Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Freesheet introduces 'fair' music service

The Metro, the initiative from Associated Newspapers designed to hide the chewing-gum and dog poop on British city streets by covering them in a thick layer of newsprint, has soft-launched a music service called MeMusic for some reason - presumably as in "I gotten me music on me mp3 player".

This offers free streaming of its library - uploaded by users:

MUSIC YOU'RE ABOUT TO LOVE - new music, free to play and fair to download

And what, exactly, is 'fair' to download?

It turns out that means 79p, some of which goes to the artist. The headline says 70 per cent - but it turns out that means something different:
amazingtunes.com and MEmusic will reward the artist as it's their music that is for sale. 70% of revenue from all tunes sales – after bank charges and taxes [our emphasis] – will go straight to the artist. The artist receives payment thirty days after the end of each month either electronically or via a cheque from Amazing Media Group Ltd., provided the amount you are due is greater than £20 and Amazing Media Group Ltd. has been able to collect payment. Don't worry, we will get in touch when you reach this point for a current address and preferred means of payment.

Oddly, AmazingTunes and the Metro promote this as being a music service "without the middlemen", but, surely, if they're raking off 30p in the pound, then they're the middlemen, aren't they?


3 comments:

Paul said...

Hey Simon, I'm the guy who founded amazingtunes.com I like your cynicism, but you're wrong about this deal.

We don't 'rake off' anything. We make 2 deductions on the download price: VAT and the cost of a credit card transaction. We have no choice about either of these - we have to pay them both. We deduct the actual amount of these costs, not a penny more: and we give 70% of what's left - the real income - to the musician. We also do 'open book' accounting so anyone can check we're not lying.

If you're looking for genuine rip-offs, check out the record industry.

All the best,

Paul Campbell

simon h b said...

Thanks for the elucidation Paul, but I'm still a little confused:

Obviously you do have to pay the charges - and that's fair enough. But you're still keeping thirty per cent of what's left after that, aren't you? Or have I misunderstood?

Paul said...

Hey Simon - yes that's right, 30%. By contrast an old-fashioned label will take around 90%. As well as charging zillions of extra deductions.

The 30% (of the actual income, not the sale price, as explained above) pays our costs to market and promote artists - which are not additional charges with us - as well as continuously developing and hosting the service, which obviously ain't free. So when, last year, we flew an artist called April Start from New York to London to be launched at an event we promoted at the BBC, we paid for everything. Out of our 30%.

So the headline you quoted is accurate - 70% to the artist. Obviously if they don't like those terms, they don't use us. (Thousands do).

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