Discrimination from iTunes // Plans on the future // Sergey Cheremisinov (eng sub)On November 11, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
Hello! My name is Sergey Cheremisinov, I am a composer and in this video I will talk about a small problem that I had with iTunes and my distributor, Routenote, which I have been working with for 4 years. But the first thing I would like to say is to apologize to my English-speaking subscribers, because I believe that my level of spoken English is not so good that I can record a large video entirely in English, so I will make subtitles and attach to this video. You can enable them in the settings. And accordingly, if you are annoyed by Russian speech or my voice, you can turn off the sound and read the subtitles and you will understand. And secondly, I would like to apologize to everyone about the image quality. As you can understand, I’m not a video blogger, and I don’t have a professional camera or professional lighting devices, and I shoot this video on the front camera of my phone. So sorry. So, to the point. Even if you don’t read my posts on social medias, but at the same time you follow the music that I releasing, then you may have noticed that my last single is not in iTunes. And now I want to explain why this happened. So that you understand the context, I will tell you a little how the release of the track or album in my case occurs. I uploaded this release to the distributor’s website, which distributes my music on digital platforms. This happened a month before the release date. Accordingly, I downloaded the track and indicated the date when this track should be released. During this month, I did not receive any warning messages or anything like that. But, of course, on the day of the release, I decided to check whether everything went well and found that there was no release in iTunes and Apple services. This was quite outrageous, since a month has passed since the track was uploaded and I wrote to Routenote support, asking, “Was it really impossible to do everything humanly in a month?”. To which I received an answer with approximate content “unfortunately, your release contains one or more tracks *grumble here like a Russian grandfather* that correspond to a genre of ambient music that iTunes does not accept.” Naturally, questions began to arise. And in addition, this letter said that “if you want to challenge this decision, you can contact the email address provided” and the address of the Routenote moderators team was given. I wrote a rather angry mail to them, and in response I received a message of the following content (I will read an approximate translation in Russian, but if you want to see the original, you can do this in the description for this video). So what was said in the message? And the following was said: “Hi. Unfortunately we get emails from stores when they change the kind of content they accept or have decided they have received too much of. Below is the current listed on genres or types of releases that iTunes have specifically asked us to stop sending them. Binaural, Frequency Healing, Meditation, Ambient, ASM(R?), Field Recordings, White Noise and midi/computer generated classical. I have re-listened to your release and unfortunately I agree with the moderator that stores would consider this meditation or ambient music. If we continue to send content to stores that they have asked us not to it can effect our relationship with them. As a result we are having to become more strict and abide by store guidelines more diligently then we may have done previously. I apologise for the inconvenience this may cause.”. Well. As you can understand, all my music in one way or another can be classified as ambient or “computer generated classical”. Accordingly, since this release is not in iTunes, all subsequent releases will not be in iTunes. Apparently, despite the fact that we live in a time when everyone is completely obsessed with equality, nevertheless such discrimination does occur. And we have reached the point where stores and distribution companies believe that they have every right to dictate to the artists what kind of music they need to compose and which is “does not accept” to them. And I do not know what to do on this score. I can only say that all musicians who write in a similar style are “under the gun.” For me personally, iTunes was almost 15% of all listeners of my music. Yes, I have a rather microscopic audience, but nonetheless the scales are completely different. And it would be frankly interesting for me to see how iTunes would say a similar thing to Olafur Arnalds or to one of these guys. That’s it. This is the reason why my last track is not on iTunes, and obviously it won’t. And that all the following will also not be. Write in the comments what you think in this regard. I would like to say a few words now about my plans for the future. What will I do now and why. To make you understand the context: I make music for a living. Music brought me income from 3 sources. These were stores (well, they remain, despite this incident), this is FMA and this is Audiojungle. For about the last year, FMA has been either in a static state or in a “dying” state, and for almost a year now I have almost not received clients from there. Although before FMA was essentially the main source of my income, my traffic, the source of customers who came for music licenses, customers who came for custom work, and so on. Now this is not. The next one is Audiojungle. If you are a musician and work with them, then I think you understand what is happening there now, if not, I will explain. Audiojungle is a music licensing service. Cheap. Last year, they changed the rules of the game a little and changed them for the worse for musicians. First, they introduced manual price entry, instead of fixed price tags. This led to a terrible dumping. There was a bunch of tracks for $5, through which you just can not get through. Nearby can be 2 tracks of exactly the same quality, but one will cost $5, and the other 50 and customers do not understand what the catch is. The second thing they did was open Elements, that is, an additional subscription market. Cheap subscription, by world standards. And they began to promote it so actively that customers ceased to understand that there is a regular market without a subscription. I personally saw a question from the buyer, “can I buy this track without a subscription?”. This market has existed since 2008, but they themselves killed it in a year. Accordingly, I don’t write anything there right now, I also can’t upload the last few releases to FMA and the stores started to dictate to me (and I understand that to all musicians who have a similar style) what we need to compose and what we do not need to compose. That’s it. Now about the next release. I have almost finished the album, but I will not release it yet. Sorry, but you have to wait. I’ll wait at least until it becomes clear what is happening with FMA. And should I release this album under Creative Commons or release it under copyright if the FMA finally closes. In the meantime, if you didn’t know, then I still continue to be a sound designer. I started by learning how to make assets for video games, but I came to the conclusion that now I am making sample packs and instruments for musicians. And now I will do this – to produce working tools for musicians, that is, sample packs and libraries for NI Kontakt. While I will do this, and with music we will see what happens next. I myself am interested. And you write in the comments your opinion on this matter. And the last one. As you can understand, all these plans are quite long-term, but this whole situation has led to the fact that I have a huge drawdown in finances, and given that I do not have any kind of third-party job, now it’s quite difficult for me. Therefore, if you want to say a small “thank you” for all the previous releases or just support me at this very difficult time for me, then you can make donate me. I’ll also leave the link in the description. And I will be very grateful to you for this. Well, that’s it, thanks! I’m sorry that our first conversational video was such an unpleasant topic, I really regret it. But there is nothing to be done, sorry. Well, thanks again to everyone and write what you think. Bye!