radio station payment system
I'm working for a local radio station and want to mention something about the payment system. I'm from germany where we have to pay to the "GEMA" but probably the systems all work the same in every country:
As mentioned before, radio stations have to pay for the songs they play. I'm aware of two possible ways to do so:
you pay some annual / monthly fee. It is calculated by the number of hours you're sending music and independent if you're playing music from independant artists that aren't members of the GEMA, or "commercial" music. You could even play the same song all the time.
The money you pay to the GEMA is spread to all their members artists, so they all get almost nothing.
you can have a protocol of the music you played, the "playlist". This has to be very accurate because now the money is given to the artists you actually played. Creating this playlist is very difficult and not possible at my radio station because you even have to list the minutes playtime of every song you played.
So if you are playing music from small, unknown artists and have a playlist, he get's money. If you don't have a playlist he almost gets nothing.
The point in the whole MP3 discussion is the following, I think: If people don't have the chance to listen to music before they buy them, they rather won't buy them at all. That's why most record stores started to offer CD-Players to their customers. Customers are very "shy" with buying music they don't know...probably because they have to pay a lot of money for it. I remember the times almost ten years ago when CDs only costed about two thirds the price they do today. I often bought a CD from a band I didn't know just to see what kind of music they play. I don't do that anymore today. So if you sum it up, the companies are loosing money now, because I buy less CDs not because I'm pirating them from somewhere.The next point that isn't mentioned is that to get mp3s you have to have a good internet connection, a fast computer and a soundcard with good speakers. Not to forget that you have to spend some time on finding the songs you like to listen to...And once you have the mp3s, you always have to have your computer running to listen to music. "normal" people won't do that. "geeks" do it. How many geeks are out there and how many "normal" people? And who is the main customer of record companies? ...