Originally Posted by Superbass
They didn't start getting percentages until tapes, because that was the first widespread copying medium. Not many people in the 60s had record presses to pirate LPs...
It's funny, cause though you understand this, and you have been working in the industry, I find it a bit shocking that you can't put together the reality of the music industry and what it is.
The fact is, the "music industry" has only been in existence for ~60 years. However, music (and good music) has been around for literally millenia. Think about that for a second, and please think about it when you talk about all the touring support and studio time and other bullshit you claim is a service to the artist. Then, think about your other quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass
Is $12-20 more than than an album is worth? You seem to imply this, which makes me think you don't really put much value in music.
I fully agree that $12-20 is too expensive for an album. Is it because I don't value the music? No, but the music is not what has value to the music industry. In fact, the music isn't important at all.
The music industry -- which, by the way is run largely by lawyers and the mob (not kidding, read the excellent book The Hit Men) -- has only been able to become so rich because of DISTRIBUTION. That is what they were selling. They were not, in any way shape or form selling you "Sgt. Pepper"; they were selling you a piece of plastic with Sgt. Pepper on it. They could only charge you for this, in fact, because yu had no way -- as you pointed out -- to press vinyl yourself.
Then it was tapes and 8-tracks and CDs and DATs and Minidiscs and so forth...in some cases, you could record onto these media, but usually the quality was shit, and the effect to their business model (which, again, is not about music, but about distribution) was minimal.
Now, recordable CDs and digital downloads have exposed the industry for what it is: a cartel that first extorts artists, by forcing them to sign away the rights to their creations, and then extorts the public, by controlling the distribution mechanism, and then changing it every so often, so you have to rebuy your same music over and over again.
I remember when the Eagles were added to the iTunes store. There was a press release. My response was...how many times SHOULD you be forced to buy Hotel California? If you really had bought the MUSIC in 1976 or whatever, then you should have rights to the music, on through cassettes and CDs. In reality, you bought vinyl (or plastic), and so when they put the same shit onto new plastic, you had to buy it again.
DRM is simply a logical extension of the same strategy: create a distribution mechanism that can be owned and out of the consumer's control so that the extortion can continue -- on both ends. The thing is, the musuc industry was too comfortable...too stupid...to see this coming. In fact, they should have hired programmers circa 1985 and started to create something like the MP3 format themselves, and used their considerable lobbying power to wedge it in as a standard themselves, so that they could continue to control the distribution.
Now, they have DRM that is out of their control (either from Apple or Microsoft), and distribution mechanisms that are out of their control (iTunes, MS-compatible stores, free downloading). In all 3 of those scenarios, their business crumbles, because the only thing keeping them alive has been CONTROL.
So, they start doing things like suing customers and installing rootkits on people's machines because -- as I've pointed out before -- this industry thinks either like lawyers or thugs depending on who's in charge that day.
But get one thing straight....this is not the death of music by any means. In fact, if Apple succeeds in getting DRM-free downloads, and since it has apparently won the battle with Apple Corps, the industry is, in a word, fucked, because they need Apple more than Superbass points out.
$12-$20 is in fact too much to pay for an album. The proof is that people aren't willing to pay for as many as before. With CD sales falling, they have to sell digitally. And iTunes is right now the only game in town that matters. So, I believe Apple can dictate terms to them. And, eventually, now that Apple can apparently operate as a music company if it wishes, Apple can offer artists a 50-50 kind of distribution arrangement if they want, and even get the talent to defect from the majors; encourage artists to sell themselves.
So, I see this future as very bright indeed. More of my money can go where it deserves: to the artists instead of a bunch of PR drone lawyering thugs. Will there be fewer musician millionaires? Probably, yes. But you can walk into any random club anywhere and hear a band just as good as the shit the big labels are peddling anyway, and musicians who really want to make music are never gonna stop, no matter how poor they get.
But I don't think this means musicians will be poor anyway. In fact, they can now do more to create a promote for themselves, cheaply and efficiently, and who says being a musician couldn't be the kind of job that makes you $40-50,000 a year, just like any other job?
Sorry the post is so long, I just think Superbass' industry shilling was getting a bit annoying.