1024 digital tracks are worth $0.23 according to Time Warner
Want to know why I feel no guilt watching big labels bleed a slow death, read this great article from an un-recouped band trying to find out how much money they’re making.
It’s a bit long for a “quick” read but it’s great, and as you’re reading keep in mind this is one of the numerous “little guys” once embraced by the corporation that is now discarded by the wayside. And one of the few who has the abilities to see just how bad their getting screwed.
As I asked more questions (Why do we get paid 50% of the income from all the tracks on one album, but only 35.7143% of the income from all the tracks on another? Why did 29 plays of a track on the late, lamented MusicMatch earn a total of 63 cents when 1,016 plays of the exact same track on MySpace earned only 23 cents?) he eventually got to the heart of the matter: “We don’t normally do this for unrecouped bands,” he said. “But, I was told you’d asked.
Time Warner is the 4th largest media conglomerate. They aren’t a mom and pops startup business in danger of dying so that they have to cut costs to stay afloat. Just a few of TW’s lucrative holdings:
New Line Cinema (Makers of Lord of the Rings Trilogy)
Turner Broadcasting System
Warner Bros. Entertainment (All Harry Potters, Batmans, and Supermans)
CNN (The “Not Fox or that crappy MSNBC” one)
DC Comics (And all the comic book movie moneys they bring)
My point is a company this big an powerful has the ability to do basic accounting of where their money is coming and going; something they are all too quick to point out to say that illegal downloads of music and movies is apparently killing them.
Making money is making money, it doesn’t matter if you’re up $20,000, or in the hole $300,000 income is just as important. The fact that record labels dismiss the income (debt reduction) owed on artists that are un-recouped is just bad as if they cut a recouped band out of a $10,000 royalty check. The artists aren’t suffering because of downloads like the labels say, they’re suffering because the labels are lying to them and cutting them out of the income they are entitled to.
Alternatively we have proof here that the big labels aren’t losing hardly any money on digital downloads at all. If 1,016 plays of a track on MySpace is only worth 23 cents, why are illegal downloaders being fined $80,000 for downloading a digital copy off the internet?
Either way you slice it the conglomerate labels are lying and exploiting their artists and customers.