"the world’s biggest pop star"
Tech oligarchs aren’t supposed to say sorry. And no, Apple hasn’t formally apologized to the music community for demanding that it works for Apple for free, Apple still comes out of it with plenty of credit. Ten days ago, the contracts for Apple’s new Spotify-ish streaming service leaked out, and they contained an …
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'Today everyone’s talking about Apple’s flexibility, rather than its vast market power. It appears that Apple values the music makers – who generate the real demand for the “content services” that technology companies provide – as human beings. Not a unit item to be pared to as close to zero as possible.'
Appears is the right word.
Am I the only one who prefers to have the CD or DRM free files stored locally?
CDs locally ripped for me, every time. I don't even consider buying streamed music. That said, my life doesn't revolve around music; you could probably put my entire collection in a quarter terabyte.
Which is not to say that for others it may be something that works, but it's not for me.
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Well they certainly value them more than Google and Spotify, based on their "accept our terms or have your music stolen" handling of similar situations versus Apple's handling.
After all, a streaming music service isn't worth much if artists decline to allow their music on it. If Apple hadn't got the labels on board with iTunes 15 years ago, the iPod would have been a flop, and the iPhone probably wouldn't exist today - and if Apple still existed at all it would be much smaller than it is today.
" It appears that Apple values the music makers – who generate the real demand for the “content services” that technology companies provide – as human beings."
QoW!!! Values the music makers?? AHAHAHAHAH, I think you meant "they value their service with content" !!.
Come on, if the artists really really want to have the control, it's easy: the richer ones, group together and setup a service for all the artists out there, including the formers.
It's worth noting that when supermarkets run e.g. two-for-one deals, that may be funded by paying the suppliers less. I don't know much about the doughnut industry, but the example in the story might not be entirely accurate.
See e.g. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/jul/02/british-farmers-supermarket-price-wars
You can pick up a punnet of British raspberries – at their best this weekend – on a two-for-one offer in most supermarkets. But as shoppers reach for that quintessential summer treat, they should perhaps ponder the fact that it is the farmer, not the supermarket, who is paying for the generous discount.
That's actually a pretty dumb thing to say, and I mean that in the most loving possible way.
Raspberries are cheaper to produce in season, so the supply is large, and so suppliers price drops to maximize their total profit. Making 30 cents per unit selling a million things is a hundred times better than making $3/unit selling a thousand. But, If you want to donate to farmers, feel free to send cash.
Nor do supermarkets force doughnut makers to do anything, including making doughnuts, not this side of the iron curtain in either time or space.
A cheesemaker I know got his product, after long negotiation and lots of work, in to a major UK supermarket whose name sounds a bit like Bainsbury. After a few months the supermarket came to him and said they were going to do a BOGOF deal on his cheese, and he had to supply the free one.
Now you could try to argue that cheese has a 'season' and so this small scale artisan cheesemaker had it coming because he had lots of cheese that needed shifting and the huge supermarket was just doing him a favour. Or you could accept that the supermarket is the worst thing to happen to food producers in five decades and stop defending their bullying of food producers.
The outcome of the tale was that the cheesemaker told the supermarket to go and fuck themselves. But the only reason he was able to do this was that he was selling his cheese direct to the customer through farmers' markets, and selling through small delis and the like who weren't trying to fleece him to sustain their corporate profit margin. If he had been entirely reliant on the supermarket for his sales he'd have had to suck it up.
While it is true that retailers will ask their suppliers (and usually from a very strong negotiating position) to reduce their prices and provide special offers, I don't think any of them ever tried what Apple tried there: telling them to give away all their product completely free.
FM Radio is, and the royalties should be the same. RIAA should grow up and consolidate all music royalty types and make them the same everywhere. One song play equals one musicians royalty, one distributor payment.
Musicians should be given at least 50% of the royalty payment if not more. Anything different is between musician and distributor, not the RIAA. The distributors should not be able to set the percentages in their favor.
It's good to see that someone with power like Swift can make a company like Apple take notice. Now let's get the "indies" to a place where they have that much power, or a codify some agreeable rules where they do. If we want to argue about equal pay for equal work, then paying musicians for their songs no matter who or when the are played, would be a good start and it would even be gender neutral.
And thanks Andrew for finally using a reasonable picture of Taylor Swift.
I'm really good at ant walking (think dog walking) and it fits in with my mobility, but I can't make a living at it, so have to stack (low) shelves at a supermarket. I know they have an equal oportunity policy and I'm sure they will employee ex-musicians and artistes too.
There isn't currently a large market for ants as pets; consequently demand for ant-walkers is very low. That said, there might be an opening for a professional if you're entrepreneurial enough. On the other hand, the various music markets generate a huge amount of money. The problem is that very, very little of it sticks to the people who make the music. So little, that very few of them can afford to do it full-time.
THAT is why everyone is so upset about musicians (and, increasingly, anyone else trying to be professional copyright-work creators) not making a living, apart perhaps from you, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Kim Dotcom.
Speaking as a musician for whom the whole music career thing didn't work out, I'm not upset. My band got a small indie record deal and a few quid to spend on equipment, but it never turned into sales. So I have had to do other stuff to pay the bills. Fair enough. Not everyone succeeds at everything.
But I would be pissed off if my music had sold for many thousands of pounds and I'd got fifty quid.
The world doesn't owe musicians a living. People who become mega-rich by selling music owe musicians a living.
I expect that Apple is actually rather appreciative of Swift's letter.
It was clear right from the start that this was a bad decision on *someone's* part but Apple could reverse it without losing face. But after Swift's letter, they can claim that they were caused to seriously reconsider the [inexplicably poor] decision. And everyone will be happy.
Had this kept going - without Swift's involvement - then it would have become a PR disaster for Apple. They don't do this often but this is a doozy.
It's entirely possible to listen to all the music one wants on YouTube. It's not much effort to add all the songs/albums/artists you like to a playlist which can be played/shuffled on the go from your phone. This is a completely free and legal way to listen to music you like. Most new material is put out there by the artists (via VEVO) and older stuff is there I suppose in breech of copyright but I doubt illegally for the listener. Maybe for every 10 songs you have an advert but certainly nothing worse than commercial radio. I really don't understand why anyone would pay for a streaming service? Did I miss something? - most people I know seem to consume music like this these days.
That's kinda the point.
The streaming music services are trying very hard to convince us that this is something we want and want enough to pay for.
Except, they seem to be failing in this. Serious music lovers won't touch them with a barge-pole and occasional music listens won't pay £9.99 a month when they can get the music they want for free. So who is left?
Some might say it's just a bad decision and I can see it as a valid point but I'm more cynical. I believe it's simple avarice on Apples's part. It's exactly the kind of thing Board Members of one of a corporation would demand of their CEO. Now that "Apple" has pulled this stunning example of avarice, I would like to know "who" is behind this and if that same party is also responsible to the crap all soldered in RAM iMacs as well...or the ridiculous releases schedule that has lowered the quality and user experience with their OS.
Is it just me, or is it a little odd to suddenly paint Apple as ethical and fab after being forced to reverse their blatantly unethical behaviour by industry pressure? They thought they could get away with being greedy evil bastards, and they should be condemned and boycotted for that. Not praised for their wondrous new-found generosity. They will get away with whatever they can. It could be you or me they try to shaft next.
I completely agree, this was a stupid greedy move they thought they'd try and then found out people weren't going to stand for it and so had to back down. Not an ethical move... It's annoying that people think it's good of them to back down when being good would have been paying their contributors without having to go through this. Especially when other artists have had the threat of having their music removed from itunes if they didn't agree.
Apple have been complete cocks, nuff said.
"It appears that Apple values the music makers – who generate the real demand for the “content services” that technology companies provide – as human beings. Not a unit item to be pared to as close to zero as possible.
It’s a refreshing change for a Silicon Valley company not to act cynically, but ethically."
Ah.... not quite. Apple was and is being cynical and it is most certainly trying to minimise what it pays to artists. It cynically tried to pare those costs back to zero, revealing that it thought it only fair that the 'valued' artists cover the costs of Apple's launch promotion.
The u-turn they made was for publicity and to get artists on side. They tried to pay the minimum possible (zero) but found that that was not feasible so had to pay more. That is not ethical behaviour.
Ethical behaviour is doing the 'right' thing even when you don't have to - not doing the right thing only once you are made to.
Apple gets very publicly punched in the nose by someone who actually stands up to bullying one-sided contracts, and because they flinch they're suddenly heroes? All because they weren't as obnoxious as the worst offenders. Apparently the reality distortion field is still working well.
Keep an eye on the birdie...I hope El Reg reports on the terms of the updated contracts.
Also, Swift sure seems to be one sharp lady, or she has some real brains working for her.
As a long suffering consumer, I'd like to be able to pay £<x> ONCE to WHOEVER to be able to access content. And from thereon in, everyone else can fight it out.
If I wanted to have access to fill my viewing tastes, it's
License Fee (non-negotiable, unless I never watch live TV)
Sky (for Sky Atlantic)
(notice I haven't added in the audio services to cover everything)
That's 5 vulture bites from my hard earned wonga. So currently, I have no problem paying just for Virgins 30Mb broadband (we have fiber) and acquiring everything else *my* way.
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