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Would You Pay 5 Cents For a Song?

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the over-and-over-again dept.

Music 905

irikar writes "An academic at McGill University has a simple plan to stop the plague of unauthorized music downloads on the Internet. But it entails changing the entire music industry as we know it, and Apple Computers, which may have the power to make the change, is listening."

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905 comments

No matter what free will always win... (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889499)

Yet, Pearlman went further. He said that since this plan puts the onus on a massive Internet presence to distribute all the music in the world, why not have such computer companies as Apple and such major Internet companies as Yahoo simply buy up the world's four major record labels? Pearlman was careful to add, though, that he doesn't see his plan killing off demand for CDs.

And somehow this isn't a pie-in-the-sky idea? Oh give me a break! So what? Apple, Yahoo, Google, Foo buy up the companies and what happens? Their bean-counters decide that well if we can make billions selling songs for .05/download we could make 10x as much if we sell them for .50/download and 20x as much if we sell them for .99/download.

Pearlman said that Pfohl misunderstood the idea. Then again, another record-industry type, casually speaking to Pearlman after the talk, had perhaps the most succinct counter suggestion. Why not charge 10 cents, instead of 5, and double the revenue?

Thank you so very much for proving my point.

It would also obliterate musicians' choices on how their music could be sold by conscripting them into a 5-cents-a-song system. And it would destroy record companies' incentive to invest in new acts, Pfohl said.

Somehow I doubt that most of the musicians that are under the current cartel's contracts care how their music is distributed as long as they get paid. Those that don't give a shit already allow their music to be distributed for free on the Internet.

Let's stop with the whining and bitching about the artists you sleazy fuckers and start talking from your own business perspective. Everyone and their grandmothers know that you don't give one iota of a shit about the musicians unless they are filling your ever greedier pockets with money that you can throw at more shitty musicians and sympathetic lawmakers that will kowtow to your bullshit. Someday you will lose but I'm certain that this plan won't do it to you...

It amazes me that no one looks at the successful bands that have been distributing their music for free for years and says, "hmm, why is this still working for them and we are continuing to put out class acts like Ashlee Lipsynchson and we are hemorrhaging money?"

Some of the more recent big bands that allow their music to be distributed include Wilco and Los Lonely Boys. Wilco won the best alternative album this year. Hmm and yet they allow me to download their shows. Guess what RIAA? I would buy their album ANY DAY over someone like Ashlee who lip synchs her live crap and refuses to let us hear it for nothing. I mean, it's not even her doing anything why shouldn't it be free?

Just a FYI Apple, no matter how cheap something is it is NEVER as cheap as free. Free will always win out.

No matter what free will always win...dead end. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889555)

"Just a FYI Apple, no matter how cheap something is it is NEVER as cheap as free. Free will always win out."

Until there's nothing left to be free. Then free loses badly.

Re:No matter what free will always win... (2, Interesting)

Cerberus911 (834576) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889568)

Seems like a very far-fetched idea that the computer giants could buy the four major music labels. Would they even have enough money to do that?

Re:No matter what free will always win... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889593)

Free will always win out

Have you ever participated in a survey or market reviews? Hmm FREE is good but getting paid is even better. Now music is such a least important part of my life that I like listing to talk more and more so I am in one of those segments where Free isn't cheap enough so they'll have to pay me to listen.

Re:No matter what free will always win... (5, Insightful)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889598)

Their bean-counters decide that well if we can make billions selling songs for .05/download we could make 10x as much if we sell them for .50/download and 20x as much if we sell them for .99/download. Unless their bean-counters have taken Econ 101 and know the most basic things about supply and demand. As you increase price, you decrease volume. There is always a sweet spot that maximizes profit.

Re:No matter what free will always win... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889602)

"Just a FYI Apple, no matter how cheap something is it is NEVER as cheap as free. Free will always win out."

True, unless your time is worth something. It might take me fifteen minutes to find a non-crappy version of X song for free, or I can pay a nickel and have instant gratification. Is fifteen minutes worth a nickel? Hell yeah.

Re:No matter what free will always win... (1)

Shard013 (530636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889615)

I would be very happy to pay 5 cents per song for good quality reliable portable downloads. Can't see it ever dropping that low though.

Re:No matter what free will always win... (3, Insightful)

Liselle (684663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889637)

I didn't see anywhere in the article that answered the "who is going to pay for this?" question. Based on what it costs Apple to run the iTMS, somehow I don't see five cents doing much more than covering overhead, if that. If you're just ignoring copyright law and distributing illegally, like a certain site oft-mentioned here, you could make a profit out of it. But if everyone does it, say hello to less new music... right?

Re:No matter what free will always win... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889649)

You are totally missing the point. The reason they would charge only 5 cents is to get MILLIONS of more customers to buy songs. If they charged 10 cents or 50 cents or 99 cents, as you put it, then these customers would not jump aboard, killing the whole theory. They have to charge a small amount to make the switch from Kazaa to a legit service more tempting.

Re:No matter what free will always win... (5, Insightful)

Migrant Programmer (19727) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889651)

Their bean-counters decide that well if we can make billions selling songs for .05/download we could make 10x as much if we sell them for .50/download and 20x as much if we sell them for .99/download.

Please look up the term "elasticity" in your friendly neighbourhood economics textbook.

Re:No matter what free will always win... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889679)

Pearlman said that Pfohl misunderstood the idea. Then again, another record-industry type, casually speaking to Pearlman after the talk, had perhaps the most succinct counter suggestion. Why not charge 10 cents, instead of 5, and double the revenue?

Thank you so very much for proving my point.

Do you or this "record-industry type" know anything about economics? (okay, I'd expect the "record-industry type" to not properly understand economics) Why not charge $1,000,000 per song and increase the revenue by 20,000,000x?

/rollseyes

GARCIA = CONVICTED WIFE BEATER, MOD HIM DOWN! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889684)

Keep your wretched opinions off this board!

Re:No matter what free will always win... (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889694)

"Pearlman said that Pfohl misunderstood the idea. Then again, another record-industry type, casually speaking to Pearlman after the talk, had perhaps the most succinct counter suggestion. Why not charge 10 cents, instead of 5, and double the revenue?

Thank you so very much for proving my point."

it doesn't not prove your point, it mearly states that it is a counter point, to which I say the market would decide. The market will drive the price down, if that price is below cost, the business will cease. Unless it's a value add. I could see the portable music marketing heating up where you get a full music catalog when you buy a player. Much like the U2 edition iPod.

I think you should know, AShly simpson is an 'entertainer' not a musician. No, I don't personaly find her entertaining. PIF, most people don't. I used to think I was just out of touch with the music scene. I've been talking to be in the industry recently and it turns out a lot of these names everyone heres about don't sell many tickets. Most people in one of there concerts are people in the industry that are there to be seen.
wierd.

Heh (0, Flamebait)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889502)

I'm sure that's still too much for many a Slashbot.

Re:Heh (1)

ndtechnologies (814381) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889682)

This whole thing with the "Industry" and downloading gets tiring. It really is just beating a dead horse. The artist doesn't make much money on internet music sales as it is. I live in Nashville, and have learned from Artists and people in the Industry that internet music download sales for a major label artist net the artist about a nickel per sale, and that is out of .99 cents. Until Artists wake up and realize that they don't have to go the Major Label route anymore, then will the industry change, because they won't have any slaves working for them anymore...just my opinion though.

No. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889503)


If it can be listened to, it can be copied.

IVE SEEN THE EPISODE 3 STAR WARS TRAILOR (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889517)

god i hate you fags.

No - I want them free as in beer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889518)

Like Linux or FreeBSD, which are far more substantial than any song

Way too optimistic article... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889522)

Apple might be listening, but I bet you that the RIAA is not.

Re:Way too optimistic article... (1)

eobanb (823187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889676)

Apple Computers...is listening

Well YEAH. Just hold down the escape key.

Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889529)

It's the security issues of ANY internet transfer.
5c or 0.005c im not putting my credit card details online.

5 cents a song (1)

dmf415 (218827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889530)

i would definitely be willing to purchase music at 5 cents a song.
99 cents a song is still too expensive. Alot of albums are coming out at 9.99 with about 15 tracks or more!

Death of the CD (4, Interesting)

bje2 (533276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889531)

Yet, Pearlman went further. He said that since this plan puts the onus on a massive Internet presence to distribute all the music in the world, why not have such computer companies as Apple and such major Internet companies as Yahoo simply buy up the world's four major record labels? Pearlman was careful to add, though, that he doesn't see his plan killing off demand for CDs.
while the plan may be good, i have to disagree with the last part...this would (in my opinion) surely kill off the demand for CDs...right now, iTunes isn't killing the demand, becuase it's roughly equivalent to download 15 songs for $0.99 per song, or pay $15 for the CD...however, if i could download 15 songs for only $0.75, so why should i ever buy a CD again?

Let see (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889610)

1)People like to buy things.
2) It's easier to rip from a CD
3) A lot of people find creating a CD to be listened on a standered CD player intemidating.
4) Artwork (In theory. I have yet to see a cd with good artwork)

these answers are a generality. Certianly YOU may never buy one again, but a lot of people would. Also, thye would become cheaper.

Re:Death of the CD (1)

fideli (861469) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889656)

iTunes isn't killing the demand, becuase it's roughly equivalent to download 15 songs for $0.99 per song, or pay $15 for the CD
You're quite right that iTunes isn't killing the demand for CDs, but they only charge $9.99 for an entire album, in both US and Canada (and others?). This is great since here in Canada, albums go for around $20 most of the time.

I will stop downloading (5, Insightful)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889532)

When the record companies sell what i want to hear. everything i pulled off of napster back in the day was 80's rock and metal stuff that has been discontinued. For god sake guys, put your back catalogues on line, (or even press a cd or two on demand) and then we'll talk. :(

Re:I will stop downloading (5, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889660)

But if they did that, they wouldn't be able to sell "Now Thats What I Call Ancient Shit! Vol 4124"

Won't someone think of the executives?!

Well . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889535)

Of course the opposite argument is:-

If I only give them five cents per song, then they won't miss my money that much, thus I won't pay this time.

I mean after all, what difference can one individual make?

5 cents? It would be stupid to complain for that (1)

Hhhhh (864263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889537)

5 cents is NOTHING. If people complain for 5 cents then they are screwed up. But you always find whiners that will complain because they just love complaining...

Re:5 cents? It would be stupid to complain for tha (1)

tommyth (848039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889642)

$0.05 is nothing, agreed. But Joe 13 year old is still going to fire up KaZaA or whatever the latest GUI P2P program is and download them for free, just because it's easy and he doesn't have a credit card to pay $0.05 for.

Re:5 cents? It would be stupid to complain for tha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889663)

Like people who complain about people who complain

You can forget the "stealing tax" (5, Insightful)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889538)

In addition, a 1 per cent sales tax would be placed on Internet services and new computers -- two industries that many argue have profited enormously from rampant file-sharing, but haven't had to compensate artists.

This is the same scheme that we have today on blank CDs and the like and it is total BS to apply it to computers. I have no idea why anyone outside the entertainment business thinks that it's OK to put a music-stealing tax on every computer, or DRM on every computer when not every computer is even considered for such use. What about the company that buys 10,000 computers per year and because some 12 year old is "stealing" music they have to pay an additional tax and further have to have their computers crippled with DRM?

Re:You can forget the "stealing tax" (1)

arkanes (521690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889624)

I'd be okay with such a tax if they'd decriminalize the sharing. Which they won't - they just want the free money.

You can forget the "stealing tax"-Trickle down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889638)

"This is the same scheme that we have today on blank CDs and the like and it is total BS to apply it to computers. I have no idea why anyone outside the entertainment business thinks that it's OK to put a music-stealing tax on every computer, or DRM on every computer when not every computer is even considered for such use."

That still doesn't mean that the broadband and computer industry isn't benefiting indirectly from piracy.

"What about the company that buys 10,000 computers per year and because some 12 year old is "stealing" music they have to pay an additional tax and further have to have their computers crippled with DRM?"

What about the high insurance costs we all pay because a few commit crimes?

Sounds good to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889539)

.05 USD for a song? But then again, there is only so much music one can download, and after that is it really sustainable?

Commodites (3, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889540)

Apple should simply be charging 5 cents instead of 99 cents a song, he said.

The issue is not what Apple is charging, but what the record companies are charging Apple. As I understand it, Apple Computer Inc. is making essentially nothing on the sale of each song, but rather are using song sales to drive sales of iPod and thus Macintosh computers and Apple software. I am sure that Apple would be more than happy to participate in a 5 cents/song pricing scheme, but it is the record industry that is going to be the hard ones to convince. I do not understand how the recording industry can say it would destroy record companies' incentive to invest in new acts when the potential for much greater revenues can be had with increased volume and lower prices. What they are missing is that new music is what is going to be transiently valuable, but that pre-existing libraries of music are a commodity and should economically be treated as such according to all economic theories I am aware of. This means low prices and high volume.

Re:Commodites (1)

ABCC (861543) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889692)

True, but the model of new hits at top $$ and the rest at bargain basement prices will never happen. For one, the record companies love the margins they get on rereleases. We see this in the following model:

1. award dead artist lots of grammies
2. ...
3. profit!

furthermore, $0.05 tracks will crowd out demand for the latest/greatest (cough) "artists", without whom the advertising revenue stream would dry up.
(This is speculation, but i believe that it would be demonstrable that, at $0.50/lp vs. $9.99, that vanilla ice album is looking pretty darned good)

From TFA (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889546)

In addition, a 1 per cent sales tax would be placed on Internet services and new computers -- two industries that many argue have profited enormously from rampant file-sharing, but haven't had to compensate artists.

Ahem.

Dear Slashdot: More Apple Stories Please (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889551)

Slashdot simply isn't posting enough about Apple. I demand more Apple-related stories!!!

It will happen eventually (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889552)

The record labels will figure this out eventually and we will get to five or ten cent songs. However, I don't see them figuring it out in one 90+ cent leap. I think they will bungle their way through a series of successive approximations and end up with something similar to allofmp3.com where songs are in that neighborhood. I do agree that at very low prices the volume may well indeed provide the labels and the artists what they need (but maybe not what they want?)

It'll never happen (1)

Ridgelift (228977) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889556)

Why pay 5 cents if you can pay 0 cents? Here in Canada, it's pretty much understood that music downloaders won't be prosecuted. Besides, if this ever were to happen and the music industry decided 5 cents wasn't enough, they'd have a tough time raising the price now that the bar would be so low.

Here's a thought: how about artists GIVE their music away for free and make money doing concert tours? Oh wait...that's the way it works right now.

Yes. Yes I would. And I would encourage others to. (1)

coachvince (760294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889557)

I would, definitely. And I would gladly give $20 gift cards to friends and family. Most importantly, I would have cheap, reliable access to decent versions of music (even if encoded at non-optimal rates; 128k or so). If you could still pay more and get "full" quality, I think you could have a working double-tiered system.

No, no and no! (5, Insightful)

Sebby (238625) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889559)

I stopped reading when I got to this sentence: "In addition, a 1 per cent sales tax would be placed on Internet services and new computers"

No, no and fucking no! I refuse to finance any industry which I don't have anything to do with.

When I buy computers for my business, I don't buy them for anything music-related, so I see NO reason to pay a tax, or levy or whatever the fuck they want to call it to support any music-related thing.

I'm tired of corporations and government thinking society exists for the sole purpose of ensure their profit.



My 5 cents worth. (1)

Bongoots (795869) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889561)

I would definitely buy tracks at that price, but I'd certainly have privacy/tracking concerns with such a centralised system of distribution.

"Pearlman said that Pfohl misunderstood the idea. Then again, another record-industry type, casually speaking to Pearlman after the talk, had perhaps the most succinct counter suggestion. Why not charge 10 cents, instead of 5, and double the revenue?"

Why not charge $1 and multiply your profits 20 fold? ... filly sool! :p

He suggested 5 cents because it's cheap. Increase that and you obviously get a lot less. For example, you could get 20 tracks for a dollar at 5 cents each, but at 10 cents per track you only get 10 of them.

I say more bang for your buck is better ;)

Oh, right! (2, Interesting)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889562)

From the article:

Richard Pfohl, general council for the Canadian Recording Industry Association, refuted Pearlman on numerous points at the conference forum, arguing that the plan would violate every international intellectual property law that Canada has signed in the last 100 years. It would also obliterate musicians' choices on how their music could be sold by conscripting them into a 5-cents-a-song system.

Oh, right! Like they have a "choice" now with the labels? Have you seen the frikkin' contracts you've got to sign to get on with a major label? You sell your arm, leg, and any potential children's arms and legs. Give me a break!

They're being kind of stingy... (1)

Cooler1011 (829888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889563)

Why pay five cents for a song when you can get it for free? There will most likely always be P2P type services, and getting rid of ALL the torrents out there is a daunting, maybe impossible, task. If we're paying for this music and theres an easy and free alternative, we better get SOME sort of advantages, such as: Ridiculuous quality, lossless, small file size, all different types of files available for purchase, maybe even a points system (such as ThinkGeeks) and something ELSE to put those points toward... Band t-shirts, live concert performances (streaming, of course)... You get the idea. Maybe they could even pick up a few tips from Steam's digital distrubution technique, minus the updating every second.

Damn them... (1)

tabkey12 (851759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889564)

Just in case you didn't know what the music industry was all about, read this (context is not really important to get the idea:

Another record-industry type, casually speaking to Pearlman [progenitor of this idea] after the talk, had perhaps the most succinct counter suggestion. Why not charge 10 cents, instead of 5, and double the revenue?

Yes, guys and gals, it's money.

Money, money, money, money.

.05 cannot compete with (1)

kkelly (69745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889565)

free.........

Some people will always want something for nothing regardless of how affordable that something is to be gin with. I do agree that considering the quality of the greater percentage of today's mainstream music, .05 is just about the right price per single......

$.05 USD is a Bargain (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889566)

I've been using iTunes for a while now, paying $.99 USD a song. So, a low price 5 cents that would be welcome.

My music needs are small, resulting in like 1 or 2 songs a month. iTunes is so much less of a hassle than P2P, plus I dont' have to worry about the RIAA.

Re:$.05 USD is a Bargain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889653)

"plus I dont' have to worry about the RIAA." just the DRM that only lets you use iTunes/iPOD instead.

I stopped at this sentence: (2, Insightful)

Shamashmuddamiq (588220) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889570)

"In addition, a 1 per cent sales tax would be placed on Internet services and new computers -- two industries that many argue have profited enormously from rampant file-sharing..."

No thanks.

Spare change please (1)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889575)

I had an opportunity to pay a nickel for a song once. This homeless guy was selling them. "Hey buddy, wanna hear an original song, I swear to God it's original. Spare change please?"

Give him a nickel and he started singing. It wasn't very good.

Depends on the song, of course (3, Funny)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889583)

I used to buy a very few CDs and download most. With the rise of iTMS I buy more. At £.05 (dollar prices are almost always translated directly to pounds for things like music, grr) I'd probably buy most of my songs. But not all. Some just aren't worth that much. I don't think they're ever going to eliminate "piracy" completely, except by cutting prices to zero.

Any takers... (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889584)

I'll listen to 1 whole Brittany Spears song for 5 cents. I'll drive around the block with my windows down playing one of Brittany's songs for 5 dollars.

Any takers?

Laffer Curve of file sharing. (5, Insightful)

Vengie (533896) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889594)

Basically, he's saying that "If you sell x songs at 99 cents a song" and that "If you drop the price to 5 cents, you will sell more than 20x songs" -- he claims the growth could be "exponential."

To a certain extent, he's somewhat right. It would substantially lower the bar and you'd have far more impulse buys (and drunk song-buying binges wouldn't hurt as much. Fear the drunken one-click shopping spree!)

However, I am not such a big fan of his idea of taxing PCs. However, the last line of the article is THE MOST INFORMATIVE OF ALL:
Then again, another record-industry type, casually speaking to Pearlman after the talk, had perhaps the most succinct counter suggestion. Why not charge 10 cents, instead of 5, and double the revenue?


These guys don't even get *OLD ESTABLISHED CONCEPTS* let alone "new fangled concepts." Pearlman's response is that if you double the price, you cut the sales by more than half, so you actually DECREASE your revenue.

They just don't get it. [I'm not saying Pearlman is necessarily right with the .05$ price point, but the "industry type" missed the entire point of the talk!]

The record industry in a nut shell (1)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889596)

From the article ...

Then again, another record-industry type, casually speaking to Pearlman after the talk, had perhaps the most succinct counter suggestion. Why not charge 10 cents, instead of 5, and double the revenue?

You wonder why we have so many problems with the RIAA and friends?

Small Labels. (1)

tommyth (848039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889597)

Just because the RIAA companies might loose CD sales doesn't mean CDs are doomed. CDs are still sold on any club on any night from the bands playing, so if the RIAA labels stop selling them, then Best Buy will just buy from a record label that will.

Definite Yes (1)

Evil W1zard (832703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889604)

If the price of songs dropped that drastically I would be inclined to just pay for the music I want instead of trying to keep up with new sites/software as old ones get shut down. And on top of that I would also not have to constantly worry about goofy legal issues as well.

if the recording industry is agin' it... (4, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889606)

When first reading the article, my instinct was to not go along with the notion charging for downloaded music, even only $.05 a song. Especially with DRM, etc., always on the sideline poised to come in and wrap you around the axle anytime to you try to play the song (in the proper spirit of fair use)... (I'm STILL upset about one of my recent CD's purchased not playing on my car CD player.... took it in, they would only exchange it... and, sure enough, the exchanged CD failed to play in exactly the same places in exactly the same way... had to demo this to the store personnel before they would agree to a refund.)

But, maybe they have something there... certainly when: "..., The recording industry is against Pearlman's plan. ..., ", I've got to think it may be something that could work.

Yes, but... (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889607)

Sure, lower prices would create vastly more legal sales, and far fewer 'illegal' downloads. And quite possibly more profit.

The part of this idea that I have a hard time with is "In addition, a 1 per cent sales tax would be placed on Internet services and new computers".
Is there a tax on TV's that goes back to the networks/TV industry? How about stereo equipment?
How about if I don't use this particular PC for music? Does that tax apply? What about a PC I built from parts?

Not my Dime! (0)

eSims (723865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889608)

Was thinking about updating my system... planned to spend around $1000... 1% would come out to 10 bucks.

For many reasons I would not want that 10 bucks going to certain companies/individuals.

This is a huge issue that you just can't get around... fine, Canada wants to impose a media and now hardware tax to support groups I strongly dislike that's fine, but not in the US , at least not if I have anything to say about it!

Clearly doesn't understand IT costs (4, Insightful)

BlakeCaldwell (459842) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889612)

Mr. Pearlman seems to understand economics pretty well, but not IT. Here's the breakdown of an ITunes purchase of $0.99:

Label(s): $0.55
Apple: $0.34
Artist(s): $0.10

Now, let's chop that down to $0.05 instead of $0.99. Let's break it down this way:

Label: $0.03
Apple: $0.02
Artist: $0.1

So, when a customer goes to ITunes, they'll surf through several (large)-database-driven webpages to find the songs they want. They'll make a purchase against their already-paid-for credit through ITunes (of probably $10 increments), then download the 5MB song.

So, Apple now has to run power-hungry servers with a large staff of IT guys making sure they're patched and running correctly. They gotta hit customers' credit cards and give probably 5-10% back to the credit card company.

All of this... for $0.02 per song?!?

His model makes sense, but maybe for $0.25 per song... there's no chance Apple would make money by giving up that much bandwidth.

just my $0.02.

my $.05 (2, Interesting)

to_kallon (778547) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889614)

The recording industry is against Pearlman's plan.
hrmmm....what a shock! the music industry not willing to adopt change?? surely not!
seriously, this sounds like a decent proposal, although i highly doubt it will make a significant change (free is less than $.05), but let's face it, will probably never happen. apple can listen all they want, and that's great, but the recording industry will never go along with it. the best idea i found in that article is "why not have such computer companies as Apple and such major Internet companies as Yahoo simply buy up the world's four major record labels?" now *there's* the kind of change that needs to take place.

End file swapping? (2, Insightful)

Exitar (809068) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889616)

McGill academic has a plan to end file swapping and save the music industry

File swapping isn't just music.
it's movies, TV series, software and ebooks too...

Would You Pay 5 Cents For a Song? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889617)

For a DRM-free, lossless, flawless copy of a song? Absolutely! I'd buy songs by the boatload. 100 songs of my choice for $5? Score!

Record companies never, ever get it (2, Interesting)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889630)

OK, so his proposal is to drop the price of a song online from .99 to .05, and then supplement it with a 1% tax on ISP charges and computer purchases on the assumption that users of those service and equipment are the ones doing all the music downloading. I don't think the 1% tax will go down too well, although in Canada they already have such a tax on CDs and tapes. So I suppose people could adjust to the idea of paying $30.30 a month for an ISP instead of $30.

But the quotes at the end are hilarious!

"The recording industry is against Pearlman's plan. Richard Pfohl, general council for the Canadian Recording Industry Association, refuted Pearlman on numerous points at the conference forum, arguing that the plan would violate every international intellectual property law that Canada has signed in the last 100 years. [SO CHANGE THE LAWS!] It would also obliterate musicians' choices on how their music could be sold by conscripting them into a 5-cents-a-song system. [OR THEY COULD JUST OPT OUT AND DO THEIR OWN DISTRIBUTION AND CHARGE WHAT THEY WANT] And it would destroy record companies' incentive to invest in new acts, Pfohl said. [WHY, BECAUSE IT WOULD BRING IN HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN REVENUE?]

Pearlman said that Pfohl misunderstood the idea. [DUH!] Then again, another record-industry type, casually speaking to Pearlman after the talk, had perhaps the most succinct counter suggestion. Why not charge 10 cents, instead of 5, and double the revenue?"

ROFL! Don't you just know that will be the endless series of suggestions they will make. "Hey, look at how much money is coming in! Let's double again to 20 cents and get lots more moola!"

Better system (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889632)

base the price on recent popularity of the download

then i can get an album by paying for the good songs and the crummy ones come along for free

and artists can make bank on hits while getting real in-the-wallet feedback on crap

supply and demand. it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

You guys are retarded (2, Insightful)

Hhhhh (864263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889634)

PLEASE. While I agree that several patents are whacko and I am a big advocate of Open Source, music and movie copyrights MAKE sense. After all, people actually work making the movies (it looks like many Slasdotters don't) and they need to sustain themselves. I wouldn't waste my time watching "free as in freedom" movies

seix with a Goat (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11889650)

big deal. Death you get distracted of an admittedly and enjoy all the Niigerness? And they want you to overly morbid and Brilliant plan

Not nice in the long run... (1)

Juiblex (561985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889657)

What would stop them to rampant rise the prices when almost everyone will be using their services and will have abandoned free (i.e, pirate) p2p networks? It's a nice plan for them... start with 5 cents, make everyone dependent (addicted) on it, then start charging 30 cents... and then $1,50... and so on...

Hmm... NO. (1)

toastyman (23954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889665)

In addition, a 1 per cent sales tax would be placed on Internet services and new computers -- two industries that many argue have profited enormously from rampant file-sharing, but haven't had to compensate artists.

Sounded interesting up to that point. Lots of people don't listen to music on their computers. I have a new Powerbook that I bought purely for field work, I'll never listen to a song on it. I"m not paying 1% more for it to support one specific industry who is having trouble adapting to a new era.

Some people use computers to infringe on software copyrights, should there be a tax to help compensate software authors?

Some people use computers to infringe on book copyrights by trading e-books, should there be a tax to help compensate book authors?

What about movies next? I'm sure the MPAA will say they're hurt worse than the music industry by piracy, so they'll want a mandatory tax too.

The fact that there are a large number of people infringing on songs/movies is an indication that the current business model doesn't work for consumers. Right or wrong, I think the vast majority of people out there wouldn't bother with Kazaa and the like if there was a much easier and cheap way to legally buy music.

However, forcing them to pay a tax on computer equipment/internet connections when there's a very good chance that they'd never use their system for such things... No, not going to work.

A study I'd really be interested in (1)

genessy (587377) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889670)

I'd really like to hear a breakdown of how much "old" ( 2000 ) music has been downloaded. I haven't purchased or downloaded anything from the year 2000 on up from a major record label. It has nothing to do with prices, practices, or piracy; it has to do with the cookie cutter pop music mold that is all I ever seem to hear these days. Sure, many small, independent, failing record lables still have something out there to listen to, but you can find that often legally for pennies or for free.

Industry doesn't want big selection (1)

0verdun (628584) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889671)

The proposal in the article is not a silver bullet. From the article:
a simple computer program, such as those already in use on Internet retail sites, could track people's purchases and help them to dig through what would become a massive repository of music on the Web.
This is precisely what the big companies of the music industry don't want. They want high demand for a small number of items so they can charge a lot for a CD loaded with filler. Along the same lines, performer recognition is preferred above performer selection, again increasing the chance people will buy filler.

One Percent Sales Tac (1)

cyriustek (851451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889672)

I find it offensive that an industry would be allowed to demand a sales tax on Internet services and P.C. purchases.

If I never use my P.C. for music, I would still have to pay this fee. This would be pure theft at worst, or coersion at best.

As far as the five cent model goes, that is a good idea. Charge the people who use the music. I for one do not download music, and rarely buy music.

I would (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889673)

I would change. Sifting through all the music, finding a decent quality track, d/ling, etc can be a pain in the neck...my time is worth more then 5 cents per song. So yes I would.

Now I do think there are many people with my mindset, but I definitly do realize there are people out there who would find it difficult to pay 1 cent per song - or even 1 cent per CD!!! Why? Because people are cheap, want to get something for nothing, and people want to be "rebels".

If this price happened, I would say that it is the step in the RIGHT direction...in fact, at 5 cents per song (assuming no other strings attached) I would say that this is the nail that should shut the coffin and nobody could have a reasonable excuse as to why they are pirating instead of paying for the music.

Budget (1)

Inkieminstrel (812132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889674)

I think part of the problem is that people have a set budget of what they're willing/able to spend on buying music. For teenagers, this may be in the tens of dollars a year. If this buys them 20 songs a year, they're likely to pirate those other ones they can't afford. If this buys them 400 songs a year, they're much less likely to pirate.

In the end, though, I can't see the recording industry making much more than they currently do, piracy or not.

My music collection at 5 cents a track (1)

mindaktiviti (630001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889677)

$228.80. Although that's because of a hard drive failure. I'll just roughly multiply it with what I had and the new stuff I have now and it'd be about $1,000. Granted it'd be nice to pay $15 for the Aphex Twin discography but at a 320-500KB/sec compression rate. Even still, at this point in my life (student, broke ass), 5 cents wouldn't cut it for me since I can barely pay my bills. Once I have a full time job then I *might* ... You know what? Fuck it. I wouldn't do 5 cents. Fuck 'em. A lot of the music I listen to isn't pop anyway (i.e. IDM), so if I did have a disposable income I'd support the artists themselves by purchasing straight from the record label (i.e. Rephlex, Ghostly, warp, etc) or the artist even. So in reality I guess I'm not even their customer. :D ...Ah what the heck, I'll hit submit anyway.

I'd rather pay $0.99, please (2, Interesting)

iainl (136759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889681)

If the choice is between buying them from iTunes at the current cost, and paying a mere $0.05 but having to pay a subsidy on every. fecking. piece. of. hardware. ever. then I'll stick with the $0.99 please.

I've bought a total of 1(one) song through iTunes, because it was an import-only single that was going to cost me about ten times that for the physical version (DJ Shadow's Keane remix, fact fans). At even a 1% tax rate, I can tell you now I've bought a shitload more than $94 worth of hardware over the years.

You couldn't pay me to listen to DRM music (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889683)

As I've posted often here, I would pay $2 to $3 per song (the inflation adjusted equivalent of 45's c. 1980) provided it was without DRM. But you'd have to pay me at least $20 to listen to a good song that I would never be able to purchase and be able to listen to for the rest of my life.

Songs trigger memories, and songs are memories. I'm not willing to let corporations control my memories.

model's almost already up and working (1)

goldcd (587052) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889686)

allofmp3.com is a resonably well known quasi-legal outfit selling music, by the meg in whatever format/bitrate you want. Downside with it is that currently money isn't making it's way to the creators of it.
The service is cheap, but with economies of scale, could obviously get cheaper. Stick a % cost onto the tracks for artist royalties and you've got something which completely disproves the theory that you can't get much lower than 99c. It's there, it's working.

I already do (1)

metallikop (649953) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889687)

It's called http://www.allofmp3.com and songs only cost me between .01 and .08 depending on the size of the download. This site is the best thing to happen to music downloads, though, I'm not entirely sure of its legality. Songs cost .02 per meg, and you can specify your bitrate, format, etc. Beats the pants off of iTunes as far as cost is concerned.

1% sales tax? (1)

Spaceman40 (565797) | more than 9 years ago | (#11889690)

"In addition, a 1 per cent sales tax would be placed on Internet services and new computers -- two industries that many argue have profited enormously from rampant file-sharing, but haven't had to compensate artists."

Um, wait just a second there - so there are people out there that buy a new computer and get the Internet PURELY to download music free? Yeah, right.

Even if - the music industry doesn't need to be subsidized by the gov't. That's just wrong, on so many levels...
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