Ring… Ring…

Music week, a British trade publication, has started a top-20 ring tone chart due to the popularity of ring tones in England. The market for ring tones is estimated at roughly 70 million pounds. Royalties from ring tones were 3 million pounds. Beyonce Knowles sold more than half a million ring tones. I wonder how you go about preparing mixes for cellular phones?

Ethical Downloads

The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) and Quebec-based Société du droit de reproduction des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs au Canada (SODRAC) filed a joint tariff application with the Copyright Board of Canada to determine a royalty rate for songwriters and music publishers for online digital music sales.

While an online royalty rate has not been established, CMRRA and SODRAC have already issued licences to online music services because they did not want to hold up the establishment of commercial services that would give Canadians access to legitimate music downloads.

I guess that’s another way of saying it is more important for the record companies to get some money in the pipeline first. After all, the artists can always get their money later. Assuming, of course, that artists get any money at all. The structure of payments to musicians has been relatively the same for over thirty years. Some say that it is fair, while others maintain that the system is out of date given the new resources of distribution and technology.

The most obvious source of revenue is by record album sales. In the case of these sales, artists receive a percentage of sales as described in their contracts. The current rate is 7.55 cents (U.S.) per track per album, making royalties from a record around ten percent of the wholesale cost. The requirement by the label to clear investment costs is usually paramount. It was tough for most artists to make a living when people actually purchased CDs. Most labels are trimming rosters to reflect the current market situation. Many artists just drop out.

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