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iTunes Match Monetizing Piracy By 'Magic'

Posted by: , 18:36 AEDT, Fri February 10, 2012

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iTunes match is creating money for rightsholders "out of thin air", and now allows them to "get something" when they were previously "getting zero", says CEO of rights handling firm TuneCore

The CEO of TuneCore says that iTunes Match is creating "magic money" for rightsholders, and has already created an extra $10,000 "out of thin air" for the company.

iTunes Match, first announced in June and launched only recently, is an ambitious new service launched by Apple that aims to find a new solution to the web piracy problem. Instead of punishing those who download music illegally, iTunes Match "rewards" those users by turning their ill-gotten MP3s to legitimate iTunes tracks, all for the small fee of $25 per year. The new tracks are then made available in the cloud, ready for listening on a variety of Apple devices. The more a track is being "downloaded", the more the rightsholders will receive as a share of the $25 fee.

Surprisingly, Apple received the music industry's trick of approval for the new service, as the music industry would now be getting a share of the subscription fee, for downloads that they normally wouldn't have gotten anything for.

And that, says Jeff Price, CEO of TuneCore, is the key. "A person has a song on her computer hard drive. She clicks on the song and plays it. No one is getting paid," Price says before adding, "The same person pays iTunes $25 for iMatch. She now clicks on the same song and plays it through her iMatch service. Copyright holders get paid. Same action, same song, one makes money for the copyright holder, and one does not. This is found money that the copyright holders would never have gotten otherwise."

TuneCore is an online broker of music licensing rights, and works artists to get their tracks listed with the likes of Amazon and iTunes. And from iTunes Match, TuneCore has already received its first royalty cheque, to the tune of $10,000 for the first two month. It may not be much, but as Price explains "Well, before you were getting zero, now you are getting something."


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