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Rory Cellan-Jones

China’s music sales won’t pay for Robbie

  • Rory Cellan-Jones
  • 4 Feb 08, 16:40 GMT

Some terrifying figures landed on my desk this morning and any music industry executives who cast a glance at them may want to lie down and weep as they contemplate their future.

The statistics arrived in a press release from the music industry trade body the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) trumpeting lawsuits against Chinese internet piracy. They outlined just how much consumers in what the press release describes as “potentially the largest online music-buying public in the world” currently spend on music.

Robbie Williams$76 million last year – around £40 million at today’s exchange rate. That’s about 3p per head. Or to put it another way, about half the amount EMI agreed to pay Robbie Williams in October 2002 when he signed a new contract.

So don’t the Chinese have any appetite for music? Or maybe they haven’t yet got enough internet connections to make digital downloads take off? Actually, there are as many broadband connections in China as in the US and one suspects the interest in music is just as great.

Unfortunately – from the record labels’ point of view – that interest is being satisfied without the inconvenience of paying for music. According to the IFPI, 99% of all digital music files distributed in China are pirated.

An IFPI spokesman told me the industry had hoped that the arrival of digital music would bring a fresh start after years in which China was a world leader in CD piracy. Naïve? Certainly.

And if the industry hopes its new wave of lawsuits will persuade giant Internet companies like Baidu and Yahoo China to behave themselves, further disappointment may lie ahead.

Of course, the behaviour of China’s new music fans is just an extreme version of what’s happening in the rest of the world. The industry has sued music consumers, threatened ISPs and challenged governments to stamp down on piracy. All without any noticeable effect. Someone may have to think of a new way of paying Robbie.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 07:40 PM on 04 Feb 2008,
  • Jorge wrote:

In the case of latin america is NOT possible to buy music from the major sellers (iTunes music store nor Amazon's mp3 store, the two major ones I know of). Credit cards need to be issued within specific countries, so how are we suppose to buy music online then?.
And since there's no China iTunes store I'm assuming it's the same situation.

To clarify, I'm talking about People's Republic of China (PRC) not Republic of China (Taiwan).

  • 2.
  • At 07:49 PM on 04 Feb 2008,
  • JDEdward wrote:

Before digital downloads became available the music industry held the general public to ransom - forcing them to pay through the nose for music tapes and CDs.

In the age of digital downloads those in charge try to extort more money from the decent public by issuing tracks with criminal DRM systems. Not content with setting limits on our enjoyment, they also intend to make UK citizens pay more than counterparts in the US and Europe just because we live in the UK.

Piracy could be viewed as a sort of pay back for the years the music industry has spent tormenting us and feeding its greed. I am not unhappy to hear that piracy exists or that the music industry is loosing money hand over fist because of it. The blame should be put at their door. After all who in the 21st Century needs them when you can produce your own music on a PC?

  • 3.
  • At 08:53 PM on 04 Feb 2008,
  • Bill Bailey wrote:

I guess if they wont pay we shouldn't buy from these guys? act strange for communists don't they?

  • 4.
  • At 12:30 AM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Bill Hull wrote:

When record companies change their prices they may make better profits once more.
If most downloads are pirated it is not a surprise when tracks are $1 a pop. Try charging 40c and seeing how much you make then when the consumer doesn't feel they are being ripped off and restricted. Bet the profits would double!

  • 5.
  • At 01:08 AM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Nelson wrote:

I live in a city of 8 million China. Most of the people who I have spoken to about money (average people) earn about 50 to 75 pounds a week. When it comes to music they have 2 options buy pirated stuff or don't listen to it. They certainly aren't going to be able to pay the extortionate prices that the music industry wants them to pay.

It was a little bit silly of them to give Robbie such a big contract especially as it seems obvious to every one not in the industry that they at deaths doors.

  • 6.
  • At 02:54 AM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Catherine - Hong Kong wrote:

Perhaps the reason that 99% of digital downloads are pirated is the absence of legal sites in Asia where you can pay to download music. Itunes Store, HMV Online and the rest are not available in Asia. My two children have IPods and I have been unable to find any legal means of adding music to their collection online whilst living in Hong Kong.

  • 7.
  • At 05:58 AM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • UM wrote:

Rory,

just out of curiosity, I wonder if you know the statistics for the number of Windows licenses sold in China?

I think the problem is not only with music and China. Intellectual property is simply too expensive for the developing world. Apple insists 70 hour weeks and a wage of $30 a month is a norm for China and they are more than happy to pay only $30 a month in their Chinese factories.

You wouldn't expect those people that produce the iPods to pay for music, would you?

  • 8.
  • At 08:10 AM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Tom wrote:

I have been living and working in China for the last 3 years and I can confirm that music is both extremely popular, here, and almost always unlawfully downloaded.

It's the same with DVDs. There are one or two shops (major department stores) in this city that sell a small selection of genuine DVDs and CDs, but hardly anyone buys them as the streets are full of small shops and street hawkers selling pirated versions at a fraction of the price (5 yuan for a pirated copy, compared to around 30 yuan for a genuine one).

Even buying films and music in this fashion is losing popularity, quickly, as just about everyone I know has his or her computer running day and night downloading pirated content from the web.

  • 9.
  • At 09:05 AM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • me wrote:

These figures arn't at all surprising, but they are funny.

"An IFPI spokesman told me the industry had hoped that the arrival of digital music would bring a fresh start after years in which China was a world leader in CD piracy"

What did they expect???

  • 10.
  • At 09:59 AM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • steve reid wrote:

I think its wonderful! For so long the music business has been ripping people off, and overcharging for its hedonistic ways. So what if people have to make money from touring and merchandise instead? Mind you - who would go and see bands now? the prices of tickets is unreal! Music and business. Two words that should never go together.

  • 11.
  • At 10:18 AM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Greg Meredith wrote:

Perhaps EMI should quietly consider the absurdity of one man being paid £80,000,000. Perhaps if he had been paid £25,000 a year (I reckon at a stretch he's worth paying the same as a senior Band 5 Staff Nurse) then non pirated music would be so much cheaper then there would be no market for pirated music. Then again maybe I should just get a singing career instead of saving lives and easing suffering.

  • 12.
  • At 10:27 AM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • nick chan wrote:

original CDs should be priced lower than cassettes as costs are lower. Only then i will buy

  • 13.
  • At 10:50 AM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • brian waine wrote:

Errr.... how about paying Robbie and his likes a little bit less? seems sensible!

  • 14.
  • At 10:51 AM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Stan wrote:

From the Guardian a couple of weeks back:

‘[EMI] is understood to have more than a million unsold copies of Robbie Williams's Rudebox album, which it will send to China to be crushed up and used in road surfacing and street lighting.’

So yeah, Robbie's CD is quite popular after all in China. However I must feel sorry for those who have to drive on China’s roads when it’s sunny. Ow.

  • 15.
  • At 11:08 AM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Nicholas Cameron wrote:

Comments like the one above show how much music has been devalued in recent years. Using production costs as a basis for purchase sounds ridiculous. For instance, the cost of clothes do not reflect the cost of fabric. Why should the cost of music reflect the cost of blank media?

I think that if labels want to survive they need to be aware of diversity in music and give all their artists equal support, rather than relying on 'big' (i.e. lowest common denominator) artists as tent-pole products. Also, if China will not pay for music, then don't spend money promoting music in China.

  • 16.
  • At 11:23 AM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • david hannah wrote:

Piracy is a misnomer. If, hypotheically, the IFPI managed to stamp out piracy completely in China, legal music sales would increase by maybe 5%.

For the IFPI and certain music executives piracy is the cover all excuse for their collective failure in bringing new and interesting music which the consumer would actually pay for.

If the BBC care to investigate how the music industry works (or rather doesn't work) in Asia, they may find they have the makings of some very interesting television programming.

  • 17.
  • At 11:33 AM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Jim-Og wrote:

The problem with record companies is greed. Eighties albums that made a record company a healthy profit in the days of vinyl are repackaged and now sold in a digital format in either CD's or digital download. The price for this repackaging normally £12/15 depending on the artist. How can this be reasonable!!

  • 18.
  • At 12:32 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Dan Pearson wrote:

In recent years we have seen tumbling prices of DVDs that have been out for a few months or even new release DVDs selling for just £10 as opposed to the RRP of £24.99. The green screen spectacle that was Frank Miller's 300 was only on sale for 2 months before an internet retailer was offering it for just £3.99. Needless to say it was their top seller for the next 2 months.

Though there are differences in marketing DVDs and CDs and the profit margins are different in the production of the material, I am sure the same principle would apply. I find that even when albums have been reduced, the price rarely drops below £5. Though this sounds trivial, it means that I could buy 2 DVDs instead.

I have always maintained that I would buy more new albums if they capped prices at £5 for new releases. The question is, are the record companies too greedy to save themselves from extinction? In the new digital age, home technology and the web might eventually make them unneccessary.

  • 19.
  • At 12:33 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Anonymous wrote:

the majors have been exploiting artists and music fans for long enough. they simply need to accept they can no longer reap the massive amounts of money they've grown accustomed to milking.

furthermore, rather than some musicians and artists surviving on the breadline whilst other entertainers like Robbie are being grossly overpaid it would be nice to see the playing field levelled out.

The music industry should be worried. The Internet not only makes pirating "their" artists easier but allows smaller artists to distribute their own work without the middle men taking their cut.
There is lots of music out their provided directly by bands for free to encourage us to go see them in concert, to buy their merchandise or perhaps to buy a CD version of their album. They build up a close relationship with their fan base and this in turn brings in the money.
The big recording companies no longer add any value when it doesn't take a big name to promote, just a big ego.

The music industry should be worried. The Internet not only makes pirating "their" artists easier but allows smaller artists to distribute their own work without the middle men taking their cut.
There is lots of music out their provided directly by bands for free to encourage us to go see them in concert, to buy their merchandise or perhaps to buy a CD version of their album. They build up a close relationship with their fan base and this in turn brings in the money.
The big recording companies no longer add any value when it doesn't take a big name to promote, just a big ego.

  • 22.
  • At 12:56 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

It's not just about the price of a CD, it's also about the quality of the songs. Too many artists bring out albums full of low end music. Artists often say some albums weren't their best work, so if that is the case then why to we have to pay for inferior products. Up the quality and drop the price and things will change alot faster than criminal cases.

  • 23.
  • At 12:56 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • A Barlow wrote:

It seems to me that, frankly, we aren't going to be paying Robbie, or anyone else, that kind of money any more for recording their music.

I think the best way for performers to keep their income up is to perform live.

  • 24.
  • At 12:59 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Bob Price wrote:

I agree with Nick Chan, the money they pay these singers (£80 million to RW) is way over the top, nobody is worth that amount just to sing a few songs. The buying public should rise up and refuse to buy any music products until the industry come back into the real world.

  • 25.
  • At 01:03 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Jamie Starbuck wrote:

Established bands should sell music via their own websites for a fraction of the cost of a current CD ie what they'd normally make. I suspect sales would go through the roof.

The music industry should be worried. The Internet not only makes pirating "their" artists easier but allows smaller artists to distribute their own work without the middle men taking their cut.
There is lots of music out their provided directly by bands for free to encourage us to go see them in concert, to buy their merchandise or perhaps to buy a CD version of their album. They build up a close relationship with their fan base and this in turn brings in the money.
The big recording companies no longer add any value when it doesn't take a big name to promote, just a big ego.

  • 27.
  • At 01:06 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Marc wrote:

The music industry is continuing to use a royalty based model to finance big stars. I like robbie, but this model no longer works and we should see the resurgence of incomes for people like robbie from sponsorship, appearances and concerts. Royalties creates an unprecedented distortion of wealth and new music distribution methods are efficient and inexpensive - there is no intrinsic cost so why should consumers pay at the levels 'justified' by itunes (and others)? When the music industry wakes up to this, artists will have a real chance to share their creativity and re-connect with their fan base.

  • 28.
  • At 01:11 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

It's not just about the price of a CD, it's also about the quality of the songs. Too many artists bring out albums full of low end music. Artists often say some albums weren't their best work, so if that is the case then why to we have to pay for inferior products. Up the quality and drop the price and things will change alot faster than criminal cases.

  • 29.
  • At 01:41 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Peter Akehurst wrote:

I'm sorry but does nobody see any moral issue here? The music industry is not the only industry that could be accused of ripping off the consumer. In fact that accusation is made at pretty much every industry at one time or another. I think downloaded music should be cheaper, a lot cheaper (there are no manuafacturing or disribution costs after all) but that does not give anyone the right to steal these companies products. If you think you are being ripped off then don't buy the product, you have that choice.
As far as I can see, the only reason anyone does it, is because it is easy to get away; you don't see many people making a 'stand' against petrol companies by driving off with a tank of petrol they haven't paid for. But then they have cameras don't they, not so easy to get away with.

  • 30.
  • At 02:36 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Amit wrote:

The dynamics of the Music industry is changing, its simple economics. The price are set by the BIG music labels, that give astronomical prices to the musicians. Now, if there is excess demand thanks to all the advertising and the huge price tag, then Piracy will rule.

If, only the companies would charge with respect to Purchasing Power then more asian and Latin american public will go legal.

I think its time to revise the music industry business plan,

  • 31.
  • At 02:52 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • JoeShark wrote:

A Barlow - income from gigs is just as polarised as from record sales with the biggest acts making an obscene profit, while the newer/ lesser known bands more-often-than-not actually lose money on tour.

Music fans will still play for a product they like - whether this be legal downloads (which need to come down in proce to really catch on) or a physical CD.
If more bands/ labels put time and effort into making something people want to buy - ie a nicely packaged CD with good artwork and good music - rather than concentrating on spending millions on producing a couple of 'hits' and sticking 10 tracks of filler on a record, then more acts would have strong loyal fanbases.


The Robbie deal comparison isnt really relevent - that's a headline figure including lots of 'options' etc - and I believe that deal was also unique because it incorporated rights for merchandising/ income other than purely 'record sales' - obviously partly to cover their backs when it was obvious record sales were falling.

Unfortunately they didnt account for Robbie's output to be so lame and his fans to lose interest so quickly.

  • 32.
  • At 02:54 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • cav wrote:

I had to look up who Robbie Williams was. I gather he is some manufactured talent like Britney Spears. What makes him so valuable? Does he really have talent? I don't know. What I do know is that most of the music that is produced today is totally forgettable and without merit. What makes a copy of a particular tune worth $1 US? Is it because the artist shows the world her hooch when getting out of a car? If I want that I can turn my female German Shepherd around. What cute quirk does Robbi Williams have?
It is a real heart-breaker that the big recording companies are no longer able to monopolize the music industry. They have had it their own way too long.
If they can't adapt let em die. The world will be no worse off with the loss of 50 cent and similar "talent"

  • 33.
  • At 03:15 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • mark wrote:

Why is it in these articles that everyone cheers the demise of the record companies pointing out that- who needs them when you can make and distribute music over the internet without them.

It seems that if you sold on the internet in China and one million downloaded your song, only 10,000 would have paid for it. Making you the artist a wonderful profit of about 3000 quid.

How would for example a nurse feel if he/she only got paid for attending 1% of all their patients or a shopkeeper could only charge his 100th customer.

Sod the record companies, if you steal music you steal from the artist of which only a tiny tiny percentage of us are wealthy.


  • 34.
  • At 03:43 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Hedley Lamarr wrote:

Thought provoking article. Made me think about the changes happening at EMI under Terra Firma - all the artists getting uppity and jumping ship.

My 2p worth:

1) The whole industry (artists and record labels) made so much money out of CDs that they started to think this was normal. Now there is a 'correction' caused by the digital landscape they don't like it. For Robbie William's manager to talk about 'striking' is frankly pathetic; both the artists and record labels need to realise that the cash cow days are over - ironically for the prima-donna artists quoted in the press recently Guy Hands might be the only one actually doing something about this in order to safeguard what little will remain of their industry.

2) I don't see any solutions coming from the music industry. If iTunes didn't exist, would they have invented it? I doubt it.

  • 35.
  • At 03:58 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Bill B wrote:

I think many older people are sick of repeat buying the same music. I have bought since 1979 the same album on, Cassette, LP, CD, Mini disc, DCC (which was destined to fail), Super Audio CD and now downloadable WMA (with DRM).

  • 36.
  • At 04:24 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • SB wrote:

The reason that you can buy your cheapie cheap MP3 player or just about any other domestic product is largely because of these Chinese people earning their pitiful wage. No wonder piracy is perhaps even more rampant in their homeland than elsewhere.

  • 37.
  • At 04:51 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Reub wrote:

First of all, piracy is not technically theft. The Artist is not losing anything. They (or their record company) retain ownership of the recording; they also retain royalty rights. It's just that they don't gain anything tangible from their product being illegally downloaded.
What they do gain however is exposure: An artist whose product is illegally downloaded will gain popularity, which in turn boosts radio and TV play, which creates royalties. Let's not forget that a very large proportion of an artist's income is from royalties, as opposed to mechanical sales. Furthermore, an artist will attract more people to live shows as a result of greater exposure.

Does every illegal download of a Robbie Williams album constitute a loss (or theft) of £15 from the Robbie Williams Estate? Nonsense. When a listener can download something for free, it dissolves the neccessity to be selective with choices. This means that only a miniscule percentage of people who downloaded Robbie's 'Rudebox'would have actually bought it: practically nothing is lost by its free distribution.

Regardless of how much modern technology will contribute to change in the music industry, there will always be a demand for a package, a physical and tangible product that people can purchase and take home. It is the responsibility of Artists and labels to make prices attractive enough for consumers.

  • 38.
  • At 04:57 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Reub wrote:

First of all, piracy is not technically theft. The Artist is not losing anything. They (or their record company) retain ownership of the recording; they also retain royalty rights. It's just that they don't gain anything tangible from their product being illegally downloaded.
What they do gain however is exposure: An artist whose product is illegally downloaded will gain popularity, which in turn boosts radio and TV play, which creates royalties. Let's not forget that a very large proportion of an artist's income is from royalties, as opposed to mechanical sales. Furthermore, an artist will attract more people to live shows as a result of greater exposure.

Does every illegal download of a Robbie Williams album constitute a loss (or theft) of £15 from the Robbie Williams Estate? Nonsense. When a listener can download something for free, it dissolves the neccessity to be selective with choices. This means that only a miniscule percentage of people who downloaded Robbie's 'Rudebox'would have actually bought it: practically nothing is lost by its free distribution.

Regardless of how much modern technology will contribute to change in the music industry, there will always be a demand for a package, a physical and tangible product that people can purchase and take home. It is the responsibility of Artists and labels to make prices attractive enough for consumers.

  • 39.
  • At 05:02 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Colin Middleton wrote:

I tend to buy all my music. I love to buy new CD's and vinyl and take quite a bit of pride in my record collection. I also spend quite a bit of time in what seem to be always crowded independent music shops. It's funny that all the big dinosaurs of the music industry are complaining about this downturn in sales and loss of profits. Has anyone asked Rough Trade or Beggars Banquet or any of the other independant labels out there if they are suffering a similar fate? I doubt they are. It seems as though it's the pop industry thats taking a real beating here and who could care less.

  • 40.
  • At 05:10 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • J Harv wrote:

Yep speak to most musicians, they make little or no money off cd sales, it is all from live. Which is where the independants come in, play a live gig, do a good show, sell a few cds, everybody's happy. Money is also earned from royalties. Its the publishers making money off sales. Put downloads at a low and proportional rate ie. 20p for low quality and say 60p for high and they'd be laughing, that would boost sales definately. It'll come, they'll learn.

  • 41.
  • At 05:18 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

I don't understand why there seems to be tacit support here for what is basically theft.

If you can't afford the price of cavier, it doesn't mean you have a right to steal it!

For every Robbie and Kylie, there are thousands of talented and struggling musicians that piracy takes money away from - denial of which could end a career, and deny us music we would love.

If you want a product of any nature, then you should pay a fair price for it. And that's a message that the pirates on both sides should heed.

  • 42.
  • At 05:55 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Jennifer wrote:

if you've ever been to china you should know that buying one CD (pirate) will cause less then a pound (on average two CDs are about $20 each, about £1.30). Its also extremely hard to find a proper CD shop that doesn't sell pirate, and the ones that don't are up to three or four times more expensive. Furthermore, the average chinese persons income is nothing compared to an English person's.

  • 43.
  • At 07:12 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Iain Budgen wrote:

Half the problem with the music industry at the moment is not just the recore company, but the digital download services.
With itunes it could take months for songs to be released although the song regularly played on TV and is available on the US version.
These companies are not wise to the fact that if something is unavailable, it is easily aquired elsewhere. Despite providing this technology, the ideas behind it are still stuck in the 20th century.
It is because of this that piracy is rife. It is all a case of supply andd demand.

  • 44.
  • At 08:40 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Dominic Maguire wrote:

The record industry has a long and very unfortunate history of corruption. How many artists have been robbed blind?

When Terra Firma bought EMI they found huge amounts of cash spent on "candles and fresh flowers". What other industry would underwrite the cost of cocaine consumption?

There is no problem with artists being paid properly and if
they want to waste it on drugs then its their problem. Cut-out the corrupt middle-man and if people in China and elsewhere start paying even 10p per release (which is feasible) then it will work-out ok.

  • 45.
  • At 09:08 PM on 05 Feb 2008,
  • Kaedy wrote:

I think that music piracy has both good and bad aspects. Yes, musicians are losing money along with the companies who represent them. But in the past the cost of a tape or album has made it improbable, if not impossible, for consumers who dont have a lot of extra money to spend to expand their music horizons or to purchase the music they like. I love the idea of being able to preview new music and if I like it, I have the option of supporting the music by buying the CD, attending a concert, buying merchandise, etc. Its not like they still dont make money, just not as much as thier greedy pockets were used to.

Hi, I'm running an independent record label up in Coventry right now, with strong interests to cross over to asia and explore the music market dynamics there myself.
Good luck me lol.

I am actually researching this whole subject as part of my degree and I find all the comments fascinating.

Major labels greed, stupid payments to horrific artists (although admittedly i did like old Robbie... after the boy band stuff), and the big question whether there should even be a music industry. Put against morals and law breaking, starving the independent musician.
All of this is ammunition for my essays so please keep it coming.


I must admit I am fond of the poetic justice in apple paying the Chinese workforce so little and in turn loosing their largest potential media market.

  • 47.
  • At 12:47 AM on 06 Feb 2008,
  • Shoukat wrote:

All this may be NEWS to the Western music industry but this situation has existed always as regards music & films on the Indian subcontinent and their diaspora.

And still the industry flourishes!

By the way where people live on a dollar a day 3 pence (6 cents) is a lot of money!!!!!

Oh well the self indulgent executives and the 'star' will have to make do with fewer Fararries and homes etc. What frugal life the pirates enforce upon them!

  • 48.
  • At 01:35 AM on 06 Feb 2008,
  • Dave Robo wrote:

Wow, did EMI really pay that ? Fair play, Robbie son/san. Hey, can your lawyer negotiate my next pay rise for me ?

Anyway, onto the music industry. Sorry lads, its all over for you. You've had it. And you Hollywood, you've had it too.

The traditional market is dead. Better find a Plan B - and fast.

Hint - If I were you I would start working out a way of charging people via ISPs for how much they download. Then it won't matter if its legal or illegal material they are downloading.

  • 49.
  • At 08:50 AM on 06 Feb 2008,
  • Marko wrote:

Nothing in the world gives me more pleasure than reading about pains of the record companies.They are simply begging for it and it serves them right when they eventually get it.I happen to be living in rip-off Britain when I have to pay 79p for the track whilst my European counterparts get the same thing for mere 64p.Plus, the music is also protected by DRM and,wait 'till you hear this,my songs only play while I am subscribed.I stop subscription and loose all my songs.What a fantastic world we are living in.Rather than sitting on their fat backsides in plush boardrooms thinking of the way to rip me off how about spending some time discussing fair pricing for all,especially us in Britain.This applies for the software too. Fortunately,somebody found the way to remove DRM protection so what the heck am I complaining about anyway.

  • 50.
  • At 12:02 PM on 06 Feb 2008,
  • Michael Bradley wrote:

Maybe they don't like Robbie Williams?

Can't say I blame them.

  • 51.
  • At 12:48 PM on 07 Feb 2008,
  • Paul Irwin wrote:

Is there no musicians in the world now who makes music for the love of making music?I certainly havent asked U2(my fav band btw)to make their music its their choice,i just happened to catch 1 of their tunes 1 day and i was hooked,i have attended 3 of their concerts, seen their movie rattle and hum in the cinema twice,and have purcahsed(qued up at midnight)on the day the joshua tree and their album rattle and hum was released,as bono said at slane castle every fan has gave the band so much money over the years from they began...when their next album comes out i think sometime this year i will not buy it infact i will burn a few copies for my mates etc and i will tell you why.
ISPs reject U2 manager's call to monitor Internet usage

http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0130/downloads.html

regards..paul

  • 52.
  • At 01:45 PM on 07 Feb 2008,
  • Ken wrote:

I'm just wondering how much of that turnover is attributed to Chinese musicians?

  • 53.
  • At 05:21 PM on 07 Feb 2008,
  • Steve wrote:

I run an independant record label here in the UK. Even though we need to outsource our production and manufacturing of our artists releases due to the fact that we're still really small, even for an indie, we can still afford to sell a new release for around £6/7 (depending on how it's packaged etc). And we do. Our artists also recieve between 40% and 50% of all income from the sale of their music, 75% of income from live performances and 100% of income from merchandise.

The only reason that CD's and such cost so much for the consumer is because the labels WANT that much. The likes of EMI, SONY etc could easily put out records for £3 and still make a profit. It's all down to the greed of both the labels and the artists. And if EMI refused to pay Robbie Williams £80m, then someone else would have.

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