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Apple pays iTunes Festival performers with promotion instead of cash, Kanye West says

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 
Rapper Kanye West continued his French charm offensive on Friday, once again panning Apple's approach to recruiting talent for its annual iTunes Festival, and in the process revealing that the iPhone maker compensates performers with increased promotional space in the iTunes store rather than cash.

Miami rapper Pitbull performing at the 2014 iTunes Festival in Austin, Texas
Miami rapper Pitbull performing at the 2014 iTunes Festival in Austin, Texas


"I know you might have heard about this thing where I was on stage, like calling Tim Cook out and saying why do you have these guys performing at South by Southwest and you don't want to pay them," West said in an interview at the Cannes Lions festival. "You just want to give us extra space on the iTunes page and stuff, you know."

While not the first time West has commented on the matter, he had not previously said what Apple was offering -- if anything -- in return for artists' participation in the traditionally month-long festival, for which Apple does not charge admission. The company also streams live and recorded video of each show for free to owners of Macs, iOS devices, and Apple TVs.

Despite the Yeezus performer's disapproval, placement on the iTunes store is hugely valuable for artists. Apple's digital storefront accounts for more than 60 percent of the world's digital music market and a correspondingly large portion of overall music sales.



Those digital sales are declining, however, prompting Apple to explore alternatives in the increasingly important streaming space. Following the lackluster debut of iTunes Radio -- considered a mediocre success at best despite its 40 million listeners -- Apple purchased Beats Electronics, purveyors of premium headphones and a rapidly-growing subscription streaming service dubbed Beats Music.

The latter tie-up met with West's approval, as the newest Kardashian praised the addition of rap legend Dr. Dre and Interscope Records cofounder Jimmy Iovine to Apple's executive team following the acquisition.

"Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, it's that they are geniuses. Both of them are cultural geniuses, what they had done for so many years." he said. "And they just, they connected with the right company, by the way. It'
post #2 of 77

Pay Kanye in fish sticks.

 

Oh, and also... **** him.

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post #3 of 77
Maybe I am just too chill, but I think from the highlight from iTunes Festival and the amount of traffic & revenue that can be generated from increased Store placement is very sufficient in exchange for your talents - it may not be monetary but it certainly increases your clout and increases the change of potentially making longer term profits. There have been articles highlighting the advantage of taking Featured space for Apps (and I believe music) out there for awhile now and apparently it matters.

Plus, I always thought of the iTunes Festival, as well as many other festivals, as fan driven events for the people who support talents and talents that want to support fans, not as profit driven events.

But his perspective makes sense too, so I can't rail on him. That and I'm not really too knowledgable on the revenue system in the music Market.
post #4 of 77

Not sure this is a valid criticism.  No artist is obligated to play the iTunes festival.  Those who do must believe that promotional space (the lifeblood of the industry) is worth it.  On a larger note, musicians and singers have a skill or innate talent that many of the rest of us simply don't have.  And it's a talent that allows them to create something that many find moving, uplifting, beautiful, etc.  But does this imply that they should be rewarded with anything more than the market will bear.  If that means almost nothing for most struggling artists playing local venues, well, that's a reflection that there are so many available to offer their services as musical entertainers.  There's another innate capability that a large number of people share that I don't; about half the population is able to grow and birth a baby.  As a male, I don't have that capability.  And the creation of a baby, like music, can be something moving, uplifting, and beautiful, but that doesn't mean people should be paid to create them.  You make a baby because you have a strong desire to do so.  You make music because you have a strong desire to do so.  Each is its own reward.  Quit complaining because so many others are doing it that you can't make a living at it.  Go find other work, make your music for its own sake and your own enjoyment and be happy.   NEXT!

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I don't care about what the ignorant masses perceive as truth. I'm concerned with the facts on the ground.
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post #5 of 77

So, What he's really saying, is that record labels that get iTunes sales from the Festival, are not compensating artists for sales of albums? Huh.. 

 

Well, Kanye and Kim have enough money to create their own label.. if he hasn't already. 

post #6 of 77

What's the story here?  Who cares if Apple compensates musicians with something other then cash so long as both parties voluntarily agree to the terms?

post #7 of 77
They are being paid. Why does currency have to be cash?
post #8 of 77

I'd pay cash, to not see him.

post #9 of 77
Kim & Kanya Kardashian. The new KKK
post #10 of 77
Good for Kanye shinging a light on these evil deeds. A few obvious points:

1. Bartering is a moral wrong. It says so in the Bible. Or... something. Also, paying in cash is a moral wrong if the last digit is a 4. And artists should be paid on a Monday or a Tuesday. There are right ways and wrong ways to pay people. Apple should know these rules.

2. What's worse than bartering? Coercion! These artists were clearly FORCED to perform against their will. They did not like the offer Apple made, but they had no choice. This is sickening. As if being a successful music star isn't already hard enough.

3. Did you also know that Apple makes these musicians live in massive dormitories? They eat sleep, and play their music all a single venue, sometimes even performing late into the night. Up to 10,000 of these artist slaves may be encamped in one massive compound. And they have to catch rats for food.
post #11 of 77

You couldn't pay me to listen to what Kanye calls music.  So we're even.  ;)

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post #12 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Good for Kanye shinging a light on these evil deeds. A few obvious points:

1. Bartering is a moral wrong. It says so in the Bible. Or... something. Also, paying in cash is a moral wrong if the last digit is a 4. And artists should be paid on a Monday or a Tuesday. There are right ways and wrong ways to pay people. Apple should know these rules.

2. What's worse than bartering? Coercion! These artists were clearly FORCED to perform against their will. They did not like the offer Apple made, but they had no choice. This is sickening. As if being a successful music star isn't already hard enough.

3. Did you also know that Apple makes these musicians live in massive dormitories? They eat sleep, and play their music all a single venue, sometimes even performing late into the night. Up to 10,000 of these artist slaves may be encamped in one massive compound. And they have to catch rats for food.

 

Thank goodness for sarcasm! :lol:

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post #13 of 77

I wouldn't pay Kanye to scrub my toilets, let alone paying for him to perform anything.

 

He's a huge douchebag (and a racist POS), and he can go F.ck himself.

 

Apple sure seems to be associating with a lot of douchebags lately. 

post #14 of 77
Saw the bi-line, included the name Kanye, skipped the article. Maybe everyone should do the same.
post #15 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by sestewart View Post

 

Well, Kanye and Kim have enough money to create their own label.. if he hasn't already. 

 

Question is, who would give a damn enough to make such a venture profitable?

post #16 of 77

Apple should instead pay Kanye 100% of the revenue from iTunes Festival (i.e., zilch, nada, not even front page promo time).

 

By the way, I would hazard to guess Kanye Werst has violated a confidentiality agreement by disclosing this.

I would also hazard to guess Kanye is extremely jealous of Dr. Dre. :lol:

post #17 of 77
I admit I read the article as I was confused by the title a bit. Why does anyone care what this fool says? Why is this news?
post #18 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

They are being paid. Why does currency have to be cash?

Because cash gives you the option to use your compensation they way YOU want to, not the way the person paying you wants to. What if instead of paying you in cash your employer compensated you with goods and or services from their company? What's the big diff, right? It's compensation, right? Umm, somehow I don't think most people would feel that way. I think Kanye West is the epitome of a meglomaniac, but I do think he has a valid gripe.

post #19 of 77

...and this differs from putting on a free gig to increase exposure, say for a radio station, in what way?

 

Sounds like this guy's nothing but a gold digger, like in that old Ray Charles song.

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post #20 of 77

You all realize he's pissed because he had nothing to do with the Beats deal and that's he's jealous Dre is getting attention. Someone needs to prescribe a pallet of Xanax to him.

post #21 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larz2112 View Post
 

Because cash gives you the option to use your compensation they way YOU want to, not the way the person paying you wants to. What if instead of paying you in cash your employer compensated you with goods and or services from their company? What's the big diff, right? It's compensation, right? Umm, somehow I don't think most people would feel that way. I think Kanye West is the epitome of a meglomaniac, but I do think he has a valid gripe.

 

But participating in iTunes Festival is a choice. Artists either accept the terms or they don't. Increased promotion at iTunes results in increased sales, which is cash in their pocket, so they are being paid in cash, just indirectly. It's not like Apple is asking them to perform for nothing, and it's not like Apple is pocketing ticket fees. It's a free concert.

 

Apple and iTunes are major forces that re-energized the music industry, creating many very rich artists. Why bite the hand that feeds you?

post #22 of 77

"I know you might have heard about this thing where I was on stage, like calling Tim Cook out and saying why do you have these guys performing at South by Southwest and you don't want to pay them," West said in an interview at the Cannes Lions festival. "You just want to give us extra space on the iTunes page and stuff, you know."

 

Since Kanye is having a problem with not being paid to perform to an audience of 250+ million people around the world, that is HIS problem not Apple's. I watched the iTMF in London nearly every day last summer and was introduced (as well as reintroduced) to great artists and music. Avicii, Jesse J, Kings of Leon, Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Pixies, Jack Johnson, Elton John, 2CELLOS, Aloe Blacc, The Lumineers, Ellie Goulding, Haim, Queens of the Stone, Bastille, Lady Gaga (was not impressed with her), Ludovivico Einaudi and many, many more made me glad that Apple was streaming their live performances. 

 

The great thing for the artists and Apple is I bought a lot of music while watching the festival performances or soon after the performances ended. Being able to watch a missed or favorite performance repeatedly for 30+ days was fantastic. I am looking forward to this year's iTMF in London!

 

By saying what he is saying to a worldwide audience, Kanye is showing who and how he truly is. Apple most likely will never work with him thanks to the venom he is spewing. It will be interesting to see how the Beats crew and music artists who are #1s and less than #1 have reacted and continue to react to Kanye. The man seems to be toxic right now.

post #23 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larz2112 View Post

Because cash gives you the option to use your compensation they way YOU want to, not the way the person paying you wants to. What if instead of paying you in cash your employer compensated you with goods and or services from their company? What's the big diff, right? It's compensation, right? Umm, somehow I don't think most people would feel that way. I think Kanye West is the epitome of a meglomaniac, but I do think he has a valid gripe.

...and if you don't like the compensation being offered, you don't have to do it. It is a basic tenet of a free enterprise marketplace.
post #24 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larz2112 View Post
 

What if instead of paying you in cash your employer compensated you with goods and or services from their company?

 

Like shares of stock, 401K matching, holiday pay, health insurance, etc?

post #25 of 77
Ok I am going to delete all the Kane West music from my iTunes music catalog ... Oh wait a minute I never bought any. ... who is he again?
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post #26 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"I know you might have heard about this thing where I was on stage, like calling Tim Cook out and saying why do you have these guys performing at South by Southwest and you don't want to pay them," West said in an interview at the Cannes Lions festival. "You just want to give us extra space on the iTunes page and stuff, you know."
[...]

"Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, it's that they are geniuses. Both of them are cultural geniuses, what they had done for so many years." he said. "And they just, they connected with the right company, by the way."

 

Such a well-phrased and articulate argument clearly BEGS to be taken very seriously...

 

(Is the /s necessary?)

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V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

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post #27 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post

Not sure this is a valid criticism.  No artist is obligated to play the iTunes festival.  Those who do must believe that promotional space (the lifeblood of the industry) is worth it.

So this year's iTunes Festival took place at, and in conjunction with South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival, which doesn't pay artists either except collaterally through promotion via the festival itself. And artists like John Mayer have used their SXSW performances to sign music label deals for studio albums. So, you know, Kanye needs to get off the "it's only evil when Apple does it" meme. Artists (*sell outs*) who feel compelled to only perform FOR MONEY should stop bad mouthing music festivals.

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post #28 of 77
That boy is desperate for attention.
post #29 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post
 

 

But participating in iTunes Festival is a choice. Artists either accept the terms or they don't. Increased promotion at iTunes results in increased sales, which is cash in their pocket, so they are being paid in cash, just indirectly. It's not like Apple is asking them to perform for nothing, and it's not like Apple is pocketing ticket fees. It's a free concert.

 

Apple and iTunes are major forces that re-energized the music industry, creating many very rich artists. Why bite the hand that feeds you?

Working for anyone is a choice.  It's a stretch to call it "being paid in cash, just indirectly". Again, if your employer replaced your entire salary with non-monetary compensation like stock options that may or may not retain value depending on the market, the same way promotional advertising may or may not result in song sales, I think most people would have some issue with it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacSince1988 View Post


...and if you don't like the compensation being offered, you don't have to do it. It is a basic tenet of a free enterprise marketplace.

As far as I know, he didn't. A basic tenet of the United States is free speech and the right to express your opinion, and that's what he did. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
 

 

Like shares of stock, 401K matching, holiday pay, health insurance, etc?

 

Whether he participates or not, the guy is allowed to have an opinion, and I happen to think that this is one of the rare times when it has a little merit. Shares of stock, 401K, insurance, etc. are benefits above and beyond a salary, not a replacement of it.  I'm not saying Apple's deal is unfair, just that I can understand why someone might not prefer that type of compensation. He didn't accept the terms, and as far as I know he didn't participate... and he was vocal about it, as usual. 

post #30 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larz2112 View Post
 

Working for anyone is a choice.  It's a stretch to call it "being paid in cash, just indirectly". Again, if your employer replaced your entire salary with non-monetary compensation like stock options that may or may not retain value depending on the market, the same way promotional advertising may or may not result in song sales, I think most people would have some issue with it.

 

As far as I know, he didn't. A basic tenet of the United States is free speech and the right to express your opinion, and that's what he did. 

 

 

Whether he participates or not, the guy is allowed to have an opinion, and I happen to think that this is one of the rare times when it has a little merit. Shares of stock, 401K, insurance, etc. are benefits above and beyond a salary, not a replacement of it.  I'm not saying Apple's deal is unfair, just that I can understand why someone might not prefer that type of compensation. He didn't accept the terms, and as far as I know he didn't participate... and he was vocal about it, as usual. 

He has an opinion that has no merit, say I. You are wasting time backing that opinion, say I.

 

My opinion doesn't mean do do except that Bruce Jenner married into the family, and while once a Wheaties star, now he looks to be a sad androgynous freak.

 

Not much to look forward to Kanye, but enjoy the cash pile.

post #31 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Pay Kanye in fish sticks.

Oh, and also... F*ck him on a motorcycle.

Fixed that for you.
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post #32 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larz2112 View Post

As far as I know, he didn't. A basic tenet of the United States is free speech and the right to express your opinion, and that's what he did. 

Whether he participates or not, the guy is allowed to have an opinion...

Any person is entitled to their opinion.

However, it is their belief that we are entitled to it as well that sometimes becomes irritating...

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post #33 of 77
40 million iTunes Radio listeners in 8 months is not chump change. That's USA and Australia only. I think Pandora has 80 million in these two countries plus New Zealand but took many more years to acquire.
post #34 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larz2112 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

They are being paid. Why does currency have to be cash?
Because cash gives you the option to use your compensation they way YOU want to, not the way the person paying you wants to. What if instead of paying you in cash your employer compensated you with goods and or services from their company? What's the big diff, right? It's compensation, right? Umm, somehow I don't think most people would feel that way. I think Kanye West is the epitome of a meglomaniac, but I do think he has a valid gripe.

No he does not. He doesn't have to do it. If he doesn't want to be compensated with iTunes placement he should not perform at the festival. It must be acceptable at some level or he wouldn't do it.
post #35 of 77

Kanye West has become "Mr. Kardashian."  

The Kardashians are money mongers.  

Is it any surprise that Mr. Kanye Kardashian only wants cold hard cash?

post #36 of 77
The fact that Apple doesn't pay the performers at the iTunes Festival is well known and has been previously reported:

http://music-mix.ew.com/2013/09/30/itunes-festival-eddy-cue-interview/

This was widely re-circulated in the Mac press, for example:

http://www.macnn.com/articles/13/10/03/apple.vp.also.pushes.itunes.radio.as.better.way.to.premiere.albums.events/

(there was probably an AppleInsider article on it, but I couldn't find one in a quick search)
post #37 of 77
We are long past the time that this talentless crybaby wannabe thug legally changes his name to "Cry Baby West".
post #38 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larz2112 View Post

Because cash gives you the option to use your compensation they way YOU want to, not the way the person paying you wants to. What if instead of paying you in cash your employer compensated you with goods and or services from their company? What's the big diff, right? It's compensation, right? Umm, somehow I don't think most people would feel that way. I think Kanye West is the epitome of a meglomaniac, but I do think he has a valid gripe.

You don't like the compensation? Don't sign up for it. Promotion and exposure is valuable.

Everyone has an opinion. Mine is he's an idiot and an attention whore.
post #39 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larz2112 View Post

Because cash gives you the option to use your compensation they way YOU want to, not the way the person paying you wants to. What if instead of paying you in cash your employer compensated you with goods and or services from their company? What's the big diff, right? It's compensation, right? Umm, somehow I don't think most people would feel that way. I think Kanye West is the epitome of a meglomaniac, but I do think he has a valid gripe.
Huh? These artists agree to this or not. They are not employees of apple whose compensation terms were just changed.
post #40 of 77
Why complain, your getting a better long term advantage in money and it allows the event to be free.
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