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

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 78
    Why complain, your getting a better long term advantage in money and it allows the event to be free.
  • Reply 42 of 78
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,742member
    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.


     

    And the iTunes Festival gives an artist promotion and publicity like the record labels used to provide.  It's up to the artists and their management to determine if that's a value proposition that makes sense for them.  Remember that Apple is absorbing all of the event costs (facilities, staffing, backline, audio and video production, streaming, advertising) without any admission revenues.  For second-tier artists with so-called "360 deals" where their labels take a cut of all artist revenue streams (concert tickets, t-shirt sales, etc.) this isn't a bad deal.

     

    Kanye should feel free to produce his own month-long concert series where he pays artists top dollar without any ticket revenue, but I wouldn't hold my breath...

  • Reply 43 of 78
    larz2112 wrote: »
    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.

    False analogy: festival bands are not employees of Apple.
  • Reply 44 of 78

    Apple is not holding these festivals to lose money. They are calculated to earn them plenty of money and you can bet it does.

     

    These musicians are providing value to Apple and helping Apple to earn that money. If they have contracts that guarantee them a certain income due to music sales above their usual sales before the concert, then that might be a good deal for each performer. If not then the bands are being conned into gambling with their actual value.

     

    When I was a professional musician it was commonplace for club owners to try to pull all sorts of stupid scams on bands. Smart bands demanded half of their fee before going on and the other half at the first break. No pay no play. It was the entertainers that made the event,  not the venue, not the promoter. Generally speaking, the band makes money at the door and the club makes money at the bar.

     

    If Apple wanted to be fair to all of the bands yet didn't want to pay them in advance, Apple could divide all of their iTunes profits for a specified time around that concert and pay the musicians with that. Offering promotional space would need to turn into a specific dollar amount of sales for the bands for it to be a reasonable deal. It would need to at least equal what a band would earn at any comparable festival with actual ticket sales and TV and video sales, along with rebroadcast rights.

     

    Since we really don't know what payment Apple offered to these bands we are just speculating. Offering a band exposure is a big con. If that exposure can't be quantified by previous experience and dollar value then playing without pay is a waste of time and resources.

     

    Would you go to work for a company with the promise that you will get some type of compensation in the future? The business owner can't promise how much you'll get but he thinks it will be worth your time. You won't own part of the business. You also must trust that the business will remain viable and you must trust that the guy is actually planning to pay you if the money comes. Maybe you would do it? If you were part of U2 would you do it? If you were Beyonce would you do it? NO you wouldn't. You have value and you know your value. Apple would also know your value. That is why they asked you. This is Kanye's argument and he is right. It's a matter of perspective and respect for the artists. Apple isn't asking garage bands to perform. They are asking established artists to perform.

     

    If Apple is truly only giving performers advertising space on their site for a while, then they are acting like con artist bar owners who won't pay for the full value of the artists who are performing to make profits for them. Shameful.

  • Reply 45 of 78
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    larz2112 wrote: »
    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 doesn't have a valid gripe and your example makes no sense. If an employer offered to pay you in product instead of cash, you could say no if you found that to be a bad deal. That is how a free market works. Nobody is forcing these performers to perform, and I would image the publicity is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Moreover, you act as if the performers are employees. They are not. They are businesses that rely on promotion and getting their name out there.

    Finally the iTunes Festival serves multiple purposes. It is a way to thank fans, promote the bands, and drive traffic to the iTunes Store where hopefully people buy their music. By the way, iTune sales are the most profitable distribution method for artists next to physical media.

    What's his name is a cry baby.
  • Reply 46 of 78

    [deleted for bad formatting]



  • Reply 47 of 78

    Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

     



    ?Apple is not holding these festivals to lose money. They are calculated to earn them plenty of money and you can bet it does.

     

    These musicians are providing value to Apple and helping Apple to earn that money. If they have contracts that guarantee them a certain income due to music sales above their usual sales before the concert, then that might be a good deal for each performer. If not then the bands are being conned into gambling with their actual value.

     

    When I was a professional musician it was commonplace for club owners to try to pull all sorts of stupid scams on bands. Smart bands demanded half of their fee before going on and the other half at the first break. No pay no play. It was the entertainers that made the event,  not the venue, not the promoter. Generally speaking, the band makes money at the door and the club makes money at the bar.


     

     

    So a band can play on the street and make just as much money? There is no value to the capital investment in leasehold improvements, furniture, sound equipment, security training, stage lighting, etc?

     

    And if the band sucks, or it's a slow night, the venue owner still has to pay for staff, rent, electricity, property taxes, and any band minimum they were able to negotiate. 

     

    Quote:

    If Apple wanted to be fair to all of the bands yet didn't want to pay them in advance, Apple could divide all of their iTunes profits for a specified time around that concert and pay the musicians with that. Offering promotional space would need to turn into a specific dollar amount of sales for the bands for it to be a reasonable deal. It would need to at least equal what a band would earn at any comparable festival with actual ticket sales and TV and video sales, along with rebroadcast rights.


     

    Right, because the artists should be guaranteed a set amount of money, while no one else is guaranteed anything. That sounds really fair! 

     

    Quote:

     

    Since we really don't know what payment Apple offered to these bands we are just speculating. Offering a band exposure is a big con. If that exposure can't be quantified by previous experience and dollar value then playing without pay is a waste of time and resources.



     

    Obviously you weren't invited to play at this festival. Or are we to assume you're more intelligent than all the acts that DID choose to play "for free" at the festival?

     

    Quote:

     

    Would you go to work for a company with the promise that you will get some type of compensation in the future?



     

    Yes, everyone who is self employed does that every morning when they wake up. 

     

    Quote:

    The business owner can't promise how much you'll get but he thinks it will be worth your time. You won't own part of the business.


     

    By getting featured in the store and being streamed live to 250 million people, you do in fact own part of the business. Much the same way a local artist has placed her art in my office space on consignment, she very much has an art business within my real estate business. This is called synergy and cooperation and win-win arrangements. And if she doesn't like the lack of a guarantee, there are dozens of artists ready to line up behind her. And she is in fact making money off the arrangement. 

     

    Artists playing at the iTunes festival do in fact see a big spike in music sales off the store, during and immediately after the festival. If they didn't, much fewer of them would be willing to perform there. You act as if all the artists are ignorant fools being preyed upon by 'big, mean, Apple'. Quit being so naive.  

     

    Quote:

    You also must trust that the business will remain viable and you must trust that the guy is actually planning to pay you if the money comes. Maybe you would do it? If you were part of U2 would you do it? If you were Beyonce would you do it? NO you wouldn't. You have value and you know your value. Apple would also know your value. That is why they asked you. This is Kanye's argument and he is right. It's a matter of perspective and respect for the artists. Apple isn't asking garage bands to perform. They are asking established artists to perform. 


     

    I'm quite confident Apple will remain viable and that they pay record labels and artists from iTunes Store revenues as per their contracts. Is this some sort of a joke?

     

    Quote:

    If Apple is truly only giving performers advertising space on their site for a while, then they are acting like con artist bar owners who won't pay for the full value of the artists who are performing to make profits for them. Shameful.


     

    I ran a club for several years and you're quite ignorant about how it actually works. Whether or not the artist had an off night or wasn't appealing to the crowd, or it was raining outside and people decided to stay home, or any other series of uncontrollable circumstances occurred, I had to pay rent, utilities, and staff wages. Some artists warranted a guaranteed fee and that was a risk we were prepared to take. Other artists got dinner and drinks and a hefty percentage of the door receipts, if there were any door receipts. There is value in having a fully equipped venue with good acoustics, lighting and atmosphere, and the venue owner and the promoter are entitled to profit from taking risks if there are any profits to be had (often there are none). 


     

     



  • Reply 48 of 78
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,655member

    I don't listen to rap and hip-hop and I personally despise Kanye West, whose personality I simply cannot stand, but IMO, and despite the naysayers and those who defend Apple no matter what, he does have a point, no matter how ridiculously obnoxious he is. 

     

    Since its peak in 1999, the record industry has collapsed.   Even before that, only the biggest artists ever got anything from the record labels beyond their royalty advance.    Most record labels saw to it, through industry accounting practices, that artists never got anything else.    In fact, when Atlantic Records celebrated its 40th anniversary with a series of concerts at Madison Square Garden in 1988 (or maybe it was the 50th in 1998), Chairman Ahmet Ertegun announced that they were resetting any artist with a negative royalty to $zero so that they would presumably start receiving royalties again from that point, if they sold any records.  And Atlantic treated its artists better than most labels.  

     

    Record industry revenue is now less than half that 1999 peak and that doesn't include inflation.   Include inflation and it's about 40% of its former size.   One of the factors in the decline of the industry is the return to the single as the dominant form of recorded media and the fact that downloads, for those who still bother, are very inexpensive.    Apple has to take responsibility for a lot of that (although the alternative was illegal downloading in which the artists got absolutely nothing).  

     

    In the 1960s, singles (albeit double-sided singles) listed for $1 and sold for about $0.64 at most retail discounters.  Using 1963 as the base year, a single should sell for $4.98.   Obviously, it doesn't.  And most artists get laughingly tiny amounts for play via digital media, whether satellite radio or digital streaming sites.  

     

    Aside from the few very biggest artists, the way that musical performers make money today is through merchandise and concerts.    They do not make money from traditional over-the-air radio in the U.S., only the songwriters do via payments to ASCAP/BMI/SESAC to their publishers.   Apple is a big enough and profitable enough company that they can pay acts real money, even for a free concert.   

     

    While it's true that acts agreed to appear and didn't have to, Apple is still setting a precedent that somehow, artists' performances aren't worth much.    And while Kanye West certainly doesn't need the money and is a very rich man, IMO, that sets a poor precedent for other companies and lesser artists (lesser in popularity, not in talent).

     

    Artists are trying to make a living, just like everyone else.    When a group plays a 150-seat club with a $20 admission, at best, the group shares $2100, which must be split among its members, manager, agent, roadies, equipment rental, travel expenses, etc. and that's only if they're the only act.     Most here are very fast to say that coverage on Apple's site is "enough".   Would you work for just P.R.?   

     

    We tend to think of the big artists as selling tons of records, but the fact is that in the U.S., in all of recorded music history, only 118 albums have been certified as "Diamond" - selling more than 10 million copies.   With the fragmentation of the marketplace, it's unlikely that it will ever happen again.  

  • Reply 49 of 78
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post


    Would you go to work for a company with the promise that you will get some type of compensation in the future?

     

    That would apply to every job I've ever held.  I've also never asked for an advance on a paycheck.

  • Reply 50 of 78
    Does anyone care what Kanya thinks about anything?
  • Reply 51 of 78
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post



    Apple is not holding these festivals to lose money. They are calculated to earn them plenty of money and you can bet it does.

     

    iTunes Festival tickets are free (by lottery). Apple hires a venue for fans and musicians to connect directly through live performances. No one is obligated to buy anything from Apple.

  • Reply 52 of 78
    Does anyone care what Kanya thinks about anything?

    Kanye does:
    Kanye West wrote: »
    I am Warhol. I am the No. 1 most impactful artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare in the flesh.

    No, seriously, he does.
  • Reply 53 of 78
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

     

    Artists are trying to make a living, just like everyone else.


     

    "I don't know what's better gettin' laid or gettin' paid." -- Kayne West

     

    You don't need to apologize for this guy.

  • Reply 54 of 78
    crhain88crhain88 Posts: 65member
    I can't listen to him speak because he always seems to miss the point.

    Music Festivals are about artists connecting with fans and reaching a broader audience. It's about the culture in itself.

    Kanye's version of culture revolves around money.
  • Reply 55 of 78
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

     

    Artists are trying to make a living, just like everyone else.    When a group plays a 150-seat club with a $20 admission, at best, the group shares $2100, which must be split among its members, manager, agent, roadies, equipment rental, travel expenses, etc. and that's only if they're the only act.     Most here are very fast to say that coverage on Apple's site is "enough".   Would you work for just P.R.?   


     

    Yes!! 

     

    In every conceivable industry you have to pay for advertising. The kind of exposure the iTunes festival provides is worth tens of thousands of dollars in advertising for each artist that plays there. And Apple incurs large expenses putting on the festival. Since when is Apple supposed to be a charity organisation?

  • Reply 56 of 78
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

     

    Artists are trying to make a living, just like everyone else.    When a group plays a 150-seat club with a $20 admission, at best, the group shares $2100, which must be split among its members, manager, agent, roadies, equipment rental, travel expenses, etc. and that's only if they're the only act.     Most here are very fast to say that coverage on Apple's site is "enough".   Would you work for just P.R.?   

     


     

    So TV and radio shows should have to pay bands, TV and movie stars for "performing" when spruiking their goods?

     

    Get real, if a band didn't want the exposure that an iTunes music festival provides, there are a thousand more ready to take their place.

  • Reply 57 of 78
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,655member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

     

     

    So TV and radio shows should have to pay bands, TV and movie stars for "performing" when spruiking their goods?

     

    Get real, if a band didn't want the exposure that an iTunes music festival provides, there are a thousand more ready to take their place.


    Radio doesn't, but TV does pay.  It might be union minimum, but they do get paid.   

     

    Besides, that's different than the Apple iTunes Festival concert.   On a TV show, a band generally plays 1 or 2 songs tops, specifically to promote their current release.   At the Apple iTunes Festival, bands are putting on concerts.   

     

    It's not a matter of whether there are a thousand more to take their place.   I'm sure there are a thousand more ready to work for free who want the exposure.   It's a matter of whether they should have to work for free, especially in an event created by one of the richest companies in the world.    It's similar to photography.    There are thousands of amateur photographers who think they're as good as pros who would shoot concerts and other such events for free.   But pros have to make a living.   

     

    Do you work for free?  I don't.   Aside from volunteering my time for charities, I expect to get paid when I work. 

  • Reply 58 of 78
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    It's a matter of whether they should have to work for free

     

    There is no evidence that any of the acts were forced to perform.

  • Reply 59 of 78
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    zoetmb wrote: »

    Do you work for free?  I don't.   Aside from volunteering my time for charities, I expect to get paid when I work. 

    "Volunteer" being the operative word.

    These bands are free to put on their own concerts, with associated costs, whenever they like.
  • Reply 60 of 78
    diddymudiddymu Posts: 4member
    I was once asked to work overtime and be given back the the time instead of paid cash. Despite having a choice and in no way forced to do it, I did it anyway. Still the joke was on them since I spent half the time on the Internet searching for things I give less of a **** about the the views of Mr West.
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