“Listener Matched Content”

Hypebot, regarding iTunes Match and iTunes Radio royalties:

Apple will not pay any royalties:

  • during the 120 day beta period
  • “Heat Seeker” promotions approved “at iTunes discretion”
  • “Complete My Albums” plays defined as “a Performance of a sound recording identified for a given Listener or a Remaining Track” and rendered for such Listener in order to promote the relevant CMA offer”.
  • Listener Matched Content – songs that are already in the users collection.

It’s the last category- Listener Matched Content – that will likely reduce payments labels and artists the most. According to the agreement, Apple does not have to pay for for up to two songs per hour of iRadio play if the tracks appear in the users cloud collection.

Since the heaviest users will likely pick iRadio streams that match their tastes, Apple may have effectively cut royalty payments by 10 – 14%.

I don’t understand the outrage here. Matched content means a sale was already made, whether it was a CD sale long ago or an MP3 sale at Amazon or elsewhere.

I know this doesn’t apply all the time. Illegal downloads get matched and people seemingly believe that iTunes match legalizes those downloads when it doesn’t.

But if I legitimately buy a CD and rip it to my iTunes collection, why should the record label get paid again?