"MP3.com Bands Dis Disclosure"
May 3, 2000 7:45 PM   Subscribe

"MP3.com Bands Dis Disclosure" So they're telling the world how much bread artists make . . . can someone come up with anything resembling a rational reason for this?
"'MP3.com is creating a New Music Economy. We want to illustrate the viability of this new music economy by showing the world that artists can make money via Internet distribution of music,' the company's 'Artist Support Team' wrote to complaining bands."
Sounds as if they just got out of a "power-lunch" with the boys in Redmond or something . . . .
posted by mrpalomar (4 comments total)
Perhaps the idea is to try and show up the disparity between how much the best mp3.com "independants" make, versus the massive profits of the corporate labels?
posted by nomisxid at 12:53 AM on May 4, 2000

True . . . but still what good does that do the artists or their audience? And in the end it would still encourage invidious comparison. Isn't there enough marketing based on the bestseller=good reflex? I tend to agree with the artists who complained about the practice, and rather strongly. I'm not a musician, but I am a writer . . . and I wouldn't want how much I made for a particular story or article or poem plastered on a magazine's or newspaper's contents page or next to my byline. It's simply irrelevant.

Ignoring the "MP3.com is creating a New Music Economy" arrogance, there may indeed be a nugget of truth to "showing the world that artists can make money via internet distribution of music," but they could have picked a better way of doing it (for instance by making such disclosures voluntary, as some people suggested, or focusing on some particularly successful artist(s)' story). mp3.com is clearly reacting to its recent battles with the RIAAA here, but with this they're doing the exact same thing that that status quo has done for ages--encouraging the view that what matters is not the quality of the music, but the bottom line of how much money a band or album or song makes--to the detriment of the artists. If they choose to keep this disclosure policy, I think they're going to lose a lot of support from the Indie artists they've depended on--they've already lost any sense of trust; and in the long run they'd be shooting themselves in the foot, because other distribution outlets will emerge (are emerging) that will do what mp3.com might have done . . . .
posted by mrpalomar at 4:21 AM on May 4, 2000

Wow. I'm not sure what exactly is running through the head of their CEO, but MP3.com has done an outstanding job of fucking up the bidness.

This, quite frankly, is extortion. "Here's the money counter. See this starving band trying to make it. If you don't click on this MP3, this band will continue to starve." It's crass beyond anything the industry could think of. And, of course, this has nothing to do with "support indie music" and everything to do with "look investors our people are making money we're a real company so jack our stock price up."

So. Dumb.

Shouldn't the people trying to tear down the music industry have the brains to come up with a plan to replace it?
posted by solistrato at 9:41 AM on May 4, 2000

Here's the sad part. I went to the page of a band who I really like. I check out their payback: $13.02.

Just sad...

posted by fooljay at 4:07 PM on May 4, 2000

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