Apple Making Money off Musicians

The Copyright Royalty Board is expected to increase the royalty rates for songwriters and publishers to 15 cents per track purchased from online music stores, up 66 percent from the current 9 cents per track. According to Devin Leonard of Fortune, if the ruling happens Apple is threatening to shutdown its iTunes Music Store. Currently iTunes sells songs for 99 cents per track. They are complaining the hike would make selling music at this rate unprofitable. HOW???

The people who made the music, put the time and effort into creating the songs that Apple sells are only currently earning only 9%. Apple gets all the rest, for what? running a download site? How many other companies out there are running download sites with little or no revenue stream? It seems to me Apple is just being greedy, and not wanting to share.

But this is nothing new - they don't like sharing their technology either. If you want a Mac, you have to purchase a Mac from Apple because there is no "clone" available. If you want a low end Mac, something that isn't state of the art, but perhaps a bit cheaper, you have to buy an old one, because Apple doesn't make anything that is anything less than pricey. Yes, a new Mac is cost comparible with a PC of comparible hardware. But more affordable PC's are available with lower end hardware. Apple doesn't want to sell cheaper Mac's because it wants to always have a solid profit margin.

Greg Sandoval of Digital Media makes a good case as to why Apple won't shut it's iTunes shop, even if there is a rate hike. Apple likes to make profit and iTunes is the largest online store. They are not going to want to give that up and if they do, what are users going to do with their iPods?

No, this is just Apple's way of playing hardball. They don't want to share in their pile of money, even with the artists that make their pile possible. So, let's make Apple's decision easier for them. Let's start selling our music on every site but iTunes and see if they change their tune.

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