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Money For the Artists

Word on the street is that Apple has "signed" up bands, such as The Eagles and No Doubt, for their new music service (y'know, the one that's not yet been announced). What's special about The Eagles and No Doubt is that these groups, like many others, have not yet allowed their music to be distributed digitally.

I've long said that a band could probably make a good amount of money selling their singles and some live versions, things like that, online for some small fee. Even if they sold things cheaply. I think Natalie Merchant was going this route, wasn't she? Your average recording artist gets about a three cents for every album sold, making most of their money from merchandising and touring. At $1/track, even if the artists get only 5% directly, they're making more money from the sales of a few million songs instead of albums.

So this is just a long way of saying that I hope Apple's music service kicks more money back to the artists. The era of "big business" in the recording industry may be coming to a close. The Internet has been empowering small companies to make it big for about a decade now - it's about time big-name musicians hop on board, because in the scheme of the current recording industry, they too are pretty small.

P.S. From someone who's spent a few hundred dollars on rare and imported R.E.M. CDs (live and otherwise), it'd be pretty awesome to get access to more "offbeat" tracks like that as well.

3 Responses to "Money For the Artists"

  1. Big name artists get bigger money for their contracts (because they have a choice), but it rarely gets over about a buck an album--which, considering that it costs less than $5 to produce an album including design, packaging, and shipping to the retail outlet, is still really pathetic. It's particularly pathetic if you have to divvy the money up among several important band members.

    My friend Matt and I will be watching the Apple announcement live via satellite tomorrow and posting frequent updates to Matt's web site at http://www.jrandomhacker.com/ . Show starts tomorrow at 1pm EST. 🙂

  2. PS - Do you have the R.E.M. cover of "Love is All Around" with the "ba ba ba ba" vocals? The radio cut doesn't seem to have them (I only know because I got to play in the radio station my uncle worked at; I never heard it on the radio). I would kill for it, but haven't the foggiest idea where it could be acquired.

  3. Yes, of course I do! 🙂


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