Thought the things brought up about the royalities was interesting:
The biggest push back that weíve gotten is the fact that labels are already very pissed that they have to pay out 30 percent to iTunes because theyíre the highest aggregator as far as digital distribution. Technically, Rock Band Network isnít digital distribution, because itís a whole different entity. Itís New New Media. The biggest hurdle is trying to get them to agree to the 70 percent that Harmonix and EA and MTV Games is taking. Thatís a huge chunk.
So companies like Alt-Strum and any other companies doing authoring and charting for bands, all of those proceeds have to be taken out of that 30 percent or charge an upfront fee. What weíre doing now is figure out a way where the bands are happy, the labels are happy, the publishers are happy, and we still have a cut to justify the work weíre doing.
...if you wanted to get your song onto Rock Band and the Rock Band Network didnít exist, if you got approved, itís between six to 12 months out. To get a song charted could take 50 hours, it could take 100 hours, depending on how hard the song is.
Oh yeah. Itís funny because Iíve talked to the Harmonix guys a couple of times like, ĎLook, this 70-30 business is killing everybody. This is what labels are used to paying, and you guys are more than double that.í I understand. This is software they created, itís on their intellectual property. I understand the investment put in, but itís what the market will bear.
Itís just like the mid-Ď90s, when licensing music for video games was unheard of because the budgets werenít there, and record labels were used to getting $40-60,000 for a song in a movie and theyíre saying ĎWhy canít we get the same for a video game? We donít want to do it.í They thought they were getting screwed over. By í98, í99, every band had music in a video game and it became its own industry.
Just like with this, thereís such a learning curve not only from the music industry but also from the video game publisher and developer standpoint, where this is new for them too. It was a pretty ambitious idea to make the software available for anybody to upload music to it. Thatís a forward-thinking idea in itself. Who knows where this is all going to settle? Weíll see how it goes, but thereís definitely some room to play with on the 70 percent side where it would still be worthwhile for all the parties.
Some of the smaller bands who own their own publishing or other bands who arenít signed yet and have their master recordings, itís not that bad of a deal. But when youíve got a publisher, record label, and band, and youíre splitting the pie even more, thatís when weíre running into an issue.