The Patron's Jukebox · Monday August 13, 2007 by Crosbie Fitch
It’s 2010, and yet another premises, an all night diner, installs the new Nokia JB320 Jukebox. It’s very cheap, consisting only of a user-hardened touchscreen web terminal with e-cash reader (and dollar coin-slot for the oldies), wirelessly linked to the diner’s hifi system and central server.
This is connected to the Jamendo musique-libre repository, and shares high quality digital masters – with no royalty due for public performance, and no copyright infringement for sharing or public performance.
The owner of the diner believes in encouraging musicians who submit good music for the entertainment of his customers. He is therefore quite happy that the jukebox charges a dollar for the playback of each track, as then the most popular music provides a proportionate reward to the respective musicians.
He’s happy because he only pays a minimal one-off charge for the price of the jukebox user panel and the electricty the sound system consumes. His customers are happy because they get a vast variety of decent music (punters only tend to play music that’s worth paying a dollar to listen to). The musicians are happy because they get paid by people who like their music.
There are a few music tracks that the control panel denies payment for. These have been specially marked as CC-Non-Commercial to indicate that the proprietor would be prosecuted if money was charged for them.
These tend to be recognised for what they are: promos by bands signed to old fashioned record labels. There’s the occasional hard core Cliff Richard fan who’ll try out his latest track, but most of it is ignored as dross – only used by the proprietor to check the system’s up and running each morning.
Kids find it hard to believe that only a few years earlier about 95% of all the money they spent on music went to record labels and collection societies, with only 5% left for the musicians (once all costs had been recouped, which took a few decades and several chart hits).
Today, musicians tend to get about 95% with 2% taken by e-cash handlers. Of course, out of this the musicians still have to pay for the costs of production, but then they have the luxury of very much cheaper music distribution and recommendation services. CD manufacturing occurs independently and promotion costs are far cheaper.
Today musicians just upload their songs to the Jamendo repository, they’re analysed, distributed by CC-Torrent and then recommended by Pandora according to the taste of the person who visits the Jukebox with the intention of paying for a tune to be played that they like. The band gets a dollar each time minus a penny each to Jamendo, Pandora, and CC-Torrent.