Prominent artists still resist digital download services

Feb 22, 2011 By Tyler Sharp

Digital music downloads may be popular with fans, but they're hitting a sour note with musicians, according to one music professor.

Digital have proliferated in popularity since Napster was launched in 1999. Numerous music downloading services have been vying for control of the digital download market ever since. The most successful has been Apple's iTunes, providing an array of cost-efficient options for music aficionados.

But some artists have avoided becoming a part of iTunes. A Kansas State University music professor said these artists have two primary reasons for shunning the digital download giant.

"Some artists feel that iTunes takes too big a cut," said Steven Maxwell, an assistant professor of music who teaches a history of rock and roll course. "When someone sells an album, first the label takes a large cut, then iTunes, and finally the money goes to the artist. For many artists iTunes marketing and sales are worth it even if their cut is less than that of a CD."

But others like the band Tool prefer to stay pure to the album concept, Maxwell said.

The Beatles fought a very public battle to avoid joining the iTunes catalog. But in November 2010 Apple announced the group would become part of the catalog. Despite the Beatles' decision, several well-known bands still shun iTunes, Maxwell said.

"Artists not on iTunes right now include AC/DC, Kid Rock, Garth Brooks, Bob Seger, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard and Tool," he said. "I believe many of them will begin to use digital downloading in the future. The industry seems to be moving so quickly that way that it may be impossible not to embrace it."

But to determine what the right practice is can be a challenge.

"The downloading technology is changing the industry, and I see how some artist aren’t ready for that," Maxwell said. "However, this industry is constantly changing, and what hurts some artists is great for others."

Though some artists don’t support , Maxwell says they can unite behind one cause.

"People not paying for copied music will always be a problem," he said. "This continues to be a major challenge for the downloading industry, and the people it hurts the most are the artists. More work needs to be done on this issue."

Explore further: Researchers create global road maps showing potential economic and ecological consequences of new roads

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sony Music back catalog comes to eMusic

Jun 01, 2009

Sony Music Entertainment and eMusic announced on Monday that songs from Sony's back catalog would be available later this year through the online music store.

Apple to lengthen music previews to 90 seconds

Nov 03, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- It was speculated in late August that iTunes would double the length of its audio clips from 30 seconds to 60. But starting soon, songs that aren’t shorter than two minutes and 30 seconds ...

Warner makes artists available for 'Tap Tap' game

Jun 04, 2010

(AP) -- Following the success of "Tap Tap Metallica," Warner Music Group Corp. is opening up its roster of artists to be featured on other versions of the popular play-along iPhone game.

Recommended for you

China's Alibaba plans IPO for week of September 8

16 hours ago

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba plans to hold its initial public offering on the US stock market the week of September 8, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Tablet sales slow as PCs find footing

17 hours ago

Tablets won't eclipse personal computers as fast as once thought, according to studies by market tracker International Data Corporation (IDC).

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

17 hours ago

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

FIXD tells car drivers via smartphone what is wrong

Aug 29, 2014

A key source of anxiety while driving solo, when even a bothersome back-seat driver's comments would have made you listen: the "check engine" light is on but you do not feel, smell or see anything wrong. ...

User comments : 0