Monday, June 09, 2008

Wal-Marting of Music

In a interesting twist on capitalistic censorship, Wal-Mart, the largest music retailer in the country (!), is signing exclusive marketing deals with recording artists. Meaning that only Wal-Mart will market the music. The Eagles, Journey, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban among others are signing these deals.
I find the Wal-marting of music very disturbing. While I understand the need for musicians to get their music out, BUT using a venue which exploits its workers, opposes legislation that would require working wages* or health insurance**, and discriminates against women is not my idea of a corporation that I could or would do business with.
Plus, what demands might Wal-Mart make on these artists? I would reference what Wal-Mart has asked of its other suppliers. . . not to mention that Wal-Mart requires only sanitized versions of songs. . .

* according to Wal-Mart the average associate earns $9.68/hour. That works out to about $17,000 BEFORE taxes. Not exactly a living wage!
** associates need to BUY their health insurance from Wal-Mart at 7%-25% of their wages, needless to say, 57% are not covered.

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