New Life for Indie Video – Bypass Major Distributors with iTunes

Independent video producers who haven’t had access to major distribution channels in the past are in for some luck. iTunes has begun distributing video. And its not only the established label video that iTunes is pushing through its network, its also distributing independent video, such as action sports and documentary video.

As more online services like iTunes Video and YouTube.com become common, artists and video producers have more choices and opportunity than ever before to distribute their creativity to the public.

The action snowboarding video “That” sells on iTunes TV for $1.99. According to this article in Variety, Apple held-out until the video’s owner agreed to lower the price to $1.99 for the half-hour video. As with negotiations over major-label music on iTunes, Apple was able to use its market power to force the content producer to lower the price.

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Internet Royalty Rate Could Kill Webcasting

On 2 March 2007 the US Copyright Royalty Board (a 3-judge panel) sided with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and against Web-casters, musicians and consumers with a ruling on the new web-casting royalty rate. The CRB took the highly controversial position of adopting a pay-per-play rate for streaming digital music instead of the current percentage of revenue model. Web-casters report that the fee hike will put them entirely out of business and kill Internet radio since it amounts to more than 100% of their revenues. Here’s the story. A few details:

Royalty Rate Per Performance (streaming 1 song to 1 listener):

  • 2006 $ .0008
  • 2007 $ .0011
  • 2008 $ . 0014
  • 2009 $ . 0018
  • 2010 $ . 0019

The minimum fee is $500 per channel per year, including non-commercial web-casters.

A group of broadcasters (including National Public Radio and Clear Channel) are challenging this decision since it will cripple emerging businesses that deliver music over the Internet.