It's one thing to get paid when someone plays or hears your song.
It's another thing to get paid when someone plays or hears a sample of your song.
There's a reason why the word "sample" is usually preceded by the word "free," and it's because nothing sells something like a little piece of that something.
Hence the value of movie trailers and free book chapters and trial subscriptions and sampler tables at the Costco – all there for free.
So leave it to the music publishers – the folks who pretend not to recognize that radio airplay constitutes free promotion which in turn sells music – to pretend not to recognize that free samples do the same thing.
"(On iTunes), you can stream radio, and you can preview tracks, things that we should be getting paid performance income for," says David Renzer, CEO Universal Music Publishing Group, who obviously achieved that elevated role through the kind of sharp acumen which can only be found in the music industry.
Radio station performance fees are already being resolved, of course. At issue is whether or not the publishers are paid for what amount to "hooks!"
Listen, Mr. Renzer, if you think a 30-second sample is a "performance" I urge you to see how much applause your favorite band gets when they play just 30 seconds of any song.
Probably the same amount of applause your consumers are giving you right now.
What the music publishers can't seem to get through their thick, corporate skulls is this simple fact: Consumers hate them. And it's their own fault.