Just As I Thought

Why there are so few overfed singers

Today I stopped by Amoeba Records in Berkeley, and to my astonishment there were three copies of Motherlode on sale… except that two of them were not official copies. They were selling two copies of the promotional, not-for-sale CD that was sent to radio stations. I was not happy.
When the retail CD is sold by a record store, eventually the artist will get at least a few cents from that sale — because the record store bought that album from the record label through distribution channels.
But when the store sells a promo CD, the artist gets nothing. That’s because the promo CD was sent out free of charge to radio stations; some greedy person at the radio station who got it for free takes it over to the record store and sells it for a few bucks. None of that goes to the artist. The record store then marks it up and sells it. None of that goes to the artist. 
The most annoying part of this process is that when the artist is independent, like Sara Hickman, they often pay for the pressing of the promo CDs out of their own pocket.
Yes, every used record store sells these, despite all the stickers on the cover saying NOT FOR SALE. And that’s the way the world works, as the staff at Amoeba claimed.
That doesn’t mean it’s right.
The next time you buy music, think about the artist at the end of the food chain and how that artist can afford to feed his or her children after everyone else has squeezed every last cent from the album.

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