This is a collection of some recent links and thoughts on music play, sales, and economics.
1) Artists are paid virtually nothing via streaming music sites like Spotify and Pandora. This is why some artists refuse the medium. The below (via Business Insider) is a summary of the pay per medium.
What this doesn't depict is the pay per play. Those numbers are even more depressing: $0.006 per play. Spelled out: that is a sixth of a cent! And that is one reason why some artists are against media like Spotify which enable virtually free music streaming, while discouraging actual music purchases.
The message is clear: buy music if you love it. If you loop an album more than five times, you can probably save up to buy an album or even just a song. An album these days costs the same as your lunch out. So maybe eat in one day this week.
2) Music purchases on Amazon are cheaper than on iTunes 78% of the time.
3) iTunes is a dreadful monopoly. Why has this horrific, bloated beast persisted? Why hasn't Microsoft provided a viable alternative? Why hasn't the antitrust police attacked iTunes yet? This is one obvious and popular area where Apple has clearly failed* and yet no competitor has been able to capture the market.
4) Sometimes those outrageous Ticketmaster fees are actually fees from artists and/or the venue. In other words, sometimes Ticketmaster agrees to take the blame for high ticket prices, so artists and venues can collect revenue without appearing guilty. I don't totally buy that though, as artists (or their managers) still set the initial ticket prices, which themselves can be outrageously high.
* Speaking of Apple improvements: I think the iPhone should also have two hard buttons (as opposed to a soft, virtual button on the screen), one on either side of the Home button. The one on the left takes you directly to the Dial screen. Phones should be phones first--it shouldn't take me ten swipes/clicks to get to the Dial screen. The button on the right will close out of your current application. Please help me to share and leave these ideas in Apple's cyber suggestion box.