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The Magic Money That Apple Made From Thin Air

The Magic Money That Apple Made From Thin Air

Jeff Price of TuneCore is happy and a little surprised, finding out their first royalty payments from the new iTunes Match came in at $10,000. He writes in a blog post that “this is magic money that Apple made exist out of thin air for copyright holders”. The service has effectively monetized the existing behaviour of consumers, giving more money to artists and copyright holders whilst the consumer just continues to listen to their music, not doing anything “new”.

A person has a song on her computer hard drive.  She clicks on the song and plays it.  No one is getting paid.  The same person pays iTunes $25 for iMatch.  She now clicks on the same song and plays it through her iMatch service.  Copyright holders get paid. Same action, same song, one makes money for the copyright holder, and one does not. This is found money that the copyright holders would never have gotten otherwise.

It may not be a complete windfall as Jeff points out, but it has something - something that if iTunes Match didn’t exist, you wouldn’t get at all. Something is better than nothing.

The music industry needs innovation. Services like iMatch, Spotify, Simfy, Deezer and others are bringing that innovation—it will take some time to learn which are the ones consumers want.  But in the interim, seeing an additional $10,000+ appear out of the thin air for TuneCore Artists by people just listening to songs they already own is amazing!