Apple Blames Record Labels For Higher iTunes Prices In Australia

Source: http://www.tonedeaf.com.au/news/local-news/283866/283866.htm

Last Friday March 22nd, representatives from some of the world’s biggest IT companies were brought before a government inquiry in Canberra to explain why Australian consumers were paying up to 50% more for digital music, and the “Australian-Tax” that’s applied to many digital products, but a representative from Apple has blamed the inflated pricing on record labels, not its own pricing policies.

The iTunes owners were just one of several computer companies, including Microsoft and Adobe, dragged before the government inquiry, spearheaded by Sydney Labor MP Ed Husic after several months pursuing the IT companies who were avoiding invitations to submit their case and refusing multiple requests to appear before the committee.

By mid-February, the government had stepped in to say ‘enough is enough’ and forced Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe before the inquisition. “This is an important move but one we shouldn’t have to take,” Mr Husic said at the time. ”These firms should have cooperated and been prepared to be more open and transparent about their pricing approaches.”

The IT pricing inquiry’s main goal was to understand, and make transparent to the general public, how large computer firms priced their digital content, and explain why the price of products was so much higher in Australia compared to the US.

The public transcript from the Friday 22nd March hearing has yet to be published, but according toComputer Worlda representative from Apple has blamed the inflated pricing in Australia on the record companies that provide the music, saying that the rates they charge on iTunes reflect those they must pay to rights holders in Australia.

Tony King, Vice President for Apple Australia, New Zealand and South Asia, told the hearing that, “Apple must pay the rights holders of the digital content, being the record labels, movie studios and TV networks to distribute content in each of the territories in which the iTunes store exists.” 

“The pricing of this digital content is based on the wholesale prices which are set through negotiated contracts with the record labels… In Australia they [often] set a higher wholesale price…” – Tony King, Vice President for Apple Australia, New Zealand and South Asia

 

“The pricing of this digital content is based on the wholesale prices which are set through negotiated contracts with the record labels, movie studios and TV networks,” King said. “In Australia they have often set a higher wholesale price than the price of similar content in the United States.”

King noted that iTunes pricing for digital content is similar to the retail pricing of CDs, DVDs, and other physical media, urging the committee to ask rights holders, and not companies like Apple, why they charge more in Australia.

The VP also pointed towards higher prices for Apple software and hardware being due to distribution costs. “Apple must consider differences between countries in product costs, freight charges, local sales taxes, levies, import duties, channel economics, competition and local laws regarding advertised prices.”

Speaking to Tone Deaf in response to the issue, AIR General Manager Nick O’Byrne says that “the current inflated Australian price is a function of the strong Australian dollar, not label greed.”

Adding that, “owners of recordings (artists and labels) should be able to choose their own price-points for music. Intervention on pricing by government in this case would be extremely unwelcome for the small businesses that we represent.”

Mr O’Byrne continued to say that consumers should instead be voting with the choice of where to spend, and in supporting independent music. ”Most independents release their music through several channels; bandcamp, iTunes, and streaming services – so if the consumer is unhappy with an iTunes price then they are easily able to find a different mode of consumption which suits their budget,” says Mr O’Byrne.

AIR ran their own feature on the pricing issue last June, noting the disparity between American and Australian iTunes (for the cost of a single) has grown since the launch of the Australian iTunes store  in October 2005, but also notes:

Between October 2005 and today, the lowest exchange rate we’ve had is US $0.65 (in February 2009). This meant that the equivalent price for a song on Australian iTunes was AU $1.099 per song. If we take into account 10% GST (which is not charged on US iTunes) then we find that Australian iTunes prices matched US prices almost EXACTLY.

Despite the fluctuation in the Aussie dollar, Independent consumer watchdog, CHOICE undertook an investigation of its own into inflated prices, revealing that the percentage hike was closer to 67%, while their report also contained one particularly revealing case for a Microsoft development product, finding that “an Australian shopper was better off paying for return flights to LA to buy the item in the US instead.”

Executive director of The Australia Institute, economist Richard Denniss has genuine concerns over whether consumers are aware of such pricing discrepancies. ”I don’t know that many people realise just how ripped off we’ve been,” he said in a recent News Ltd interview. All of this, in spite of Australia’s powerful dollar, currently buying $US 1.03.

The government and the inquiry pricing committee are hoping that the light shed on the dynamics of digital pricing system will help ascertain how to develop fairer pricing policies, that will help inform any future legislation, placing pressure on digital distributors and retailers to pass on some of the savings they’re experiencing with the growing economic strength of the Australian dollar.

Tone Deaf also reached out to ARIA Chief Executive Officer Dan Rosen for comment, but he was unavailable at the time of print.

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CD Baby vs ADED.US Music Distribution

aded.us music distribution logo

If you’re a musician, chances are that, at some point, you’re going to want to sell your music on itunes, amazon, spotify, google play, etc.. And when you do, you will be shopping for the best distributor for the job.

So, the classic choice comes down to quality vs. quantity. If you don’t mind forking over a huge chunk of money up front then you’ll probably want to sign up with CD Baby. But, before you do that, let’s take a look at whether or not that’s the best decision.

CD Baby likes to boast and brag about the amount of money they pay out to their artists from time to time. But the question you should be asking yourself despite these numbers is: How much money is CD Baby making off the artists? So, let’s dig into that…

CD Baby recently raised their rates (again). They currently charge $12.95 to distribute a single and $49 to distribute an album. Now that’s per album per year. CD Baby is what you might deem a “set it and forget it” kind of company. Meaning once they get your money, they’ll put your album up onto the stores and that’s the last you’ll hear from them. There is no checking things and verifying things portion of their business.

A relatively new company is trying to fill that gap. ADED.US Music Distribution (f/k/a ADEDistribution) bills themselves moreso as a service company. Their prices (in the long run) become drastically lower than CD Baby’s as well. Instead of paying a big chunk of money up front, if you become a member (at $5 a month) you are instantly entitled to cheaper distribution rates. This rate starts at $3 and it doesn’t matter whether you’re distributing 1 song (a single) or up to 19 songs (an album). You also have the ability to skip the monthly payments and pay for a year’s worth of membership up front for $45, instantly saving you $15 off of what would be a $60 annual cost were you to pay monthly.

They also do something CD Baby doesn’t. They build custom artist pages and verify the store links for your music so that you can track and promote with one click, as opposed to CD Baby’s generic, non-informative, auto generated pages.

Now, ADED.US doesn’t currently have contracts with as many stores as CD Baby, but here’s something CD Baby probably won’t mention. Most of those “extra stores” CD Baby delivers to aren’t lucrative for the artist because they just aren’t that popular with music buyers. ADED.US focuses on the top selling stores (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play and some others) but does have plans to expand to include other stores in the future.

Now, let’s focus on the numbers again:

If you were to distribute 2 albums with CD Baby, it would cost you $98 over the course of a year. If you were to distribute 2 albums with ADED.US, it would cost you $51-$66 over the course of a year depending on whether or not you chose the annual ($51) or month-to-month ($66) plan.

Click here to sign up with ADED.US

Uodate: ADED.US has since unveiled their ‘Ultimate Package’. Artists that sign up for this package are given 12 ‘distribution credits’, meaning that they can distribute up to 12 projects every year at no extra cost. When you pay for the Ultimate Package, it covers all of your membership and store placement fees as well

CD Baby Review

aded.us music distribution logo
This info provided courtesy of the MakellBird.info blog

We’ve decided to further explain the ins-n-outs of digital distribution by showing comparisons of the top companies in the field. Today we will examine the pricing and payment structures of the CD Baby and ADED.US Music Distribution

Cost for a single: 
ADED.US Music Distribution (aded.us) $5 a month + $3 per single, album, EP you are submitting
– Cost for a single: $9.95
– Cost for an album: $49
– Only pays 91% of royalties (this is how they get more $ out of you)
– Pays 2 months after product is sold
– Time it takes to appear on iTunes: up to 2 weeks (they claim 48 hours)
Winner: ADED.US Music Distribution The amount of money you’d save with ADEDistribution in the long run, assuming you plan to release more projects in the future, is a huge discount compared to CDBaby’s pricing scheme. This also means that ADEDistribution has a much lower start-up cost than CDBaby: $8 vs. $9.95 or $49
Cost for an album:
CD Baby $49/year
ADED.US Music Distribution $3 one time fee for members
WinnerADED.US Music Distribution no explanation necessary
Percentage of royalties you get back from the distributor:
CD Baby: 91%
Time it takes to see your album on iTunes:
CD Baby 2 weeks or more
WinnerADED.US Music Distribution no explanation necessary
Time it takes to receive royalties back:
CDBaby 2-4 months
ADEDistribution 25-45 days after the month in which product sold
Time it takes to get a response from company:
CD Baby up to a month or even NEVER (according to a lot of angry customers)
ADED.US Music Distribution less than 24 hours, reports have shown sometimes even with 4 hours
Final Verdict: Numerous complaints from unhappy customers along with long wait times all around and high pricing make CD Baby undesireable in these times and they simply can not hold a candle to ADED.US Music Distribution

Microsoft launches Xbox music, but can it take on iTunes?

Microsoft Corp on Monday announced that Xbox Music, a digital music service to vie with Apple Inc’s iTunes and Amazon.com Inc’s Cloud Player, will be available for its Xbox game consoles on Tuesday.

The service will be expanded to Windows software-based computers and tablets, including the upcoming Surface tablet, from 26 October, when Microsoft launches Windows 8. How to sell put music songs a song on itunes store amazon spotify facebook twitter google. It will be expanded to phones shortly after that.

The world’s largest software maker has been trying for years to make the household living room an entertainment hub with its Xbox. More than 67 million units have been sold since 2005.

The launch of the Xbox music service: Reuters

About 18 months ago, the company realized that Xbox users were spending half to 60 percent of their time on entertainment services rather than video gaming, Xbox Music general manager Jerry Johnson said.

The market-leading video game console already streams Netflix, ESPN and other channels and is bolstering its service with music and other video content.

“We also realize, as an entertainment company, that music is an important ingredient on its own and as a part of different user experiences,” Johnson said.

Xbox Music replaces Microsoft’s digital media brand Zune that struggled to compete with iTunes.

Microsoft will offer a free ad-supported music streaming service, and a premium $9.99 subscription service for unlimited, ad-free streaming.

The service includes a download-to-own music store with over 30 million songs in its global catalog, more than iTunes’ library of over 26 million songs. It also carries over 70,000 music videos, available only on the Xbox console.

It has cloud-storage features similar to iTunes and Amazon Cloud Player and an artist-based radio function like music streaming services Pandora and Spotify.

Xbox Music will be available in 22 countries. Microsoft hopes to take the service to Apple iOS and Google Inc Android devices next year.

 Source

Netherlands Sell your music on itunes amazon spotify facebook twitter

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Sign up at http://www.aded.us

This is an English to Dutch translation for our friends in The Netherlands

It was written by a member named Wessel Bakker

Maak jij muziek en wil jij het iets serieuzer aan gaan pakken? Dan kan ADEDistribution je helpen. Door jou muziek hier naar toe te sturen kan jij jou muziek verkopen op iTunes, Amazon en Spotify. En dat tegen een prijs van maar $5 per maand en $3 per single, album of EP die je instuurt.

I don’t know how that compares to what Google Translate pops up but let’s see:

hoe om muziek te verkopen op facebook
hoe u nummers te verkopen op facebook
hoe u een song te verkopen op facebook
hoe muziek op facebook
hoe u nummers op facebook
hoe u een song op facebook
hoe om muziek te verkopen op spotify
hoe om muziek te verkopen op itunes store
hoe om muziek te verkopen op Amazon
hoe muziek op itunes store
hoe muziek op amazon winkel
hoe muziek op spotify winkel
hoe u nummers verkopen op itunes store
hoe u nummers verkopen op spotify winkel
hoe u nummers te verkopen op Amazon winkel
hoe u nummers op itunes store
hoe u nummers op amazon
hoe u nummers op spotify
hoe u een song op itunes store
hoe u een song op spotify
hoe u een song op amazon
hoe u een song verkopen op itunes store
hoe u een song verkopen op spotify
hoe u een song te verkopen op Amazon

Digital Distribution How To Sell Music on iTunes FaceBook Spotify Twitter Amazon

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The word digital distribution seems to be more geared towards the film and game industry. It’s almost as if people forgot that this term was first used to describe the process of selling your music on stores or sites like itunes amazon spotify facebook and twitter.

In terms of a list of aggregators or a list of distributors in regards to those that work with independent musicians, the best distributor is ADEDistribution the best distribution company is ADEDistribution at http://aded.us

They teach you how to sell put your music songs a song on itunes amazon spotify facebook amazon twitter etc.

Thanks to the information posted on the MakellBird.info blog we have been able to determine two things:

  1. TuneCore Review still not better or cheaper than ADEDistribution
  2. CDBaby Review still not better or cheaper than ADEDistribution

If we were to compare the companies, ADEDistribution vs. TuneCore WINNER ADEDistribution

ADEDistribution is better than TuneCore

If we were to compare the companies, ADEDistribution vs. CDBaby WINNER ADEDistribution

ADEDistribution is better than CDBaby

Sign up with ADEDistribution at http://www.aded.us

How to sell music on FaceBook

Being that FaceBook is currently the largest social networking site in the world, it is imperative to find a niche customer base to advertise or direct market your music to. Never doubt the power of word-of-mouth. And now, on to the business of selling your music on FaceBook…

I will divide this tutorial into 3 sections/steps:

  1. Finding a distributor
  2. Getting your links
  3. Building your buttons

1. Finding a distributor

Obviously, if this is your first go-around at selling your music online, you’ll want to deal with the distributor with the lowest start-up costs and is geared at doing exactly what you want. Currently, the best digital distribution company for music is ADEDistribution. They have several tutorial videos aimed at helping you better understand the distribution process and promoting your music online through direct marketing. They also happen to have the lowest start-up costs and are much cheaper than services like TuneCore, CDBaby, Songcast, and OneRPM.

If you haven’t already, click here to sign up with ADEDistribution

2. Getting your links

Once you’ve fully signed up with ADEDistribution and paid to distribute your single, EP, or album, ADEDistribution will then place and sell your music on itunes, amazon, and spotify. The time varies as to when your content will appear on these stores. When they do appear on these stores, you will need to search for your music’s listing on each individual store. Once you’ve found the page for your music, you will need to copy-n-paste the links to said music into a notepad or spreadsheet. Your links should look something like this:

This is a single by MrGullers called “Never Let Me Go” and it is distributed by ADEDistribution

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/never-let-me-go-single/id557797870

To get this, right click the album title and click COPY LINK

http://open.spotify.com/album/06riPAyeflsBJt1WAgyJSF

To get this, right click the album title and click COPY LINK

http://amzn.com/B009PU4TLM

To get this smaller version of your Amazon link, click the little envelope/e-mail icon on the right hand side of your album’s page. A smaller window will pop up showing you the Permalink. Copy-n-Paste the Permalink.

We will use a blank example and a modified example (using the links above) in step 3

3. Building your buttons

What you want to do now is build cross promotion buttons that will effectively promote your music from the 3 stores (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify) to the 3 largest social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+)

Here is the blank example of the prepopulating button code for FaceBook. Copy-n-Paste theses code into your notepad near your 3 store links from earlier and only change the AddYourLinkHere part.

iTunes to FaceBook
<a href=”https://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=AddYourItunesLinkHere” target=”_blank”><input type=”button” value=”iTunes x FaceBook” /></a>

Spotify to FaceBook
<a href=”https://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=AddYourSpotifyLinkHere” target=”_blank”><input type=”button” value=”Spotify x FaceBook” /></a>

Amazon to FaceBook
<a href=”https://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=AddYourAmazonLinkHere” target=”_blank”><input type=”button” value=”Amazon x FaceBook” /></a>

Here is the what the modified example (using the links from MrGullers’ music) would look like.:

iTunes to FaceBook
<a href=”https://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=&#8221;http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/never-let-me-go-single/id557797870” target=”_blank”><input type=”button” value=”iTunes x FaceBook” /></a>

Spotify to FaceBook
<a href=”https://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=http://open.spotify.com/album/06riPAyeflsBJt1WAgyJSF” target=”_blank”><input type=”button” value=”Spotify x FaceBook” /></a>

Amazon to FaceBook
<a href=”https://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=http://amzn.com/B009PU4TLM” target=”_blank”><input type=”button” value=”Amazon x FaceBook” /></a>

That’s it! Now, just copy-n-paste your new code into your webpage or blog post and you will have fully functional one-click buttons to promote and sell your music on FaceBook.

Click any of the buttons below to see our example work!