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Except they aren't passing any costs to artists. There is exactly zero marginal cost for artists. Artists make their music available for free for a mere three months in exchange for Apple making a massive investment in the service. Keep in mind that 99.9% of artists don't even make any real money from streaming royalties anyway, especially during such a small window! And if customers like the service, they'll pay and presumably be members, as part of the world's most powerful ecosystem, with higher royalty rates than other services, backed by a deep-pocketed company that will promote the living hell out of it. How is this a bad thing??



That would be relevant if record stores charged artists for their operational costs.

It doesn't matter how much money you make. You're using someone else's property and that's what you pay license fees for. Although I generally object the equivalence of physical and intellectual property -- this isn't any different from selling physical goods:

If you want to give a thousand records away practically for free, you still have to buy the thousand records and the producer has no obligation to give you a discount just because you're not going to make money with it. Not even if you have to pay for the cars to pick up and drop off the records and the wages of the people delivering the records. If you want to burn your own money, nobody is stopping you. But don't ask other people to add their money to the pyre for free.




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