Report on Apple's independent music event

An article from Gnutella News summarizes Apple's meeting with independent music producers on Thursday.

Lots of good information about the current state of the service and about how it is set up.

Here are the points I found most interesting:

  • 6-7 million copies of iTunes currently in use (presumedly iTunes 4)
  • 3.5 million songs sold so far, stabilizing at about 500,000/wk now
  • 75% of songs have sold at least once
  • 45% of all songs have been bought as an album
  • Albums can't be sold at more than $0.99/track
  • No cost to put your music on iTunes
  • No advance from Apple
  • Payments are made each month - no long delays
  • Sales are being reported to SoundScan, a Neilsen service for gauging the sales of music used by Billboard Magazine. The service tracks by-song, so it is a natural fit.
  • Apple's editorial staff (the Staff Picks folks) "can't be bought" - includes a cute section on Steve saying they don't need the money
  • Albums cannot be sold as album-only. Certain songs (ones exceeding 7 minutes) can only be included on albums, but you must make other songs available individually.
  • Three year, non-exclusive agreement
  • One size, fits all agreement with the same terms as given the "big 5"
  • The labels must submit the track information along with the songs in electronic format, Apple won't do the encoding.