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Labels to ask Apple for music subscription model on iTunes - report - Page 2

post #41 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Think of it as an investment by the music industry in the (near) future. The subscription service puts DRM into the tracks and players so that when the subscription runs out, the tracks don't work. This doesn't affect current thieves or casual loaners of CDs to friends for copying.

However, in 5 years, when CDs are no longer produced, new material will not have a source for "ripping", unless they can get their hands on the master recordings or crack the DRM.... "Buying" a track would probably involving getting a mulitple year license or something, while "renting" or "subscribing" would be monthly.

The apple model of iTunes/OSX/iPhone/ATv fits the idea of DRM perfectly, as a user's identity and music rights can be easily maintained through the whole system. In that way, people faithful to the Apple brand are the least affected by DRM (compared to somebody who has 3 or 4 companies' gear and software to move music around on).

Interesting, what you are hinting at here is a long term plan to force the consumer into renting the music. If correct this is extremely worrying as it means the music that I like to listen to, (and have currently compiled a large CD collection of) would continually have to be 'renewed'. I would see this as more incentive to invest in DRM removal technology and pirating than as a way for record companies to gain more sales. On top of that, as I mentioned earlier, mp3s are much lower in audio resolution than a CD is which therefore makes for a much poorer listening experience.

It is evident that technology constantly changes and improves, so it is easily conceivable that a different file format (non-mp3) could come along that would be both small and have high audio resolution. However I don't believe that even high quality downloads within a rental or subscription based model will work well as it effectively prohibits people from 'collecting' music because their 'rental' licence would either expire due to time out or on the number of playbacks. For instance I have CD's in my collection which were purchased back when CD's first started to appear, I can still play these (and frequently do) whenever the mood strikes me, if these were 'rentals' I would never have purchased them in the first place.
post #42 of 77
The rental model (as opposed to subscription which is not what the article is on about) would absolutely, positively have to rely on DRM. There's no way that DRM-free tracks would be distributed as part of a rental agreement.

Therefore the EMI (and forthcoming labels) deal flies in the face of this.

Personally I'm quite curious as to how it would affect me. I'm used to buying music, not borrowing it. On the flipside I would sign up to a video version immediately (the fact I'm in the UK and don't have an AppleTV notwithstanding )
post #43 of 77
It is very hard to not despise the record company exec's when you read reports like Mr H linked previously. That whole 'infinite loop' premise... does anyone wonder if when these exec's were kids they dreamed of ripping people off on a grand scale and killing the spirit of the music they claim to represent - or did economics and the 'industry' drive them to it gradually? Quite depressing really.
I would certainly consider all the other Appleinsider readers to be a lot more than 'consumers' , we are more than happy to support the music/media that we love - as long as we are not being put over a barrel in the process. The latest EMI deal gives me hope for the future of the industry and I hope it is quickly taken up by the other labels.
..... the greatest fame comes from adding to human knowledge, not winning battles.
Paraphrased from Napolean Bonaparte, 1798
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..... the greatest fame comes from adding to human knowledge, not winning battles.
Paraphrased from Napolean Bonaparte, 1798
Reply
post #44 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

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:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

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.
post #45 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopranino View Post

How do you figure that a lossy encoded mp3 version of a song is better quality than a CD (which is recorded at 16 bits /44.1 KHz)? Even at higher sampling rates (see the new 'higher quality' mp3 versions of EMI's records) the amount of data loss and the subsequent quality drop is still significant. (do a side by side comparison of a CD track and an MP3 track on a good quality player and you'll hear the difference)

Why would I tell you that? What am I a prop comic? Anyway, as I noted... "price, if not quality" is more important to consumers (which does not equate to the sentence you're pinning on me).

Why's that distinction more important than you're seeming to imply? By and large, the extra sound quality doesn't mean much to everyone. Notice, I'm not saying "most people", although that might be true.... I'm saying "not everyone". Moreover, while we're talking about iTunes, don't confuse mp3 files with AAC files. AAC files, such as they are, are actually higher quality compression than mp3 files, so that your averaqge 128kbps AAC has less artifacting than its 196kbps mp3 file cousin. iTunes started years ago, when even LESS people cared about compression... they just wanted their music. AAC's are fine for the majority of iTunes listeners. Most people (here's a "most people" for you) cannot tell the difference between AAC and Mp3. That's right, I said it.

Take the test yourself:
http://duxlist.com:81/
Now, look at the results:
http://duxlist.com:81/song/show_results

It's almost a 50/50 split as to whether people were right or wrong. Moreover, the audiophiles commenting on the digg article noted that it took their studio equipment to make the differences very pronounced (ie: noticeable). Normal speakers generally don't cut it.

So, I'm going to go ahead and "keep it real". The comparison of cost between buying a CD and buying an album on iTunes is perfectly valid for most. What's worse... yes, mostly of the revenue through iTunes has people paying for the "content", not the "manufacturing cost" like with CDs. This is a point Steve Jobs never fails to make, and I'm under the impression he tries to brain the record industry repeatedly about it.... but they don't care.

They're focused on perceived value, whether it is really warranted or not. I don't necessarily think they're wrong for it either. I think the real morons are the people that STEAL music from P2P sharing sites en masse, giving the record industry the perception that THIS is where their money is going, and that its NOT about consumer choice and high prices. The free market dynamics are being undermined with mixed messages. The industry simply needs to realize the were charging too much, and they're a dinosaur. Then we'll all be happy. Hard to see it happening given the people stealing music though. Such a distraction.
post #46 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzerain View Post

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.

That's bogus. Actually knowing people that have put together their own albums on independant labels, you're pissing all over a lot of effort to get product to you. I'm going to "remake" your point for you in a bit, but as is, it doesn't sit well with me.

#1. If you bought an album on vinyl, "back in the day", you should be perfectly entitled to TRANSFER your vinyl recording to another format. Period.
#2. If someone takes the time to RE-MASTER an album in digital format, that is extra labor and new media production in effect. For you to say, "hey, I bought that album once on vinyl, I'm owed the remastered version!" is ludicrous.

If you by the digital version at a lower resolution, I DO agree that it is bogus to sell someone a "higher res" version of the file later. They should have gotten the rights to the music... period. I wouldn't have a problem lifting a high-res sample from a friend.

Knowing that movies like Vertigo or Star Wars were remastered to "look better" and to clean off crap, is an important distinction. I don't think people should pretend like they don't know extra works was done.
post #47 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Appleinsider, would you please stop using "subscription" when you actually mean "rental". Or do you actually mean subscription not rental? Anyway, some clarification would be nice.

My understanding is that Appleinsider is right on with its terminology.

Under a "subscription" model, you pay a single recurring fee, and as long as you continue to pay that fee, you have the right to download every song in the catalogue with no incremental cost. As soon as you stop paying the fee (and the subscription "runs out") any tracks that you may have downloaded in the past cease to function. That's because the DRM inside the track will try to "call home" every time it is played (or every time a portable device is synched), and after the subscription runs out it will fail to obtain a valid license.

Under a "rental" model, you continue to pay a fee on a per-title basis. However, the DRM contained within the track contains a "time bomb" which would render the track unplayable after a certain period of time or a certain number of plays.

Clearly, EMI's new DRM-free offerings are fundamentally incompatible with either distribution scheme. [edit] But, a "modified subscription" model, in which the tracks don't expire after the subscription runs out, would be workable. Currently, the only subscription service out there which actually works this way is eMusic. All the other subscription services do include the "phone home" DRM layer as well. [/edit]
post #48 of 77
Here's how it should be (IMHO):

1. DRM-Free purchase of all music (even if it means $1.29 per track). Statistics, surveys, and common sense tell us that if PERSON A steals music, he will always steal music; while PERSON B buys music, and will continue to buy music as long as it's available and reasonable. DRM does nothing except restrict the usage rights of those who are WILLINGLY paying! It also costs the record labels money, since the other thing it prevents is PERSON B sending an occasional song to a friend via email; a practice (as witnessed by the exchange of cassette tapes in the 80's) that actually increases purchases by turning people on to new music.

2. iTunes Radio - As an alternative/concession to the higher price of $1.29 per song, you can add iTunes Radio to your account. iTunes radio gives you access to the ENTIRE CATALOG of iTunes music streamed to your house for only $14.95 per month. You can't copy these songs to your iPod, or burn them to disc, but you can create playlists and play them on your Mac, PC, Apple TV etc. If you want to take the songs with you, you need to buy them; for $.99 per song. While basically a subscription service, Apple can position this as the best of both worlds. You can sample the entire library, but if you want to be able to do 'whatever you want' with your music, you need to BUY (not rent) it. With this model, I don't need to remain an iTunes Radio subscriber in perpetuity in order to have access to my music, I can buy it (DRM free) and do with it as I please. It's basically a return to the traditional model we all know and love (hear song on Radio; buy song and take it with you everywhere); except in the modern world YOU control what the radio plays.

Benefits: The record labels get higher prices, and revenue from a subscription service. They also create a marketplace where the iPod can be usurped, so they're not forever beholdent to Steve jobs (only possible with DRM free music). Apple gets to continue it's current business model, accrue new revenue (which most regular iTunes users will gladly pay) through iTunes Radio, and still holds a leg up on integration vs. other players since iTunes will remain the PLACE to go for music, purchases will be as easy as clicking your Apple remote while listening to an iTunes Radio song, and Playlists constructed in iTunes Radio will be transferrable (with songs in order etc.) to your iPod as soon as you purchase the songs therein.

Consumers get DRM free music; choice; and the entire library of recorded music available to them for home use at a very reasonable price, while regaining TRUE ownership of the music they decide to purchase.
post #49 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleverboy View Post

That's bogus. Actually knowing people that have put together their own albums on independant labels, you're pissing all over a lot of effort to get product to you. I'm going to "remake" your point for you in a bit, but as is, it doesn't sit well with me.

#1. If you bought an album on vinyl, "back in the day", you should be perfectly entitled to TRANSFER your vinyl recording to another format. Period.
#2. If someone takes the time to RE-MASTER an album in digital format, that is extra labor and new media production in effect. For you to say, "hey, I bought that album once on vinyl, I'm owed the remastered version!" is ludicrous.

If you by the digital version at a lower resolution, I DO agree that it is bogus to sell someone a "higher res" version of the file later. They should have gotten the rights to the music... period. I wouldn't have a problem lifting a high-res sample from a friend.

Knowing that movies like Vertigo or Star Wars were remastered to "look better" and to clean off crap, is an important distinction. I don't think people should pretend like they don't know extra works was done.

I'm not pissing over the effort at all. My point is what the effort really is intended for?

Look, remastering is work, and someone does it, and let's say maybe you and me can hear and appreciate the difference. I'd argue though that since a damned good percentage (maybe even the majority) of digital files floating around are 128kbps MP3, which make cymbals sound like they've been sliced and diced and reassembled into some kind of digital soup, this shows that a fairly large percentage of people don't even know or care what "remastering" means.

So when the industry went from vinyl to CD, they had to "do" something to justify us re-buying Hotel California, right? So they pay some guy to "remaster" the album. Are they doing this to give us a better product? No, it's basically a line-item marketing expense, like paying a designer to redesign a box, or paying some scientists to re-jigger the soap powder formula so they can write "new and improved" on the laundry detergent box and jack the price up on you and get you to swallow it.

So, your perspective (maybe...I don't want to put words in your mouth) is that you bought the CD version to get the higher sound fidelity and whatnot. My perspective is: The industry recognized that moving to a different, cheaper to produce format that allowed for cleaner sound fidelity would allow them to convince everyone to re-buy a whole bunch of plastic from them at a higher price. So, they paid some people to go clean up the existing content so they could slap "remastered" on the label just like "new and improved".

(In fact, the truth of this is even more disgusting...most recordings were simply transferred from the masters to CD in the '80s. Then, they waited 10 years and released "gold" versions of the same shit, this time "remastered", to take more money from the audiophile crowd. And, of course, the fact that the industry claimed CD prices were high because of manufacturing costs but made the prices even higher even once costs had dropped to below that of the relative levels of LPs.)

The point being...some people have probably bought Hotel California on LP, on cassette or 8-track for their car, on CD...and some even twice on CD to get the "remastered" version.

Anyway, the remastering, repackaging and redistribution of an existing title costs them almost nothing, and it's all pure profit. All that hard work of going from LP to CD MAYBE would cost a hundred thousand or so per title (to hire remastering people, PR, design, etc). But at that point it's like adding one feature to an already shipping piece of software, and then having the audacity to charge the user more for version 2.0 than you did for version 1.0.

Run some fake numbers with a proven seller like...let's say...Pink Floyd's The Wall. Originally released on LP; now they move it to CD. They already know it has a cult following; it was guaranteed to sell over a million copies (I'm sure more like 5-10 million). So, even given a $500,000 budget for remastering and repackaging of The Wall, and then selling 5 million CDs at $15 a pop, you're talking about $74,500,000 in pure revenue....the second time around.

Excuse me if I'm not crying for the loss of that kind of extortionist business policy.

Look, the point is, all the stuff that labels supposedly provide the artist is really all just bullshit marketing they are providing themselves so that they can use the artist's work to make them rich. Tour support? advertising expense (send them around to feel like rock stars so they can advertise the plastic). Production? Advertising expense (make it slicker and people buy more plastic). Remastering/Mixing? (have covered it). None of this shit is designed to help the musician...in fact, they *charge the musician for it*, and use it as a way to sell the plastic.

My point is...take away the plastic, and you take away the whole shebang for them, and I'm glad.

As to your last point...ironically enough, Apple seems to be slyly reselling the higher bitrate music. It's curious that they coupled the EMI no-DRM thing with a bitrate increase, and then used that as a way to get another 30 cents per song out of you if you opt for the higher quality. So, not "resell" exactly, but...say...a 33% tax. Doesn't sit too well with me, and it'll be interesting to see how they behave in the future with the content you purchase now (video, for example is not DVD quality...what happens when they change the format? What happens when they move to MP5 instead of AAC/MP4?)
post #50 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

the Financial Times wrote in its report. "By contrast, they have earned only modest royalties from digital music sales because most of the songs on iPods and other devices result from illegal download."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

This is incorrect.

Article 1.

Article 2.

not only is it incorrect, its downright insulting.

but then its what we have become used to with record companies.
post #51 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


I disagree. While MS's efforts so far have been derivative and fairly pathetic, the key in dealing with them is to never let them get any traction. Even an obvious copy of a good product can eventually grab a good-sized chunk of the market, if the company backing it has several years and several billions of dollars to throw away on it. Look at the Xbox 360.

When you knock MS down, you don't let them get up again.

.

I have looked at the XBox 360. It's not selling well at all. MSoft wants you to believe it's selling well, but it's not.

Microsoft is still a long way from selling any XBox for a profit.

The number 1 selling console is still the PS2, despite the PS3 and XBox 360's better features.
post #52 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzerain View Post

So when the industry went from vinyl to CD, they had to "do" something to justify us re-buying Hotel California, right? So they pay some guy to "remaster" the album. Are they doing this to give us a better product? No, it's basically a line-item marketing expense, like paying a designer to redesign a box, or paying some scientists to re-jigger the soap powder formula so they can write "new and improved" on the laundry detergent box and jack the price up on you and get you to swallow it.

its clear you dont actually understand what goes into remastering from Vinyl to CD

and if you dont understand something, you shouldnt REALLY comment on it...

in simple terms Vinyl had a limited bandwidth.. too much bass and the needle poped out of the groove.. whereas CD didnt have that problem, so the initial first wave of CDs had a LOT of people screaming that they sounded horrible.
post #53 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzerain View Post


So when the industry went from vinyl to CD, they had to "do" something to justify us re-buying Hotel California, right? So they pay some guy to "remaster" the album. Are they doing this to give us a better product? No, it's basically a line-item marketing expense, like paying a designer to redesign a box, or paying some scientists to re-jigger the soap powder formula so they can write "new and improved" on the laundry detergent box and jack the price up on you and get you to swallow it.

Actually, the transfer from anything to CD requires mastering. They didn't hire a guy to do it to make us feel the quality was better. They did it out of necessity.

And the CD wasn't created from the vinyl. It was created from the source tapes.

The "ten years later" remasters, of course, are done for the reasons you specified. Mostly, the remaster is necessary because labels were so desperate to get music onto CDs that they cut corners on the original mastering job. (That's why older CDs actually have a warning on the label that the CD is not as good as the original.) They had thousands upon thousands of albums to master, and only so many people in the industry that knew how to do it. Thus, many CDs were done sloppily. On that point, I totally agree with you.

Sometimes, though, remasters are done because we simply have better equipment now than we had twenty years ago. If we can make those old Led Zeppelin albums sound like they were recorded in 1990 instead of 1970, why not? As a listener, if you care about the better quality, you'll buy the new version. If not, you'll stick with the old version. No one forces you to buy a remaster.

And believe me, remastering takes a lot more work than you think. To do it right, you need to go back to the original source tapes and start all over. It's a process that can take weeks, if not months. So yes, I believe that the people who do that should be paid for it. But if you don't, just don't buy the remaster.
post #54 of 77
Can someone tell me why the music biz still thinks that the subscription model is going to work?

The math(s) just seems plain wrong! $15 a month. $180 dollars a year. I just don't believe that many people spend that much on music. (Don't tell me that you buy 10 CDs a week.... I know you do .... it's just that most people don't.)

US album sales 2006: 590 million units. Population 300 million. 1.97 albums per person.
Even if you were to say that only 20% of the population buy music regularly .... that's 60 million .... say 10 albums per person....... Maybe $120 per year.

The current subscription services have not been a hit, and the churn rate is high. There must be a lot of people who think the math(s) works for them but quit after a few months, when they find that they are still buying the odd track and picking up the odd bargain CD here and there.
post #55 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

That's an awfully good point. Apple should say to the big labels (other than EMI), "So you want subscription, eh? Ok then, we'll give it to you, but you have to give us DRM-free for our non-subscription downloads."

Give and take. And if the major labels don't like it, well, screw 'em. Compromise is a virtue.


While MS's efforts so far have been derivative and fairly pathetic, the key in dealing with them is to never let them get any traction. Even an obvious copy of a good product can eventually grab a good-sized chunk of the market, if the company backing it has several years and several billions of dollars to throw away on it. Look at the Xbox 360.

When you knock MS down, you don't let them get up again.

.

Agreed on all points. As far as MS goes, their motto might be summed up as "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again." Ignore their persistence and resources at your peril, they'll drop something only when the rewards are no longer significant.
post #56 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

May I suggest that anyone who is insulted by the insinuation that iPods are used to house pirated content direct their feedback towards the financial times, who were the people to originally state this. Head over to their website and request that they either back up the claim or remove it. You can use the two articles I linked to earlier in this thread as evidence.

I wouldn't quite go that far. Though I don't doubt the information on the sites you provided, there are in fact, others, namely Forrester Research Group, that have done extensive research on the subject and reported that quite a bit (I'm not sure of the numbers so I wont pretend to know) of music downloaded to iPods has been illegally obtained via ripping and mytunes type software.

my $.2
post #57 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleverboy View Post

Most are $9.99 (the average album you find will be $9.99). Much like their movies. If you notice the ones that cost more actually have more songs than the normal album. You might consider looking closer at pricing. iTunes still beats buying the CD on price, if not quality. I don't see anything in particular to highlight there. I think iTunes movies are more inconsisant on pricing, but I haven't looked for consistancy enough to definitively say. I know there were rules.

There doesn't really seem to be much link between number of tracks and price on iTunes. I easily comprehend that 2-CD albums will cost more, but that doesn't seem to be the link. For example, The Killers "Sam's Town" album has 12 tracks and is priced at $11.99 on iTunes, which means it cost more to buy the whole album than the individual tracks. Buying the album did include the PDF booklet or whatever. I purchased the CD from an online store for $7.41 (including tax and shipping).

And iTunes being cheaper is pretty much another myth . Perhaps for hard to find music it might be, but for mainstream music, most of the big retailers are the same or close to iTunes price. Some are more, some are less.
post #58 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopranino View Post

Interesting, what you are hinting at here is a long term plan to force the consumer into renting the music. If correct this is extremely worrying as it means the music that I like to listen to, (and have currently compiled a large CD collection of) would continually have to be 'renewed'. I would see this as more incentive to invest in DRM removal technology and pirating than as a way for record companies to gain more sales. On top of that, as I mentioned earlier, mp3s are much lower in audio resolution than a CD is which therefore makes for a much poorer listening experience.

It is evident that technology constantly changes and improves, so it is easily conceivable that a different file format (non-mp3) could come along that would be both small and have high audio resolution. However I don't believe that even high quality downloads within a rental or subscription based model will work well as it effectively prohibits people from 'collecting' music because their 'rental' licence would either expire due to time out or on the number of playbacks. For instance I have CD's in my collection which were purchased back when CD's first started to appear, I can still play these (and frequently do) whenever the mood strikes me, if these were 'rentals' I would never have purchased them in the first place.

I'm not implying that there is a long-term plan to force the consumer to rent, just that there is a plan to put DRM in all music, just as the movie industry has successfully done to protect film content with VHS tapes, DVDs etc. (i know people can still crack and download them, but the average schmoe can't).

I know, Apple just put up some non-DRM content, but that doesn't matter, they'll do anything they can to promote the digital medium for music. 128kbps with DRM wasn't doing it fast enough, so they're trying to make the holdouts become converts. CDs just aren't dying fast enough for the labels' liking - having CD's 50-50 alongside iPods and computer music libraries is causing a lot of lost profits to copying and redistributing CD's which they've tried to add DRM to, but failed (see lawsuits against sony). Once CDs aren't produced anymore, they can control basically every digital release. No more "scene" releases and private CD rips using EAC/FLAC etc. etc.

The whole idea will be greatly supported by the Apple system of iTunes/Pod/Phone/.Mac etc., and make the transfer of your music rights to every legal aspect of your needs possible...

There will still be an option to "own" the tracks, but they will only be playable on your system, plus there will probably be a wifi sharing option, like the zune has so you can lend the song to your friend for 5 plays at a party, etc.

This will not lead to a reduction in audio quality from CDs. Actually it will be the opposite, as you will be able pay for various encoding rates (the current 128/256 thing is a pilot project that the industry is carefully watching.) The higher end encoding rates can feasably be any sort of unlimited bit rate, taken directly from the studio session and mastered at whatever the highest possible quality is. Look for new music to recorded at ridiculous bitrates in the future as hard drives get bigger, and 64-bit computers with 32 gig ram are running protools and recording at 36 or 48-bit (right now the standard in the studio is 24-bit). Pearl Jam is already releasing material direct from the 24-bit material from the studio to FLAC (without the usual downgrade to 16-bit for CD).

Anyways, this might seem like a horror story, but I don't think it will be that bad. There will be less stealing of music, much less plastic used and less peole buying music because of the picture of shakira on the cover, higher quality and more choice of quality in the music, etc. etc. DRM, if properly implemented and supported by a slick enough line of players and software, will only hurt people who don't like to pay for all the music they "own". The option to rent will also come in handy, if it's not too expensive, to mainstream listeners who throw 30 CDs they'll never listen to again each year....
post #59 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatstabley View Post

.....there are in fact, others, namely Forrester Research Group, that have done extensive research on the subject...

Forrester Research were thought to be a little in accurate with their last set of figures.

Whatever the amount of illegal music per iPod is, the fact is that there are now 25 iTunes tracks per average iPod (sold), and slowly rising. At $0.64 a track to the record companies I make that $16 for each and every iPod that ends up in the music biz coffers.

How much does Apple make per iPod? 40 Bucks? 50?. (average price $175. 25% margin?) If the music companies are making in the region of 30% of the profit that Apple is making can they really cry about their "modest royalties"?
post #60 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

I know, Apple just put up some non-DRM content, but that doesn't matter, they'll do anything they can to promote the digital medium for music. 128kbps with DRM wasn't doing it fast enough, so they're trying to make the holdouts become converts CDs just aren't dying fast enough for the labels' liking

Audio CD is so established and so ubiquitous that momentum alone will mean that it will be a viable commercial format for some time. Trying to force it out will mean a backlash.

Quote:
- having CD's 50-50 alongside iPods and computer music libraries is causing a lot of lost profits to copying and redistributing CD's which they've tried to add DRM to, but failed (see lawsuits against sony).

Sony's problem wasn't that they tried DRM on CDs, their problem was that they pretended that they had a right to take over the user's computer and phone home without the user's knowledge or permission.
post #61 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzerain View Post

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.

I think more in terms of around 100 years that the music industry's been in full force. RCA Victor purchased the rights to exclusively distribute all music from the Caribbean, central and south america (from the US Government!) back in the 30's and before that they operated monopolies on radio stations and record players... That was the end cycle of the first phase of the Music Industry as we now know it.

In terms of touring support, studio time and most importantly, advertising, if you think that's bullshit to musicians, then maybe your head is jammed too far up your ass to see what shit is...

I think every musician that's making a living realizes that, while you won't make much money from record sales on a giant label (at least initially when you have no bargaining power), you can get your album in every music store in the world with great production value, great advertising, radio and tv play, itunes features, newpaper features, your face on the cover of blender or downbeat, etc. etc.etc with a deal. Labels make people famous, whether it's Jack Johnson or Britney Spears or the Beatles or Woody Guthrie or Miles Davis or Duke Ellington, they all became household names because of their label support. And, while there's plenty of horror stories, nowadays most people with half a brain get paid decently too.

I've worked with a great jazz trumpeter, who was signed to a major label for about 10 records. He still gets "bills" from them, showing how much money he owes them from his standard 40% of 40% cut before he starts seeing album profits (its in the hundred thousand dollar range, which is a lot for jazz music). This might sound awful, but he was/is totally happy with it, because he kept the rights to the songs (and gets nice royalty payments and can rerecord the songs later if he wants), and every release he made was accompanied by massive radio play (on jazz stations), and cover or feature articles in all the major magazines, and label-organized spots at jazz festivals around the world. Because of the publicity he's now one of the most recognized jazz musicians in the world. A couple years ago, he started his own label and gets all the profits, which are good mainly because of hist history with a big...

Quote:
Originally Posted by suzerain View Post


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.

You seem to have a problem with a business wanting to control how people obtain their product. I hope you never plan on running a business. If so, let me know, and i'll make sure my mutual fund does not include your company.

So far, they've sued customers who have massive quantities of P2P obtained music on their hard drives. Their conviction/settlement rate seems to be high, as it's pretty obvious when a person has 200 Gigs of music, no credit card and 10 CDs that's he's nothing but a thief. I don't call those people "customers". The attempt at copy protection on CDs failed, and that's why the industry began pushing forward with downloadable music.

Once CDs disappear, the labels will call the shots (they already are, actually). How many people would buy an iPod if you can't play any new releases on it? The labels will control that, and Apple will not have choices, except to only offer independents. Apple was given DRM free downloads to hurry the demise of the CD. See my other post in this thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by suzerain View Post


$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.

This is because of file sharing. You can copy a CD much more elegantly, cleanly and simply now than you could 5 years ago, and that is causing the drop-off in sales. Indeed, it feels nothing like stealing to stick a friend's CD and rip it with your favorite app. iTunes does it automatically without necessarily telling you!

I find it sad that people think the cost of a cheap restaurant meal or a single viewing of a movie or 2 pints of beer at a bar is too much to pay for an hour of music that you can listen to (hopefully) unlimited times. But then, I am a professional musician, and you have read a book about the evils of the music industry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suzerain View Post

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?

I'm doing that myself right now as a freelance musician, and it's a lot of work, but gratifying. There are 10s of thousands of musicians in the world that have solid middle class incomes. And we'd pretty much all like to have someone else taking care of the business and promotion so we can just make music. A label can do that, and it's worth paying for. I'd rather sell a million records and see .001% of the sales (as long as i keep the copyrights) than sell a thousand and get all of it. Not because I want to be famous, but because I want my music to have the chance to get to people, and I want to be able to book an out-of-town or out-of-country club on a friday night and have people show up and listen.
post #62 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Audio CD is so established and so ubiquitous that momentum alone will mean that it will be a viable commercial format for some time. Trying to force it out will mean a backlash.

Well, the DVD has been around for 10 years, and where has the videotape gone? Was there a backlash?

There are now lots of people with MP3 players, and there have been for 7 years now. How often to you see discmen compared to iPods? Do you not believe apple's itunes sales figures? The switch from physical media to data streams is well underway, and the under-35 age group in the west is already almost totally converted. Is it so hard to believe that CDs will occupy a similar space as VHS tapes in 5 years?

Edit - sorry about all the rhetorical questions, i don't mean to set a bad tone...
post #63 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by piot View Post

Forrester Research were thought to be a little in accurate with their last set of figures.

where was that said? link?
post #64 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

You never will. The iTunes Music Store lets you license the music for a flat rate, but you certainly don't own anything when you buy from it. You still have to comply with the iTunes user agreement or you're breaking the law, and whether your license is transferable is still up to the licensor. That people buying from the iTMS music store feel they own something is a nice myth.

When you buy a CD, you only own the physical plastic and metal substrate, by the way. The pattern of 1's and 0's is still owned by the record labels and licensed to you for home use.

Oh yeah? Well, good luck coming in and taking that music back from me.
post #65 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

This is incorrect.

Article 1.

Article 2.

Yes, it is, and I find it very offensive that the music industry executives keep asserting that I'm a criminal. I have an actual CD for probably 85% of the music on my iPod and at least 14 of the remaining 15% was purchased through iTS. Have I stripped DRM? Absolutely! So I could pirate it? Not once.

Everything that the music industry execs say makes it ridiculously obvious that they are driven by only one thing... greed. I have to say that EMI has done a really impressive thing. There is no other music company that has even mentioned anything that indicates they are actually interested in providing a mutually beneficial service to consumers. While I will be extremely annoyed by it, I hope that Apple does offer the subscription model, and that it is completely ignored.
post #66 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by macbear01 View Post

Oh yeah? Well, good luck coming in and taking that music back from me.

You missed the point. No one is taking your music away, but having a CD doesn't mean that you can do just anything with it. The legal useage is fairly liberal but not unlimited. For example, it's not legal to sell or give away copies of it, or to play it in a public presentation or use it in a commercial product, because the music isn't licensed for that. It is licensed for personal use only, and you own a license to use the music, you really don't own the music itself.
post #67 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slewis View Post

I'm all for it as long as Apple can
1) Shut Up the Niche that cares about Subscription Models
2) Negotiate all of them into allowing Apple to sell DRM Free Music, and not just a select few Albums, but their entire catalogs that are on iTunes and beyond including Music Video.

There's no need to hope it makes the Zune look even more like a failure. If Microsoft were to drop off the face of the Earth tomorrow, it couldn't possibly make the Zune look even worst.

Sebastian

They can't do away with DRM on a subscription rental service. If there's no DRM then what is going to bring your usage rights to an end and keep you from burning the tracks to re-rip and remove that DRM when you stop subscribing to the rental service? See that's not going to happen.
post #68 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

You missed the point. No one is taking your music away, but having a CD doesn't mean that you can do just anything with it. The legal useage is fairly liberal but not unlimited. For example, it's not legal to sell or give away copies of it, or to play it in a public presentation or use it in a commercial product, because the music isn't licensed for that. It is licensed for personal use only, and you own a license to use the music, you really don't own the music itself.

No I didn't miss the point. I'm struggling to see any relevance to the comment in the first place. The format makes absolutely no difference. No one is coming to take my music away. Usage agreements/rights? Whatever! Music from both sources ends up in my iTunes library and gets used basically however I want it to be used. No one is going to do anything about that unless I start trying to resell the product in some fashion to make money off of something I didn't create without paying back to the creators and distributors. Not to mention, you have to be pretty freakin' obvious about it for them to even notice. It isn't now, nor has it ever been, my intent to pirate any music. [edit] Yes, I understand that I'm not supposed to copy it and give it away either - that takes away from other potential sales. [/edit]

I'm just saying that you can claim that the medium's materials belong to the consumer, but that the content still belongs to the record company all you want. In practical use and thought, it belongs to the consumer once he/she pays for it. Assuming that the consumer is not abusing copyright law, I'd bet you'll find no precedent for any music company to ever demand that all purchased copies of anything be returned because technically they still own the content and they've decided they don't want it out there anymore. It's just not going to happen. So, again, I struggle to understand what relevance there is to the claim that the consumer doesn't really own it [edit] whether your talking about digital downloads or CDs [/edit].
post #69 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by macbear01 View Post

I'm just saying that you can claim that the medium's materials belong to the consumer, but that the content still belongs to the record company all you want. In practical use and thought, it belongs to the consumer once he/she pays for it. Assuming that the consumer is not abusing copyright law, I'd bet you'll find no precedent for any music company to ever demand that all purchased copies of anything be returned because technically they still own the content and they've decided they don't want it out there anymore. It's just not going to happen. So, again, I struggle to understand what relevance there is to the claim that the consumer doesn't really own it [edit] whether your talking about digital downloads or CDs [/edit].

I don't understand why you are assuming that calling it a license means that someone is going to take away your music. What you describe is basically the right of first sale. What it means is that a transaction of this type can't be revoked, but that doesn't mean that you own all the rights to the content, you only have rights to private uses of that content. For example, distributing infringing copies, whether or not they are paid, but you can format shift or make as many personal copies as you like so long as you aren't giving copies away.

It's a very subtle difference, but it is there according to copyright law. In short, for many intents, you can pretend that you own it and not really know any different, but that doesn't make it so, though your uses are well within your rights. But that doesn't mean that someone is going to take it away either.
post #70 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

You never will. The iTunes Music Store lets you license the music for a flat rate, but you certainly don't own anything when you buy from it. You still have to comply with the iTunes user agreement or you're breaking the law, and whether your license is transferable is still up to the licensor. That people buying from the iTMS music store feel they own something is a nice myth.

That's like saying I don't own my car cause I can't drive it at maximum speed, or in the wrong direction, that's just crazy talk.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #71 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

That's like saying I don't own my car cause I can't drive it at maximum speed, or in the wrong direction, that's just crazy talk.

That's not comparable, but then, if you get caught doing that enough, you probably won't be owning that car for long.
post #72 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by macbear01 View Post

They can't do away with DRM on a subscription rental service. If there's no DRM then what is going to bring your usage rights to an end and keep you from burning the tracks to re-rip and remove that DRM when you stop subscribing to the rental service? See that's not going to happen.

You missed the point. Adding a Subscription service would not take away from the Buy model currently in place. Make THOSE songs DRM free.

Sebastian
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
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Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
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post #73 of 77
Subscription music is a loser and does nothing to enhance the value of the iPod. Can't fathom why this keeps popping up.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #74 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Now that is music to MY ears. Who wouldn't love to release an album on the Apple label?

There are a number of amateurs (trying to go pro) on iCompositions.com that now sell their music through iTunes.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #75 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Subscription music is a loser and does nothing to enhance the value of the iPod. Can't fathom why this keeps popping up.

It keeps popping up because of the people at CNN who continue to bring it up, and mostly wishful thinking on the part of both Labels who could sit back and watch the money roll in with no real competition and a niche market that actually likes the idea. As long as we see DRM Free music for every song on iTunes, I don't care though.

Sebastian
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
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Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
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post #76 of 77
The other attractive feature of a largely subscription based audience for the labels is that the labels' economic performance becomes less tied to actual performance. If the majority of music listeners are subscribing month to month anyway, having a 6 month period without solid new music doesn't hurt their bottom line as much.

It's also a great monopoly market lock in for them, if any music outside the mainstream is associated with extra cost and effort.
post #77 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevalierMalFet View Post

The other attractive feature of a largely subscription based audience for the labels is that the labels' economic performance becomes less tied to actual performance. If the majority of music listeners are subscribing month to month anyway, having a 6 month period without solid new music doesn't hurt their bottom line as much.

It's also a great monopoly market lock in for them, if any music outside the mainstream is associated with extra cost and effort.

That's ridiculous. Cable tv's been a subscription service since it's inception, and it's the exact same week-old toilet of bloody shit it's always been, no better, no worse.
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