Apple strong-arms artists, labels for iTunes placement

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 32
    I know I'm in the minority here...but I recently checked out the Lily Allen album and it's great. Funny lyrics, catchy hooks, just great production overall, nice blend of pop/reggaeska/techno/retrolounge elements. It's nice to hear something that actually sounds new and fresh for a change. I'd totally recommend checking it out if you haven't heard her stuff.



    Accusations of "plant" in 3...2...1...
  • Reply 22 of 32
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Hey Lilly



    Apple have just announced that 80% of their front page promotional bumpf will be randomly generated from the entire catalogue. Are you happy now?



    Now there is no pressure on you to do anything at all because nothing you do will have an impact on the heartless algorithm.



    Of course your chances of getting promoted on the front page are now as slim as anyone elses.



    Of course Apple have done no such thing. Even if they did, the vested interests would still find an angle from which to criticise the unbelievable unfairness of being randomly selected.
  • Reply 23 of 32
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    There's going to be more and more of this anti-Apple spin as the labels really start to panic "they won't take money to promote our crap! what are we going to do?"
  • Reply 24 of 32
    alanskyalansky Posts: 235member
    Young pop star Lily Allen has even gone so far as to accuse Apple of "bullying" tactics. "[Apple] won't advertise your album unless you give them extra material," she complained during a radio interview.



    Others have stated the obvious: WHAT RUBBISH! She should kiss the ground in gratitude that Apple is willing to put her sorry ass on the front page of the Music Store under any circumstances! Nothing is stopping Apple from charging a fortune for those coveted spots, which would mean that only big, well-heeled producers of shiny, vacuous albums would get the exposure.
  • Reply 25 of 32
    breezebreeze Posts: 96member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alansky View Post


    Young pop star Lily Allen has even gone so far as to accuse Apple of "bullying" tactics. "[Apple] won't advertise your album unless you give them extra material," she complained during a radio interview.



    Others have stated the obvious: WHAT RUBBISH! She should kiss the ground in gratitude that Apple is willing to put her sorry ass on the front page of the Music Store under any circumstances! Nothing is stopping Apple from charging a fortune for those coveted spots, which would mean that only big, well-heeled producers of shiny, vacuous albums would get the exposure.







    EXACTLY.
  • Reply 26 of 32
    swiftswift Posts: 436member
    You see an ad, like you used to, for the old--line record stores, and what impact does it have on you? You say, hey, this is what the labels want me to hear, and what they've paid the record stores for product placement -- they've paid for these ads. Do we get the opinions of any human being of the music? No. Who gets the goodies offered by the promotion? The buyer? Why, no. The record store, and the label, and believe me, taste got nothin' to do with it.



    Apple lets a bunch of people arbitrate what's on their front page on the basis of what they think is good. They will promote, but what do they DEMAND in return? Extra value for the consumer. An exclusive track. Does the artist make money on sales of that track? On the extra promotion of being on the front page? Yes and yes.



    Of course, the Wall Street Journal's story is premised on the fact that Apple is the interloperr.



    One of the major reasons people hate Real is because its highlighted spots are for sale, period.
  • Reply 27 of 32
    I took a listen to Lily Allen. She's not bad, and I hope I don't start liking her music because what she said shows such a disgusting lack of integrity. Her shameless manner of admitting to it shows that it's something a lot of people take for granted, that getting to the top by any means necessary is somehow okay.



    If I do start liking her, I'll pirate everything. I don't feel like supporting someone who will admit to putting out crap in order to get to the front of a music store and then complain about how much it inconvenienced her.
  • Reply 28 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Clue to Lily. It's the music business. If you don't like it, keep playing in coffee shops.



    Oh, and who says iTunes doesn't have variable pricing now?
  • Reply 29 of 32
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Apple is in control of what ads go on their page. How could that not be the case?



    What gets promoted on iTunes is important to an artist's overall sales. How could that not be the case?



    An ad is more effective if it offers the customer something tangible, like a bonus track or discounted price. How could that not be the case?



    Apple may be a real villain here, but I don't see the evidence yet.



    What I do see is much of the music business cranking out crap, which is not a trend of Apple's making, and at least Apple's not allowing the big labels to buy their way to the top with cash.



    Apple is successful, therefore they are a powerful force. Nothing can change that reality even if Apple wanted to, and it's a reality not everyone will like. I tend to think Apple's power hurts the big labels more than it hurts individual artists, and that it shakes the industry up in mostly positive ways. It's not ideal--but it simpy cannot be at present.
  • Reply 30 of 32
    Ultimately, if Apple is not charging artists for advertising, the iTunes Store front page is really an advertisement for the *service*, not the artists. (As is appropriate, since Apple is "paying" for the space itself).



    Since this is the case, why shouldn't Apple feature the products that make their service look the best: those that have exclusive tracks, or are being sold at a very reasonable price?



    Whatever method Apple is using to select the artists featured at the iTunes Store, it certainly results in a more interesting, diverse and progressive selection of material than 99% of all radio stations in the U.S. play.
  • Reply 31 of 32
    Apple trades front page space for exclusive bonus tracks, special prices, etc. because that's a big business draw - lots of people go to iTunes for that kind of thing, and it generates buzz. Also, die-hard fans might try iTunes for the first time if it means getting some unreleased material. In effect, it's the same as labels paying for advertising space - they're just paying with content, which is more important to Apple's quest for market dominance than cash payoffs are at this point. It's the same with discounted albums - basically the label is paying by getting less cash for each track, Apple draws hits from bargain hunters, etc. etc.



    The 40 cents per dollar figure is roughly accurate - the labels usually take 40-50% from the sticker price. Normally record stores are taking minimum 40%, and then 10-20% goes to general licensing bodies (ASCAP, socan, Philips, etc.), shipping costs, importing, etc. etc. From the labels' 40%, a typical artist's share is about 40%, roughly 16% or less of the sticker price (or less if the record store further marks up prices).



    Whether big labels are crappy for artists depends on who the artist is. A label can get the whole payola wheel turning, which means radio play, magazine articles and interviews, sponsorships, touring with a major artist, store displays, etc. etc., which an independent cannot. That's generally how stars are made, and how we the public are spoonfed Britney Spears, Korn, 50 Cent, etc. etc.



    iTunes IS making a lot of money selling music. Right now they're using a lot of that money to advertise and try and really replace physical stores, so they can make even more money. Also, getting the processes of distributing license fees is initally costly. The "best" part (for shareholders) is that Apple doesn't have nearly the shipping costs, the warehousing costs, or the employee costs that a physical store has. Also, no rent to pay! (i know they have to house servers, etc). It wouldn't surprise me if the entire operation is run in India or China within the next year or two (or is it already?) - where they can get server space at extremely low prices, and pay the staff around 20% of what an american music store employee makes!



    Think about how much lower iTunes' overhead can be than physical stores! No physical products, much fewer employees paid at foreign minimum wages, no shipping, no location rent, taxes, etc. etc. And the consumer only saves about 20-30% on the music vs. shopping at Wal-Mart! Unbelievable, again, great for that stock price.
  • Reply 32 of 32
    i would love it if the recommendations were based more on social networking than what apple chooses....



    it should take into account my musical tastes and recommend artists i don't yet listen to that other people with similar tastes listen to
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