That’s right. The iTunes music store, which has been a driving force in rescuing artists from the threat of illegal downloading by charging for electronic copies of their music, was dealt a massive blow recently when the copyright royalty board suggested a 66 percent rise in the royalties paid out per-song by companies like iTunes. 66%!!! That brings the standard 4.8 percent of revenues that go back toward the artist up to a whopping 15%!!!.
Now I’m no rocket economist, but when I purchase an imaginary song.mp3 I’m not just buying the music (conceptualization, writing, recording, editing, producing, promoting, playing) created by the artists and their management; I want to see bitrates, and security/authenticity tagging, and a new interface every month. I want to pay a computer manufacturer to encode and distribute files to me which I can then open and convert into music, that’s where the real magic happens … the world wide web. Because of this it makes complete sense that over 95 percent of the revenue from iTunes song sales should go towards iTunes budget.
Now the iTunes people know that they can’t raise the price for consumers or the consumers will begin stealing music, so they are stuck in dilemma, make less money, or “fuck it we’ve made enough already let’s leave everyone hanging and design a new iPod”.
In an article on BBC’s website Apple is said to be not only unwilling to accept the new royalty rates but also considers it out of the question to up their 99c price tag (It’s also a branding thing). It’s nice to know that all those who have been supporting buying music online have been putting their money in the hands of those who truly deserve it. Also in a interview Apple VP Eddie Cue enlightened us:
“Apple has repeatedly made clear that it is in this business to make money, and would most likely not continue to operate iTS if it were no longer possible to do so profitably,” – Cue
So there it is, the cyber-music profiteers are thinking about getting out of the slave trade. I guess we should all hang up our poncho’s and take a permanent siesta, because without companies like iTunes screwing over artists and listeners alike, we might actually have to support the musicians.
Don’t worry, because whether the money goes to Richard Branson, iTunes, Sam Walton, God, or a hipster with really tacky leather boots, skinny jeans, a shoelace belt, a leather jacket, a worn out fedora, and some coke, the fact is, music makes us dance.