When the big iTunes/Pepsi promo kicks off on Sunday during the Super Bowl, indie music advocacy group
will launch a promotion of their own, one aimed at taking some of Pepsi’s dollars away from the major music labels. They’re calling it
Tune Recycler; Downhill Battle will use it to take some of the unwanted winning codes from among the 100 million being given away and use them to buy “quality music from honest independent labels,” according to group member Holmes Wilson.
“When you buy major label music on iTunes,” Wilson explained, “the musician usually gets nothing, because they’re in perpetual debt to their label until they sell more than 500,000 CDs. And at best they only get 8-14 cents on a $1.00 song. We want to get some of Pepsi’s money going to actual musicians, not just record label CEOs and RIAA lawyers.”
But why would you want to give away a winning code? Maybe you don’t have an account with the iTunes Music Store and don’t want to bother setting one up just to download a single song. Or perhaps you agree with Downhill Battle’s mission and want to donate to their cause. And if you want to use the code for yourself, Downhill Battle asks you to consider whether the song you’re downloading is put out by a company that’s part of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). They have a link to a site called
that helps you determine whether an album was put out by a member of the RIAA.
Holmes notes that some of the independent labels found in the iTunes Music Store’s catalog offer their musicians up to 50 or 60 cents on the dollar from the first song sold, and that’s where he’d like to see unwanted Pepsi codes to go. “That way none of the money will go to support payola radio or reckless lawsuits against 12-year-olds — most importantly, the money actually gets to the musician.”
When the TuneRecycler site goes live on February 1, you’ll be able to visit it and enter your unwanted winning codes. Downhill Battle also promises to provide a list of artists whose albums they will purchase songs from with those codes. Before then, you can stop by to learn more about Downhill Battle’s mission, including their six reasons why they want to get rid of the major music labels.