CyberTech Rambler

June 16, 2006

Fair play

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 12:24 pm

"Wield Al" Yakovic, a widely known artist, wrote on his website that he receive less royalty from download of his music from iTune  than from CD sales (Fourth Question down on the page). That ignited a debate in my tiny little mind: What is fair play when it comes to intangible, tradable items like song and music.

Consumers want more bang for the buck. This create strong downward pressure on price in the market. Lower prices means a smaller pot for the supply chain to share and put a squeeze on royalty Artists receive.

Music Industry defends its current prices for music and songs partly by saying that artists that produce them should be fairly compensated.  I am not in the industry so I cannot say whether 99 cents per CD as rumoured is fair to the Artists. However, it seems that the heavy weight in the industry, the record companies, view their artists more like any supplier and is willing to put the squeeze themselves on their artists. Talk about hypocracy.

Certainly, Steve Job's grip on the music online download business does not help artists and Record Companies. For probably the first time, Record Companies is feeling one big squeeze where there are little wiggle room for them. While I am glad that they finally get what they do to others, the Artists are the casualty as they see their already meagre royalty fall even lower.

Its like the supermarket business. Consumer wants low prices translate to supermarket demanding lower and lower prices from the producer. The bigger market share supermarkets has the more command on prices they have, and it is the producer that got squeezed most. Actually, in my view, it is the farm animal and vegetables that is the worst victim. For animal, we see decline in welfare standard (ducks that never see water, cows that live on concrete floors all their life eaten  cutted grass) and our veg looks more and more like Frankinstein food (tomatos grown in artificially heated glass house that never see soil nor sunlight).

Where and what is fair play?

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