40,000 Explanations For Why The Recording Industry Is Wrong About Business Models

from the start-counting dept

Among Apple's new iPod announcements was the inclusion of a 160Gb iPod Classic. As Steve Jobs noted, that means you could carry around 40,000 songs in your pocket. Forty thousand songs. Leave it to Bob Lefsetz to use this fact to point out how wrong the recording industry has been about music business models. He points out that this highlights how people want music -- in fact, they want lots of music -- and they want it conveniently and reasonably priced. That means at much cheaper prices (are you going to carry around $40,000 worth of music purchases in your pocket?) and without DRM.

He also highlights how the idiotic focus on getting more per song just as everything else about music and technology gets cheaper is hurting the record labels much more than it helps them. He compares the situation to how expensive it was to use mobile phones a dozen years ago. People were scared to use mobile phones because the charges were ridiculously high. You only used it in special circumstances. Today, however, the rates are much, much lower and that's massively grown the market for mobile services. Do you think the mobile operators would prefer to go back to $1/minute charges? Yet, why does the recording industry insist on $1/song charges when the infrastructure can support an entirely different model. Instead, make the music cheap and easily accessible. Take advantage of the infrastructure that allows people to carry around 40,000 songs in their pocket. Sell iPods that are pre-loaded with all kinds of music and watch them fly off the shelves. The record labels (and their supporters) will claim that it doesn't make sense to sell music for less when people are clearly willing to pay $1/song, but that's misunderstanding the market potential. People were willing to pay $1/minute for mobile phone calls too. And they were willing to pay $150/month for broadband access. But as all of those things got much, much cheaper it opened the markets up much wider, provided all sorts of new applications and services that made them more and more valuable -- and helped make the companies much richer by providing better services at cheaper prices. Why can't the recording industry understand that?

Filed Under: business models, ipods, lefsetz, riaa, storage, trends

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  1. icon
    Aaron Martin-Colby (profile), 7 Sep 2007 @ 6:23pm

    I thought the same thing.

    I remember thinking the same thing waaaaay back in the day when the very first iPods came out. Even at just 10GB, I thought how silly it was to believe that people were legitimately filling them up.

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  2. identicon
    anon, 7 Sep 2007 @ 6:31pm

    when i think of 160 gigs at that size i think about putting every movie imaginable on it. its hard to even think about 40,000 songs. if most CDs are, say 12 songs and you have an average of 2.5 albums per artist. that is still about 1300 different artists. does anyone really need that? I think I will probably max out at around 20 gigs if that.

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  3. identicon
    A chicken passeth by, 7 Sep 2007 @ 6:40pm

    I can't help but think industries are trapped in the 18th Century. Most of them sound like "Let Them Eat Cake".

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  4. identicon
    Sclath, 7 Sep 2007 @ 6:44pm

    He's right. Sell songs at .10-.20 a pop and there is no reason to use illegal downloads. The music industry is adhering to an outmoded distribution model. It's old, tired and inefficient.

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  5. identicon
    be free, 7 Sep 2007 @ 7:08pm

    there are plenty of uses for more hard disk. remember, it's not only a music player, but an external hard drive as well. personally I buy cds and rip the music myself since i'm not happy with the compressed format's quality. I listen to plenty of heavy base and prefer the higher quality lossless formats with maintained umph to it (mp3 and aac can only go so far). as you may know, lossless formats are are about 10 times larger than the compressed formats, so the space is actually welcome. what this also means is that I can bring along the 'pod and hook it up to a friend's stereo at a *loud* party. i can easily see how musicians would want to store raw copies of work in progress, and be able to listen to it in between sessions without having to convert it to a compressed format first. how about an aerobic instructors play list for different programs. mp3/m4a can't deliver the right vibe for 40-50 people in a large dance studio -- but lossless formats which are indistinguishable from true DVD quality can.

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  6. identicon
    Tkk, 7 Sep 2007 @ 7:23pm

    When you can put thousands of songs in a cheap player, then songs become a commodity, indistinguishable from each other. Orange juice, oil, electricity, wheat and salt are surely commodity. Now go ask the musicians and producers, whose careers are at stake, if songs are a commodity. If they vote yes, then each song can be had for $0.001 and you can download a couple of dozens of them in a few seconds. Then let's see how musicians can make a living for $0.001 a song. If they can't songs will run dry pretty soon and price/song will shoot up. Back up to where it is today for about $1 a song. And I even haven't talk about how good each song sounds. 'Cause songs are not about technology.

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  7. identicon
    bukkiss, 7 Sep 2007 @ 8:13pm


    I think that .001 per song is a bit of an overstatement. I think the guys saying that at $0.10 per song were on the right track. At $0.10, I would legally download anything that was even marginally interesting. I have *never* downloaded a $1.00 song.

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  8. identicon
    T, 7 Sep 2007 @ 9:33pm


    I have about 250 GB of music on my home machine that I transmit around the house via FM 24/7 on random. I can beat any radio station period.

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  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2007 @ 9:51pm

    Artists barely make one penny from "record" sales -- it's only "record" companies that make money from "record" sales.

    'nuff said.

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  10. identicon
    TrAnQ, 7 Sep 2007 @ 9:55pm

    i havent payed for music since 1998

    but i would pay 10 cents for music that i wanted to listen to. thats 10 cents for all my machines and every format i wanted to listen to it from .

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  11. identicon
    Yo, 7 Sep 2007 @ 10:15pm


    Are you that stupid? It's made for VIDEO as well. That can take up SPACE. That 40K song thing is just a gimick to show you how big it is, but I seriously don't think they expect anyone to be buying $40K of music. Also, MANY people have tons of music on CDs, etc, that they will rip to put on that space. Moreover, not all music is RIAA controlled -- many people enjoy classical music on their ipods as well. If you've ever bought a pop CD, you're probably already paid $1 per song. Clearly , that can add up fast. Honestly, I don't think $1 is a *horrible* idea as long as you OWN all possible personal fair uses of that song and whatever the fuck you want to do with it. The problem is, that's not the case currently. But don't exaggerate the whole 40K thing without even thinking.

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  12. identicon
    Mr Mondo, 7 Sep 2007 @ 10:15pm

    Hey Mr "T"

    i have 250 YOTTAbytes (that's a thousand, thousand, thousand, thousand, thousand Gigabytes) on my home machine that i transmit around my house via Quantum Entanglement 36/8/366... ***I*** can beat any radio station too. Let's be BFF's.

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  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2007 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Re:

    how / why do you have that much music?

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2007 @ 10:23pm


    calling songs a commodity is saying that all songs sound the same. most people don't just download music to download music. they download music because they like how it sounds. music is therefore not a commodity.

    neither is orange juice, really...

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  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2007 @ 10:24pm

    Re: Re:

    also, musicians make most of there money off of gigs, not record sales

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  16. identicon
    IronChef, 7 Sep 2007 @ 11:05pm

    Thoughts on podcasts

    Mike, you make a lot of valid points, but I think another we all skimmed past is the prevalence and wide availability of user-created content in the form of Podcasts- 100,000 Audio and 25,000 Video podcasts. The widespread adoption of Podcasts further proves that the Big Media model doesn't work, because user tastes vary by person, profession, and even geography. What the focus groups in Los Angeles may not work may not work in, say, Iowa.

    Personally, my iPod 80gb is about 25% Podcasts, and I only have the "Last 5 un-listened" on my iPod. I find myself listening or watching the Podcasts more than anything else, and with at least 100gb of user-created content on my hard drive at home, it means that myself, as a customer, *use* and ultimately look forward to exceeds the capacity of my iPod...

    But overall, the 125,000 podcasts really show how much content is out there that Big Media hasn't tapped because there supposably was no audience for it, or it didn't make sense to support such wide array of tastes. The corralled approach by Big Media can only last so long...

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  17. identicon
    claire rand, 8 Sep 2007 @ 2:15am

    back catalogue

    idea: someone at one of the music corps does a deal with apple, a branded ipod (company colours maybe, or a subtle logo, nothing too garish)

    comes preloaded with that corps back catalogue, stuff that is not currently on cd and can't be got legally otherwise.

    maybe only a few hundred tracks but something, gets the company name advertised, people get music. and the corp gets some cash for something that is otherwise earning them nothing.

    apple gets a promo too, nobody actually looses.

    the music can be drm'd to hell on the ipod (it will play it, and if you can add it to your itunes setup *you* won't notice the drm) since it will actually, you know *work*, in that you can play it, and back the files up. just giveing them away gets hard.

    if they want to kill piracy make the music cheap enough people don't mind paying for it, even if you still by in say £10 blocks, but get a fair bit of music for that, or maybe the videos as well etc.

    amazed they haven't realised this is a cash cow waiting to be milked.

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  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2007 @ 2:55am

    Re: Hey Mr "T"

    no you don't

    stop waving your tiny dick around with fake statements

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

  19. identicon
    August West, 8 Sep 2007 @ 4:13am


    "that is still about 1300 different artists. does anyone really need that?"

    Not 1300 different artists, but about 2,000 different live concert recordings by taper friendly bands. Thats the answer to the whole "record industry greed" thing. support live bands that allow taping. Buy that bands albums. See their shows. Record the shows and trade them freely with other fans. More and more artists are encouraging this.

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  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2007 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Don't know how he has that much but the why seems obvious.

    He wants that much and enjoys listening to a huge selection of music. Just because YOU don't doesn't mean others are the same.

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  21. identicon
    Aaron, 8 Sep 2007 @ 6:34am

    Well yah...

    They really need to focus on selling volume: the costs to sell individual songs are practically nill, so there is no difference if they sell a million copies at a dollar a piece or 10 million at 10 cents each--except in the latter they have 9 million extra customers who will come back again and again.

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  22. identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, 8 Sep 2007 @ 7:53am

    Re: Thoughts on podcasts

    Just remember, and this goes for you too Mr. Yo, that it is a 160G iPod classic. No video.

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  23. identicon
    jb, 8 Sep 2007 @ 8:03am

    portable HD

    I use the ipod for a portable hd and carry many large software installs to client sites as well as full length movies, podcasts and only a couple thousand songs. It's easy to fill 160 gigs with large graphic files and software. As far as mr. "T"ard, you are a LIAR.

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  24. identicon
    Stan, 8 Sep 2007 @ 9:07am

    Songs as a commodity

    "When you can put thousands of songs in a cheap player, then songs become a commodity, indistinguishable from each other."

    This doesn't follow. Having a huge library of jazz, classical, and rock in no way makes Jimi Hendrix equivalent to Esa-Pekka Salonen. Following your logic, I would just want to listen to "music" -- artist, song, genre would be irrelevant, right?

    In fact, just the opposite is true: every so often I have to listen to The White Album, but it might not be on my player right now, because I have a lot of other music. Giving me a much larger storage space makes it MORE likely that I'll have this on my player, and more likely that I'll want to own it.

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  25. identicon
    nipsey russell, 8 Sep 2007 @ 9:38am

    song cost

    CST: the 160g ipod classic is a video ipod (http://www.apple.com/ipodclassic/) "up to 200 hours of video" .

    however weighing in on the song pricing debate, $1 per song is ridiculous (any cost for a DRM song is more ridiculous). CNN once showed the cost per CD of all the components. I took a shot at breaking out costs per song and reducing the costs that felt could be reduced in an e-music environment (see snapshot here*)and using a conservative approach can get the cost per song below $0.50....i'm sure someone more knowledgeable can do a better job. Anyway, for me it needs to be well below 50 cents (i think i was getting 30 or 40 cents when using emusic) and there must be NO DRM, none, or i wouldnt pay a penny (Actually, i get "free" songs from my cafeteria occasionally and throw them in the trash)

    *costs: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1368/1346569173_f33fb6125d_o.jpg

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  26. identicon
    Kanna, 8 Sep 2007 @ 9:45am

    It's actually a great idea

    Think about it... a recording exec goes up to Apple and says "hey, we'll drop the price per song, but in return we want some rather specific iPods for sale. We want ones with custom colors that come with a custom play list preloaded. And we want a *small* portion of the sales on *those* iPods."

    So what do you do? You take 1 or 2 well known bands, you drop a *few* of their songs on an iPod, you add a bunch of your less well-known bands' songs, and you've got something that will appeal to more people. Think Pandora. You put in a band name (or song) and 30 minutes later (at least, if you're like me, an average listener) you have about 5 or 6 more bands you're interested in. Bands which you've never heard of before because they're not so big and they don't get regular radio air time. Granted, the added bands need to be tied in with the big names, but that can't be so hard, again, Pandora seems to do it magnificently.

    Don't put every song from any band, put one or two from a group of bands to entice the listener. Then they go out thinking "I'd like more of this band" and, with the price drop, they're thinking "hey, this is a deal!".

    And frankly, the music industry is in the perfect situation to do this. Think of gas prices in the U.S. Always higher, but if prices drop $0.10 everyone thinks they're getting a deal and stops for gas! Let alone that 4 years ago it was over a dollar less! It's a deal *NOW*, and that's all that matters. The $1 song had it's place, it put people on the precipice. Now is the time to drop it (by, say $0.75) and bring them in!

    As many people have pointed out, compressed formats don't have the same quality. And so it becomes a quality vs. quantity issue. If you're not offering the same quality, then you should drop the price and make up for it with quantity. Otherwise it's like selling a Nissan at Ferrari prices. Yes, they both get you where you're going, but the Ferrari shopper is a bit more particular in what he wants (particularly a hand crafted engine that gets him where he's going at 120 mph instead of 80).

    The worst part of this market is that people are agreeing to pay the price (as proven by the number of iTunes downloads). And with the legal junta supporting the recording industry, it's not like we have a lot of choice. Nobody in the "decision making clique" seems to realize that while we have a choice, it's not much of a choice (thanks to our old friend DRM). If I remember my (decidedly somewhat inaccurate) history, the U.S. was much more anti-monopoly than it is now. It seems that then it was "Oh, it's a monopoly, let's cut 'em up!" and now it's "Are we sure it's a monopoly? I mean, really, REALLY sure? It doesn't look like the board game to me at all!"

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  27. identicon
    Matt, 8 Sep 2007 @ 10:12am

    Intellectually Lazy...

    Your statement about how artists can't be supported by music that costs less than a dollar a song is intellectually lazy. A well-paid musician will see less than a dollar for the ENTIRE CD if it is sold at a retail outlet. The rest of the money goes to the record labels, the retailer, the distributors, the unions, the studios, the RIAA and the various and sundry other leeches that make up the current music distribution model. THIS is why the RIAA fights; they're trying to perpetuate a model that enriches THEM, all under the guise of standing up for the people who actually MAKE the music. The reality is that the recording industry has the goose (or geese) that lays the golden eggs. They're able to get by with feeding said the musical geese a handful of grain.

    Meanwhile, the RIAA sells the eggs and buys themselves private jets and, probably, specially trained wombats that will be used to sniff out illegally downloaded songs.

    Also, if you're going to turn the music marketplace into a commodity-driven market, then you can't (and shouldn't even try) to level the market place by having a "one price fits all" model. Commodity markets are driven by supply and demand, with a price that fluctuates in response to the demand. So, yeah, there would be some artists that would be able to command a whopping $0.001 a song because nobody wants to listen to them. Conversely, other artists could, in theory, command a larger sum.

    However, there is one glaring hole in all of this, and that is to consider the impact of scarcity in valuation of any given product. Diamonds are expensive because they're hard to get, and they're available only in a few geological areas. How would you address this one? Make it to where only the first 500 people are able to purchase a given song? At that point, you're practically begging folks to start pirating the music.

    Piracy exists for a variety of reasons. Some people engage because yeah, they just don't want to pay for music. Some people engage because they don't feel that the prevailing pricing model is not conducive to their economic situation.

    The solution is to cut out the middle men and create a model that actually supports the musicians/artists rather than one that treats them like a collection of trained monkeys.

    By the way, what the hell does "songs are not about technology" supposed to mean?

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  28. identicon
    Tkk, 8 Sep 2007 @ 12:55pm

    Fair enough comments. Downsize the exiting high-cost high -margin distribution, replace it with network distribution but keep the supply-demand pricing model. I.e. The more demanding or desirable songs get to have a higher price. Even allow bidding for certain special music. Return more revenue to the musicians and producers. This will bring wonders to the creative juices and benefit listeners.

    'Songs are not about technology' means one should not price music based only the cost of its distribution and the player. I.e. price of songs should not go down just because a player can store or play much more cheaply due to advancing technology.

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  29. identicon
    Mindful, 8 Sep 2007 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I only have about 60 GB (>98% LEGAL!). Listening 8 hours a day it would take almost 6 months to listen to it all. I don't listen to more than an hour or three a day. A bunch of it is podcasts I may never listen to again, or then again, I might.

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  30. identicon
    Marc Cohen, 8 Sep 2007 @ 5:53pm

    Sell time not music

    The recorded music industry will save itself only when it realizes that they can no longer sell music at any price. The industry must give away the music and sell the time that people spend listening to it. It turns out that this time is much more valuable than the music anyway. Check out the Ad-Supported Music Central blog: http://ad-supported-music.blogspot.com/

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  31. identicon
    Mable Yanoff, 8 Sep 2007 @ 6:18pm

    riaa teh sux

    In Steve's Keynote, he mentioned that
    32% of music released in 2006 was not released on a CD.

    When the face of an entire industry is suing employers (Like Deutsche Bank..!) to find out who was using a computer at work, spending thousands to recover $300 judgment, and claiming thousands of John Doe lawsuits, it's defies logic, and shows how desperate the industry is.

    Have you noticed that everything seems outsourced at RIAA? MediaSentry does the footwork, RIAA website is hosted at GoDaddy's SecureServer farm, and their email system is hosted by some 3rd party webmail company called Postini.

    Apple scores #1 in University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index.. The culture of Apple is what happens when you break down barriers instead of building them.

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  32. identicon
    Old Rocker, 8 Sep 2007 @ 6:59pm

    The industry fears digital / portable formats. One reason: I have paid for the same album several times - (showing my age) 8 track, LP, cassette, CD... Whatever's next.
    What happens when my CD gets scratched? The want me to buy another one. I purchased several cassettes multiple times for the ones I wore out, melted in the car, tape player ate... I would love to see a list of all the albums I have paid for more than once.
    The artists make the majority of their $ via concerts, tours, and merchandise, not CD proceeds. That's why the Record companies want total control. I still have most of my cassette tapes and an Identical CD.
    It would be interesting to see the % of sales that are for replacements of lost/damaged media.

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  33. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2007 @ 10:47pm

    Old Rocker tells my story. It makes me want to cry when I think about how many times I have paid for the "Layla" record. I would have downloaded illegally, but the whole record was never available. What the RIAA is missing is that anytime I listened to something I downloaded, I ended up buying much more, most often something I would not have taken a chance on.

    The other side of the story is that the technology for recording music is getting MUCH cheaper (not just the low-fi classics like Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska, either). Most musicians use some type of computer-based recording these days (like Pro-Tools), and as the retail outlets become more irrelevant, the music industry can't offer much in the way of distribution service. The future is in internet distribution, and the internet tends to cut out the middle-man (or make middle-man services much cheaper). Artists need to find a way to make community buzz lead to actual money in their pockets for recordings. One example is how Aimee Mann built her return by selling her cds on the internet.

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  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2007 @ 11:48pm


    They're stupid.

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

  35. identicon
    powerkor, 9 Sep 2007 @ 6:28am

    records = out
    downloads = in

    deal with it and let others have said get a new business model to make money

    people still like buying albums but only by artists that they LOVE... and lets face it, in the 21c of music, alot of sh1t sounds the same and over-produced. IMHO

    so to LOVE a band anymore, takes alot to accomplish when in a sea of genericity

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  36. identicon
    Bignumone, 9 Sep 2007 @ 6:30am

    Why they hold on to the old ways

    What does the recording "artist" (really a "business person") make per sale on a song? I think it is generous to say it is $0.05....gross. I don't know the break-down exactly, but I also think it is safe to say the record companies NET out much more than that (3 to 5 times), particularly if it is sold electronically.
    So when you say Britney Spears owns three mansions and 20 cars and made $34 million last year, what does that mean the recording company NET?
    In 1992 was sold to EMI for $1 billion. You don't pay that for a company not making a good fraction of that annually and has the potential for much more.
    They don't want to change because they are making really, really, really big money off from the system the way it is. I submit to you the idea that they would still make much of that at $1 a track electronically. They just want more and more and more. It is greed and capitalism.
    As long as we pay it, they will continually raise the prices. The problem is, they don't want to lower the prices and take a hit to their excessive lifestyles. That includes many of these "artists". So I ask, how much is too much? Stop buying their garbage and they will change or go away!

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  37. identicon
    Bignumone, 9 Sep 2007 @ 6:35am

    Re: It's actually a great idea

    Why wouldn't they contract with sandisk for USB thumb drives loaded with songs?
    They could put any DRM on they wanted, the drives cost about $15 or less now for 2 gig (sometimes free, they use them as loss leaders all the time). Load them up with music, and sell them. You would get the same results.
    Personally, I don't see a market for it, but I have been wrong before as I am a cheap SOB.
    I am all for not buying any of the music that is loaded with DRM or is over priced.

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  38. identicon
    Bignumone, 9 Sep 2007 @ 6:41am

    Re: Thoughts on podcasts

    I agree. I LOVE podcasts.
    I owned a 20 gig iPod and even with the 3 hours or more of podcasts I listen to daily (long commute + working out) AND my favorite CDs I still only used a little over 2 gig of it.
    I would like to see podcasters come up with a monitizing method that does not take money directly from my pocket. I will listen to commercials and click relevant links if they want me too.
    That would really rub RIAA noses in the dog poo so to speak.

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  39. identicon
    Bignumone, 9 Sep 2007 @ 6:48am

    Re: recording "artists" income

    I always wondered about this.
    Are you sure they make a majority from concerts and such? It makes some of my points less valid if that is true. Although I don't think totally invalid.

    I agree with your point about paying several times over for license to use the product. I think that is why they are now coming out with "HD DVDs" and other new media. To force people to buy all those products again eventually. AND I won't be able to sell them as it will be on the old media!

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  40. identicon
    Gary, 9 Sep 2007 @ 7:01am

    Drop the friggen prices

    Whew, I've been thinking about this for the past couple years. I've never payed $1 for a song, but if they dropped the price to $.10 I'd download music like crazy.

    I wonder how much longer before the record industry wakes up?

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  41. identicon
    seladang, 9 Sep 2007 @ 7:38am

    Consider reading the blue ocean strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. Then, they'll drop the prices so that they'll tap the blue ocean.

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  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2007 @ 9:13am

    Re: Intellectually Lazy...

    While I agree with much of what you wrote I simply must comment on the point about the price of diamonds. Diamonds are NOT scarce. They are not difficult to find or collect, even cutting and polishing are not as expensive as you might think. The price of diamonds are and have been for many years artificially inflated by Debeers who control the vast majority of the worlds supply. Perhaps this model is what emboldens the RIAA?

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  43. identicon
    Wrangler, 9 Sep 2007 @ 9:46am

    Just for my car...

    I will be picking up a 160gb iPod soon to replace the 80gb model that lives in the glovebox of my car... permanently. Bringing my 140gb+ music collection with me in my car is a huge value add for me since I'm in my car a lot. It may have taken me years to legally build my collection but at least I can now take it with me everywhere I go.

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  44. identicon
    RK, 9 Sep 2007 @ 11:09am

    Buy them out

    Why don't the tech companies (MS, GOOGLE, YAHOO,etc), that all have lots of cash just buy out the Music Industry? Warner (one of the big 4) is near a 52week low and can be had for about $2B. EMI would cost about $5B. Industry could solve the problem by getting rid of the Luddites at the top!

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

  45. identicon
    Opus Rex, 9 Sep 2007 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Buy them out

    Not as simple as you think.

    Many here have bandied about the phase "middle-men" like its a single enitity. That is about as far from the truth as you can get.

    Let me give you a snap shot of what hoops one has to go though just to use a thirty second snippit of a song.

    Earlier this summer I more then toyed with the idea of starting a regular podcast and had a theme song picked out.
    Its a fairly well know song that gets air-play even if it is about four decades old. And I only need it for the intro about 30 seconds or so. To be legal I would have get permission (which realy means pay a fee) from the writer of the song, the preformer of the song and the owner of the master recording.

    Now the Composer rights are handled usually by one of three orginazations: ASCAP, BMI or SESAC and you can get the rights to a song for annannual fee of about $300 USD. This only gives you the right to preform it your self or to have somebody preform it for you, but you still must have this premission even if you want to use the Orginal Artist recording.

    So, now you have to get the preformers premission and these are controlled by the record labels and is called
    The Mechanical License which is the right to reproduce a preformence of a song, the Harry Fox Agency handles that on a song by song basis. The title I desired was about $1500.

    Next is the Master Use License which is the owner of the master recordings and is usually the Record Label. This would have been $2500.

    $300+$1500+$2500=$4300 not including the cost of certified mail and checks.

    Much cheaper to invite my brother-in law over to pizza and have him do a riff or two in my home studio.

    But if you noticed, its more then jsut one company and I doubt tht the privatly held Harry Fox Agency will entertain any buy outs from Google.com.

    Kinda gives you an idea why the Stones keep touring. Can't Get No Satisfaction, indeed.

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

  46. identicon
    Scott, 10 Sep 2007 @ 12:02am

    Re: Re: Thoughts on podcasts

    The ipod classic has video

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

  47. identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, 10 Sep 2007 @ 4:12am

    Re: It's actually a great idea

    What kind of fools do you think Apple is run by? MS fell for the fee per unit plan and managed to create a device that wouldn't play MS's own PLAYS FOR SURE drm.

    The recording industry is afraid of any new media. They were afraid of CD's, cassettes and probably eight track tapes.

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

  48. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2007 @ 5:41am

    um... get a brain. People don't want 40,000 songs. How can you even listen to that many songs? People just see the huge capacity and think that's better. But in reality, most people are happier carrying around a smaller collection, which is much easier to deal with. And last of all, your headline is moronic, 1 song doesn't equal 1 reason. $1 a song is not unreasonable at all, when you consider how many songs someone is really going to listen to, rather than hoarding a huge collection that they will only listen to 5% of.

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

  49. identicon
    The infamous Joe, 10 Sep 2007 @ 5:56am


    You, Mr. Coward, are making lots of claims, like People don't want 40,000 songs and most people are happier carrying around a smaller collection but I hardly think you're the spokesman for "people", not to mention that you undoubtedly have no data to back up your claims.

    I, however, do have a large music collection-- though, not yet 40k songs (that's expensive!!) and on that scale $1 a song is quite unreasonable. Especially when you think about how much it actually cost them to make a copy of that song for you, after it's recorded. $1 a song then becomes akin to highway robbery. Also, saying you can over-price something on the basis of when you consider how many songs someone is really going to listen to is like saying you can charge whatever you want for that set of knives, because, hey, they don't need to be buying too many knives anyway. Please. :P

    And last of all, your headline is moronic, 1 song doesn't equal 1 reason.

    Ignoring the fact that you've probably heard the phrase "I'll give you a million reasons to kill my wife/leave town/rob a bank.." the headline doesn't mention reasons at all.

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

  50. identicon
    Drew Robertson, 10 Sep 2007 @ 8:08am

    Shelf Space

    If Apple sells 5 million iPods@80Gb average disk space this Xmas season, they are opening up 400 petabytes of storage. That's a lot of iTunes and even more pirated music and videos. The labels' priority shd be filling up those petabytes as quickly as possible with catalog material for whatever they can get. WMG's complete jazz collection. All of Sony's classical. Every dance/house/techno track from 2002. Fill 'er up. And get paid.

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

  51. identicon
    A Nanny Moose Cow Herd, 10 Sep 2007 @ 8:18am

    Re: Intellectually Lazy...

    By the way, what the hell does "songs are not about technology" supposed to mean?

    It means they're too young to have ever listened to Kraftwerk.

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

  52. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2007 @ 8:18am

    Re: Hey Mr

    Quote from Wikipedia on a Yottabyte (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yottabyte)

    "the combined space of all the computers in the world does not amount to one yottabyte. According to one study, the world stores 161 exabytes as of 2006, with 988 exabytes projected by 2010."

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

  53. identicon
    CoJeff, 10 Sep 2007 @ 9:16am

    Not to hard to fill 160gb

    In fact that just may hold my whole collection. I'm ripping with aac at 192 and the size of my collection sits at 157gb. Which will play for 87+ days straight. I download from live music sites all the time. On an average day with driving and work I could possibly listen to anywhere from 2-9 hours a day. I do think I'd buy more from the itunes music store if it didn't have DRM or was priced at least .50 cents or below.

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

  54. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2007 @ 9:26am

    Re: Hey Mr "T"

    Lets put Mr Mondo's 250YB claim into perspective.

    Since having even 1YB on a single machine is next to impossible unless he has some new storage device that has yet to be announced I will assume he has several NAS devices. A quick search and I found that Buffalo Tech has a 4TB NAS so lets assume he is using these. To get 250YB of storage space using these 4TB NAS devices he would have to have a total of 274,877,906,944 (that’s 274.8 BILLION devices.) Unfortunately I am unable to find a price for the 4TB version but their 3TB version is selling for $1,600 at Newegg. Using this price it would cost Mr Mondo a grand total of $439,804,651,110,400 or $439.8 TRILLION to gain him his stated 250YB of storage, not to mention the space, cooling, and power requirements needed for these devices.

    The combined net worth of the top 20 richest people in the world according to Forbes adds up to $536.9 Billion. The est. national debt of the US at the time of this posting is $9 trillion. He would have to spend 819 times more than the net worth of the top 20 richest people in the world or 48 times more the est. national debt of the US just to purchase the devices.

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

  55. identicon
    ForgetiTunes, 10 Sep 2007 @ 9:10pm


    $1/album, not $1/song.

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

  56. identicon
    Bobbias, 10 Sep 2007 @ 11:03pm

    Business model sucks

    Has anyone ever thought about WHY the record companies are keeping the price so high despite the fact that the artist doesn't hardly see any money there anyway? Because it's not the artist who's in trouble! these record companies are fighting a losing way of decentralization. As time progresses and studio equipment becomes cheaper, smaller budgets are required to achieve studio quality recordings, which means that studio quality recordings are becoming more widespread. And when it costs 10 times as much to get a song professionally mixed by someone in a big record label who's at the same skill level as someone who does it freelance, you can be damn sure the freelancer will be more likely to get the job. Following this, we can see that record labels are no longer getting all the bands, which means that they're being eaten from the inside out. Add to it the fact that they're making less and less on record sales while the band still pretty much gets however much money they'd be making regardless of the sales, we can see what's happening.

    Eventually, all the big companies will break down into a collection of smaller companies until bands are forming their own record labels, and the only contracts signed are distribution contracts, and eventually, I think music will become something run by the musicians. A engineer will be part of the band, or part of a group of bands who decide to band together in a small label. There may be a big company or two thrown in there, but overall, the entire entity of the RIAA will likely dissolve over time.

    And that's why they're so damn scared, they know they'll be out of business if things keep going this way.

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

  57. identicon
    Dis, 11 Sep 2007 @ 1:58am

    Re: Re: Re:

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

  58. identicon
    Disillusioned One, 11 Sep 2007 @ 2:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Correct. The RIAA makes nearly all of their money off of record sales. Thats why they want to keep their outmoded/outdated model in place.

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

  59. identicon
    Lars, 11 Sep 2007 @ 2:15am

    how much artists make

    I haven't read all of the comments, heck, not even the whole article..

    but .. just to clarify
    on iTunes an artist makes roughly 11 cents from the 99 cents the song costs. since a lot of artists also release their own music on their own labels, they make a bit more.

    I'm about to start my own indie netlabel and besides selling the tunes on the common dance music online stores like beatport, dancetracks, traxsource and of course iTunes, I will also sell the tracks on my own site. For less than all the other stores will since I'll make 100% of what I sell.

    filling up 160gB is not that hard btw. esp. when you don't only listen to single songs but podcasts, dj-mixes etc.

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

  60. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 11 Sep 2007 @ 8:58am

    Re: Business model sucks

    And the sad part is that it doesn't (or didn't) have to be that way. The record industry could have taken the lead on digital distribution and set an example by giving listeners what they want at a decent price. But no the record industry thought that short term profit was more important than long term loyalty so they started to shoot themselves in the foot.

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

  61. identicon
    Lars, 11 Sep 2007 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: Business model sucks

    I was part of the first online radio (then later tv) station in Germany back in 1998 and when we were talking about broadcasting music released by the major labels they let us know that they started internet task forces to evaluate the situation and please refrain from using their music. Those 'task forces' were hardly consisting of internet savy people but staff that might know how to turn on a computer. Those guys were most likely asked to see what the other majors do and how to apply their 100 year old business model to the internet. And they were still doing that when iTunes first started. At the end, it was much easier for most of them to jump on the iTunes bandwagon and cry about their losses.

    independent artist + independent labels = more power to the creators

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

  62. identicon
    boost, 14 Sep 2007 @ 10:20am

    Re: I thought the same thing.

    Precisely why my MP3 player is a flash based, Super Talent product, that does not support DRM's.

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

  63. identicon
    Boost, 14 Sep 2007 @ 10:24am


    Yeah, you're right. There's no reason to buy & download when you can buy it from the store on out-dated plastic for the same price or less, take it home and then rip it to your MP3 player and save the CD for when the dinosaurs return to the earth.

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

  64. identicon
    Boost, 14 Sep 2007 @ 10:27am

    Re: Well yah...

    Currently I buy about 1 cd every quarter (every 3 months). Imagine if I could get 10 cd's worth of content for the same price...I'd probably buy cd's much more frequently. Mostly because it was cheaper, but I'd be much more likely to try out new artists and become more familiar with different music genre's which would lead me to buy more music.

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

  65. identicon
    Alex, 19 Sep 2007 @ 10:20am

    they wont go dry!

    Is so obbious , they have many ways to go throw all this changes, one of the ways are making concerts, and then they will be working more for all that ridiculous ammounts of money they won, many people works all their life and dont win what they do, in just one month, and why we have to pay so much for somehthing that we can foun cheaper... let them work like all of ous doing what they like CONCERTS, that way we all go to their concerts. And they will visit many more places on the world , looking to make more money, artists will be closer to the fans, and only the best music will survive, not the commercial.

    Thats what i think :)

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

  66. identicon
    Sean, 29 Oct 2007 @ 4:53pm

    um... get a brain. People don't want 40,000 songs.

    You're wrong, of course.

    I just ordered the 160GB iPod, and I'm overjoyed. I have a CD library of 4000+ titles. I want them all in my pocket. I want to be able to choose any album I want, anytime, or else put the whole thing on shuffle and kick the ass of every possible radio station in the world, because none of them have a months-long playlist programmed entirely by me. (Well, every radio station except for WWOZ in New Orleans, of course, the greatest radio station in the Universe. But only them.)

    This is the future.

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

  67. identicon
    cheap mp3 songs, 16 Jun 2009 @ 3:40am

    Cheaper than iTunes

    mp3obsession.com has songs way cheaper than iTunes and they still work with it. Win Win really :)

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

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