NBC Rhetoric vs. iTunes Increases

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ToneMonkey, Nov 1, 2007.

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  1. ToneMonkey macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2007
    This whole matter may fall on deaf ears, but I find it curious that NBC is blaming iTunes for erroding pricing leverage on recorded music. IMHO, NBC should be thanking Apple profusely for SAVING the music business.

    Anyway, I've been privately saying the same things Jobs has been saying for years - EVERY SONG EVER RECORDED IS NOT WORTH $1. JUST GET OVER IT. Price things correctly and the free market will signal it's approval by heaping riches into your bosom.

    Oh, new stuff might be worth $1 per song. And as with all manner of newly engineered things (prescription drugs are a great example), I support the manufacturer's right (even duty to the stockholders) to price things at a point that allows them to recoup their development costs in a realistic timeframe. So $1 per song for the latest Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Brittany Spears drivel seems entirely appropriate, if not a bit masochistic.

    However, back catalog stuff is an entirely different matter. Development costs were recovered decades ago. It costs almost nothing to post this stuff on a web server and milk it until the (cash) cows come home. The only rub is that most folks aren't going to pay $1 per song to download vintage Sam Cooke, Beach Boys, Motown, etc. But, they will pay SOMETHING to own it.

    Personally, I see some definite parallels between music and prohibition (and we know how well that worked). During prohibition, many folks owned stills. They couldn't legally buy liquor, so they made it illegally. A lot of money was expended producing illegal liquor. Similarly, these days folks clearly are willing to spend SOMETHING to own (not rent) music. Allofmp3.com, ripping software, etc. all testify to people's willingness to pay SOMETHING. Just was when being able to readily buy high quality liquor any time one wanted to killed off the home still, being able to download known good quality music at a price the market will embrace will just as surely kill off illegal downloading and file sharing. It just won't happen at the $1 per song price point (again, precisely what Jobs is saying).

    Finally, the real crime about lack of proper support for back catalog stuff is the number of starving artists from the 50s-60s-70s who would love to see any income at all from their catalog, but don't by and large because the record companies claim it isn't cost effective to release it (of course, they really mean cost effective to release it on physical media like CDs).

    My advice to the record companies: fire the lawyers, close the RIAA and move the decimal point. At between 10 and 20 cents per song, back catalog stuff would fly off the shelf in such volume that their bank accounts could scarcely hold all the profits. Keep it at $1 per song, and they are condemmed to whine about the message the free market is sending.

    As always, this is my (highly-opinionated) .02; YMMV. Over and out!
  2. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    perhaps it should've been in this thread with the exact same title.
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