Pandora's Fed Up With The Lies The RIAA Has Been Spreading About It: Presents Some Facts

from the let's-rethink-this dept

We've pointed out that, recently, the RIAA and various front groups and attack-for-hire firms that it funds have been really turning up the attacks on Pandora, the hugely successful internet service that already pays significantly more in royalties than pretty much anyone else out there. This strategy is very much in the RIAA's tradition of attacking any successful internet company in the belief that 100% of the benefits of any successful internet company should flow to the RIAA.

In this case, the RIAA and its front groups have done a masterful job of misleading a group of artists into parroting RIAA talking points pretending that Pandora's royalties are too low, not too high. Most of these claims are based on a either base ignorance, or conscious deception, often focused on comparing apples to oranges. In some cases, this involves comparing totally different businesses (like Pandora to retailers), or, at times, it means comparing Pandora's "per play" royalties to the "per play" royalties of other services like terrestrial radio or satellite radio. Of course, that's insanely misleading, because the real metric is never "per play," but per listener. With Pandora, a single play is to a single listener (or, possibly a few people in a room or a car). But, terrestrial and satellite radio plays are broadcast, meaning that they usually have tens or even hundreds of thousands of listeners per play. Comparing "per play" rates is just a really dumb metric. There's a separate issue in terms of how some have misrepresented the various payments, implying that Pandora's payments are much, much lower than they really are -- something that an eager media picked up on without even the slightest bit of fact checking.

It would appear that Pandora has finally had enough of the smear campaign and the attacks and has posted a detailed response to these attacks, highlighting how wrong almost every talking point has been concerning Pandora, and how this level of dialogue has done a lot more harm than good.
The first falsehood being disseminated is that Pandora is seeking to reduce artist royalties by 85%. That is a lie manufactured by the RIAA and promoted by their hired guns to mislead and agitate the artist community. We have never, nor would we ever advocate such a thing. I challenge the RIAA to identify a statement from Pandora that says we seek to reduce royalties by 85%. On the contrary, all of the key principals including Cary Sherman (the head of the RIAA) and Mike Huppe (the head of SoundExchange) know that we have been advocating for solutions that would grow total payments to artists. The 85% sound bite preys upon the natural suspicions of the artist community, but it is simply untrue. And although we compete directly with AM/FM radio, which pays zero performance royalties, we have always supported fair compensation to artists.
It has also hit back on the claim that Pandora has been seeking to cut songwriter fees, explaining that it had come to a direct agreement with ASCAP on higher fees, and then ASCAP went back on the agreement and started playing games -- such as withdrawing tracks, but refusing to tell Pandora which tracks, such that it risked huge statutory fines if it played the wrong tracks. For all of ASCAP's claims that it is protecting artists, the reality looks like it was harming artists' best interests in trying to kill Pandora:
The next issue concerns the publishing side. Historically, Pandora has paid essentially the same rate as all other forms of radio, a rate established unilaterally by the performing rights organizations, ASCAP and BMI, in the late 1990s. In November of last year, following a lengthy negotiation, Pandora agreed with ASCAP to a new rate, an increase over the prior amount, and shook hands with ASCAP management. Not only was our hand-shake agreement rejected by the ASCAP board, but shortly thereafter we were subjected to a steady stream of “withdrawals” by major publishers from ASCAP and BMI seeking to negotiate separate and higher rates with Pandora, and only Pandora. This move caused us to seek the protection of the rate, also recently negotiated, enjoyed by the online radio streams of broadcast radio companies. It’s important to note that these streams represent 96% of the Internet radio listening hours among the top 20 services outside of Pandora (talk about an un-level playing field). We did not enter this period looking for a lower rate – we agreed to a higher rate. But in a sad irony, the actions of a few small, but powerful publishers seeking to gain advantage for themselves has caused all songwriters’ royalties to go down. Any characterization of Pandora as being out to cut publishing rates flies in the face of the facts.
And, amazingly, the RIAA and others have been successful in spinning this, falsely, into saying that Pandora was looking to cut back on what it paid songwriters.

The depths to which the RIAA has sunk in its attacks on Pandora are really quite despicable, but it's par for the course for them. Anything successful in the music space created "outside" the record labels is bad and somehow "building on the backs of our copyrights." They won't rest until they've killed each off. The past decade and a half are littered with the remains of internet and tech companies who built great products in the music space that fans loved, each one systematically killed by the major record labels and the RIAA, who demand ever higher royalties.


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  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 7:20am

    I pity the artists that drank the Kool-Aid. Or not. They are usually astonishingly successful and directly benefit from the predatory behavior of the RIAA and the likes.

    In any case I'm protesting with the absence of money from my wallet for these morons as much as I can.

     

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  2.  
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    rw (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 8:22am

    Re:

    I'm with you. I haven't purchased anything from an artist that uses a major label in several years. However, I have purchased many tracks/albums from indies.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:01am

    The RIAA was never in the music business; it was in the bullshit business, but has always tried to claim otherwise. And now people are calling them out on it, they're furious.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:03am

    If this is the best that the RIAA can do against Pandora then I wonder if the RIAA has reserved the worst for Megabox when its launched.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:08am

    So how much does Pandora pay per million plays?

    EXACT FIGURES are crucial to nail down if you want to argue fairness. From Pandora reply at Gizmode: "In truth, Pandora paid many times more in songwriter royalties to play the song referenced in his article. ... For perspective, to reach the exact same audience, Pandora currently pays over 4.5 times more in total royalties than broadcast radio for the same song." -- Now, that's only a vague relative, unrelatable to anything. For instance, no broadcast station actually knows the number of listeners, they have to rely on a 3rd party estimate in order to gouge advertisers. -- Point is, that at the most optimistic figure you calculate from what's admitted, Pandora pays 75 dollars or so (16.5 * 4.5) for a song with a million known listeners. That seems to me a low enough rate they could multiply it by ten!

    Pandora isn't "transparent" on its revenues, nor presents any figures in absolute numbers, so all Mike has is, as usual, his biased assumption that it's put out "facts".

    And again, without the songs Pandora has nothing to sell! I'm definitely not siding with internetty grifters over those who do all the actual work to produce music -- even if the latter get too much.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:11am

    Re:

    Astonishingly predatory as in, protecting artists? That, according to Masnick's link, split their royalties EVENLY with the supposedly evil record companies?

    You're either on the side of musicians or on the side with a tech company in this one. Pretty clear which douchey choice most of the people here will make.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:14am

    "Pandora's Fed Up With The Lies The RIAA Has Been Spreading About It: Presents Some Facts"

    No one, besides politicians, take the RIAA seriously. If Pandora wants to be taken seriously by these stupid politicians it must do like the RIAA and offer them something in return, like campaign contributions and revolving door favors. Otherwise how are politicians supposed to get and keep jobs when no one in the private sector would hire them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    You know, someone ought to draw a picture of someone holding a sign protesting IP abuse and drinking a cup with red inscription saying 'Kool-Aid'.

    It would then be funny if Kool-Aid sued for trademark infringement, proving our point, though this would be a case of fair use.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:29am

    it's not just the RIAA, it's ALL of the entertainment industries! they give crap services and kill off every other service out there because it is better than what they produce themselves. artists must be the most gullible section of people on the planet because whatever the industries say, the artists fall over themselves to echo. they done seem to have the ability to think for themselves, let alone speak for themselves. everything the industries can possibly think of to do that will kill off any and all competition, from lying through their teeth to the artists and their customers, to doing the same thing to politicians, aided by 'campaign contributions' made so as to get new laws introduced. not laws that will help anyone progress any services but laws that will constrict existing services, constrict new services, hold back or destroy innovation and protect the people that cannot adapt to anything new, who cant accept that there are much better alternatives to what they are offering. this article is a real example of exactly what these industries are destroying. the disgraceful truth is, politicians are being bribed and are accepting those bribes to stop progress in favour of lining their own pockets!!

     

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    jackn, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:30am

    Re: So how much does Pandora pay per million plays?

    EXACT FIGURES are crucial to nail down. If might help if RIAA published their revenue and what happened to it. I think artists would be interested in this information as well.

     

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    Mr. Smarta** (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:39am

    Strange math

    Here's an article where an artist had a song played 1 million times and all he received in royalties was $16.89. Where's the math in that???

    http://thetrichordist.com/2013/06/24/my-song-got-played-on-pandora-1-million-times-and-al l-i-got-was-16-89-less-than-what-i-make-from-a-single-t-shirt-sale/

     

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    Nigel (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:45am

    Re: Strange math

    That just got debunked bro. Its what we are talking about in the first place. And, don't give David Lowery any link juice please. That guy is a raving lunatic and mouthpiece for the rubes in suits.

    Nigel

     

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    Mr. Smarta** (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:50am

    Ah. Didn't see that between the time before that post and when I finally found the article. Any idea how to remove the link?

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:50am

    Re: Strange math

    Well this comment explains the math very clearly:

    Your song was played to 1,159,000 times on Pandora (individual plays). This paid him $16.89 or 1.457 cents/1,000 times, but each play is only listened to by one listener

    On Sirius it was played 179 times (to an unknown amount of listeners), paying you $181.04 or 101.14 cents/time. 69,416 times as much as Pandora. But to put it another way, if the average play on Sirius had more than 69,417 listeners, you were being stiffed by Sirius.

    On terrestrial radio it was played 18,797 times (to an unknown amount of listeners), paying him $1,373.78 or 7.31 cents/time. This is 5,016 times as much as Pandora, but only 7.2% of what Sirius pays you. But here the average play only has to have 5,017 listeners for terrestrial radio to be stiffing you.

    Now, since both Sirius XM and terrestrial radio are broadcasts, targeting multiple listeners at once, I’m not entirely certain that Pandora is cheating you out of anything – and it’s interesting that you’re not complaining about terrestrial radio only paying you a fraction of what Sirius pays you.

     

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    Mr. Smarta** (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Strange math

    Makes sense. I just thought the article would be worthwhile. Apparently the author is a 'raving lunatic'. I don't know the guy so wouldn't know if he is or not. The numbers do make sense the way you laid them out like that. Thanks, jupiterkansas! Greatly appreciated.

     

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    gigglehurtz (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:55am

    Re: Strange math

    Here's a link to a page that seems to lay it out nicely.

    http://theunderstatement.com/post/53867665082/pandora-pays-far-more-than-16-dollars

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:55am

    Today, over 70 million listeners tune in to our service every month, where they hear the music of well over 100,000 different artists. These artists span the entire musical spectrum; from the well-known to the completely obscure, representing every imaginable genre. The vast majority of our collection gets no other form of radio airplay.


    This is why the RIAA is attacking Pandora. They put indie and unknown artists on equal ground as RIAA artists. The RIAA can't control who gets played the way they do on radio, and therefore can't leverage themselves as gatekeepers.

     

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  18.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Strange math

    Well he's only looking at the number of plays, not the number of listeners. Pandora's paying more per listener than radio.

     

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  19.  
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    TimothyAWiseman (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:58am

    Pandora is great advertising

    Considering that almost all the music I have purchased in the past few years has been found on Pandora or at least an artist I found because of Pandora, I find it surprising that the labels aren't paying them, much as they often pay radio stations, to play more of certain songs or musicians.

     

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  20.  
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    Keroberos (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: So how much does Pandora pay per million plays?

    Along with ASCAP and BMI, it would be interesting to see an audit of all their revenue and payouts. One of the reasons I think they hate Pandora and other streaming services is that once they have solid numbers on what is being played it will be much harder to screw artists over as they have been.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re:

    Pretty clear the MPAA are yet another side: their own.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Pretty clear the RIAA are yet on another side: their own.

    Funny how that sentence works for both agencies, no?

     

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  23.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:10am

    Re: So how much does Pandora pay per million plays?

    So Pandora pays more, you even admit that Pandora pays more, and yet you still say they are the bad guys for... not paying even more? I'm not sure what angle you're going for here other than 'The record labels deserve all the money and Pandora should feel grateful for any scraps they get thrown'.

    Regarding your 'without songs Pandora has nothing to sell' bit, while that's correct(sorta, Pandora could always air non-label music), you miss the opposite side, where 'without someone playing their music, the labels have no one to buy', as a song/artist that no one knows about is one that's not going to be getting many buyers, so Pandora and services like it are anything but 'grifters', as without them sales would be a fraction of what they are now.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:14am

    Re:

    This ^^^^^^^^^

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:19am

    Re: Strange math

    Lowery is a ball of arrogance and he has vigorously thrown himself into the protection of the recording industry. The problem is that he is so locked into a very narrow interest sphere that he becomes extremely biased in his choice of numbers. This is not the first time the man makes arguments where he chooses the second- or thirdbest numbers or methods to make a case against tech companies.

    More dirt on the guy:
    The crux of his methodology:
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120220/00310917802/if-youre-going-to-compare-old-mu sic-biz-model-with-new-music-biz-model-least-make-some-sense.shtml

    Mike Masnick is known for having a bias so hear a music tech industry insider:
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120625/01011219455/some-facts-insights-into-whole-discu ssion-ethics-music-business-models.shtml

    Oh and a few more people:
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120625/01250519456/free-culture-is-response-to-ethical-f ailings-old-entertainment-industry.shtml

     

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  26.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:29am

    Two reasons:

    1. Greed and self-centeredness. The labels firmly believe that they are the only ones who matter in the music industry. Not the stations that play the music and therefor create new listeners/fans/buyers, not the musicians(otherwise why give them such a tiny cut of sales?), but only them, so screwing over the other two groups is considered completely acceptable if it even might make them more money short term.

    2. How many of those songs/musicians were label signed? Pandora plays both label and non-label artists, apparently without any real focus on one or the other, and given the labels only get money from musicians signed to them, that's a lot of competition they're having to deal with.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: So how much does Pandora pay per million plays?

    When you say 'screw them over', you mean like how you steal their music from them?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Strange math

    oh yes, posting articles from tech lobbyist and well-known laughingstock Mike Masnick will surely help your case...

     

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    Ruben, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: So how much does Pandora pay per million plays?

    "Information wants to be free."

     

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    jackn, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:46am

    Re: Strange math

    That might be less than 20 plays on traditional radio

     

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  31.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: So how much does Pandora pay per million plays?

    Ah good old ad hom, 'When you can't debate the message, attack the messenger'.

     

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  32.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re:

    And if the RIAA can't control their business, they just put them out of business. That's been their whole approach to the internet.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: So how much does Pandora pay per million plays?

    Can't steal non-commercial CC-licensed music for personal use.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: So how much does Pandora pay per million plays?

    1. copying is not theft
    2. at no point did filesharers enter into an agreement twith the artists to pay them royalties, the RIAA did

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So how much does Pandora pay per million plays?

    Err, meant ascap claimed to be for paying the artists not RIAA. :P

     

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    PopeyeLePoteaux, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Strange math

    Oh yes, ramblings from Big Idiocy lobbyst and well-known laughingstock Darryl will surely help RIAA's case.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    Re: So how much does Pandora pay per million plays?

    Little boy blue says $75. Actual payment: around $1300. Which is, ironicaly, closer to 20 times the rate he estimated then the 10 he thought was fair.

     

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  38.  
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    dennis deems (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Re:

    High-Five to whoever gave first word! I was just attempting to do the same! :D

     

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    Automatic Grammatizator, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's easy to say when you have no moral compass of your own.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 11:09am

    Re: Strange math

     

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    dennis deems (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 11:10am

    Re: Pandora is great advertising

    It's been years since I used Pandora, but at the time they were already doing this. A fixed number of specific songs would appear in my playlist ever hour, not allowing me to skip them because of some licensing agreement. This is why I ultimately abandoned it, but like you, nearly every artist whose music I've bought in the last 8 years is someone I found on Pandora.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 11:10am

    Re:

    Further they could end up swamped by the Independents.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Strange math

    Even low audience radio stations routinely have 10k+ listeners. That POS radio station pandora just bought averages 18k.

     

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  44.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Strange math

    And what about the article about the music industry insiders? Are you going to completely ignore them because they reveal how fucking stupid, pig-ignorant and biased you are?

     

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  45.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Pandora is great advertising

    A fixed number of specific songs would appear in my playlist ever hour, not allowing me to skip them because of some licensing agreement.


    Do they still do this? I have been increasingly interested in Pandora since I've learned that they cover indies (I avoid RIAA member music to the greatest degree that I can).

    However, this sort of thing would be a complete dealbreaker.

     

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    Joe Dirt, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 11:27am

    Re: So how much does Pandora pay per million plays?

    "And again, without the songs Pandora has nothing to sell! I'm definitely not siding with internetty grifters over those who do all the actual work to produce music -- even if the latter get too much."

    What about the OTA radio stations? Are they 'grifters' like Pandora? How is Pandora anything more than an online radio station? They play a song of a certain genre on a certain channel and provide advertising to pay for their expenses.
    Please explain why are they OK but Pandora isn't?

     

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    Will, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 12:10pm

    missing the point

    If you have Pandora, or Spotify, you search for a track, and listen to it. Artist gets 0.0001 of a cent or something.

    In the 80s, you wanted to hear a track, you went and bought it in a record shop. Netting the artist approx. 15% of the dealer cost of the record. The number of times that record was then played- 1, 10, 1000 times, is immaterial. To have 'on demand' access to that track, you had to buy it.

    Pandora and Spotify can go and fuck themselves.

     

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  48.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    Re: missing the point

    In the 80s, when I wanted a track, I would go to my local library and check out the CD. If they didn't have it, I'd just get a different CD. They had thousands.

    In 2013, I still do this.

     

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  49.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 12:20pm

    Re: missing the point

    Indeed, they can just leave, and take that advertising for the artist with them! I'm sure people will have no trouble paying for songs of artists they've never heard of, I mean, everyone has unlimited money, right? /s

    As the saying goes, 'adapt of die', the world has moved on, and if labels and musicians think that people are still going to pay for an entire album to have access to one or two songs on it, they are greatly mistaken.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 12:21pm

    Re: missing the point

    If you have Pandora, or Spotify, you search for a track, and listen to it. Artist gets 0.0001 of a cent or something.


    That's not how Pandora works (it is how Spotify works, though).

    In the 80s, you wanted to hear a track, you went and bought it in a record shop. Netting the artist approx. 15% of the dealer cost of the record. The number of times that record was then played- 1, 10, 1000 times, is immaterial. To have 'on demand' access to that track, you had to buy it.

    And, because of that, think how many people never ever bothered, and how many artists who fans would have liked, never got a dime and were never listened to at all.

     

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  51.  
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    Will, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: missing the point

    Libraries pay royalties. At least here in the UK they do.

    Aside from that- the activities of one 'dude typing on the internet' have no bearing on my point, which I can rephrase, just for you.

    "in the 80s if you wanted a track, you had to go and buy it* apart from lame ass trolls typing from their moms basement, who did and still get cds out of the library

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: So how much does Pandora pay per million plays?

    Don't beat his arguments with actual figures. He didn't mean real facts, he meant RIAA inspired facts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 12:34pm

    Re: missing the point

    If you have Pandora, or Spotify, you search for a track, and listen to it. Artist gets 0.0001 of a cent or something.

    If you don't have Pandora or Spotify, and you want to listen to music, you search for a torrent of it and download it. Artist gets no money directly.

    Pandora significantly lowered my music piracy rate. Spotify has nearly completely killed it. I now spend $120 a year on music - more than I spent when I was buying CDs in the 90s before P2P sharing.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    Its dispicable but true....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    You are so short sighted it is unbelievable.

    You do realise of course that the RIAA and BPI represent less than 50% of the entire music industry. And their position in the industry is only really about making plastic disks (the phonographic in BPI means vinyl as does the record in RIAA).

    The RIAA and BPI can go fuck themselves not spotify and pandora that are actually a saving grace for the artists.

     

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  56.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 1:09pm

    Re: missing the point

    In the 80s, you wanted to hear a track, you went and bought it in a record shop.


    In the 80's when me and my friends wanted an album one of us bought it and we all recorded it onto 120 minute cassettes tapes.

    We needed the cassettes for our cars anyways and the quality of a home recorded cassette was about 1000 times better than the manufactured ones which stretched and started making squealing noises after about 25 plays.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: missing the point

    think how many people never ever bothered, and how many artists who fans would have liked, never got a dime and were never listened to at all.

    I also like to think of all of the mix tapes and bootlegs that were so often traded or copied in those days. Money may not have been made, but exposure has its own benefits.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: missing the point

    "think how many people never ever bothered"

    Ok, how many?

    Go ahead, tell me exactly how many.

    Music did just fine before the internet. And it was music people reaping the monetary benefit, not dorky tech robber barons.

     

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  59.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    So you're just going to insult me? I'm sorry I gave you the time of day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: missing the point

    Sorry, but the manufactured tapes were almost always better quality than the home recorded ones, esp. the lousy 120 min tapes.

    I've got over a 1000 Maxells to prove it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 2:01pm

    Re:

    I pity the artists that drank the Kool-Aid. Or not. They are usually astonishingly successful and directly benefit from the predatory behavior of the RIAA and the likes.

    No, most of them are failures (financially, at least). It's only a very few RIAA musicians that are astonishingly successful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    And it was music people reaping the monetary benefit, not dorky tech robber barons.


    If you mean "music people" as in redord lable executives, then yes.

    If you mean musicians, then not so much. From what I have gleaned from the history of recording contracts, less than 1% ever recouped their advances on album sales.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    Wow. Hit the submit button too soon.

    I meant "record label executives" up there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    Not in my experience. Although I never used the 120 minute tapes because they sucked, I did record every album I had onto high quality 90 minute tapes specifically because the manufactured tapes were inexcusably terrible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    Music did just fine before the internet.

    The few artists who managed to get a record deal got wider exposure and maybe made some money, but the bulk of musicians were limited to local gigs.
    With the Internet many more musicians are getting exposure, and making some money without having to sell their soul to the labels.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    ' And it was music people reaping the monetary benefit...'

    I notice you didn't say 'musicians', could that be due to the fact that prior to the internet the vast majority of them didn't stand a chance of being known and making money unless they signed away their music to a label, and even then the vast majority of them still weren't able to make a living off of it?

    Labels on the other hand were making a killing in that gatekeeper role they cherished so much, the one that is being threatened by those 'tech robber barons' opening up the playing field and giving everyone the chance to become, if not famous, at least well known enough to make decent money, and all without signing their rights away.

    Summed up
    Pre-internet: Great for gatekeepers like labels, crap for almost all musicians.
    Post-internet: Crap for gatekeepers like labels, great for almost all musicians and those that enable them.

     

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  67.  
    icon
    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    Let me fix this for you...

    In the 80's if you wanted a track you had to listen to the radio with a tape deck and record the song you wanted to hear on a blank cassette. You then shared this tape with your friends ensuring they didn't have to pay for it either, because, you know, we were kids and couldn't afford to pay for it even if we wanted to. And that is single-handedly why music doesn't exist anymore because home taping actually did kill it... oh wait...

    Pandora and Spotify give the artists something from people that would otherwise be giving them nothing in many cases. This is progress in the right direction, and if you can't see that then I don't know what to tell you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    icon
    Matthew Cline (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: So how much does Pandora pay per million plays?

    I'm not sure what angle you're going for here other than...

    "Mike is always wrong". That's his angle.

     

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  69.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    Music did just fine before the internet. And it was music people reaping the monetary benefit, not dorky tech robber barons.

    You mean approximately 2% of people who wanted to be musicians were able to do "fine" before the internet. Most were unable to do anything and get signed and made nothing. Meanwhile, of those who got signed approximately 10% ever actually recouped whatever advance they made and could be seen as a success. So, I don't think that was "just fine" for most musicians who were basically unable to make money.

    Today, a LOT more can make some money, and a larger number of indie artists are making a living than ever before.

    So, the old system worked fine for the major labels. For actual artists? Not so much.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 2:50pm

    Re: missing the point

    The music industry should always work the way it did in the 80s - One dude typing on the internet

    Thanks for your input dude typing on the internet. Let us all know when you've caught up with 2013.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    icon
    Ophelia Millais (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Strange math

    http://zoekeating.tumblr.com/post/35737991443/what-i-want-from-internet-radio

    1.5 million listens in 6 months got Zoe Keating ~$1600. So there's some math for ya.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    icon
    Ophelia Millais (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Re: Strange math

    (that's just a swung dash in front of the dollar sign. the fonts here make it look like a minus sign)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 5:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    Of course, musicians made no money back then; that's why they never bought nice houses or cars. Uh huh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    The question Will should be asking is what made him want to buy that music in the first place?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 6:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    I'll bet there's less than a 1000 RIAA musicians that have gotten rich. They are lottery winners, blessed by the RIAA because they're ready and willing to play their game.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 7:32pm

    Re: missing the point

    Artists have hardly ever made hardly any of their money through royalties. Neither from the RIAA nor radio. Most of their money comes from other things. Playtime gives them the exposure necessary to build business models around other things. When the RIAA wrongfully controls the distribution channels they control who gets the opportunity for exposure and they can then lever one sided 'agreements' that are detrimental to both the artists and the audience/public. Anything that offers artists alternative forms of exposure is a threat to the RIAA and their extortion racket and that's exactly what they don't want.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Re: missing the point

    leverage *

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Re: missing the point

    leverage one sided *

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 11:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Very powerful assertion to be making with nothing to back it up. Sounds like a lie generated on the spur of the moment to support a failing argument.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 11:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Strange math

    I'm sure if he was a 'well known laughingstock', we wouldn't have quite so many people trusting Mike, nor would we have several senators come here to agree with him. But hey -- the RIAA sure doesn't fact-check, and neither do you. What a surprise, eh?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 12:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    Have you ever considered trying out for the 'Failed Debaters Olympics'? I'm betting you'd have a real good shot at placing 1st in the '100 yard goalpost shift' event, given how much practice in it you seem to have.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 1:20am

    Re: missing the point

    "If you have Pandora, or Spotify, you search for a track, and listen to it. Artist gets 0.0001 of a cent or something."

    So? IF is an operative word here, since the RIAA is insistant on making sure nobody outside the US can use Pandora. With Spotify, you know what that fraction of a cent is? MORE than the artist would often get. One thing that dumbasses who attack Spotify forget is that many people use it to play tracks *they already own* (netting more money than they're actually entitled to). Another is that they're not mutually exclusive (yes, people who use Spotify ALSO buy albums, and often use it as a preview to see if an album/concert ticket is worth buying). Personal example: while waiting for Muse to play in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago, I spent hours streaming their songs through Spotify - including the 5 albums of theirs I have already bought. They got money for this, and Spotify is somehow evil for allowing this. if Spotify didn't exist, Muse's additional revenue? Exactly $0.

    Stop applying widely debunked assumptions to the way people use services - you're basing everything on lies if you do.

    "In the 80s, you wanted to hear a track, you went and bought it in a record shop."

    No, if I wanted to hear a track, I taped it from the radio, borrowed it from a friend or just didn't bother. I might borrow a copy from the library, buy second hand or get one of those tapes going round school that I could copy. I might not bother listening at all except if it came on the radio while I happened to be listening. Sometimes I'd buy, but it was a long way from the only choice.

    I wish people would stop rewriting history to pretend that the past was this glorious fantasy world where every listen was paid for directly and every artist was paid according to what was listened to. Because it sure as hell wasn't.

    "Pandora and Spotify can go and fuck themselves."

    Why does every detractor have to have the intellectual maturity of a school child?

     

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  83.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 1:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    Even then, they were ripped off. It's no coincidence that two of the biggest artists of the 80s (Price and George Michael) spent most of the 90s in court against their own record labels. True, it wasn't just about money, but if the biggest names can't get a fair deal, what chance did everyone else have?

     

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  84.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 1:29am

    Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    ""in the 80s if you wanted a track, you had to go and buy it* apart from lame ass trolls typing from their moms basement, who did and still get cds out of the library"

    Repeating a lie by tagging a stupid insult on to the end does not make it true.

    Do you want to address real history, or are you going to be one of these fools who degenerates into kindergarten mentality when their mistaken assumptions are challenged.

    Oh, and won't people learn the definition of "troll"? It's not "someone who dared to disagree with me".

     

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  85.  
    icon
    Tim Griffiths (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 2:29am

    Re: missing the point

    "The number of times that record was then played- 1, 10, 1000 times, is immaterial. To have 'on demand' access to that track, you had to buy it."

    So lets get this straight, if an artist across all sales of his albums ends up getting 0.0001 of a cent (or something) per play of the songs those albums over time that's immaterial because you used to have to buy the album instead of stream it to provide that revenue to the artist?

    Using very general numbers a band could actually only end up seeing $1.25 from an album sale, across 10 tracks that's 0.125 per track. It really doesn't take that many listens over a lifetime of ownership for that to get down to the same scale as the spotify you are raging about. They are not comparable of course which is the irony of you calling the per play immaterial when you just compared a sale to a single stream cost but whatever.

    But lets talk about radio, in fact why don't you go and read the blog that was linked by the pandora one. Go on, I'll wait.

    http://theunderstatement.com/post/53867665082/pandora-pays-far-more-than-16-dollars

    Base d on Lowery’s own numbers AM/FM paid him $1,373.78 for 18,797 spins or 7.3 cents per play. Much higher than 0.0001 but only 70,000 people need to have been listening for it to be pretty much the same. As the blog points out the radio station Pandora just brought manages 18,000 average so if you think that is unattainable by a large nation station you are... weird, frankly. Popular radio shows are listened to in the millions. And this is before we even talk about caps.

    You may want to brush that under the carpet as "immaterial" because it's not on demand but under the old label system that on demand 'premium' for artists is even significantly more.

    In this day and age there is no question that buying a track directly from an artist via a service like band camp is one of the best thing you can do support that artist. The thing is that the people who want to support you in that way will regardless of if they can stream you and what streaming is doing is providing you a comparable per listen income to radio and even sales and that income is coming from people who may never have been montaised in the same way. This is before we even consider the value of streaming as advertising to grow the fan base who will buy your songs and merch and come to your shows and how streaming is vastly more egalitarian. There are many bands I know who have their songs on streaming services that will likely never, ever, see radio play.

    So what have we learned? Per listener radio likely pays vastly less per spin in terms of people listening to that spin and this is purely when we are talking about songwriting royalties vs songwriting royalties because US radio doesn't actually pay performance ones and only for artists big enough to played on radio in the first place. That under the label system artists barely saw a real premium for "on demand access" in the first place and in the new world they can both expand their core fan base and make money from people they may never have made money from otherwise.

    But nah, lets just listen to the people representing a dying business model based on charging tolls for passing through a centralised system under their control in a world that has distributed that system and power among the people who actually use it. Nothing can possi-bligh go wrong.

     

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  86. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 2:29am

    Re: Re: missing the point

    "Artists have hardly ever made hardly any of their money through royalties."

    Yes, that's why the Beatles have been poverty stricken since they stopped touring in 1966.

    Oh wait...


    You're an imbecile.

     

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  87.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 2:39am

    Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    Deliberately misrepresenting the point, illustrated by an example that does nothing to disprove the actual point, followed by name calling.

    Troll script #3, if I'm not mistaken. Don't you guys have new material, or at least the occasional desire to debate facts?

     

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  88.  
    icon
    Tim Griffiths (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 2:42am

    Re: Re: missing the point

    "the old label system that on demand 'premium' for artists is even significantly more."

    *Isn't even

     

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  89.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 3:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    Of course they never have new material, all the pirates stole it, and since creativity is a finite resource, that means any time they try and think of something new their minds draw a total blank.

    You have to admit though, it is kinda funny when you think about it, how those that are so desperate to defend 'how things were' with the same handful of debunked claims, end up repeating them so often that they sound like broken records. Fitting really.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 5:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    Yes, that's why the Beatles have been poverty stricken since they stopped touring in 1966.


    Wow, you must be a farmer based on your ability to cherry pick.

    Your sample doesn't represent the entire situation. How about factoring in the other 99.99999999% of "artists".

     

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  91.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 29th, 2013 @ 1:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    My personal favourite thing about this is that in his rush to prove that artists, not labels, make profits... he picked a band that founded a record label to retain their income! I swear, these guys must be performance artists on the level on Andy Kaufman, because nobody can be this deliberately stupid and manage to operate a computer at the same time...

     

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  92.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Jun 29th, 2013 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re: missing the point

    Music did just fine before the internet.

    There was absolutely nothing "just fine" about the music industry prior to the Internet. It was a horrible cesspool where even gold-record artists made next to nothing, and consumers had almost no choices whatsoever.

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 10:56pm

    Re:

    the only comments worth reading are the one's you guys censor. so much for transparent and open...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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