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Pete Townshend of The Who calls Apple's iTunes a "digital vampire" - Page 3

post #81 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.

Pete you are totally clueless about the way the music business operated in the old days and the way it operates today. You thought you were getting a great deal when you were actually getting f**ked.

1. When large act audited record labels, they ALWAYS found heaps of money because of shoddy accounting. This is no longer the case with iTunes.

2. Record labels had zero customer service i.e. they did not have a direct relationship with the artists fans and they didnt empower fans to have relationships with each other. Itunes does

3. Record labels did not have the flexibility to offer music with a quick turn around and in various ways. Itunes does. Fans love choice and speed.

4. Labels could not guarentee every artists record in every record store in the world. Itunes distribution covers the world...more distribution points equals more sales.

5. Record labels had packaging that was bad for the environment. iTunes does not.

6. Record labels were extorted by record retailers and regularly got screwed. iTunes pays everyone 100%, a 100% of the time and does not charge for price and positioning.

7. Record labels often stopped selling artists when they didnt sell enough records to warrant pressing more because of cost. iTunes does to discriminate so every artist is not fall victim to this.

8. Record labels had close to 10 years to figure out a digital solution and they didnt do it. iTunes figured it out, unfortunately record labels screwed over artists by giving them poor royalty rates on digital sales.

Pete is a clueless old man whose bands music is sold on iTunes because he didnt have a decent contract with his record label to force them not to. His solo stuff is not sold so his fans are left to try and figure out how to get, most likely in a format they detest.
post #82 of 108
Pete Townshend is a total music legend! but a little out of touch with the modern age.
everyone has an opinion, people like to pick & choose if itunes charged more for songs its simple, people would steal it.

Ps anyone else remember that he got busted a few years ago for having kiddy porn...
post #83 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Oh, for Pete's sake.

Oh, yeah

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post #84 of 108
His arguments are here.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011...n-peel-lecture

His main point is that APple does not act like the specialised venture capitalists ( record labels ) did in the past by nurturing new talent. Thats true, but it is not iTunes obvious business. That said a new band tab on the iTunes store might not go amiss, and could be crowd sourced using ping.
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post #85 of 108
Pete's comments make no sense.

iTunes is a retailer not a record label. If they tried to sign new bands directly the record labels would all complain.

iTunes has helped to bring the cost of music down whilst limiting the amount of piracy. I can remember the days when the average CD was £15 and everyone was complaining about how they just couldn't afford to buy many CDs anymore. So what many people did was buy the CD and then tape it for all your mates. That was greedy record labels in collusion with record shops keeping prices artificially high. Now most albums on iTunes are about £8 and piracy has fallen.

If Pete is so worried about new bands coming through then maybe he should set up his own record label, spend some of his vast wealth and promote these bands.
post #86 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvh007 View Post

Pete you are totally clueless about the way the music business operated in the old days and the way it operates today. You thought you were getting a great deal when you were actually getting f**ked.

1. When large act audited record labels, they ALWAYS found heaps of money because of shoddy accounting. This is no longer the case with iTunes.

2. Record labels had zero customer service i.e. they did not have a direct relationship with the artists fans and they didn’t empower fans to have relationships with each other. Itunes does

3. Record labels did not have the flexibility to offer music with a quick turn around and in various ways. Itunes does. Fans love choice and speed.

4. Labels could not guarentee every artists record in every record store in the world. Itunes distribution covers the world...more distribution points equals more sales.

5. Record labels had packaging that was bad for the environment. iTunes does not.

6. Record labels were extorted by record retailers and regularly got screwed. iTunes pays everyone 100%, a 100% of the time and does not charge for price and positioning.

7. Record labels often stopped selling artists when they didn’t sell enough records to warrant pressing more because of cost. iTunes does to discriminate so every artist is not fall victim to this.

8. Record labels had close to 10 years to figure out a digital solution and they didn’t do it. iTunes figured it out, unfortunately record labels screwed over artists by giving them poor royalty rates on digital sales.

Pete is a clueless old man whose bands music is sold on iTunes because he didn’t have a decent contract with his record label to force them not to. His solo stuff is not sold so his fans are left to try and figure out how to get, most likely in a format they detest.

The funny thing is that the 'fix' is 100% within Pete's ability to fix (along with his partners, of course). If he thinks that Apple is short-changing the industry, then he doesn't have to let iTunes carry The Who music. Problem solved.

But iTunes happens to be full of The Who. I guess he wants to take Apple's money more badly than he wants to do something about the system.



In reality, even Pete's main arguments are meaningless. He wants Apple to do more to 'talent scout' new artists. In reality, the new system makes that unnecessary. Apple makes it cheap for ANYONE to record a song and sell it - no need for a talent scout. If you're any good, you can become successful. I have two friends who have recorded music and put it on iTunes even though neither of them was ever able to get an agent interested. Then there are the extreme stories like Rebecca Black. She became famous not because of iTunes but rather YouTube, but the principle is the same.

The industry has changed.
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post #87 of 108
To be fair, I think a couple of years back, the artists went after more royalties from digital sales, because they were getting smaller royalties for it. I believe it was denied. Artists get a pittance from the record company for sales, unless they're a major act with a special deal. I'm sure The Who was one of those acts that got a special deal, but that probably only applied to the pre-digital era, and they probably got shafted when the age of digital downloads came. I'm only guessing about that part. Who knows? They certainly didn't foresee digital download sales of music in 1969 and probably didn't have provisions for it in their contract.

What Townsend fails to see, is that before iTunes, people were stealing music by the truckload from places like Napster. iTunes made music downloading successful and legal. It gave artists and the record companies money they weren't getting at all under Napster days. Besides, if you look at what you pay under iTunes, it's just about what you'd pay for a CD at the store, only with iTunes, you have the ability to choose only the songs you want, instead of a whole CD full of garbage for one song. I guess they need to write and develop more good songs and less throw aways?

Another point, how much does Walmart or other outlets make from CD sales? Surely they make a decent profit to support selling them at all? I'm sure Apple's 30% take isn't as rich as he's making it out to be. Besides, the rights owners all have the power to deny any artists' tunes to be sold on iTunes if they deem the outlet isn't fruitful enough.
post #88 of 108
Pete is such an idiot.

1) iTunes get 8-11% per sold song.
2) iTunes saved the music industry. It have made millions buy music instead of "stealing" it.

I dont understand why so many are idiots. Its ok for a store to mark up prices 30%+. But if Apple does the same, they are Vampires.
post #89 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zozman View Post

Pete Townshend is a total music legend! but a little out of touch with the modern age.
everyone has an opinion, people like to pick & choose if itunes charged more for songs its simple, people would steal it.

Ps anyone else remember that he got busted a few years ago for having kiddy porn...

So I guess that rumor of a Who remake of the Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas' hit 'Little Children' isn't likely

BTW He claimed he was doing research for a book he was writing because he was abused. Not sure if it is out yet.
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post #90 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by shompa View Post

Pete is such an idiot.

1) iTunes get 8-11% per sold song.
2) iTunes saved the music industry. It have made millions buy music instead of "stealing" it.

I dont understand why so many are idiots. Its ok for a store to mark up prices 30%+. But if Apple does the same, they are Vampires.

I think he is just a poor old PC user/ Mac hater who hasn't come to grips with the fact Apple Rules yet
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post #91 of 108
Here we go again... How about going and bitching to your label instead of complaining about Apple? Apple is a retailer. They are really no different than any other retailer (other than pioneering the most successful online music store). They don't control how much money is given to the artists, that is a function of the artist's contract with the label.

Other retailers are the same way, whether it be Amazon, Walmart or someone else. The retailers don't pay the artists, they pay the labels, and the labels pay the artists. Direct your diatribe where it belongs.

Of course there is now the opportunity for any artist to be their own "label" and sell directly with iTunes instead of being beholden to a 'third party' label. If you want control over your own destiny, maybe you should go that route.
post #92 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


2) The food analogy is pretty bad considering the commonality and success of the fast food restaurant industries dollar menu.

You didn't do a much better job with it. The reason the dollar menus work is because people often order higher priced items. Franchise owners have fought against having them.
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post #93 of 108
He should be lucky anyone still buys his music at all! The Who haven't had any hits in years. Anyone who is just discovering the Who at this point could easily find used Who CDs for next-to-nothing at any used record store/pawn shop/flea market or just rip their parents'/grandparents' copy. (Not to mention their songs are overplayed on "classic rock" radio to the point that I find it hard to believe anyone would want to buy a copy for their own personal listening.)

I think it's a matter of him not seeing the royalty checks he's been spoiled by due to the irrelevance of, dwindling interest in, and simple over-saturation of his music more so than music piracy or Apple supposedly ripping him off or any other (minor) issues of the digital music age.
post #94 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I think you're all jumping on ol' Pete a little too quickly. I am no expert here but I think that what Pete is saying (in part) is that now that iTunes has become a major force within the music industry it needs to take on certain responsibilities above and beyond.

I don't disagree in principle, but there is a vast difference between a traditional record label and digital distribution. iTunes doesn't put artists under contract, produce their work, design their album covers, do A&R, promotion, marketing, etc. In exchange for all that, artists got a bigger slice of the pie. Labels still exist and they perform those services. All Apple does is distribute.
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post #95 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I think you're all jumping on ol' Pete a little too quickly. I am no expert here but I think that what Pete is saying (in part) is that now that iTunes has become a major force within the music industry it needs to take on certain responsibilities above and beyond.

Nonsense. Why should Apple be responsible for sending out talent scouts? Do you expect Walmart to do that? Best Buy? Apple is simply the retailer - just as Walmart and Best Buy are.

The labels are still involved, so there's no reason why the labels can't continue to do what Townsend wants them to do. For that matter, I think their cut of revenues is even greater with iTunes than with something like a big box retailer, so they have even more incentive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Its ultimately about the music, after all and if iTunes could help the smaller upcoming musicians getting heard it is exactly the kind of things iTunes should do. It owes its existence to all the musicians out there and as such could play a bigger part as a conduit for the struggling artist. It doesn't really matter what the iTunes's scope was or is. What matters is that it is perhaps harder than ever for new bands to be 'discovered' and iTunes could play a positive role by changing this.

Maybe Ping could be the beginnings to something like this. Something deeper than just straight sales. I am not sure but I think that Pete is trying to speak on behalf of the budding artist and as such I support him.

You're missing the fact that iTunes already does all those things. Ten years ago, it was nearly impossible to get a recording contract and your chances of getting your music out there was close to zero. With iTunes, virtually ANYONE with a little talent (or even no talent) can get their music published. It then becomes up to the market to decide if they are successful or not. Essentially, iTunes makes the concept of a talent scouts irrelevant. You don't need a talent scout when everyone can get their music published and then succeed or fail on the basis of their own abilities.

Ping helps, as well, but it doesn't fundamentally change the picture. Once iTunes (and to an equal extent, YouTube) became popular, the traditional music industry where the labels and talent scouts were gatekeepers ended. Look at Rebecca Black. She didn't need a talent scout. In fact, a talent scout would probably have passed her by. Personally, I don't think she's very talented, but the market has decided what they want.
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post #96 of 108
Food is finite. There is not only a finite amount of food, but it has a short shelf life where it can go away if not consumed. Once someone eats or destroys food - it is GONE. Food also requires real physical cradle to grave products, physical tangible products that must be made and shipped and sold.


Digital music is nothing at all like food. It is made once and can be reused indefinitely, and when one person consumes it there is still an infinite supply left for anyone else who wants it.


I have never bought a single Pete Townsend product on iTunes or from a brick&mortar store - but I have spent a ton of money on music, both analog and digital. You know what has killed that?

Pandora. Spotify.

I don't buy music anymore. I just stream it. Now that I can say "Hey, I want to hear Lily Allen" and type "Lily Allen" into my Pandora and hear Lily Allen - wham, I have no need to buy a CD or a digital download. I just listen to what I want when I want.
post #97 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

No one except the retailer that should have made the said,the label etc that should have gotten their cut.

Not to mention the artist. The artists are oft forgotten because we think of all of them being well to do like Madonna or U2. But most artists need every fraction of a sale to scrape together a sustainable living in order to keep writing music, to keep singing, etc.
post #98 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Not to mention the artist. The artists are oft forgotten because we think of all of them being well to do like Madonna or U2. But most artists need every fraction of a sale to scrape together a sustainable living in order to keep writing music, to keep singing, etc.

And Apple doesn't make it any harder for the artists to get by. If anything, Apple HELPS the struggling, young artists in 2 ways:

1. By helping to shift pirates into music buyers.
2. By offering an artist who wants to do his own work the ability to get published without a label - and keep 70% of the retail price.
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post #99 of 108
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?"

What the hell is this crap he's spewing? How is it stealing? Please tell me. I still pay everytime i download a song.


Here's an idea Pete, how about not charging $200+ for concert tickets? Until then, STFU with your "stealing"
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post #100 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdf View Post

Here's an idea Pete, how about not charging $200+ for concert tickets? Until then, STFU with your "stealing"

When did they start doing that? when I saw The Who a couple of years ago it was around 50 euro
post #101 of 108
So when do music labels send out talent scouts? I played semi-professionally for 15 years and NEVER ran across one. I did, far too often, hear the horror stories of the large labels putting the shaft to up and coming artists. Signing them to a contract with an 'advance' that was noting more than a loan that the band was responsible for paying back. Promising promotion, advertising, album placement, only to half-deliver and then claim ownership to everything that the song writers didn't nail down. Before dropping them the minute the 'next big thing' came along. This is the 'model industry' that Pete is in favor of?

I much prefer the iTunes system where any individual with talent and a computer can compose, record, self-publish and make available for distribution their work, all without having to lick the boots of a no-talent executive.

I'm guessing that Pete has hit that point where no one has said 'no' to him in so long that he now believes anything he says is gospel. But then again, this was the man who at the height of their fame claimed that the Beatles music was crap, so anything he has said since the early 1960s should be taken with several grains of salt...
post #102 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorotea9999 View Post

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


But agree about Pete Townsend... He is an idiot.

Its copying something, not taking anything. Still against the law, without a doubt.
post #103 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by stynkfysh View Post

Its copying something, not taking anything. Still against the law, without a doubt.

Yes, yes. Anyway. While Pete's not entirely on the ball here, I doubt many of the slaggers have read the full transcript and in any case why so scathing and full of bile toward the man? As a working musician myself it's been an astonishing experience to not only have sales diminish massively due to piracy but to also be pilloried for daring to whisper a protest. Suddenly anyone with a record deal or an indi set up is some kind of rich whining arsehole according to the great washed masses and their squeaky clean consciences, and of course there's no hard work involved in any of it, we just automate a plug and you get your compressed mp3. Face it, the nerve is on fire because it gets hit every time one of the actual makers of what you steal makes a peep. If you want Katy perry and lady blah then that's what you'll get and the quality will just keep dropping. The real ones out there can't survive and frankly can't give a f@@k about the likes of you. One more disappointing result in from the social contract experiment.
post #104 of 108
Pete did very well under the old system. The rock bands, the big ones, of the '60s struck it rich because of the youth culture buying albums. It was nearly a religion for millions. For about ten years, the labels couldn't control the big acts. The Beatles left Capitol and founded their own label, and they and the big acts got very wealthy and independent. The labels were careful never to let that happen again. Apple is not a label, so they're not going to invest in artist's careers. Apple's a record shop. A big record shop. That's all. Now, Pete wants the labels of the '60s back. The agreements Jobs made didn't envision an Apple label. Should Apple, and Amazon and Google -- to name a few -- be the new labels? Well, maybe. But I don't think they want the hassle, putting together all the deals, forming new entities that nurture careers a publicize and market. Maybe Silicon Valley could just buy the labels and spin off labels for the 21st century.
post #105 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift View Post

Pete did very well under the old system. The rock bands, the big ones, of the '60s struck it rich because of the youth culture buying albums. It was nearly a religion for millions. For about ten years, the labels couldn't control the big acts. The Beatles left Capitol and founded their own label, and they and the big acts got very wealthy and independent. The labels were careful never to let that happen again. Apple is not a label, so they're not going to invest in artist's careers. Apple's a record shop. A big record shop. That's all. Now, Pete wants the labels of the '60s back. The agreements Jobs made didn't envision an Apple label. Should Apple, and Amazon and Google -- to name a few -- be the new labels? Well, maybe. But I don't think they want the hassle, putting together all the deals, forming new entities that nurture careers a publicize and market. Maybe Silicon Valley could just buy the labels and spin off labels for the 21st century.


Oh, he's absolutely off the mark to be talking about recreating the old system - that's never going to happen. And major labels since the late 90's have been nothing but whorehouses. Just not sure why average Joe seems to take his comments as personally offensive and a call to arms against the greedy, albeit, oddly, mostly poor musicians and songwriters, who threaten the decent hard working, reasonably recompensed non-musicians of the world. Two reasons perhaps - a slow cooked resentment for the mythical lassez faire existence of rock n roll Joe, and the fact that average Joe is downloading a shiteload of his product illegally and he doesn't want to be reminded, least of all by a 'dinosaur' who obviously didn't earn any of his money by being unique, visionary, passionate, bloody hard working, sacrificial of health, family and happiness (sound familiar Steve-ites?).

Costs more to record a song in a studio (studio kids, not Gband) than it does to make an ipod, but nobody's saying stealing millions of ipods would be hunky dory. This is by no means a criticism of Apple, a fabulous company, love the stuff, please fix Logic and the multicore fiasco. Anyway, no going back Pete, and by the way most people here hate you as well. They sure play a mean cracked version of pinball.
post #106 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodychoir View Post

Oh, he's absolutely off the mark to be talking about recreating the old system - that's never going to happen. And major labels since the late 90's have been nothing but whorehouses. Just not sure why average Joe seems to take his comments as personally offensive and a call to arms against the greedy, albeit, oddly, mostly poor musicians and songwriters, who threaten the decent hard working, reasonably recompensed non-musicians of the world. Two reasons perhaps - a slow cooked resentment for the mythical lassez faire existence of rock n roll Joe, and the fact that average Joe is downloading a shiteload of his product illegally and he doesn't want to be reminded, least of all by a 'dinosaur' who obviously didn't earn any of his money by being unique, visionary, passionate, bloody hard working, sacrificial of health, family and happiness (sound familiar Steve-ites?).

That's the problem though, because he was talking about recreating parts of the old system, leading to the suggestion that maybe his input on this subject is cloudy.

Some of it might be a misinterpretation. The line where music fans should treat music like food, pay for every helping, at least was interpreted by myself and maybe others as a pay for every play. So that is probably a poor metaphor.

He mentioned that Apple takes 30% of every track sale, but the speech made no acknowledgement that retail margin is often 40% or more, and that Apple's music business isn't a high margin service. The real real vampire in this case is the label, they usually only give a single digit percentage of the sale price. They royally screwed over their acts long before iTunes. It seems to me that iTunes is the scapegoat in that case.

I don't recall anyone in this thread openly suggesting illegal downloads. It's likely several people were thinking it, but finding an individual's motivations can be fraught with error.
post #107 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

That's the problem though, because he was talking about recreating parts of the old system, leading to the suggestion that maybe his input on this subject is cloudy.

Some of it might be a misinterpretation. The line where music fans should treat music like food, pay for every helping, at least was interpreted by myself and maybe others as a pay for every play. So that is probably a poor metaphor.

He mentioned that Apple takes 30% of every track sale, but the speech made no acknowledgement that retail margin is often 40% or more, and that Apple's music business isn't a high margin service. The real real vampire in this case is the label, they usually only give a single digit percentage of the sale price. They royally screwed over their acts long before iTunes. It seems to me that iTunes is the scapegoat in that case.

I don't recall anyone in this thread openly suggesting illegal downloads. It's likely several people were thinking it, but finding an individual's motivations can be fraught with error.

Sorry to keep this going, these are all fair points and I acknowledged already that Pete's on a no winner there. As for dl's of course nobody's open about it but stats don't lie, it's not some Portuguese cabal hitting the same torrents over and over. I think my larger concern is with the entirely unreasonable hating on the guy. If it were merely a case of "shut up you rich old has been", then, well, even then he's got more right to speak on the issue than anyone on a Mac rumours site. But today it happens every time a muso, broadly known or local and niche, speaks up on any issue regarding the betterment of their situation - being that it's grossly out of line with all regular tenets of fair pay and work conditions - they are habitually shouted down and the line is generally " get a real job, cry me a river into your lace hanky" etc. And I include the many of us who are pro users of Apple ware on the engineering side who are getting royally screwed as well. Zero respect for what is a decimation of the most essential aspects of our industry, the creative and the constructive. I'm betting there's a lot of dudes in here who work in IT and still rake it on grannys who can't find their Ethernet receptacles. You think you're doing a real job?
post #108 of 108
+1


Quote:
Originally Posted by stynkfysh View Post

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.

Well said. Pete, I like your music, but get with it.
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