by Coleen Singer at Sssh.com Erotica for Women and Couples
In an bold and laudable move, award-winning singer/producer Taylor Swift took Apple to task this week, politely informing them that she will be withholding her album “1989” from Apple’s streaming service because she says the company is unfairly withholding royalties from artists.
[record scratch…. WHAA???]
Taylor’s issue is the three-month free trial period Apple is promoting which deprives musicians any revenue from their music that is streamed to users during the first 3-month promotional period.
“Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months,” she wrote. “I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.”
She added: “It’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this. We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”
According to CNN:
Swift previously removed her albums from Spotify in a dispute over compensation for streaming music. She explained her decision about Apple in a Tumblr blog post on Sunday morning, several days after her music label confirmed that “1989” wouldn’t be available on the service at launch.
The blog post, “To Apple, Love Taylor,” was immediately shared tens of thousands of times, showing the power of the artist’s megaphone and potentially creating a publicity nightmare for Apple.
You might be asking what this has to do with sex and porn and why I’m commenting on it here at EroticScribes. The answer is…
WOULD YOU WORK FOR FREE?
The fact is, this sort of “new economics” is based not just in the music industry, but fiction authors, porn and indie film producers and pretty much any hard working creative artist seeking to derive an income from their works. This is a new twist based on the economic phenomena of the “Loss Leader”.
a product sold at a loss to attract customers. a business strategy in which a business offers a product or service at a price that is not profitable for the sake of offering another product/service at a greater profit or to attract new customers.
Well, that’s all fine and good for a business to sell or give away their own things they paid for to build their customer base, but the “new normal” is for corporate giants like Apple, Amazon (see this story about the topic) and the porn tubesites to give away the works of others with little or no compensation in order to grow their overall sales volume and customer base. Creative artists, film producers, authors and such are now faced with a pretty limited set of options:
1) Don’t give them anything, but be aware that they have most of the eyeballs on the internet and get shut out of the Big Tent;
2) Give them our original works. For Free. Porn movies to the tubes, Erotic EBooks to Amazon, Articles to HuffPo, Songs to Spotify and iTunes. That at least gets the artist’s name out there in front of the world and maybe, just maybe, they will track us down via a watermark, twitter feed or website mention that surfers can go to and maybe (and probably not) buy something from us.
Let’s put this into a theoretical brick-and-mortar structure to illustrate how ridiculous and unfair this is….
Walmart (not picking on them here. others do enough of that, but they are a well-known brand good for this hypothetical construct), launches a “meet the manufacturers” program. In this, manufacturers can enroll in the program so long as they will give away free samples of their goods. Upon entering a Walmart store (after being “greeted”), there is a large area for customers to meet the manufacturers and grab as many free samples as they like. After the customer has filled their shopping cart with free product, they are encouraged to go visit another area of the store where the manufactures are selling their complete product line. This area is in the back of the store, poorly lit, concrete floors, and staffed by you at your 2’x6′ folding table with your products on it. We can call this FleaMart.
As an alternative, Walmart customers can go back to their car, offload the free samples and go back in to the Premier Store (which is simply just the regular Walmart store) and buy their groceries, paper products, office supplies, cheap underwear and whatever else it is people buy at Walmart.
If you were the shopper, which area would you next visit?
And It Just Gets Worse!
Specific to the porn tube sites which I can speak directly about, they know they have “we mere content providers” over a barrel. Out of reality/necessity, our network of premium porn sites provide most of the legal tubes with 2-3, 6 minute clips per week to keep us on the surfer radar via watermarks, bumpers and calls to action trailers. This and most arrangements like this are that we upload clips weekly, and they provide a banner link back to us under the video player. If a surfer clicks on that banner link and join one of our sites, we then have the honor to pay them 50% of the sale, even after we have given them the movies for free.
Okay, it is what it is, but particularly offensive was an email I got last week with respect to Wasteland.com, saying:
Dear Content Partner,
Thank you for being a part of our content partner program.
I just wanted to alert you that your video page views have dropped a little this month, and suggest that you increase your video uploads from the current 2-3 per week @ 6 minutes each, to 37 per week @ 12 minutes each.
FAIR IS FAIR?
This loss leader technique by the large online sites has gotten totally out of control at this point and is seriously injuring the livelihoods of content creators.
YouTube seems to be making a little progress by allowing revenue share advertisements on videos that are uploaded by producers, and this might be a good first step to playing fair. But, such monoliths as Amazon Kindle Store, ITunes, Spotify, PornHub, etc continuing to require content producers to provide their works for free simply has to go. I certainly am no economist, but think the bright minds at those corporations could indeed figure out a formula for reimbursing content providers with a percentage of revenue based on either overall sales growth from these promotional programs, or in the case of the porn tubes, a percentage of the advertising revenue they generate for selling penis pills on the same page that our porn clips are viewed.
As it stands now, Amazon, iTunes, the porn tubes and others see our creative works as simply “bait” to bring in more market share to them to sell something other than our works. They are the mousetrap. We are the cheese. Maybe it’s time to start paying for your cheese?
And why does this matter to you? Imagine an online world with nothing but Wikipedia, Ladies Home Journal, Cosmo and YouPorn. Scary.
Anyway. End of Rant and off to Walmart.com to pay for a few Taylor Swift albums! You should too!
UPDATED JUNE 22, 2015
Apple responded to Swift late Sunday night in a series of tweets from Eddy Cue, a key lieutenant of CEO Tim Cook.
“#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period,” Cue tweeted, adding that “We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple.”
We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple
— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
Swift quickly acknowledged the change. “I am elated and relieved,” she tweeted. “Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.”
Here’s to Swift and happy endings!
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