Why Can’t Artists Set Their Own Prices Already? Isn’t there an Open Internet??


Looking at 8 of the top music download services online, not ONE allows their users to set their own prices for their songs.

The services I looked at were:

Check for yourself!

Out all of these, Amie Street was the only one that at least offered a somewhat democratic way of music pricing, allowing the fans to set the prices based on how popular the track is. The more popular it is, the more expensive it is, up to $.98 cents. This though, still takes the control out of the artist’s hands.

Artists deserve to be able to set how much their music is worth. If everything is the same price, there’s nothing to distinguish one artist from another. With the labels, artists have never had control over the prices of their music, but now that we have the internet in the picture – the only real solution to the label problem, the artists are still being stripped of their right to control how their music is sold.

As the creator of an online music service myself, I’m continually surprised to see so many services lacking this incredibly important freedom. I honestly don’t want to promote my service too much, because that’s not the point of this post, but Beat-Play will provide(once in beta) indie artists with complete control over every aspect of their musical careers, including song price, if they even still want to sell their music, and we don’t charge a thing until they actually sell something, so there’s no risk to try.

It’s this kind of freedom that is lacking from literally every single music service I’ve studied on the web for the last 3 years. Not one offers artists complete control over every aspect of their work. This is something I still can’t believe most people don’t realize! Not only is the web not fully suited to handle music yet, being that the web is intrinsically a visual medium, but artist’s rights are continually limited by music services who obviously are just interested in making money, because they are not working very hard at all for their artist’s needs.

Even sites like Reverbnation who offer programs like Fair Share, a service that offers 50% of ad revenue to artists, are pretty weak. It only offers artists 50% of ad revenues from direct traffic that they bring to the site, when the artists are the reason for anyone to come to the site in the first place. They should get way more than 50% of ad revenue, especially when the artists are virtually left to do all the promotion themselves. Check out this forum discussion on the Reverbnation site about Fair Share to see how much artists are really benefiting from the program.

Even widgets offered only work on other social networks like Myspace and Facebook, and it’s hard enough to get people to those sites. The music services themselves do virtually nothing more than enable increased spamming to aide in their artist’s promotion, while they continue to rake in figures like 50%.

Beat-Play gives the artists 95% of ad revenues generated from their song’s popularity, and we offer artists the most revolutionary new form of promotion never before seen online, that is specialized for music, so the only promotion artists have to worry about is making good music. There’s more information on this promotional method in the about us section in this blog.

Problems like artists not being able to set their own prices should not be overlooked. It’s about time artists take the responsibility to act, and get behind movements like Beat-Play, who are desperately trying to organize independent artists together to realize our shared goals. Support the artists, and support solutions. That’s the point.

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

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2 responses to “Why Can’t Artists Set Their Own Prices Already? Isn’t there an Open Internet??

  1. The Music Void

    The Music Void have also looked in-depth at the ways an artist can make money from their music in the digital age. Especially when streaming services are paying such low royalty rates.

    http://www.themusicvoid.com/2010/04/the-economics-of-making-money-as-an-artist-in-the-digital-world%E2%80%A6/

  2. While the Music Void encourages discussions on the topic, have they ever actually used their community to develop any real solutions and implement them?

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