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Propaganda for Music Lovers

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On February 8, 2004 @ 5:23 pm In Music | Comments Disabled

grammy.jpg [1]

Tonite’s Grammy Awards [1] will feature a propaganda commercial for “whatsthedownload.com [2].” If you check out the site, you’ll see an embarrassingly cloying attempt at “agitprop” by the music industry. There’s a FAQ and “artists buzz” and a few other sections which try to look edgy (but fail).

As you would expect from a propaganda site, none of the tough or embarrassing questions facing the industry get answered:

• Why are CDs so expensive?
• How much money from each sale of a CD do the artist who makes them get?
• What is the difference between free music on the radio, MTV and P2P?
• Why can’t I share my mixed tapes with my friends?
• Why do CDs often cost more than DVDs ?
• Why are the soundtracks (CDs) to some movies MORE expensive than the DVDs of the film?
• Explain what the “Minimum Advertised Price” agreement is?
• Why is there no real competition amongst retailers for CDs on price?
• Why are record contracts so onerous to artists?
• Why did the industry engage in illegal price fixing agreements ?
• What were the non-public terms of the settlement of that case ?
• Why do different stores all have the same CDs on sale each week?
• Why are radio station playlists so small? Where can independent artsts get heard?
• What is “Pay for Play?”
• What are your long term plans for copyright?
• In the future, will I always own the music I buy, or will I merely license it and pay annual fees?
• Why did the music industry oppose legal online distribution plans like Apple’s iTunes for so long?
• Why does the music industry always seem to fear new technologies?

You get the idea . . . feel free to add additional questions for the industry in the comments section below.

Industry Propaganda site
whatsthedownload.com.gif [2]
Source: whatsthedownload.com [2]

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URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2004/02/propaganda-for-music-lovers/

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[1] Image: http://www.grammy.com/

[2] whatsthedownload.com: http://www.whatsthedownload.com

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