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MP3.com Ups D.A.M. CD Prices...
By Janet Fisher, Goodnight Kiss Music
(more articles from this author)
2001-02-28
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I think it's quite interesting to see MP3.com (and other similar online entities) go through an evolution in trying to marry the true music industry. Since being made to account for former copyright uses, we see them struggle to find a way to survive (just as Indy and Major Labels, Acts and Publishers do).

But an observer might realize, that it's only been by creating Artist-as-CONSUMER driven sales platforms, that have made continuing survival possible ... sales from money provided by those same Indy Artists that were going to be helped so much more by the digital "labels" than the traditional record industry.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, just as long as all involved realize WHERE entities are making their money; is it from the writer/artist's actual work (song uses) or is it from advertising, by charging subscriber fees, "premium" services for writers, etc.?

It's true (just as in the regular "old" record industry) a few artists are making a nice income from their work. Enough to retire on? I'd love to see the stats, but I would bet that most "independent" artists aren't earning much.

And now, the platform that was initially going to be the most affordable way to deliver a CD is rising in cost. The prices are starting to sound more familiar. In a recent email, MP3.com writes that they will be changing the current D.A.M. CD Pricing Guidelines. (For those who don't know, a D.A.M. CD is a deliverable online-ordered CD. The "customer" orders it, and MP3.com makes them up as they are ordered.)

Formerly the Artist could price the CD(s) within a range of $5.99 to $15 per CD. Friday, February 16, it changed to $6.99 - $30.

If one was currently selling for $5.99 or $6, the D.A.M.CD will automatically be priced at $6.99.

If one did not agree to the new Pricing Guidelines, one was to delete one's CD before Thursday, February 15.

The email actually emphasized that Artists now have the ability to price their CDs as high as $30.00.

By the way... I've noticed ALL MP3 member choices are "take it or get out." That sounds sort of familiar, too... I can't wait to see what the rules are in the next couple of years.

I bet that that old record industry contract will look pretty good by comparison before this is all over (at least the good ones will...and there IS such a thing as a good contract, although sometimes you have to fight for it.)

Just my opinion, based on observation and experience, not to be taken as legal advice.


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