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Pete Townshend is a tremendous artist with at-times visionary takes on technology. I worked with him a bit when my former company ran The Who's web business and witnessed this first hand. That said, he is off-base on Apple and their role in the music ecosystem. Apple gives a tremendous amount back to the artist community in at least two ways: 1. Apple single-handedly created the world's first mainstream service for the purchase of legal downloads at a time when the music industry was doing little more than despairing, suing, rinsing and repeating. 2. They genrally enter into 70/30 splits with rights holders. For the artist distributing into Apple directly or through an aggregator like Tunecore (I have no vested interested but do use Tunecore on projects I run) 70% comes back. It is not Apple's fault that most acts chose and continue to choose to mortgage their future for the sake of money today. That's not art, it's commerce. When Apple starts behaving the way Townshend wants them to, they will demand and be justified in taking a larger slice of the pie. No one will win. Sorry Pete. You are always entertaining but this time for the wrong reasons.
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Nov 2, 2011