For all you Fangbangers, Bloodsuckers, and iTunes Whiners


The True Blood Season 1 DVD and Blu-Ray discs are on the shelves. Hell, they are flying off of the shelves!The Soundtrack is also now available, which of course features "Bad Things" as the lead track.

iTunes has made the soundtrack and the show available as well. A lot of folks have been whining about the "album only" designation iTunes frequently uses on compilations such as this. As a huge iTunes customer and someone who has benefitted greatly from their business model I'd like to explain this a little more clearly to you the consumer.

The "album only" designation is not some corporate malfeasance on the part of greedy Steve Jobs and his evil iTunes elves. In fact, they usually have little or nothing to do with that decision. The owner(s) of a given recording license that recording to iTunes. In the case of the HBO "True Blood" soundtrack there are 19 tracks by 14 artists. Each track is owned by a record company. All of these songs existed before they were put on this soundtrack.

However, now Atlantic Records has licensed all of these songs for the soundtrack. Now there is yet another mouth to feed!

I'll use "Bad Things" as the example, but please understand that every record is different. Their like snowflakes... only plastic.

So, I recorded "Bad Things" in 2004 while under contract as a recording artist with Sony Music. Therefore, Sony Music owns that recording. I wrote the song while under contract as a writer with EMI Publishing. Therefore, EMI owns the publishing (I own a nice little chunk of it too). In 2008 Alan Ball chose to license the song for "True Blood". Now HBO has to pay a licensing fee to Sony and EMI. Sony and EMI still own what they have always owned, but they are "leasing" the property to HBO. Now HBO, via Atlantic Records, has released a soundtrack. They do another licensing deal with Sony and EMI. This license agreement would likely include the caveat that "Bad Things" must be sold as "album only" on digital download sites. Why? Because Sony and EMI are already selling "Bad Things" as a single. The soundtrack, in some ways, is competing with their existing product. Furthermore, they don't have to split the money with Atlantic or HBO when "Bad Things" is purchased form the Sony album. So why do it? Because "True Blood" is more popular than "Jace Everett". Even though they will make a little less per unit off of the soundtrack sales, due to the popularity of the show, they are likely to sell a greater volume of units and make up the difference.

You know... the Wal-Mart model.

Sorry for a boring post, but I've been inundated with emails from angry folks crying about the evil Apple empire. Just thought I'd clear some things up.

As far as the soundtrack goes; there are some really, really cool tracks on the record. Buy it!!

And when "Red Revelations" (my new album) hits iTunes in a few weeks don't be surprised to see "Bad Things" as an album only track!

Peace, JahSay

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