Weird Al Yankovic's Digital Distribution

Grant Robertson has a good article on The Digital Music Weblog about Weird Al Yankovic's cut from digital distribution:

King of comic rock, Weird Al Yankovic says digital is a raw deal for artists like himself. When asked by a fan whether purchasing a conventional CD or buying a digital file via iTunes would net Yankovic more pocket money the artist answered on his website.

"I am extremely grateful for your support, no matter which format you choose to legally obtain my music in, so you should do whatever makes the most sense for you personally. But since you ASKED... I actually do get significantly more money from CD sales, as opposed to downloads. This is the one thing about my renegotiated record contract that never made much sense to me. It costs the label NOTHING for somebody to download an album (no manufacturing costs, shipping, or really any overhead of any kind) and yet the artist (me) winds up making less from it. Go figure."

This is one of the reasons why I get so tired with a lot of the music industry criticisms out there: a lot of them depend on the idea that artists make nothing worthwhile from CD purchases, which may be true in some cases, but not in all.

I get asked the same question occasionally and for my indie-self I make about the same whether you buy a CD direct from me or via a digital music store. (Update: except for Magnatune actually, where I only get 50% of what you pay.)

businessBrad Turcotte