Songwriters want a bite out of Apple


Particularly, BMI, ASCAP and SGA want a bite out of iTunes when movies and TV shows are purchased, since they contain music; and they want a payment when potential customers play a 30-second song preview.
Just to keep everything sorted out, BMI and ASCAP are the organizations representing composers, who already receive royalty payments for music played over the air, unlike performers and record labels, who are seeking royalties for airplay. And SGA is the Song Writers Guild.

The goal of the BMI and ASCAP is to get payment whenever a television program or movie is downloaded, and whenever a prospective buyer uses the song sample function when shopping on line for music.

Rick Carnes of SGA told CNET, “We make 9.1 cents off a song sale and that means a whole lot of pennies have to add up before it becomes a bunch of money. Yesterday, I received a check for 2 cents. I’m not kidding. People think we’re making a fortune off the Web, but it’s a tiny amount. We need multiple revenue streams or this isn’t going to work.”

RBR-TVBR observation: So now we’re supposed to attach a price tag to the sales pitch for a piece of music? We realize that the music business is a difficult one, but do the bureaucrats who represent the interests of musicians not realize that without marketing it would be even more difficult? What’s next – will somebody demand a royalty every time a potential customer in a brick and mortar music store reads a CD cover or looks at its artwork?

The advantage radio has over an iTunes sample is that you get to hear the entire song.

The advantage an iTunes sample has over the radio is you can sample any song at will.

Both are pure marketing gold, leading directly to the sale of music, to the benefit of musicians, composers and distributors alike. Stop trying to tax radio, and don’t start trying to tax internet samples.