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Pete Townshend of The Who calls Apple's iTunes a "digital vampire"

post #1 of 108
Thread Starter 
Just in time for Halloween, artist Pete Townshend of The Who has branded Apple's music business a "digital vampire," suggesting that iTunes profits from music without giving popular artists all the benefits they enjoyed under the record labels and music publishers.

In a report by the Associated Press, Townshend decried "the Internet's demolition of established copyright protections" and said Apple should replace the services formerly offered to musicians by the music business before it largely collapsed.

His demands included "employing talents scouts, giving space to allow bands to stream their music and paying smaller artists directly rather than through a third party aggregator," although the resources to pay for talent scouts has always been handled by labels; iTunes doesn't act as a label for the music it sells any more than other retailers such as Walmart or Best Buy or record stores act as labels.

Additionally, Apple "works with" any individual artist or group that sets up their own label as a music publisher, and does not require that artists sell their music through a "third party aggregator," unless that artist is already exclusively represented by a label and isn't free to sell their own work.

Townshend made his comments during the inaugural John Peel Lecture, adding that Apple's iTunes market "bleeds [artists] like a digital vampire."

At the same time, Townshend also blamed customers for not paying more, saying, "It would be better if music lovers treated music like food, and paid for every helping, rather than only when it suited them," adding, "why can't music lovers just pay for music rather than steal it?"

Over the past decade, Townshend has matured from rockstar to businessman, extensively licensing classic songs from the 1960s and 70s as advertisements, ranging from selling headlights with "I Can See For Miles" to selling Pepsi with "My Generation."

Townshend has released 11 albums with "The Who," and another 12 as a solo artist, and is worth an estimated $75 million.
post #2 of 108
Whine, whine, whine.

No explanation of why Apple should be "employing talents scouts, giving space to allow bands to stream their music and paying smaller artists directly rather than through a third party aggregator,"

He also neglects to mention that with iTunes, the artist keeps 70% while with a typical label they get a much smaller percentage.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #3 of 108
And to think that in all my 53 years I thought artists were just in it for the sex, drugs and Rock 'n' Roll.
post #4 of 108
I like ya, Townsend, but if you don't like the distributor then don't distribute through them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

His demands included "employing talents scouts, giving space to allow bands to stream their music and paying smaller artists directly rather than through a third party aggregator," although the resources to pay for talent scouts has always been handled by labels; iTunes doesn't act as a label for the music it sells any more than other retailers such as Walmart or Best Buy or record stores act as labels.

Additionally, Apple "works with" any individual artist or group that sets up their own label as a music publisher, and does not require that artists sell their music through a "third party aggregator," unless that artist is already exclusively represented by a label and isn't free to sell their own work.

It's sad how oblivious Townsend is to what the iTunes Store does.

Quote:
At the same time, Townshend also blamed customers for not paying more, saying, "It would be better if music lovers treated music like food, and paid for every helping, rather than only when it suited them," adding, "why can't music lovers just pay for music rather than steal it?"

1) The iTMS helped stave off people stealing music online, not encourage it.

2) The food analogy is pretty bad considering the commonality and success of the fast food restaurant industries dollar menu.
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post #5 of 108
Sounds like Townshend is a digital dinosaur. He seems to think that things would be just like they used to be if it weren't for iTunes, but they would probably be worse. In most cases, if people weren't buying music on iTunes, they'd be stealing it.
post #6 of 108
Pay for every helping? Pay for music like food??? News flash: music is not food. So Pete Townsend wants to charge us money everytime we listen to a song? That's his brilliant solution?

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post #7 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Whine, whine, whine.

No explanation of why Apple should be "employing talents scouts, giving space to allow bands to stream their music and paying smaller artists directly rather than through a third party aggregator,"

He also neglects to mention that with iTunes, the artist keeps 70% while with a typical label they get a much smaller percentage.

Put him next to Bon Jovi as another one who opens their mouth without any looking into what iTunes really does.
post #8 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrogusto View Post

Sounds like Townshend is a digital dinosaur.

Analogaurus?
Vinyloraptor?
Eight-tracktiopod?

Thats all I got.
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post #9 of 108
How convenient for Pete. He wants to go back to the old ways for all the perks for himself, but he wants to change the rules for fans and charge them EVERY TIME they want to listen for a song.

How is he any less greedy than the folks he berates?
post #10 of 108
Oh, for Pete's sake.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #11 of 108
Hey, the record labels should have told Apple to go straight to hell with their ala carte business model. But no! They hoped on board the yellow submarine like they always do. The record labels are notorious for allowing the tech industry to dictate what medium their music should go on.

And to add insult to injury, the tech guys make the electronic gear needed to copy the music onto the medium that the music is distributed on readily available to the public.
post #12 of 108
The self righteousness of his attitude amazes me. On the surface he bashes iTunes, yet when you actualy look at what he's saying he is just mad he doesn't get "his" like he used to.



Sounds like he doesn't want anyone to own any music and that you have to pay per listen.
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post #13 of 108
I'd consider these to be the actions of a digital vampire:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_To...police_caution
post #14 of 108
Silicon Valley takes over the delivery of movies, music and all the rest. You want these business dinosaurs to run things?

When there are 5 or 10 digital distributors, world-wide, and lots of ways of getthing them to sell and promote you, then the individual artists will be very well treated. I'm not sure they'll become the mega-millionaires of the time of the Beatles and the Stones -- they were the first and last rock stars to be independently wealthy frrom their work. But yeah, have a hit, take several million as a cut for the sales.

When's the last WHO concert they gave?
post #15 of 108
1) iTunes is essentially a retailer, not a music label. It shouldn't have any more involvement with the artists beyond that expected of a record store or a Target. Talent scout?

2) iTunes, selling legitimate music, basically saved the music industry from piracy. It KEEPS people from stealing music, it doesn't encourage it. I think he has it backwards on this one.

3) Prices are determined by the market. Apparently, paying $23 for an 10-track CD was artificially high.
post #16 of 108
Just another out of touch dinosaur who's not in it for the music anymore, just for the money.


Oh, and also:

"Rock legend Pete Townshend has admitted paying to view a child pornography site on the internet but said he did so "just to see what was there"."

Good excuse
post #17 of 108
Hey Pete I'm more than willing to take that 75mil burdon off ur back
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post #18 of 108
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post #19 of 108
First, people aren't stealing - they are committing copyright infringement. There is a big difference. No one loses something when a song is illegally copied, which is required for theft. Not to say that copyright infringement isn't bad, it is - it just isn't stealing.

Second, the recording industry has had a hell of a time adjusting to the fact that they aren't nearly as needed as they once were. The encoding and distribution of an MP3 song is practically free compared to the old days when a record, tape, or CD had to be manufactured and shipped all over the world. Yet, they still want the same profit.

So Pete Townsend - while you are highly respected as a musician, you are missing that it is the record companies are demanding too high of profit relative to their importance in the music distribution process, which I am guessing results in less income for artists. Don't blame the fans, look at your middleman - they are taking too much.

Seems to me that an investor could go out, find talent, promote said talent, and distribute the music for far less than what is even charged on iTunes today, with the artists making more money than they do today, and with a smart investor making good returns.

Lady Gaga's latest album premiered on Amazon for $1. Amazon sells MP3's without copy protection and her album could have easily been distributed by friends after only 1 person bought it. But you know what? Amazon's huge data services couldn't handle the load of people wanting to buy the album, and many MANY people bought it.

There is a price out there people want to pay for an album or song, the music industry just doesn't want to go down to where it is. They had their day in the sun when distribution was hard - but now it is easy and they have failed to adjust to the times and technology.

Pete Townsend, I am afraid you just don't understand - so please spend your rock God capital on reworking the record company, not the fans - or Apple and iTunes.
post #20 of 108
Probably a bit high from using illegal substances. Musicians get paid by the recording companies, so if he has a gripe, he should approach them.

Do The Who still hold copyright on their material? Maybe he needs some royalties to get the drugs.
post #21 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

From the article:

That's a slick defense. I'm sure if 99% of the population used the same defense, they would just be given a simple warning as well.

"I wasn't buying these drugs to use them, I was buying them to see how easy it was to buy drugs to help fight drug dealers."
post #22 of 108
"Hope I die before I get old."
post #23 of 108
Townsend has become what he used to sing about...he really should do a little research on what Apple has done in saving digital music in an age of piracy before spewing out this bilge.

Not the kind of research he was doing, viewing child porn on the internet.
post #24 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Just in time for Halloween, artist Pete Townshend of The Who has branded Apple's music business a "digital vampire," suggesting that iTunes profits from music without giving popular artists all the benefits they enjoyed under the record labels and music publishers.

A new enemy - YAY!

Who does he think he is? The Who stole everything from the Beatles, and now he whines about Apple?

Maybe he should spend his time innovating instead of complaining!

He's just jealous!

If he wasn't so lazy, then maybe people would buy his music and he wouldn't complain to Apple!

His music sucks. So therefore everything he says is wrong.


post #25 of 108
iTunes offers a venue for sales, which is all it's supposed to do. Cassettes and CDs initially afforded a kind of hardware DRM, but later that DRM was broken by machines that did easy copies. So then we had digital downloads that had DRM and now the DRM is no longer used. iTunes seems to me that it's just a different incarnation of the old cycles. They can't complain about iTunes having gotten good deals; WallMart gets those. They did make the albums get unbundled into singles, and I'm sure that hurt. Pink Floyd always make albums that seemed like a complete work of art you needed to buy without breaking, but most other artists didn't. I love AC/DC, for instance, but they're some of the worst about 1 good song per album (and sometimes they reuse one of those songs).
post #26 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift View Post

When's the last WHO concert they gave?

late 2010 I believe
post #27 of 108
Another artist clueless about how the system works.
post #28 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by stynkfysh View Post

First, people aren't stealing - they are committing copyright infringement. There is a big difference. No one loses something when a song is illegally copied, which is required for theft. Not to say that copyright infringement isn't bad, it is - it just isn't stealing.

Pete Townsend, I am afraid you just don't understand - so please spend your rock God capital on reworking the record company, not the fans - or Apple and iTunes.

Taking something that doesn't belong to you qualifies as stealing in my book.


But agree about Pete Townsend... He is an idiot.
post #29 of 108
Considering that I've lived quite comfortably over the last 35 years on less than 2 million dollars he should be able to live the rest of his life on 75 million easy and just give his past music away for free. Maybe he is thinking about the little guy who has only made $9k through iTunes only distribution. However, judging by how he worded his comments makes me wonder.

Regarding the talent scout, he might be arguing that with the ability for an artist to distribute directly through iTunes and no where else they then don't have a good way to get national notice and large concert gigs. If that is his argument it fails to justify why the iTunes only artist can't present their art to "talent scouts" the same way a pre-itunes artist would have. Surely iTunes doesn't preclude a talent scout from listening to their work or hiring a diamond in the rough for a national tour. If anything it should make talent scouting easier. Can talent scouts and big labels not sign a deal to get part of the iTunes profits post signing, assuming they put up money for higher quality productions?
post #30 of 108
He really doesn't understand the function of iTunes. Does he hate Wal Mart for the same reasons? I mean, all they do is put some cds in the front bin with a poster, which is no different iTunes featuring them via an email or front page.

Its kind of disturbing how someone who has made millions doesn't understand the basic business model in which he made his millions.
post #31 of 108
"is worth an estimated $75 million."Greedy SOB

Most people do pay for their music now. Without iTunes, Limewire would be alive and well.

You should thank Apple. Bottom line is when an album comes out, many times it has 1 or 2 good songs. More if it's a great band. But if an album had 1 or 2 good songs I would pay the .99 for each. Otherwise, if I had to buy the whole album for 2 songs, I would burn the disc from someone.

So, you would get my $2.00 or nothing at all. Greedy SOB. Why should I have to pay $12 for 10 crappy songs and 2 good ones? Trent Resnor can shut the hell up as well.

It's called America, Peter. Go back tot he UK if you don't like it.
post #32 of 108
Rings hollow, coming from a rich, established band.
post #33 of 108
What did Trent say? Last I knew he was giving away music and embracing digital distribution?
post #34 of 108
If Mr. Townsend doesn't like iTunes then he should talk to his label about not putting their catalogue on iTunes. His beef should be with his publisher, not Apple.
post #35 of 108
I think we just discovered that talent does not equal brains. Although there is past evidence to suggest he's not very bright - yeah, really don't need to buy child porn to know that it exists. Idiot.
post #36 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jr1882 View Post

"is worth an estimated $75 million."Greedy SOB

Most people do pay for their music now. Without iTunes, Limewire would be alive and well.

You should thank Apple. Bottom line is when an album comes out, many times it has 1 or 2 good songs. More if it's a great band. But if an album had 1 or 2 good songs I would pay the .99 for each. Otherwise, if I had to buy the whole album for 2 songs, I would burn the disc from someone.

So, you would get my $2.00 or nothing at all. Greedy SOB. Why should I have to pay $12 for 10 crappy songs and 2 good ones? Trent Resnor can shut the hell up as well.

It's called America, Peter. Go back tot he UK if you don't like it.

Got to chime in (first time). I don't really get this - I've always bought the album 'cause it it is a part of the experience discovering new song with the artist you like. They might not be as good as the song(s) that the label chooses to release as a single, but it is the package that counts. I guess no one has the patience or time anymore to actually sit down and just listen so a full album. For me skipping out on songs from an album is like choosing what scenes you don't want to see in a movie. I guess you don't fast forward in every movie you see. Except for porn...

I'm not telling you not to just buy the songs you like...just that the package and experience that the album offers to let you hear new songs surprise you is lost. And as it goes for Pete's food metafore I would put it like this: Go into a restaurant you don't ask the waiter to skip the potatoes, gravy or what not because you don't want to pay for it. If you don't like you leave it on the plate but you will pay the same price anyway.
post #37 of 108
deleted
post #38 of 108
Ulterior motives dare I say?
post #39 of 108
Mr. Townsend, you are a Creative Vampire. The reason you can't hear any of todays cutting edge artists on the major radio stations is because greedy corporate dinosaur bands like The Who, The Rolling Stones, etc... have fixed the game so that instead of radio being the raw creative stage for bringing new bands into the public eye like it was when they were coming up into a 24 hour oldies best of list of all of their outdated tired music. It's because of Pete and his millionaire buddies that awesome bands like Brian Jonestown Massacre, Radiohead, Flaming Lips, Goldfrapp, Beck and hundreds of other worthy bands will never get the ear of the masses...
post #40 of 108
Quote:
Apple should replace the services formerly offered to musicians by the music business before it largely collapsed.

This is the meat of his comment. Just change tenses of the last half.

Someone needs to take on the role, but I disagree it should be Apple.

Moreover, I don't think the labels have had talent scouts for 20+ years. Music has been fairly formulaic in their recruiting and promotion strategy.
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