I emailed Merge Records, my favorite label, asking for a clarification on how to best support the artist they work with, buying a CD directly from them or, for convenience’s sake, buying it from the iTunes Music Store. This is in regards to The Arcade Fire, which I hope to buy the album and support them in any way I can. Here’s the response I got:
Ultimately, both ways are good for the band. iTunes is very generous with their splits to indie labels and that gets passed along to the band from us, it just takes a little longer. And of course, we split our profits from our own on-line sales directly with the band, too. So you can feel good about spending your money in either place.
I think iTunes has an exclusive song from the band’s self released EP right now, which we won’t have on our web site for a few weeks.
With the changing landscape of digital music and CD sales, this kind of knowledge is good to know. I highly recommend checking out Merge Records’s lineup of fantastic artists, and listen to their Radio to get a sample of great tunes.