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iTunes Match Generates ‘Magic Money’ for Copyright Holders

iTunes Match Generates ‘Magic Money’ for Copyright Holders

As the first iTunes Match royalties begin to trickle in, online music distribution company TuneCore says “Match” has created money “out of thin air” as it monetizes music, pirated or otherwise.

AppleInsider’s Mikey Campbell reports:

In a blog post on Wednesday, TuneCore President Jim Price announced that he received over $10,000 for the first two months of participation in Apple’s iTunes Match, a fee-based cloud service that allows users to stream or download any song in their collection from the iTunes library regardless of its origin.

Price explains that the more times a song is re-downloaded or streamed, the copyright holders of that track get paid.

“iMatch (sic) monetizes the existing behavior of the consumer for copyright holders and artists,” Price writes. “Consumers don’t need to do anything new­—they just need to listen to their pre-existing music.”

After a user signs up for the $25 per year service from Apple, their music catalog is scanned and any songs available on iTunes are then made available for streaming or download through iCloud. If a song isn’t in the iTunes library, the user can then upload that track to iCloud for streaming and syncing.

“A person has a song on her computer hard drive. She clicks on the song and plays it. No one is getting paid,” Price says. “The same person pays iTunes $25 for iMatch. She now clicks on the same song and plays it through her iMatch service. Copyright holders get paid. Same action, same song, one makes money for the copyright holder, and one does not. This is found money that the copyright holders would never have gotten otherwise.”

iTunes Match debuted in the U.S. in November 2011, followed by the international rollout in December. As of January, the service is available in a total of 37 countries.