Hmmm, perhaps it isn't iTunes, but IODA / The Orchard. I've been involved with a small, artist-run record label that gives the artists the lion's share of CD sale income. (However, artists pay for the manufacture of their own CDs.) I'm certain my record label is not getting anything close to $0.72 on the dollar.
I'll admit to a certain amount of naivety about Bandcamp. I thought it would be a great way to sell new music, but so far I haven't seen a single download. Virtually, the only way to get your music purchased on bandcamp is if either: 1) A fan gets the URL for your page from you or your website, 2) they go to bandcamp and do a search for your name.
There ARE music discovery tools on the site, but they are poorly thought out. For example, if you do a search for "experimental music", the results are flooded by artists who release very fecundly - they release every single thing they record, and every track is a separate album. (Often with artwork poached from google image search, or created in MS Paint.) There is nothing that says "If you like this, then you may like this", and the genre / keyword searches are by album, rather than by artist. So an artist with 50 albums will be half of the results you get.
On Sun, Mar 31, 2013 at 10:25 AM, Mark Hamburg <firstname.lastname@example.org> was like:Whoa, I'm Matt Davignon and I'm all:
> So far, the deal seems pretty good. You set your own prices. The site takes 15% of digital sales and 10% of physical media sales. The rest goes to the artist. (Compare this to iTunes, where the artist gets about $1 out of a $6 download.) The artist portions go directly to your paypal account. Rather than take 10-15% of each sale, they set it up so that most sales go 100% to the artist, but 1/10 of the sales will go 100% to bandcamp.
Ancient (2006) numbers, but the breakdown on iTunes used to be:
"Currently, for a 99-cent song, 72 cents goes to the label, and 8 cents to the publisher, leaving Apple's per-song profit margin at 19 cents per song, he said."
So, yes, Bandcamp is better for artists.
In Apple's defense, they aren't there to serve musicians. They are there to serve the people buying music and their focus is on making that process work well. Bandcamp becomes yet one more place to entrust with your credit card number. I suspect that Tower Records, when it existed, got a similar cut. So, if it were just about the distributor cut, what Apple would essentially be offering is a better, broader distribution channel (more potential sales) but with a higher margin.
On the other hand, that still leaves the musician figuring out how much of the remaining 80% he or she can get. Apple hasn't set themselves up to deal with independent musicians so the musician is left with record labels serving as middle men.