Pete Townshend calls Apple 'a vampire'

He should add WalMart to the list

Apparently WalMart only had 1.8% of the market against iTunes’ 75%. But they’re no longer undead.

It’s so easy to preach normative arguments about what other companies should do when your personal capital is not at risk.

:question: What does normative mean?

I don’t really see why he’s telling Apple what to do in order to improve, or at least vindicate, their virtual monopoly.

There is no empirical basis for Townshends’ argument. He, rather arrogantly, attempts to tell us how we ought to think on this matter.

While I agree with many of his observations about the musick-biz, his conclusion that Apple is “a vampire” is purely his opinion based on his bias. By his “logic” (not that there is any “logic” to it), his participation in a performance-rights-organization (such as ASCAP or BMI) that disproportionately allocates royalties to a select few, makes him a vampire as well.

This is one of the worlds biggest problems. People actually listen to actors and musicians, as if they were actually educated and experienced in the areas they talk about. Save the Rain Forest … What a great idea …

I should have been more specific: WalMart dominates whatever is left of the sales of physical CD’s, and in this way, it and Apple, which dominates the digital distribution segment, together control almost all the market for music sales

The artists, like Townshend, whose work is distributed chiefly by Apple, don’t have
a vital financial stake in this? I think that is what Pete is on about here.

However, I don’t think Pete has a very good argument. My understanding is that it’s EXTREMELY cheap for an artist to upload his music to iTunes, and their compensation is pretty fair, in my mind (I think it’s $.70 per sale). I think that’s roughly the same structure that retailers and labels/artists enjoyed when LPs/tapes/CD’s were the dominant media.

BTW, Apple is the 2nd highest company in the world in terms of market capitalization, at nearly $350 billion (and that doesn’t even account for “goodwill” or “blue sky” valuation which for Apple is enormous), and has a cash hoard over $75 billion…

He called Apple “vampires”. If Apple is a vampire, then surely Pete has been turned into one by now … that’s the way the legend goes anyway. He has sipped from the vein of the Mother vAmPPLE too, and is now tainted. Surely it isn’t appropriate to use the term “stake” in this context. Mixing metaphors, yes? A financial stake driven through the heart of Apple vampires … even Ann Rice would shudder at the thought of it. :wink:

Only in as much as that he says what he thinks himself, which he has every right to do. I don’t particularly agree with him though. He appears to be trying to assign the role of record label to the retailer, expecting them to discover and foster new talent. At least in the present situation the listening public have (arguably) some choice in deciding who makes it and who doesn’t. If Apple were to pick the winners from the outset then our choice would be diminished. What I’d like to see is more competition, not a means of consolidating a monopoly.

Good points! :sunglasses:

Aloha and a MAJOR +1!!!

This IMHO is the real issue and is the financial model from years past.

Most artist/musicians do not spend much time learning about the music
‘publishing’ industry but this is where the real $$$ lives.

But that game too is changing.
More and more we live in a digital/internet world
and much less a vinyl/radio world.

This thread puts me in mind of the "Prince no longer recording’ thread.

In both cases we see the ‘old school’ financial model not
working so well in today’s market.

But somehow Lady Gag/Justin Beav etc seem to make it work.


As an actor and a musician I have to say you’re absolutely right. After all, we have politicians there constantly keeping us on the right path with solid dependable advice.

Seriously. We can all take or leave what crap people come out with. Pete’s got a right to an opinion and he knows a few people in the industry so there’s a chance that he isn’t talking out the top of his head.

I’ve worked for him and know he genuinely has an interest in the world young people are growing up in today but yes, he’s got loads of money and is knocking an institute with loads of money…that’s the price of free speech.

Gads your right! I forgot politicians in that list. My point is we spend far too much time listening to people who have an unfair advantage in visibility/popularity instead of seeking out information from actual sources. Then balancing those sources for their bias. It’s more work that way, but you might actually figure out an issue that way.

Fair enough but I think it’s a little utopian to expect to find the “whole” truth anywhere. I know when people do get into influential positions they often access privileged information we can’t get (which can also be crap - rain forests being a great example)- George Clooney is a great example of taking on the responsibility that comes with fame. He isn’t famous for his brains but how smart do you have to be to know right from wrong?

most artist nowadays actually have less money in their pockets from iTunes than they did from the old model record companies regardless of the theoretical advantage of removing ‘the record company’

itunes don’t invest in you as an artist,they don’ t provide marketing, pluggers, advances etc. I was shocked that itunes would not deal with my small record label and i had to go through a 3rd party aggregator to get music onto itunes thereby loosing another % when I approached them.

itunes are a complete monopoly in every sense of the word and are now actually worse IMHO that the big record labels they replaced.


iTunes is a distribution channel, not a record company.

iTunes is not a monopoly. There are many other digital distribution outlets. iTunes is successful because their business model meets the wants/needs of more consumers; who perceive value for money in the exchange. When another distributor comes up with something better, they will take market share from iTunes; just as iTunes took market share from CD distributors.

It isn’t so much being able to tell right from wrong usually. It’s about who does it hurt and who does it benefit. All you get on TV/Politicians etc. is reductionish BS. They offer simplistic one sided solutions to extremely complex multifaceted problems.