For some time now, people have been able to download new music on the internet and there has been much controversy over the ethics of doing this. One claim that has come up, time and time again, is that the musical artists are getting cheated out of their royalties. This is a claim that is mainly raised by the record companies, since they are the ones who are really cheating the artists.
According to statistics that are over a decade old now, the average musical artist who has a recording that goes platinum, will only go into debt to his record company to the tune of fifty grand or so. How can this be? Well the record company makes a recording in its own studios and uses its own producers and the musical artist is charged for this. This studio time runs into hundreds of dollars an hour and this money comes back from the artist’s royalties first. Now the artist’s royalties are only a small percentage of the sale, so the record company is not only getting the majority of the sale but also the artist’s royalties.
There is probably no other business where people would accept such a sucker deal and, as I said, these statistics are somewhat old so the situation is probably much worse for the musicians today. These statistic, by the way, come from the book; Making Money Making Music: No Matter Where You Live by James W. Dearing.
So all these claims that, when you download new music on the internet, you are hurting the musicians really come from the record companies, who are doing so out of greed and also an effort to shut this new business model down. Now, granted, many musical artists have signed contracts with their record companies and the record company has a legal right to collect its royalties.
But, really, why is the music industry bent on shutting this down? Why are they falsely representing the reason for this by trying to make people feel guilty about hurting musicians?
The real reason is that many musical artists are bypassing the record companies all together by recording in their own studios. So you can download new music, in many, many cases and there are no legal problems at all. Granted, many of these musical artists are using digital distribution companies that get a cut of the action, but the artist still does much better than being on a label and, at least, they are not going into serious debt.
So, if you like to download new music, support your independent artists and keep this business model going because it also offers far more in the way of new music to the listener.