October 01, 2006

From the WTF file - Artists make LESS from iTunes

Taken from a Question and Answer post on Weird Al Yankovic's blog/MySpace....
Tim Sloane of Ijamsville, MD asks: Al, which of these purchasing methods should I use in order to make sure the most profit gets to you: Buying one of your albums on CD, or buying one of your albums on iTunes?

I am extremely grateful for your support, no matter which format you choose to legally obtain my music in, so you should do whatever makes the most sense for you personally. But since you ASKED I actually do get significantly more money from CD sales, as opposed to downloads. This is the one thing about my renegotiated record contract that never made much sense to me. It costs the label NOTHING for somebody to download an album (no manufacturing costs, shipping, or really any overhead of any kind) and yet the artist (me) winds up making less from it. Go figure.

What the hell is up with that? Is the RIAA purposefully architecting it so that artists get less money from their digital sales than they do for their physical sales? (conspiracy theory), or is it just taking time for investments in digital sales mediums to catch up with the profit margin on same?

Hopefully, sometime in the NEAR future, this will be reversed, and Weird Al and other digital netizens will be able to use the Internet to make money, not lose it.