Rumor: EMI In Talks To Sell MP3s

from the talk-talk-talk dept

There's no evidence that the music labels have plans to drop their silly DRM schemes any time soon, but at least it's being talked about at a high level. Even before Steve Jobs' recent anti-DRM pronouncement, there had been rumors that a major label was flirting with the idea of offering unprotected music downloads. The latest rumor gets a bit more specific, with word that EMI is in talks with different online music retailers to offer its music catalog in MP3 format. EMI has already made some moves that suggest its stance on online music and piracy is evolving. In January it made the surprise announcement that it would work with controversial Chinese search engine Baidu to offer free streaming music and ad-supported downloads. It also announced that it will abandon any plans to implement copy protection on CDs. Of course, it's still all talk at this point. The company is said to be shopping around for a big upfront payment from a digital music store before it agrees to such a plan, suggesting that its first priority is still on getting the quick profit. Ultimately, for the record labels to thrive in this environment, they're going to have to take a longer-term approach, and one that recognizes that the economics of the industry are changing.


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  1.  
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    Anonomous Coward, Feb 9th, 2007 @ 11:07am

    Good Job EMI and Steve!

    I fully believe that Steve Jobs knew about this prior to his write-up earler in the week.

    I'll support Steve and EMI, by exclusively purchasing their wares if this gets some traction.

     

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  2.  
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    Jason, Feb 9th, 2007 @ 11:19am

    I look forward to being able to buy music online without DRM. I have bought music from iTunes in the past but quickly came to dislike the DRM. Even though I only listen to music on my computer or my ipod, just knowing that the DRM is there bothers me as I don't want to feel like I am locked into buying another ipod in the future (although I probably will). I like to keep my options open.

    Also, maybe if online music is sold in mp3 format, there will be more competition and the prices for music will go down. I especially think the prices of entire albums should go down. Itunes charges around $9.99 for a album but I can buy the CD (with no DRM and better sound quality) for that price or maybe a dollar or two more so where is the incentive to buy the whole allbum where purchasing online? Album prices need to go down to no more than $4.99 before I would ever buy a complete album online.

     

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    Joe Schmoe, Feb 9th, 2007 @ 11:26am

    Jason,

    emusic.com - high[er than itunes] bitrate, mp3, and the pricing you seek.

    indi's yes, but I've been finding artists that I like as good as my old favorites and even more than the current level of pap on the box these days...

     

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    DKP, Feb 9th, 2007 @ 11:33am

    If it is this should be interesting especaily if they go through with it. Wonder what the iaa would do then. people could claim they purchased the music also it would force the other labels to rething their actions and that might put a damper on some of these frivulus lawsuits tieing up the courts time.

     

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  5.  
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    Jason, Feb 9th, 2007 @ 11:34am

    I tried emusic for a while a although I applaud their effort to sell music without DRM, I just couldn't find enough music I liked each month to remain a member. I really don't buy a lot of music on a regular basis so I didn't really like the subscription deal.

    I really would like it if emusic had the option to buy individual songs without a subscription like iTunes even if they charged a little more per song.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2007 @ 11:53am

    If they sell singles as 50p lossless files and I'll be spending hundreds.

     

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  7.  
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    chris (profile), Feb 9th, 2007 @ 12:03pm

    cory doctorow wrote the greatest paper ever on DRM

    and presented it to microsoft:
    http://craphound.com/msftdrm.txt

    it was written in 2004 and predicts most of what jobs and others like him are saying now... almost prophetic.

     

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  8.  
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    John, Feb 9th, 2007 @ 12:08pm

    They Still Don't Get It

    People BUY music because they love it. These people are well aware of the sound quality differences in different codecs, unlike the 'unwashed masses'. mp3 is just not an acceptable codec. At least the labels have to offer musical codecs like AAC (w/o Fairplay), ogg or even dare I say it FLAC. If they don't, the people who listen to music more than casually will continue to ignore online offerings. Everyone I know who buys alot of music thinks 128 fixed-bit-rate mp3s suck all the 'life' out of music. People who don't BUY music think mp3 is wonderful...
    Instead of 44.1 khz 16-bit 'CD-quality', if they offered 48 khz 20-bit re-mastered tracks without DRM it would be a massive success on par with the introduction of the CD for MUSIC fans. mp3s: meh. My ripped CDs sound way better and only offering mp3s doesn't give me any incentive to buy online.

     

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  9.  
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    rodney jenkins, Apr 29th, 2007 @ 2:54pm

    People can barely make a full album of music even in vinyl format, which is apprx 30 mins of music.

    This 30 minutes takes MUCHO money to record. Any proper album is expensive to record, that's just how it is. And consumers want to act like this is not a fact. A lot of major labels are signing cheap new school talent that have fully integrated cheap digital technology which promotes lower overhead for them. No longer does the album advance go to recording albums, but it goes to their pockets. Most of the stuff on the radio is made in their bedroom studios.. FACT.

    This doesnt mean its THE RIGHT WAY, but this is how they are tyring to sell it. It sounds like shit, and their music doesn't sound bad on mp3's cause it was made in digital. Take a good analog recording coverted to a high quality digital (which is a compromise already but acceptable), then that to low quaity mp3. Damn, it's shit.

    The majors think the people cant tell anyway. This is because most music made today is made cheaply, so everyone is becoming accustom to this sound. So now they are going to sell you something you don't even physically own, a low quality version of it, which is an insult to any intelligent person.

    A real analog recording, captured on high quality digital is a whole other story. This costs money, and after everything involved to get a physical product to you, paying up to 15 dollars for a cd, isn't bad, if the music is great, the packaging is great, and it's a memorable piece that represents the artists right in every sense. Most music people buy is made for commercial purposes only.

    Now, consumers are promised with unlimited time space. I bet these same consumers expect artists to pump out a 5 hour album, because their new digital format can hold it.

    The reality is, music sucks today. It's cheap. Even music that wasn't too good in the 60's to 80's wasn't that offensive. You could still sense a level of creativity, originality, and recording practices. Today, it's a cheap program with cheap samples. Anyone who thinks a kick is a kick is a kick, is plain stupid. But thats all they play on the radio today. You have nerdy rock engineers digitally mastering rock and rap. It all sounds like the same homogenized music.

    So now that music sucks, and this same music is the only music which gets commercial coverage, and what most people are even AWARE OF. This becomes "the music scene". Whatever they put into the marketing machine, is THE SCENE.

    So the average consumer now believes, no one else can successfully make a 30 minute album, its just all about singles, or the "hot song". Itunes ran with this, and now they are TRYING to create a music society of short attention spanned untalented people with more assistants than songs. Majors are playing along with this, and are the ones who still get features on itunes. They know they put out horrible acts, and this is why they are trying to implement this change.

    Mp3's are shit, period. If you take a heavy bassed analog electronic track, then squash it to 128, 192, even 300+ it's not going to have a balanced bass.

    So because of the presentation of the MINORITY of musicians, which seem to be the MAJORITY, everyone is subjected pump release their albums in low quality, which for new bands, is a horrible way to stand out. Then they must sell their albums for 1 dollar?

    I dont know what people think these days, but its harder to advertise online than it is offline. In the real world, you can put your posters up, you can make your album artwork bold, you can pass out cds, you can do all types of HUMAN things which BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER PHYSICALLY. Online, there is no standout, everyone has digital artwork which never hits paper, and if you expect to get promoted, you better be shaking hands with itunes, and have a following. No one searches for unknowns, and the only way to promote an unknown (which is probably better than the knowns) is to have money.

    Real analog music and physical high quality digital sound BETTER. There is no need to change it, get off your computers, stop being geeks. Buy an album with loud color art, and put it on your wall so it changes your mood.

    Mp3's further encourages the majors to pump out the same bullshit which is depleting society slowly but surely with negative energy.

    Why not sign bands who can make 30+ min albums that can keep your attention, have good artwork, and packaging, with memorable collectors pieces. Do you really think you'll be trippin on the format if you cant get the album off your mind?

    This is pretty similar to electronic voting ballots, you NEED PHYSICAL RECORDS. Humans are analog being, BE ANALOG. Pick up a crate of records, move, feel, touch. People are becoming so lazy, it actually seems like its going to cause a split between humans.

     

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  10.  
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    rodney jenkins, Apr 29th, 2007 @ 3:05pm

    THE POINT IS

    You can be a lot more resourceful and expressive with the REAL WAY of promoting and making music in the REAL PHYSICAL REALM.

    Its a lot more DIY.

    It costs 100,000 to get a feature on myspace, and have your page in rotation, or you have a deal with myspace through a label.

    in 1997-2000 it was much easier for bands to promote online, now the field is no longer even.

    At least in the real world, you can do low cost promotions, posters, slap em up anywhere, and do just about anyhthing to get the attention of a potential fan.

    Online, its VERY FORMULAIC. myspace, itunes, PERIOD.
    both you need personal relationships and money to BE SEEN.

    he whole itunes youtube myspace thing is all part of a consolidation period, trying to bring it all here. They are testing the waters, seeing what they can sell people, seeing what wont fly.

    The good news is.

    Stores are BEGGING FOR ANYTHING QUALITY TO BE IN THEIR STORES.

    So a band right now, with a DOPE album, and DOPE ARTWORK, and if they are smart, put extra money into packaging, WILL STAND OUT LIKE A SORE THUMB AT A STORE.

    This will create an unspeakable buzz for ANY band who fullfills these requirements. I predict this to be like this for 2 years. I also see a backlash to digital, and people are going to go back to physical.

    This is a really sinister plot going on. If you do some study on mindcontrol through sound, you will find

    more reasons to avoid CHEAP digital

    A Korean patent mind controller is disclosed.

    http://v3.espacenet.com/textdoc?IDX=KR2003072692&CY=gb&LG=LG3&DB=EPODOC&am p;RPN=US2003171688&DOC=dcb66f26dd974f0dc5824100c88027f79e&QPN=US2003171688

    http://zapatop i.net/blog/?post=200407024700
    http://zapatopi.net/blog/?post=200407147420.More_On_iPods_Cerebrosoni cs
    http://www.neuropop.com/v3/index.html

    Has anyone noticed that a lot of major radio stations are now playing mp3 versions of classic analog songs that they could be playing from vinyl or even cd. You can even tell by listening to the radio. Songs that used to have punch, are now thin.

    This is just more proof that the majority of people in the music inudstry don't know a thing about music. They just know about money, numbers and the machine.

    But, who listens to radio anyway?

     

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