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Why So Expensive?
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cybele
cybele
736 posts

Why So Expensive?

So, I'm in Accounting, which is to say that I don't have my degree. People ask me what I do; I tell them "Accounting". Sort of sounds like "Accountant" doesn't it?

I digress. . .

As an Accounting person, I keep all of my financial transactions on spreadsheets. I'm looking back to 1998 and sorting all of the money I've spent on music.

Granted, I've been buying music since 1978, so a lot of the costs don't make the cut. But, holy fucking shit! Was it worth it? Absolutely, because there was no file sharing, so you get what you can.

Enter file sharing. Am I an asshole, or does spending +$10,000 in the first half of my lifetime warrant never having to buy music again in part Deux?

I'll go to more shows, I swear it. I'll buy the tickets. What kind of royalties does Laetitia and Tim get from a CD?

Please advise,
Robert

Oct 04, 2008, 02:41


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waxenpith
waxenpith
1529 posts

Re: Why So Expensive?

Mosts artists sadly dont make very much money off their cd releases anymore. :( They do make some off of touring and merch at the shows. but the big money maker is endorsments from commercials.

as a music store i dont make very much off of the music anymore. On alot of new releases i loose money just to get ppl in the store to buy other things with larger margins.

Dont quote me but one of my employees is in a major labled signed band, who will remain nameless and they barely make 25-50 cents per cd, which sell for between 14.99 and 19.99 canadian. all the other money is in packaging, marketing, cost of recording, shipping + the Brick and mortar store (us) making a profit off of it. which is generally less than 30% often less than 10% sometimes nothing.

So even if they go gold or platinum in canada thats only 25grand or so devided by 7 members of (this) the band. on a cd they spent MONTHS creating. Whereas if a large corporation comes in and wants to use their song, its 25-50 grand just for a song/jingle they did in two days.

Its next to impossible to make money as a new musician anymore. Contracts are still very much in the lables favour. Reading more like Loans to get them the money they need to record rather then to pay them for their product.

Oct 04, 2008, 14:19


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cybele
cybele
736 posts

Re: Why So Expensive?

To think I spent 10's of thousands of dollars for my beloved collection, and only a few hundred of those dollars went to the actual musicians. . .

What do you think the breakdown is with paid downloading from, say, Napster or itunes? I hope the artists get a better slice that way, but I fear that they don't.

Cybele

Oct 04, 2008, 16:33


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waxenpith
waxenpith
1529 posts

Re: Why So Expensive?

I try not to discuss too much with him about finances. (cuze he is my employee and its not my business) But they were the free down load of the week once in the american itunes store. meaning thousands and thousands and thousands of downloads, potentially leading into more sales. (this was about a year ago) and they have yet to see a cheque from apple/itunes. he said getting approved for itunes is a privledge in its own. One that apparently gets you no money. Mind you there may be a threshold or certain amount of sales before they cut you a cheque. I am unsure of the details of it, but they are gaining interest on the artists money from the artists product.. you know what i mean? Kinda sad. it really de-demonises illegal downloads. and re-demonises legal paid sites. At least for those who are at the very least anti-establishment/anti-capatists and im sure there are a few of them here.

I will pay Top Dollar for a product i beleive in. However the artists should be making the majority of that dollar. And that is sadly not the case. And hasnt been for a very long time.

Oct 05, 2008, 02:32


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cybele
cybele
736 posts

Re: Why So Expensive?

The wackiest thing is -- I've been tagged as the Forum Republican. I'm a true capitalist in every sense, but there are some things that I've never understood.

One of the things I noticed when I visited London was how cheap American food is. Unlike music, we grow it just a few miles away. It's dirt cheap, and I'm realizing how downright lucky we are here. I can get an ear of corn for 10 cents, a pound of broccoli for 79 cents, and a gallon of orange juice for $5 here in Midwestern USA.

Ironically, the same dynamic exists; the same % for these products "peculate" down to the actual farmer. Unfortunately, in many cases, the farmer is an immigrant who is lucky to make minimum wage. It's someone that spends 60 hours a week bent over a field in a very hot sun.

What I'm trying to say is -- I'd gladly pay $1 for an ear of corn and for a pound of broccoli if it meant a better living for these people. It wouldn't break me. But I can't say the same thing for supporting the artists because a few $20 CDs do break me every month.

So. . .enter file sharing. We're surrounded by cornfields here, but I would never walk into a field and grab some free corn. I couldn't do that to the farmer. But in order to have music in my world, I'm quite happy to screw a label and yank tunes.

Cybele

Oct 05, 2008, 06:59


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cyberpainter
cyberpainter
5922 posts

Re: Why So Expensive?

waxenpith wrote:


Dont quote me but one of my employees is in a major labled signed band, who will remain nameless and they barely make 25-50 cents per cd, which sell for between 14.99 and 19.99 canadian. all the other money is in packaging, marketing, cost of recording, shipping + the Brick and mortar store (us) making a profit off of it. which is generally less than 30% often less than 10% sometimes nothing.



waxenpith wrote:
he said getting approved for itunes is a privledge in its own. One that apparently gets you no money. Mind you there may be a threshold or certain amount of sales before they cut you a cheque. I am unsure of the details of it, but they are gaining interest on the artists money from the artists product.. you know what i mean? Kinda sad. it really de-demonises illegal downloads. and re-demonises legal paid sites. At least for those who are at the very least anti-establishment/anti-capatists and im sure there are a few of them here.

I will pay Top Dollar for a product i beleive in. However the artists should be making the majority of that dollar. And that is sadly not the case. And hasnt been for a very long time.

What? Maybe I'm misunderstanding. Itunes sells band's music and they don't see ANY of it? That can't be right.

I'm an artist (not very active) but anyway, after paying for printing and packaging, I don't make much off each print. It's why a gallery/label is nice for volume of sales. But it's gotten worse for musicians, no doubt.

Oct 05, 2008, 10:07


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Hobobachang
Hobobachang
2133 posts

itunes Royalties

It seems the artist sees only 9 cents per track downloaded. There was talk in the news recently of Apple threatening to shut down the itunes store if they were forced by a regulatory body to increase this to 15 cents, but this was averted (and the rate frozen for the next 5 years). Even though this probably works out as a better deal for the artist than what they would make per CD from a major label, how can Apple justify making such a huge profit with no physical product, and hence minimal distribution costs? Apparently there have been over 5 billion songs downloaded in the last 5 years through their store, so if you add it up that's a hell of a lot of revenue. I'm not surprised so many people are involved in illegal downloading when over 90% of what they would be paying is going Apple's way.....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7649770.stm

Oct 05, 2008, 10:42


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waxenpith
waxenpith
1529 posts

Re: itunes Royalties

as i said there must be a threshold before they pay the artist. you have to exceed so many thousand downloads before they spend the money to send you money. 10% isnt enuff they have next to ZERO Overhead with their service, considering they make money off the hardward which requires the software they have already developed.

Private printing is not a cost effective way to make cds. altho id rather have it in my own hands then let itunes get 900$ for my 100$ and hold it till the interest is in their pockets making most of that 10% back.

In my store local vendors/ musicians get priced at 9.99 - 14.99 and i keep the .99 for shelf space/paper work. That helps to offset the costs of production. And they get a double facing on the wall which is my most valuable real estate.

Oct 05, 2008, 14:41


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calapia
calapia
252 posts

Re: itunes Royalties

Well, I'm not sure how it's done with the major labels, but for indie artists ITunes is a pretty good deal. Firstly, there's no process for being placed in ITunes, you just send in your cd (usually through a third party like CdBaby or TuneCore), and then they post it about a month after they receive it. My share off ITunes sales are 70 cents for each song sold, and if it's one that I independently released (Lounge Act), I get it all, and with ones that I released through the label I'm on, I get half of it.

But times have definitely gotten extremely tough for performing and recording musicians. One reason for sure is the whole P2P and music blog thing. The other is the flooding of the market by what would be considered "amateur" musicians, since it is now so easy to just buy a computer and a recording interface, and do an entire album. I personally think that's a great thing on the creative side, but it definitely makes things harder for "the market."

I could talk and bitch about this all day, but the bottom line is just do whatever you think you should. Although things look like they're getting worse for musicians, there is the possibility that everything will bottom out in the industry and we'll have to re-tool it, hopefully in a more beneficial way to musicians.

Oct 05, 2008, 17:14


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cybele
cybele
736 posts

Re: itunes Royalties

That still sucks, but roughly 10% per track on itunes sounds better than CDs.

Perhaps a new music site that puts its primary emphasis on emphasizing to the consumers the fact that their contracts with artists render the artists the highest royalties is in order.

It would blow the other sites out of the water and help to mend the divide between buying music and "sharing" it.

Cybele

Oct 05, 2008, 17:19

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