I had an interesting conversation with the Music Supervisor Lisa at the end of work yesterday. I had just finished my work for the day and logged my activities by submitting an e-mail to the department co-workers who work there. In fact, there are only three girls who work in the department so I only send it to three people and include the intern e-mail as well.
After stating my completed tasks for the day, I usually make a little social commentary at the bottom of the e-mail relating to one of the day’s activities. This last time I typed “Why do rich music artists demand so much money for their music to be in movies? The exposure should be compensation enough.” That comment caught the eye of Lisa.
Right as I got up to put something away, Lisa paged my phone and asked me to pick up the receiver. She’s been super busy the past two weeks trying to get all the music found and cleared by the record labels for every scene of the movie which should have finalized with the music by Friday.
She found my comment humorous and explained that these artists don’t even really need the exposure because they’re already famous enough. Yeah, I agree with that. Remember the movie Forrest Gump? One of the main reasons that movie was so popular was because of its soundtrack, and most of those songs didn’t even need the extra exposure to be recognized.
I told her I realized that these artists were famous and that a movie would barely increase exposure. We’re talking about the chart hitting artists on the Billboard top 100 singles. I explained that I really didn’t agree with how artists can charge that much because I realize how the recording industry rips them off anyway. She responded with an interesting comment. The reason that artists really are able to get away by charging thousands upon thousands of dollars for their songs to be in movies is because people like the Recording Industry Association of America really don’t have as much control. Yes, they still get the money like they would anyway, but it’s a little different licensing than it would be to just use a song for an album.
If there’s one thing that I could do for this industry, specifically the music industry, it would be to bring reforms to the structure of business. I have in the past few years bought much less CDs than I would have. Why? Partly because I really don’t want to spend the money; I’m poor. But I also try to keep in mind that people such as the RIAA are in it for themselves. They aren’t really here for the artists sake. They’re in it for the buck. It’s always about the money and I don’t care what kind of statistics they try to show me or you. It’s all baloney because they’re losing money and they don’t like it.
I have bought a few CDs on a few special occasions like Christmas. I have my reasons. But now that I’m much more aware of where money goes, I’d rather give the artist money for his work than giving Sam Goody $18 for a CD. $18 for a CD is a complete rip-off. Even $10 for a CD is a rip-off. If I absolutely knew that $10 was going directly to the artist rather than some corporate pig who in turn gives about $.08 per song per CD to the artist, I’d be much less hesitant to buy CDs.
I really hope consumers are made aware quickly because changes need to be made now. Boycotts are a great way to start the wave.