The Music Industry's Bullying must stop! sign now

The Music Industry is unfairly using its muscle to scare Steve Jobs and Apple to raise prices on the iTunes Music Store. Shortly over a year ago, the iTunes Music Store opened its online doors and helped the music industry regain much of the losses of the piracy era by making music exciting and reasonable to buy again. After recent statements that Apple will support consumers and not raise prices on music, the music industry is threatening to pull out of iTunes unless Apple decides to further support the profit margins of Music Labels. We wish to let the music industry know that if such tactics are used to bully consumer supporting companies, their accomplishments will be in vain.
On every 99 cent download labels get approximately 55 cents and it costs them practically nothing to package, distribute, etc. There are nearly no costs involved in the online distribution of music increasing profits per download compared to traditional methods. Why does the music industry wish to raise prices? It has nothing to do with them "losing" money, but rather the interests of stockholders whom are interested in increased growth each quarter. Since the music industry is unwilling to expand the mainstream music market by signing new artists, reducing the high incomes of a few popstars that live lavish lifestyles, or by tapping new markets, they simply wish to increase current pricesas they did with CDs years ago. The music industry must realize that raising prices will not accomplish anything and only recreate the problems Apple is trying to prevent.
Music Executives feel that Apple owes them a cut on iPod sales as they believe the demand for iPods has to do with the availablilty of music for purchase online. It is quite the contrary. Online music is not driving iPod sales, but iPod sales are driving the online music market. The reason for this has to do with prices for singles being kept to a psychologically pleasing cost and the ease of clicking only once to purchase and transfer the music to your MP3 player. The music industry must realize that raising prices will only hurt their industry and consumers, not Apple. People listen to music regardless of how they obtain it. It is quite unfortunate we have to support the music industry when we attempt to support an artist. The further the industry alienates consumers, the further we will attempt to bypass the industry by other means.
The industry forgets that the iPod was around for nearly two years before the launch of the iTunes Music Store and was a hit before this launch. How did people fill their iPods before iTunes Music Store? Some purchased CDs, some loaded their CDs they already owned, and some pirated the music. Why did many individuals choose the latter two? Because many people are extremely unhappy with the experiene they have when purchasing new music. They would rather buy a CD at a concert in which profits to the artist is higher, load an older CD because the industry doesn't listen to consumers and produces the same pop over and over and thus people don't get excited by music, or if they do enjoy a song from a new CD, they download it since they can't justify the 18 dollar price of buying 11 other songs that have little art to them. The iTunes Music Store solved this problem by allowing the purchase of a single song. However, this didn't change the overall problem the Music Industry is missing.
The average iTunes account has purchased 60 songs. That's $59.40. Certainly not enough money to fill an iPod. So how are people filling their players? By listening to independent artists, their old songs, as well as other ways not filling the pockets of the industry. The only thing increasing prices will do is drive people away from online purchases, leading them back to traditional means of obtaining musicadding to the piracy problem, shrinking the number of "marketable" bands in American music, and decreasing the cultural diversity of the American public.
The music industry should be charging less per track if anything. The music store introduces customers to new artists, offers users a way to keep track of music they eventually want, offers a huge variety of music that is continually updated, allows out of print albums to be purchased, provide a strong user experience that encourages purchases (perhaps more than any other store besides Amazon), and increases profit margins compared with physical CDs. Further, the storage capacity of computers and iPods allow for growth more than traditional means since if one wishes to obtain the full potential of their iPod, they must fill it to the max.
If the Music Industry decides to pull out of iTunes, I will fully support the usage of iTunes and iPod into the future because these two pieces offer a music user experience like nothing else on the market. Further, I will support the iTunes Music Store by increasing the number of independent musicians I never knew were independents. I will also hope that musicians signed to your labels will decide to slowly migrate to online music stores without the assistance of the music industry. If the future of music is through an online music distribution model and the music industry is not supportive of consumers, I don't see the need for the music industry and hope this middle man will be eliminated. Let music speak for itselfI don't need people forcing it down my throats. With features such as New Music Tuesday podcasts, Podcasts in general, iMixes, and 30-second previews, let consumers discover their own music and leave us be. Either stop being greedy or we'll stop being generous.

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Annmarie CollinsBy:
Petition target:
The Recording Industry


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