Apple screws songwriters (again)

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by edesignuk, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    The Register.

    Very nice, Apple.
  2. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030


    Apr 19, 2008
    Pandora, Home Tree
    As noted in another thread (news section) they could simply raise the cost to $1.05 for the song and not have to absorb the cost. 6 cents isn't going to break the buyer.
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I don't really care or feel sorry for the songwriters, to be honest. They need to come to an agreement with the record companies. I don't care how they split their pie. But online distribution and digital content creation have created significant efficiencies in the production of music in the past decade, and I want that savings passed on to me. At this point, music should be costing less and not more.
  4. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    I have to agree with this but that only really applies to the actual tangible music product and doesn't 100% apply to the person that actually wrote the song. The ability to produce the song is one thing, putting a price on the actual lyrics and notes is another.

    Still IMO half the stuff produced these days isn't what I would call music anyway but yah, it could cost a lot less to produce. Heck a lot of artists are just using pro tools and mixing their own albums, all they then have to do is make a gold master, boom done or for that matter just distribute online and save even MORE money.
  5. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    It's not Apple screwing the songwirters, it's the labels the songwriter's sign up with. These artists know the game they're playing when the sign a recording deal.

    Potentially earning millions for a couple weeks in a recording studio... I don't feel bad for any of 'em.
  6. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I'm with the artists on this one. Yes, they need the companies, but unless and until they have made it "big" (and many of them never do) they are not in a position to demand conditions. It is a relationship based on unequal power, but worse, without the work produced by the artists, none of the actors in this arena would make anything; thus, t is more of a parasitic, rather than asymbiotic, relationship, and desperately unequal. Apple could afford to be fairer, here; it wouldn't break the, and it could benefit some of the less well off artists.

  7. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    Exactly. Why should they increase the cut for the song writers and force Apple and other retailers to absorb the cost when the record company is getting around 90%?!
  8. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    The record company should be willing to take a hit this time. They are the ones who screw the artists by paying them only a fraction of what they should be getting since they are the product. Oh wait, those record execs aren't willing to give up another Mercedes or a pool addition or tennis court.
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    This pretty much sums it up for me, too. After all, there haven't been any good songs written since the '80s. :)
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Apple's not screwing anybody. The traditional record labels are.
  11. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    That is pretty much how I feel and see it too..
  12. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    It way to much to ask these forums for any support on anything negetive to apple. Way to many people feel as apple can do no wrong. no matter what it is.

    Apple could be killing babies and they would think it is ok.
  13. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    IIRC Apple gets about 33 cents of the 99 cents per track. So if record companies absorb 2/3 of the proposed increase in royalties, Apple should be willing to take 1/3 of it.

    What they should do is challenge the record labels to cover their 2/3 out of the 66 cents they get, apple could cover their 1/3 out of the 33 cents they get, and they can keep the price at 99 cents per track.
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    But that's not the case with my comment. Anyone who reads the help forums knows that I'll happily suggest non-Apple alternatives if Apple's version is (1) Crap, or (2) There isn't one, and "But it doesn't have OS X" isn't a good enough answer to the problem.

    However, if Apple giving the artists an extra 6 cents is the difference between making a small amount of money, and losing money per transaction, then clearly the large majority of the 99 cents being paid per song right now isn't going to either Apple or the artists. What is it going towards? Server upkeep? Maybe. However, it has been suggested that the record labels are getting paid a ridiculous proportion of these online sales.

    So really, the record labels should pony up the extra 6 cents.
  15. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    I would like to know the amount of sales made through iTMS that wouldn't have been made otherwise. A lot of folks (myself included) have discovered and purchased a fair amount of music from artists that would have gone otherwise unnoticed were it not for iTMS.

    This is not a defense of Apple, far from it. In point of fact, I would accept a rate increase to $1.05, if the increase were going solely to the artist. I just think that they (the artists) are gaining a smaller percentage royalty of a larger market share; in other words, a wash or small increase compared to a non-iTMS market.
  16. greg555 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2005
    This article estimates Apple's per song profit at 10 cents. So a 6 cent a song royalty increase would drop their profit to 4 cents a song. A 60% reduction.

    Increase the price from $0.99 to $1.05 would probably result in a moderate reduction in sales (10 or 20% perhaps) which will also reduce profits, though probably not as much as just absorbing the 6 cents and keeping the price at $0.99.

  17. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    This is not regarding the artists. It is regarding the song writers, who are often VERY different from the "artists".

    I have a hard time feeling bad about any of this because the song writers 1. Agree in contract to sell their music for a fixed royalty, and 2. Have 2 (in the States) very aggressive and counterproductive organizations working on their behalf.

    I am into electronic music, and have never actually purchased any content from itunes (I refuse to buy bad music in lossy formats with DRM. iphone applications have been it, and I think the distribution for those is fantastic), but I do think that the services I use (beatport, amazon, etc) are great. None of these labels have to sell any music they do not want to, and the songwriters seal their fate long before anyone hears the track for the first time.
  18. Dmac77 macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2008
    Honestly, these people (most of them) already make enough money. I'd like you to say to my face that Mick Jagger, or Paul McCartney don't have enough money, without laughing.

  19. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Thanks for the link. Again, that pretty much proves my point. The record labels get about 2/3 of the 99 cents per song. Why should Apple absorb the entire increase in royalties? What's the record labels' "operating profit"?
  20. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    imo. people (song writers and artists) should be happy there is a legit site to sell thier music online. reduces piracy

    without apple and the music store, all these people would have to rely on hard cd sales

    what about all the exposure artists get from features like genius that enable more people to know about their music that they otherwise would not. do the artists owe anything for this type of exposure? or do they believe that it is entitled to them in the form of free advertising

    i feel apple should have the final say on this matter and not cave in on anyones demands except its own

    simply put, any increase should be put up by the record labels and not the cutomer. have them eat the cost if they want the music sotr to remain. im sure they are still making loads off the music store which wasnt an option not to long ago. if anything, the labels owe apple imo
  21. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    I agree with you, they do have more than enough to last a hell of a long time. But the telling lack here is that back in their time, the music industry was full of and run by musicians. New Age/Flamenco guitarist Ottmar Liebert wrote in one of his blogs about remembering a time when the CEO/President of RCA records was a musician himself.

    Nowadays, it's about corporate greed and money. Think about it. Who owns the rights to the Beatles' songs? Why did Prince change his name to the symbol? Why are bands like the Eagles and Journey signing with Walmart instead of a major label?

    Because (with the exception of Michael Jackson) the record companies want to own the music that the musicians create. In Prince's case, they wanted the music, the name, and the likeness. When you turn on the radio and hear Don't Stop Believin', realize that while Schon, Cain, and Perry are getting a small part of the royalties from when that song is played, Sony is getting TONS more than what they should have!

    So that leaves 4 main places you can record, get your music out, and actually own your recordings: iTunes, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. If anything, songwriters should be talking to artists who want to keep their recordings as theirs instead of selling out to the mafiaa^H^H^H^H^H^HRIAA.

  22. teflon macrumors 6502a


    May 28, 2007
    I place the blame on no one else other than the record companies. They are the greedy ones who keeps 90% of the money while giving the writers 10%. Why should the record companies keep the 90% and force Apple to pay the songwriters?? The record companies are charging too much already in my opinion. Buying music from iTMS is often the same price as buying them from stores, yet there are no manufacturing costs, no storage costs, much lower quality, has DRM etc. I really hope that with the advances in technology soon vast majority of artists would no longer rely on record companies. Can't wait till the day I see all those record companies go bankrupt. Serves them right. Now if only the movie industry can do the same...
  23. pianojoe macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2001
    N 49.50121 E008.54558
    Actually, they're not giving the writers 10%, but $0.091 per song, regardless of the song's pricing. I think that's fairly good if you consider that this is payment for writing the melody and the lyrics, and nothing more.

    The record company has to pay for the recording artist, studio musicians, recording studio, distribution, producer, promotion. Neine out of 10 CDs don't even get to break-even, so they have to make sure that every tenth production subsidizes the others.

    You wouldn't know about most of you favourite music if not for record companies.

    This being said, there is much room for improvement in the way royalties are handled in the U.S. I happen to own a very small record label in Germany, and things are much better over here. Especially, songwriters are entitled to their royalties without going through a publisher. Royalty collection for songwriters is pretty much automatic over here.
  24. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    Actually studies show that people are 70% more likely to buy something that costs 99c than something thats $1.05, just because the $1.05 price tag looks bigger, regardless of the fact that its only 6c higher.
  25. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Tee hee. :D

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