Imagine that: Someone in the record industry wants more money. Shocking, I know. According to cnet news, music publishers are the latest victims of the digital age. Apparently, they make pennies on the dollar for tracks sold on iTunes and in other digital music stores.
To be fair, I don’t know the complete business model for digital music well enough to say whether music publishers are or are not getting screwed. I do know if these folks are going to get paid more, it’s coming out of our pockets, and as the article points out, the outcry is just now starting to settle from Apple’s move a few months ago to implement the first iTunes Music Store price increase.
The kicker to me is that they want to come after other music “sources” in iTunes as well. These include music in movies and TV shows, streaming radio, and even the 30-second previews for songs in the the store. This just seems a bit greedy to me.
“In the U.S. while we do get paid a mechanical (licensing fee) from ITunes [sic], we are not getting any performance income from Apple yet,” David Renzer, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, said in interview late last month with entertainment-industry publication, Encore. “(On iTunes) you can stream radio, and you can preview (tracks), things that we should be getting paid performance income for.
“Also, if you download a film or TV show,” Renzer continued, “there’s no performance (payment) and typically there’s no mechanical (payment) either.” (from cnet)
It might be true that they don’t get paid for these things, but I really don’t think they should come digging around the digital consumer for money. Talk to the studios about the movie and TV show issue. Talk to the radio stations about streaming radio. As for the 30-second previews, just give it up. We are already paying up to $1.29 per track. Keep pushing this agenda and a lot of people will fall back on much cheaper ways to acquire music, TV shows, and movies, which result in zero royalties.
Oh, and they are so upset that they are going to ask congress to intercede. Good thing congress doesn’t have anything on its plate right now.