Apple planning ad-funded iTunes?

“If you’re not a music industry executive, you probably haven’t spent much time perusing the documents from the recent UK Copyright Tribunal’s decision on online royalty rates for music publishers. But some people have, and they’ve turned up evidence that Apple is maybe planning to introduce ad-funded music on iTunes,” Stuart Dredge reports for Tech Digest.

“The Tribunal’s decision quotes witness evidence from iTunes VP Eddie Cue, where he states that Apple would only pay advertising revenue where ‘that revenue is earned as a result of an advertisement, sponsorship or a click-through link located on a Licensed service … and only where the Licensed Service is offered to the User at a price which has been artificially depressed to reflect such revenue,'” Dredge reports.

Full article here.


  1. If the consumer benefits from cheaper music downloads and the writer/composer of the works benefits from an additional income, then they have my blessing.

    BUT if the extra income goes to them fat bastards who in turn keep most of the money and pass very little to the writer/composer then I would be prepared to start a campaign to stop advertising on the itunes site!!!!!

    Nothing against Apple inc, just them fat bastards openning yet another income channel.

  2. Sounds like hedging really. Cue didn’t want to say advertising sucks, wastes people’s time and space and the industry is just a middleman on information that they corrupt so he just said we won’t advertise in x,y, z ways.

    I’d rather pay more for non advertised products but I’d be paying less because advertising is a tax on everything. The industry is also one of the more ethically challenged, purveyors of such wonderful stuff as junk mail.

  3. @Crabapple,

    Yes of course you’re right, but the music industry is one of the last public bastions of mafioso and I don’t see them going away, or wanting to change the status quo anytime in the near future.

    To some extent it’s up to the up-and-coming musicians and song writers to partner with knowledgeable business partners who are not industry “connected”. The truth is that this is going to be much easier said than done for a long time to come. The indie movie industry is a good example of the good and bad that comes from going it alone. As that industry has grown the final results are that, to a large extent, an indie movie maker is still stuck with distributing through “established channels” if they want the dispersal required to make the money that will inspire and enable them to keep making movies.

    Ad funded iTunes is an obvious way to make more money for the music labels without jacking up the price to the end user, but it’s interesting to contemplate how much farther the current .99/song would go without the blatant middle man. An earlier MDN post indicated that Apple sent off .70 of every music purchase, and that about 13% of that went to the artist, and the rest stayed with the company holding the label, which comes to about 87% that stays with the people who are responsible for “managing” “their” artists, and making sure that their artist’s product gets a wide dispersal. Is distribution such a mystery science that only a select few can figure it out, or is it that you simply are not allowed to get you’re music out without going through the establishment.

    In a free country with relatively free enterprise these possibilities should make us consumer really stop and think. Ulltimately, anything that continues to make money is not going to change.

    MW: “policy” – Ultmately policy is in the hands of the people who pony-up the dough. So as I see it capitalism can still be a beautiful thing if we want it to be.

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