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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

`Has Apple switched sides?'

Here's a piece I wrote in today's SF Chronicle op-ed page, about how Apple treats independent audio and video producers differently than big media, by forcing them to give away their products for free on its iTunes Music Store. Here's the gist:

    Apple has decided, essentially, that major media companies should be allowed to charge for what they produce, but individuals ought to give their work away for free. That's a big deal for solo creative types who want to make a buck: By Apple's account, its storefront controls 70 percent of the market for legally downloaded music, and customers have bought...more than a million videos for $1.99 each.

Your thoughts?


  • Scott, I just replied on the HDforIndies comments page, but wanted to say kudos on this oped piece. I hope some folks at Apple are reading, and I couldn't agree with you more.

    By Blogger R. Zane Rutledge, at 5:22 PM  

  • d - thanks for your comment. CDbaby is a great service, but it inserts yet another intermediary in the music business that takes money out of the musician's pocket. Aren't musicians tired of that yet?

    I do agree with you that a similar service may emerge for video - or heck, CDbaby might do it - but it'd be nice to see Apple allowing individuals to market their content on their own. eBay is a great example: you don't need a third party to help you sell your old laptop on eBay. You do it directly.

    By Blogger Scott Kirsner, at 7:14 PM  

  • John -

    Thanks for your comment. But Apple wouldn't have to personally negotiate separate "deals" with individual content providers, just as eBay today doesn't personally negotiate separate deals with each individual who wants to sell merchandise on the site. Apple could simply lay out what the business offer was - how much of a fee they'd take for operating the marketplace - and allow an individual to upload his/her video.


    By Blogger Scott Kirsner, at 11:15 PM  

  • Why are these companies not encouraging musicians and producers to create more content by paying them for their work. It makes no sense to me, it's creating a vacuum. Apple must make money so Apple is going to do what's right for Apple. So isn't this right for Apple?

    It's just a case where those who need opportunity can't get it and those who have it just get more of it. An artist should get paid for what they create, it's that simple.

    iTunes is a hub for exposure just like Amazon and Google are. I can't wait until the day where the technology is advanced enough that an artist can make their art and just sell it directly to the buyer via their website for download and to play on their television.

    By Blogger William, at 11:04 AM  

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