If You Hear a Song We’ll Tax Your Ears

The internet has been all aflutter since first Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and then Jim Griffin of Warner Music discussed the idea of an internet tax.

According to CNet:

“The proposal outlined in the interview Griffin gave Portfolio.com suggested that ISP fees could create a $20 billion pool that would go to artists and copyright holders. Consumers would have the option of paying the fee or submitting themselves to advertising. ”

First of all, the term “submitting themselves to advertising” is a great phrase.  Probably more truth in it than intended.  As I see it, the big problem with a fee attached to you ISP bill is that it doesn’t account for all time people are accessing the web from something other than their own ISP connect (like I’m doing now as I write this post in a cafe in NYC).  This only gets more complicated as municipal wifi rolls out.

In terms of ad-supported music, that works fine when streaming music since ads can simple be placed in the mix, just like radio, but it doesn’t really help when people are downloading songs to listen to on their iPod.  I don’t imagine I would put up with pre-roll ads on my songs.

Obviously, the music industry is going through some seismic shifts and ideas like a music tax sound to me like the big guys scrambling for some way to maintain centralized control.  Instead, I think more musicians are going to be leaving the big label system and taking part in smaller organizations that are more artist-centric.  This will lead to fewer platinum-selling artists, but a huge growth in artists making money playing music.



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4 responses to “If You Hear a Song We’ll Tax Your Ears

  1. I totally agree with you. However, I also think middlemen have a crazy way of “middle-izing” themselves into any industry. Give it 5 or 10 years and they sneak back in. How are musicians going to keep these monkeys off their backs?

  2. mymediamusings

    I think there is some room for middlemen – musicians don’t really want to do all their own marketing and sales.

  3. Ahhh.. this is so true. Being part stubbornly independent and part lazy musician.. I can relate with both sides. I just hate to see musicians that succumb to “evil” middleman. Many innocent artists get screwed by smiley ones in black suits.

  4. mymediamusings

    Might be more like smirking ones in ironic tees…

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