Frances W. Preston said both the revenues and royalty distributions were the largest in the company's history."

That's 2004....but that can't be!!!?!! there's rampant piracy and the consumer doesn't want to pay for legal downloads????!!

Music industry can suck ballz for all I care. Keep sticking your hands in the cookie jar and watch what happens. We will all go back to rippin' songs off a $44 dollar boombox with cassette tapes.

Ugg
Nov 10, 2006, 04:50 PM
Seriously folks, we need to keep the artists in mind. I feel like this is all a long marathon for Jerry's Kids!

I've seen enough of MTV's Cribs to know that the artists be gettin' paid. I mean really, does Ja Rule need anymore money from me? You think Paul Wall needs another dime from Zume sales to fill his mouth will diamonds?

These artists get paid way TOO much!

Don't come to me and say, but there are artists that get signed on and don't get much money at all. Guess who's fault is that?? NOT MINE! I don't sign any contracts unless I feel I'm getting what I deserve.

The music industry makes plenty of profit

The music industry has created this monster and due to the phenomenal profits involved are unwilling to change and their only way forward is to destroy anyone who attempts to change the business model.

It's time to stop supporting big music. It's mostly a lot of crap. There's tons of good if not great groups out there who don't get the exposure they deserve. The payola scams of 40 years ago are nothing compared to what the industry does now.

mrsebastian
Nov 10, 2006, 05:02 PM
that's [bleeping] hysterical! two companies trying to [bleep] each other with their pirate like business practices.

SMM
Nov 10, 2006, 07:19 PM
I am tired of complainers of the iPod upgrade thing. Crap I just want to hear music!. I have stereos that I have had for many many years. The last iPod upgrade was amazing. More storage, cheaper prices. so you can't have a song you purschased go wireless up your ass? so friggen what! The new iPod upgrade you seem to want will probably come out in the next few months-you know it is coming. So many expect major changes too quickly. That's absurb. Apple is pretty quick. Look at these new Macbooks.. Less than six months after the first new ones.. Amazing!

Remember the quote: "it's the music stupid."

I totally agree with your post, and find the one you responded too, hysterical. I notice that 'corywoolf' is a frequent poster here, so I wonder if this is not just some dry humor on his part? It reads like a partial compilation of stuff the the newbie trolls write.

Carguy172
Nov 10, 2006, 07:48 PM
Microsoft is trying to change the portable music player market. With Xbox and xBox 360, they have lost 4 billion dollars.

If they lost money on the fist xbox they wouldn't have made the second one.

matticus008
Nov 10, 2006, 08:09 PM
You listen to a CD over and over again and pay $15 for it. You read a book once and pay at least that. But no one is up in arms over book pricing. And what about DVDs? You pay anywhere between $10 and $20 for a DVD and maybe watch it three times.
Yeah, but a movie costs an order of magnitude higher than a CD to make, even accounting for massive marketing costs. I would never pay $19.99 for a movie that cost someone $50,000. Likewise, I'd never pay $19.99 for a CD, period. I've watched the movies I own 5, 6, 7+ times each. I understand that the real cost of a popular CD might be in the millions; then again, a popular CD will also sell in the millions. But still, a movie is twice as long as an album, and I think $15 for a movie I'll watch 4 times a year is worth as much as an album I'll probably listen to 8 times in that year.

No one listens to CDs thousands of times. It would take 3 years for someone listening to an album once a day to hit just 1000 iterations. Further, the whole point of the high price of DVDs and CDs is that you can listen to them any number of times you want--if you want to reduce the calculations to a "price per experience" then you're basically encouraging a toll system and a rental strategy.

Do some simple math. Let's say that it costs $1 to manufacture each CD and you manufacture 2,000 dics. You then spend $10,000 on marketing. You've now spent $12,000 on the release - or $6 per disc. You sell to a distributor for $8. They sell to a store for $10. The store sells for $14.99. At $8 per disc, you need to sell 1,500 copies of the album before you even make a penny. And in the indie world, 1,500 copies is quite an accomplishment.
That's all well and good, but there are lots of holes in these various stages. More to the point, why the $7 markup from production to retailing? They don't advertise for you, and inventory management is on the order of a few cents per CD. Obviously you can't control the end price, but if you are a small label selling products, you can set an MSRP on your site so that it shows how much you're being gouged by the retailer.

In the real world, you see that stores have to pay more like $13 from the distributor and then sell them for $15--in this example, that $5 markup charged by the distributor is essentially free profit (you've already paid for production and advertising and the retailer pays for shipping and capital overhead so what exactly is the distributor good for?). For example, Tower Records is going out of business--it's not the stores, it's the labels getting fat while artists, retailers, and consumers suffer.

howard
Nov 10, 2006, 08:37 PM
matticus008-

how much a piece of art costs to make doesn't have anything to do with its worth. So what if a movie was made with 50 grand, if its a good movie its a good movie.

also, to the other quote in your post... for an independant artist to spend 10 grand for marketing is kinda ridiculous. Most bands that can sell 1500 cds do so by spending $10 at kinkos to hand out flyers for their shows where they sell their 1500 cds.

matticus008
Nov 10, 2006, 08:47 PM
matticus008-

how much a piece of art costs to make doesn't have anything to do with its worth.
Actually, the cost of art is exactly its worth, financially speaking. There is undeniably an aesthetic quality as to what a customer thinks the art itself has in terms of added value worthy of a higher price tag (but that's irrelevant). In terms of cost recovery, a $50,000 studio movie and a $50 million studio movie, per copy, are not worth the same thing assuming the number of copies sold is similar in each case. If they're going to sell 1000 copies of two different products and one cost 10 times more to make than the other, they had better not be sold at the same price.

I wasn't talking about the aesthetics of the art at all--only the economics. Perhaps I should have made that more clear.

gallopicoso1
Nov 10, 2006, 09:00 PM
Obviously MS's move is nothing more than an attempt to bully their way into an already saturated market with their less than impressive player.

In short, they bully hold a carrot in fron to the music labels for them to begin to believe that they "own" a part of the players that music is played on. Then, when more and more begin to belive this, a critial mass of individuals/companies will push to have the "new model" adopted. Which may force the hand of other device makers like Apple, Sony, Toshiba, etc.

The problem with this "new idea" is that the music industry does not have a right to sales dollars from devices sold no more than than makers of pizza boxes have a right to have a cut of the sales of pizza. It is un-American and contrary to the principles of a free market.

The plan will back fire as it will provoke mass retaliation from consumers of music, who purchase their music via several of the vendors already in place, to engage in increased piracy.

If the music industry has not learned from their past mistakes to curtail their greed, they too will pay the ultimate price of lost revenue for a legitimate model that has been proven by Apple's iTunes to generate revenue not only for the music labels as a whole, but for the artists who reap little in return for their labor and products.

I for one do not support such a "tax" on ipods or any other music device. If there is a tax imposed and if the music industry begins to adopt such a practice, I will assure you that I will not buy another CD again. If I am going to be PUNISHED for being a law abiding music consumer because of he greed-laced business model proposed by Microsoft, music labels beware that your profits will be held hostage becaus I will boycott your product until such a model is abandoned.

Gallo

gallopicoso1
Nov 10, 2006, 09:00 PM
Obviously MS's move is nothing more than an attempt to bully their way into an already saturated market with their less than impressive player.

In short, they are attempting to bully their way into our homes by holding a carrot in front to the music labels and pumping the propaganda of greed into their minds.

The problem with this "new idea" is that the music industry does not have a right to sales dollars from devices sold no more than than makers of pizza boxes have a right to have a cut of the sales of pizza. It is un-American and contrary to the principles of a free market, not to mention ethically wrong.

The plan will back fire as it will provoke mass retaliation from consumers of music, who purchase their music via several of the vendors already in place, to engage in increased piracy.

If the music industry has not learned from their past mistakes to curtail their greed, they too will pay the ultimate price of lost revenue for a legitimate model that has been proven by Apple's iTunes to generate revenue not only for the music labels as a whole, but for the artists who reap little in return for their labor and products.

I for one do not support such a "tax" on ipods or any other music device. If there is a tax imposed and if the music industry begins to adopt such a practice, I will assure you that I will not buy another CD again. If I am going to be PUNISHED for being a law abiding music consumer because of he greed-laced business model proposed by Microsoft, music labels beware that your profits will be held hostage becaus I will boycott your product until such a model is abandoned.

Gallo

macnulty
Nov 10, 2006, 11:17 PM
For what it's worth, and as someone in the music industry, let me just try to clarify one thing: From the outside, big labels must seem like corrupt businesses considering the finances involved in making and selling a record. I mean, $50 million to produce and sell a CD? Well the truth is that nearly 90% of all albums produced do not generate enough sales to cover their cost of recording (paying the studio, the session musicians, copyright fees, etc); therefore, it is up to the remaining 10%(ish) to make up for the lost revenue. It is those top few grossing CDs that are relied on to allow the creation of everything else (most likely the music YOU listen to).

Because of piracy, even those top grossing CDs are no longer producing enough revenue to support the vast majority of “small” artists, and so the record labels are forced to cut off the bottom rungs one by one. This, in turn, has caused those lesser known artists to turn to independent and P2P methods of sale, which (in turn) draws even more revenue from the companies.

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Steve Barnett, chairman and CEO of Columbia Records, who acknowledges this very serious problem and desperately seeks change from all parties involved. He explained that back when he was AC/DC’s manager, bands weren’t expected to have a hit record until maybe their 3rd or 4th album. A&R reps would look for bands based on their potential to grow, not their immediate potential to earn profit. However, because record labels can no longer afford to take risks due to low record sales, only those artists who they can guarantee to have a hit record are picked up, and all those potential talents are swept aside. In today’s market, as he explains, little bands like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones never would have made it because no one would have taken a chance on them.

Think of all the wonderful artists we’ll never hear about because no one can afford to take the risk today…

I think what you indicates is the up-side-down economics of the music industry. The typical company in a downward revenue spiral looks first to cut expenses and looks to market a product consumers will buy. Honestly, how cheaply can a record company cut a CD? For example the Beatles, wasn't their first album cut in a day? They went into studio ready to record, not to rehearse. And before Capitol Records took them, they were turned down by at least Decca. Point being all business is a risk, if insulate too much from risk your product gets stale.

elgruga
Nov 11, 2006, 02:08 AM
The zune is a piece of crap.
Its a 30 gb drive, but most people dont have 30 gb of music. So there will be lots of empty space.
Great - except that you cant use the zune as a hard disk.....
Wireless songs? What the HELL for?
People dont transfer songs that disappear in three plays.
Its a social thing? WTF? M$ are truly nuts.

If you think this zune thing is anything to even comment on, just picture ballmer in that video where he is sweating and screaming like a demented monkey.

Still think the zune is something worth looking at?

Hmmm... a really cool, tiny 8gb black nano or a fugly ***** brown 'zune'?

As for Universal getting cash from M$h*t, that almost certainly is being closely looked at by lawyers, including Apples lawyers, because it looks like anti-trust/monopolistic behaviour to me.
Or just a bribe? Dont matter, it will be all history in about 6 months.

'zune' - amazing that these microsofty idiots ever made any money - if only IBM had crushed them like bugs a long time ago.....

And the name.....zune - zune - zoon - keep saying it and it gets quite bizarre. zunezunezunezuneuzneuznuenzuenzue

Watch out for zune trolls - they are amusing but annoying too - M$ is paying a bunch of zune zombies to post everywhere - like this 'corywolf' person - serious troll behaviour.

hulugu
Nov 11, 2006, 02:56 AM
That's the point! The "GOOD" music doesn't appeal to the majority of CD-buyers (physical music consumers). They did try, and failed to get enough interest in people who still know how to play real instruments and sing. Those who buy the most CDs only want to hear Fergie "talk-sing" to regurgitated samples, so that's what the labels are forced to produce. Talk to MTV, VH1 and all of the music advertising companies if you want to change the influence of popular-genre; not the labels.

I think there's more push-pull here than you think, consumers want a new sound and that new sound is then hyped to the max, overplayed, and burned-out. Then we move to the next thing.
'Good' music is left in the dark, unnoticed by all but the most ardent fans. The music industry needs to stop looking for the blockbuster and move back towards faciliating new artists.
The 'Long Tail' idea proves this works.

hulugu
Nov 11, 2006, 03:07 AM
I agree entirely that taking a cut for hardware is absolutely unreasonable. My original post was just an effort to bring light to how deep the issue of piracy really goes.

Also, my offer from before still stands. If you are willing to draft up a formal proposal with a solution to the problem at hand, I will be more then happy to send it on to the powers that be.

First, I'm convinced that the labels are doomed and the economics of selling 'bits' of data that software turns into sound is totally different from the vinyl albums of yesteryear. I'm also convinced that the labels may have missed the boat with the early days of Napster, when an album was still worth something, and few people thought of downloading Gigabytes of music through their Broadband connection.

Maybe you should start a thread on this issue, I'm actually interested in what people think would work.

What do you think about the future of the music industry considering your insider viewpoint?

GregA2
Nov 11, 2006, 08:53 AM
Microsoft has plenty of a window, they have lost 4 billion dollars on xbox and they continue it.

If the success of Zune hinges on WINDOWS, M$ is doomed... :cool: :D

Ha ze
Nov 11, 2006, 12:07 PM
If they lost money on the fist xbox they wouldn't have made the second one.

Wrong... They STILL haven't made money on either the xbox or xbox 360 yet. Bill Gates has said that the original box was just to get them in the market and set them up for 360. An ok idea i guess, but an expensive choice. They are willing loose money on the systems and hope to make it up through rentals, game purchases, accessories, and other downloads.

They are doing the same marketing with Zune. Apple reduced their prices to a point the Microsoft was barely making money on the units as it is, i wonder what they will be getting now that part of the price is going to UMG...

SRSound
Nov 11, 2006, 12:26 PM
I think what you indicates is the up-side-down economics of the music industry. The typical company in a downward revenue spiral looks first to cut expenses and looks to market a product consumers will buy. Honestly, how cheaply can a record company cut a CD? For example the Beatles, wasn't their first album cut in a day? They went into studio ready to record, not to rehearse. And before Capitol Records took them, they were turned down by at least Decca. Point being all business is a risk, if insulate too much from risk your product gets stale.

I think the cost of the production of a CD is the least of worries these days. It’s the marketing and promotion and illegal payments to radio stations and such that cost a fortune. It is true that the best engineers and producers make quite a bit more per hour then the best neurosurgeons because their expertise is in such demand, but that costs is nothing in comparison to getting the word out. Yes, the Beatles did cut their first album in a day (after virtually every label turned them away), but we have slightly different production standards today. Plus it’s quite rare to find a band who is actually well rehearsed and ready to lay down “live” tracks in the studio.

First, I'm convinced that the labels are doomed and the economics of selling 'bits' of data that software turns into sound is totally different from the vinyl albums of yesteryear. I'm also convinced that the labels may have missed the boat with the early days of Napster, when an album was still worth something, and few people thought of downloading Gigabytes of music through their Broadband connection.

Maybe you should start a thread on this issue, I'm actually interested in what people think would work.

What do you think about the future of the music industry considering your insider viewpoint?

I agree – buying a 0.99 download is not at all the same to going into a music store and shuffling through vinyls and reading the contents of the album and seeing the cover art, etc. The way people acquire music is changing (and I think for the worse, although I know lots of people disagree) and to tell you the truth, I have no idea what it will be like in 5 years. There will always be artists looking to make music, but the question then becomes how will they get their music out and will being a “musician” or “entertainer” still be a career title, or just something people do on the side for a year or two? Also, new software is taking away people’s apparent need for talent by providing pre-recorded samples and the ability to record or pitch-alter and, well, change virtually every aspect of a song transparently. What’s the result of this? You may hear an artists put out a great CD, but go see them live and OOPS guess what? They suck in real life. Ashley Simpson anyone?

Do you know how to put together a poll on here? I would also love to see what people think too.

Ha ze
Nov 11, 2006, 01:39 PM
I agree – buying a 0.99 download is not at all the same to going into a music store and shuffling through vinyls and reading the contents of the album and seeing the cover art, etc. The way people acquire music is changing (and I think for the worse, although I know lots of people disagree) and to tell you the truth, I have no idea what it will be like in 5 years.

I would be one of the ones that disagrees. I for a time didn't buy much music, (didn't really pirate, just really didn't buy music) now that i'm browsing iTunes all the time, I purchase most of my stuff. (except for some unreleased/mix tape items) Another great part is that some of the stuff is thing i would never consider buying if i was walking through borders or virgin records, so I would think that this is a better buying solution now then common stores. You can still see the artwork and solves the problem of not having to buy the "bad tracks" on a CD.

I only wish the samples were longer

philips
Nov 11, 2006, 06:08 PM
First, I'm convinced that the labels are doomed and the economics of selling 'bits' of data that software turns into sound is totally different from the vinyl albums of yesteryear.

Well, I got tired half way reading the topic - so I'll just post my thoughts in the end of the thread ;)

Gov't wouldn't allow music industry to tax another (adjacent) industry. (*) One of the goals of gov't is to ensure growth and diversity of markets. That comes directly from constitution, ppl. RIAA wouldn't succeed unless it would amend constitution - luckily (for them) the same democrats who approved DMCA came back to power.

If RIAA would succeed, then I expect biggest benefiter to be McDonalds - you hardly can counter that to work and work productively people have to eat. Without food industry no other industry can exist. We all benefit from food. So why not to fork them off a buck or two? :D

(*) There are/were exceptions. For example IBM and other big computer companies were obliged to pay special fees for computer-related education in Universities. Until market had diversified itself to the point of self-sustainability. The template: something expensive (often paid by public money) with few benefiters. Then the few benefiters might be obliged to pay. Education is expensive and few companies 30 years back could have afforded computers. Music production isn't expensive. And there are whole bunch of benefiters.

matticus008
Nov 11, 2006, 06:43 PM
Gov't wouldn't allow music industry to tax another (adjacent) industry. (*) One of the goals of gov't is to ensure growth and diversity of markets. That comes directly from constitution, ppl. RIAA wouldn't succeed unless it would amend constitution - luckily (for them) the same democrats who approved DMCA came back to power.
Where, exactly, does the Constitution say anything about government fostering growth and diversity of economic markets? None of this has anything to do with amending the Constitution.

As for the DMCA--it was authored by a Republican representative and later passed unanimously in the Senate, which as we all know, was a Republican-controlled body. The people who passed the DMCA never left power, with the exception of Bill Clinton, who merely signed the bill like presidents do 90%+ of the time.

pseudobrit
Nov 11, 2006, 07:12 PM
(Reuters) TURIN, Italy - Fiat S.p.A, majority owner of Ferrari, has come to an agreement with 46 US states regarding speed limits being violated with their sports cars. Under the agreement, Ferrari will pay an undisclosed fee for every vehicle sold in the US. "The fact is that many Ferrari buyers later go on to violate many – and sometimes all – of our traffic laws. We think that Ferrari are partially culpable for providing the vehicles in which these laws are broken. Their advertising, styling and brand image are no doubt responsible for many drivers' decisions to go very fast. The powerful engines and capable suspensions and brakes facilitate such behaviour. Many unticketed incidents result from these infractions and automakers must atone for this loss of state revenue" said Jack Thompson, lawyer for the states.

MacGopher
Nov 11, 2006, 07:51 PM
I'll have to add this to my list at gotzuned.com (http://gotzuned.com)

jcdenton
Nov 11, 2006, 08:33 PM
I'm not sure the Canadian model is a good one to compare this to.

In the Canadian case, the tax was levied by government, and there was a tradeoff involved. We pay a minor cost for the media, which is irritating - but in exchange, we also have no legal difficulties associated with sharing music electronically. The Canadian RIAA (CRIA) made one attempt at a RIAA-style lawsuit a few years ago and lost in court; it hasn't tried again since.

Sounds like a bad model for a country that ALSO has the DMCA, etc. to worry about, though.

colocolo
Nov 11, 2006, 11:47 PM
SRSound, may i recommend reading the book "The Long Tail"?

It has some really good insights on how industries are shifting economic models these days.

Flowbee
Nov 12, 2006, 12:32 AM
One of the goals of gov't is to ensure growth and diversity of markets. That comes directly from constitution, ppl.

As your location is listed as Germany, are you referring to the German constitution? Because I don't remember the US Constitution addressing market growth anywhere.

groovebuster
Nov 13, 2006, 07:47 AM
Did anybody read this????

http://www.flx-tech.net/2006/11/zune_on_early_sale_at_bestbuy_1.html

Hahahaha... sooo funny! :p

groovebuster

Macnoviz
Nov 13, 2006, 07:56 AM
Did anybody read this????

http://www.flx-tech.net/2006/11/zune_on_early_sale_at_bestbuy_1.html

Hahahaha... sooo funny! :p

groovebuster

Classic:p

emotion
Nov 13, 2006, 07:58 AM
Did anybody read this????

http://www.flx-tech.net/2006/11/zune_on_early_sale_at_bestbuy_1.html

Hahahaha... sooo funny! :p




haha priceless.

pilotError
Nov 13, 2006, 08:08 AM
Anyone catch the Yahoo Zune Poll in Yahoo's finance page?

http://finance.yahoo.com

I also love how they are going to release it on a Tuesday...

Results so Far:

Microsoft's portable music player -- Zune -- will be released on Tuesday. Do you plan to buy one?

Yes 8%
No 82%
Maybe 11%
29926 Votes to date

APPLENEWBIE
Nov 13, 2006, 10:50 AM
I find that the error message / girl photo makes a nice desktop....;)

Dunepilot
Nov 14, 2006, 05:07 AM
This "Vinyl 4Ever!" nonsense has got to stop.

The truth is that vinyl is not a great medium. Yeah, I said it. There are many reasons for this, chief among them that the record sounds worse every time you play it. There's also the crap with buying a brand new record (made of recycled PVC) that already has clicks and pops in it. The static charge that accumulates, cheerfully gluing dust into the tiny nooks and crooks of your "Kenny Rogers and the First Edition" LP. Clicks, pops, skips, wow, flutter, tonearm vibrations, a noise floor that is put to shame by normal consumer grade digital stuff. Each copy made is inferior.

<snip>

Pft... keep the damned vinyl. It's crap. Seriously.

Well, we've all now read your opinion on the matter, and yes, there's some truth in some of this - caring for your vinyl records etc. But I have to argue against you, as someone who's recently been converted to the virtues of vinyl. Guess what - it sounds leagues better than the equivalent CD on modestly-priced equipment. I've re-purchased a number of albums recently on vinyl, and the improvement is marked. Yes, it doesn't have the convenience factor of CD, but quite frankly any solid medium is really inconvenient when you compare its portability with that of a digital file.

Quite frankly, you should educate yourself better on this topic, at vinyl anachronist (http://www.furious.com/perfect/vinylanachronist.html).

emotion
Nov 14, 2006, 05:16 AM
Well, we've all now read your opinion on the matter, and yes, there's some truth in some of this - caring for your vinyl records etc. But I have to argue against you, as someone who's recently been converted to the virtues of vinyl. Guess what - it sounds leagues better than the equivalent CD on modestly-priced equipment.


A lot of the difference is in the mastering to a format like vinyl and the rest is in the slight distortion that vinyl playing equipment introduces to the sound. CD mastering generally compresses (in audio terms, not in terms of bits) the sound so it sounds, to some ears, brighter. Like radio does. Some people like this and perceive CDs as sounding "better".

I personally buy all my music on vinyl and record to my laptop (for djing and listening purposes). I prefer the way this sounds. It's also a hard habit to kick, my house is full of vinyl.

This discussion is academic though, it's looking like vinyl might be disappearing at some point soon as all the lacquer manufacturers die out. Most vinyl is produced as a labour of love these days and the same goes for the lacquers used in it's manufacture. There's only so long these people will keep on doing this so enjoy vinyl while it lasts.

weg
Nov 14, 2006, 07:46 AM
What's next? Does the music industry get paid for every CD player sold, every radio, every hard drive (after all, they store music too)?

Uhmm.. welcome to Europe? Don't tell me that you don't pay a fee for every writable CD and for every hard-disk in the US :(

milo
Nov 14, 2006, 03:16 PM
Well, we've all now read your opinion on the matter, and yes, there's some truth in some of this - caring for your vinyl records etc. But I have to argue against you, as someone who's recently been converted to the virtues of vinyl. Guess what - it sounds leagues better than the equivalent CD on modestly-priced equipment. I've re-purchased a number of albums recently on vinyl, and the improvement is marked. Yes, it doesn't have the convenience factor of CD, but quite frankly any solid medium is really inconvenient when you compare its portability with that of a digital file.

Meh. Been there, done that. I've had enough of the hissing, crackling, popping, etc. I'll happily take my digital formats, thank you very much.

emotion
Nov 14, 2006, 03:18 PM
Meh. Been there, done that. I've had enough of the hissing, crackling, popping, etc. I'll happily take my digital formats, thank you very much.

If you don't like the sound then that's cool. Is it a problem if others like vinyl?

kalisphoenix
Nov 14, 2006, 11:43 PM
Well, we've all now read your opinion on the matter, and yes, there's some truth in some of this - caring for your vinyl records etc. But I have to argue against you, as someone who's recently been converted to the virtues of vinyl.

Fine -- but understand that I've already been there and done that. I had inherited a 1000+ LP collection from my parents, who cared for the collection meticulously, and a quite decent Numark turntable with a brand new cartridge. I'm not talking about what you get when you go down to Goodwill and buy a $2.50 copy of Neil Diamond's Jonathan Livingston Seagull soundtrack that was used as a toilet seat cover.

Now I'm perfectly happy listening to ALAC's through a Logitech Z-5450 setup. Missing in the midrange, but otherwise sounds just as good as anything I've ever heard, and my audiophile friend (note the singular -- I don't suffer fools gladly) has spent thousands on Cerwyn Vegas and Focals and Klipsch and other ridiculously expensive components. And when I'm not listening to the Logitechs, I have Grado SR-125's on.

Guess what - it sounds leagues better than the equivalent CD on modestly-priced equipment.

Can you provide me with some sort of source for this? I mean, obviously a quality judgment is subjective... but maybe you can say that CDs have less dynamic range (they don't), or they have less frequency range (they don't), or dithering is the devil (digital is always better for the same price), or whatever. Just something that didn't come flying out of some audiophile's mouth -- something that has actual physics or experiments or something to back it up.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not unfamiliar with these theories. My audiophile friend has paid over $200 for a 3-foot audio cable before. And he's not stupid -- we were both nuclear power plant operators in the Navy, and he worked for a few years as a car stereo installer. And he says the exact same crap about analog vs. digital: "No, Kalisphoenix, you can totally hear the difference. CDs suck, man."

I've re-purchased a number of albums recently on vinyl, and the improvement is marked.

Where is it marked? Get some audiometers or something, show me the difference, and, for God's sake, make sure that you aren't listening to two different mixes. I've fought before with, for an example, imbeciles comparing the LP Aoxomoxoa with the CD Aoxomoxoa, which were mixed completely differently by two different people. Beatles albums, Beach Boys albums? Make sure both are mono.

Mix differences are legendary in their abilities to make one recording sound wonderful and another sound like utter crap -- hence the reason for these exhaustive remasterings that come out for popular albums.

Yes, it doesn't have the convenience factor of CD, but quite frankly any solid medium is really inconvenient when you compare its portability with that of a digital file.

Damn straight. Evolution is a wonderful thing.

Quite frankly, you should educate yourself better on this topic, at vinyl anachronist (http://www.furious.com/perfect/vinylanachronist.html).

Reading some random guy's rants? Who is he, and what is your solid objective proof that he has better ears than me? The top result on Google for "Marc Phillips" was a guy selling rugs...

*shrugs*

hulugu
Nov 15, 2006, 12:35 AM
'm not talking about what you get when you go down to Goodwill and buy a $2.50 copy of Neil Diamond's Jonathan Livingston Seagull soundtrack that was used as a toilet seat cover.

That's a terrible example, that album sounds horrible no matter what you do to it. That's the music they play in hell. ;)


Vinyl has a fair bit of voodoo attached to it. Part of that comes, I believe, from the inherent rituals vinyl has. There's more reverence to putting on an old vinyl disk, setting the needle just right, listening to the sound pop for just a second and then music comes from the ether. CDs and digital files are more pedestrian, more immediate and convenient. Vinyl is the tea ceremony of music.

Ugg
Nov 15, 2006, 12:42 AM
Vinyl has a fair bit of voodoo attached to it. Part of that comes, I believe, from the inherent rituals vinyl has. There's more reverence to putting on an old vinyl disk, setting the needle just right, listening to the sound pop for just a second and then music comes from the ether. CDs and digital files are more pedestrian, more immediate and convenient. Vinyl is the tea ceremony of music.

....and vinyl does not even come close to the real thing. The ritual involved in a concert hall or outdoor theatre or local coffeehouse far surpasses any attempt at capturing the music for private consumption. Those who praise vinyl over cds as opposed to the real thing are simply ill-learned luddites:D

hulugu
Nov 15, 2006, 12:52 AM
....and vinyl does not even come close to the real thing. The ritual involved in a concert hall or outdoor theatre or local coffeehouse far surpasses any attempt at capturing the music for private consumption. Those who praise vinyl over cds as opposed to the real thing are simply ill-learned luddites:D

Public rituals and private rituals are different, both have their place. I wouldn't call LP-adherents luddites necessarily, just those who think that CDs and digital formats are completely inferior to vinyl.
Each has their place, just as the tea ceremony. If I want something with breakfast, I'm boiling a pot or nuking the water in the microwave, but if I want ceremony and meditation, I can see enjoying a tea ceremony.

Ugg
Nov 15, 2006, 01:37 AM
Public rituals and private rituals are different, both have their place. I wouldn't call LP-adherents luddites necessarily, just those who think that CDs and digital formats are completely inferior to vinyl.
Each has their place, just as the tea ceremony. If I want something with breakfast, I'm boiling a pot or nuking the water in the microwave, but if I want ceremony and meditation, I can see enjoying a tea ceremony.

I agree but personally, I don't want my life cluttered up with all the paraphenalia necessary to pursue so many rituals. I don't have a stereo or TV, just my Mac and see no point in devoting all the money, time, energy and space to having a separate system just because from time to time it might be nice to engage in some arcane ritual. Am I missing out? Maybe, but as a result, I have more time, energy and money to pursue those things that really matter to me.

Vinyl will never make a serious comeback, it's simply too fragile and non-portable, for those who enjoy it, great, enjoy it! Don't believe for a second however that it will ever occupy any more than a niche in the wall of music history.

hulugu
Nov 15, 2006, 01:54 AM
I agree but personally, I don't want my life cluttered up with all the paraphenalia necessary to pursue so many rituals. I don't have a stereo or TV, just my Mac and see no point in devoting all the money, time, energy and space to having a separate system just because from time to time it might be nice to engage in some arcane ritual. Am I missing out? Maybe, but as a result, I have more time, energy and money to pursue those things that really matter to me.

Vinyl will never make a serious comeback, it's simply too fragile and non-portable, for those who enjoy it, great, enjoy it! Don't believe for a second however that it will ever occupy any more than a niche in the wall of music history.

Hey, I agree. I don't have vinyl either. I make the crude mistake of playing music over the Airport Expresses I have all over the house from the Mac in the office. I have good speakers and a nice amp, but I don't have a dedicated system because I'm like you, I have better things to fiddle with. But, I like the ritual of vinyl, even if it's only a speck in history.

I wish CDs and digital files could have the art of vinyl though, for instance the cover to Bitches Brew is just awesome, but the CD leaves much to be desired, and while I really enjoy CoverFlow, it's only equivalent if you have a great scan and a 30" monitor.

bartelby
Nov 15, 2006, 02:02 AM
Much of the music I listen to sounds better on vinyl. There's a warmth to it that cds just can't match.

On my cheap system there's, obviously, more detail to be heard on CDs but it's too clinical.
On high end systems vinyl can be just as detailed as cds but it still sounds nicer!

Ugg
Nov 15, 2006, 02:08 AM
I wish CDs and digital files could have the art of vinyl though, for instance the cover to Bitches Brew is just awesome, but the CD leaves much to be desired, and while I really enjoy CoverFlow, it's only equivalent if you have a great scan and a 30" monitor.

Album art has never made an impression on me, so it's not a big loss.

When MTV came out, I was absolutely enthralled. Yes' "Owner of a Lonely Heart" was ingenious. MTV has since become something different but those early days were heady, indeed. MTV really bothered a friend of mine. He felt that the visuals destroyed whatever idea of the music that he had in his head. I'm sure the advent of TV itself was treated the same way.

I guess we all process music differently and the hiss, crackle, pop and the ritual of vinyl may be just as important to some people as the music itself. Personally, the iTMS and the iPod have totally transformed my relation to music. I've stopped listening to music radio, and for the most part find new music through friends or browsing the iTMS or through the web. I'm much more likely to sit down and really enjoy music now that all that I have accompanies me almost everywhere.

Digital music is more than just convenience to me, it's the availabilty.