The question of “Does iTunes hurt or help you?” has been largely put to rest because of the power of iTunes. If you’re a new artist you’ll want to be on iTunes. They still have the power to launch careers.
But the question of will iTunes make you a lot of money…well that depends. It definitely makes some bands a lot of money…like The Beatles.
The deal that brought the Beatles’ discography to the iTunes store may be one of the most lucrative and groundbreaking contracts in the history of digital music, according to Reuters.
Industry sources say iTunes is paying royalties directly to the band’s company, Apple Corps, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, who control the majority of the band’s catalog.
If the details of this Beatles/iTunes deal are true, it means that the band are essentially licensing the master recordings to the store and cutting out several middlemen.
Though the Beatles’ apparent success in this deal is likely to inspire other huge acts to seek similar contracts, it could be that only the Fab Four have the leverage to pull it off. (more @RollingStone)
And then on the other side of the philosophical spectrum we have Kid Rock.
The decision by some artists such as Kid Rock, AC/DC and Garth Brooks to keep their music off iTunes to prevent a la carte digital song downloads has proven controversial.
..However Kid Rock’s “Born Free, flies in the face of this common wisdom. It’s sold an impressive 612,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan, without a single iTunes download. Taking into account a few assumptions, one can argue that “Born Free” would have sold roughly 294,000 units if fans were allowed to buy single tracks, at least by my calculations. By not allowing single tracks to be sold, Kid Rock has potentially made $3.3 million more in U.S. retail sales. (Via Billboard)
How does this information impact you and I? Well obviously most bands won’t be making secret deals with iTunes. At the same time Kid Rock’s approach, while making him money, isn’t what I would recommend either.
The benefit that both of these bands had is that their fanbases were installed prior to iTunes. New artists don’t have that benefit. You want exposure, you want to build your fanbase, and until something better comes along (Google music? lol) you should be on iTunes, whether it makes you money or not.
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