What Would Happen If Napster's Co-Founder Owned Warner Music?

from the questions,-questions dept

An interesting possible scenario arose last week, when it was reported that Sean Parker (recently fictionally immortalized by Justin Timberlake in the movie The Social Network), who was a co-founder of Napster with Shawn Fanning, is considering a bid for Warner Music Group, which has been fishing around for a buyer. Of course, Parker's money mostly comes from Facebook (and I assume, some from Plaxo), rather than Napster. And if there is a bid, it appears Parker would just be one of a few investors involved. But it certainly raises questions about what kind of impact there might be. Would Parker actually look at business models that really embraced file sharing? Or would he view things differently? It certainly would be interesting to watch...


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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 14th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

    Taking it in new directions

    In one article I read on this, he said he feels that Warner's digital music is "undervalued," which I would assume means he thinks they're either marketing it wrong or that Warner themselves don't view it as viable. Either way, I can't help but think that, with his background, he'd be willing to try something that the others won't.

    It also helps knock down one of the holdouts on getting Spotify to the US. Warner hasn't signed on yet. This would help turn them around. He's just got Universal left to deal with after that.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Mar 14th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Tin foil hat time

    Under the city, down a dimly lit hallway, there is a room. Inside this room are a few chairs and a projector. The new owners will be escorted in and sat down. The projector will start playing a little movie of the Kennedy shooting from the point of view of the second gunner on the grassy knoll. When the movie is finished, the new owners will turn to the old owners and ask "What is our agenda?"

    This is why nothing changes.

    /joke

    I don't remember where I got that from, but that's the first thing I thought when I read this post.

     

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    Dwayne, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 1:41pm

    Nothing

    Sean isn't directly buying the label, he is merely buying a stake in it with other investors. He would have to own quite a substantial amount of the label to have any influence on major decisions like changing business models, otherwise he's just another fat cat collecting cheques every month like everyone else.

    Don't hold your breath waiting for change, things are not that easy and you'll probably pass out before things change.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Mar 14th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

    Typo

    which was been fishing around for a buyer

     

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    Karl (profile), Mar 14th, 2011 @ 3:25pm

    Good

    I hope this happens. Aside from the fact that new blood could actually make Warner Music profitable again, it would be the ultimate in just deserts.

    I also hope Google buys EMI, but that's just because I like Google.

     

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    trilobug, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 4:13pm

    Well look on the bright side...

    If this happens, at least the previous owners will have a nice glass of ice water waiting for them when they get to Hell.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 4:40pm

    Wouldn't be wonderful if Napster ends up owning Warner Music LoL

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 5:34pm

    Once he puts money on the table, you can bet he won't be supporting giving away what he just paid big money for. He is in for a shock when he crosses over and realizes just how much of a pain piracy has become.

     

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      Not THAT Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 5:45pm

      Re:

      You forgot to insult Mike to sound really TAMey, otherwise spot on. ^__^

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 8:12pm

        Re: Re:

        Mike didn't get this story right or wrong (it's opinion), I just think he missed a pretty logical conclusion for what happens to someone when they buy something of value that other people are taking for free. Either he is a horrible investor, he has a devious master plan, or he is smelling which way the winds are blowing and realizing that the piracy era may be drawing to a close.

        I don't say I agree with Mike's opinion, but he didn't get anything wrong here (intentionally or otherwise).

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 8:15pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So after 500 years they've finally figured it out? Color me surprised.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 8:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Didn't the guy make a fortune on Facebook...which is, as far as I've heard, 'given away' for free?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 8:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Didn't the guy make a fortune on Facebook...which is, as far as I've heard, 'given away' for free

            Remind me again of the scare commodity that Facebook produced and gave away. It really isn't the same thing, is it?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 9:05pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The scarcity is Facebook and the many features/services it provides, which are apparently quite popular so they must be responding well to their market, making it all useful, etc.

              Facebook (the platform, the service, the maintenance, the features, the advertising deals) does not make itself, it has employees and structures, yet somehow it turns a buck. Seems they figured it out, giving themselves away like they do.

              iTunes is also freely given away, but gets paid somehow. Like Netflix.

              They. are. services. That people will pay for in some way, by item, monthly, or with their eyeballs on ads.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 1:26am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Sorry. Facebook isn't scarce at all. Facebook is like an over the air TV station, it makes it's money when more people watch it. It isn't free, just without apparent cost to the user.

                There isn't anything of value to Facebook unless access is open. There isn't a lineup of people to pay for this stuff (ask the guys at Classmates how it is going for them). They don't sell product, plain and simple. They sell advertising.

                Music industry sells a product (recorded music). If you give that product away, the only thing you have left to sell is the office furniture and supplied you won't be able to afford in that sort of business model.

                So it is doubtful that someone with a past in Facebook would spend tens of millions of dollars just to give it away mindlessly.

                 

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                  Paddy Duke (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 3:33am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  So why donít you put ads on album sleeves and make recorded music viable again? Seems as though, if it was just that simple, you could have figured it out before now.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 8:10am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    People have tried the "ads for music" model (example, an ad before you can listen to your MP3, but the MP3 is free) and for the most part it doesn't work, at least not with the piracy alternative sitting right next to ot.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 9:57am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Until you pull your head out of the 'thou shalt pay directly for infinitely reproducible goods!' playpen, you will continue to miss opportunities that surround those goods.

                      You need to ask different questions of yourself or your industry.

                      A great many features offered by Facebook can be done elsewhere, via email or chat or personal website or Photobucket, etc., but people choose to use Facebook. Why?

                      You are fixated on the wrong things, or so it appears. You are fixated on violation of your rights, instead of what you could do to make money off of a product. You seem to have boxed yourself into only one way of seeing or thinking.

                      Perhaps you could start by asking this: how would you make money from production of art if copyright DIDN'T exist?

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Please, explain it to me then. Facebook is a lucky coincidence of factors, none of which alone mean anything. More than anything, they created a "whitelist" style system that (without their intention) replaced both email and instant messaging for a lot of people.

                        No matter how you spin it, however, Facebook is in the business of page views. They have no "commodity" to sell to individual users (except those newer facebook dollars, nasty idea). They are selling ad space, created by usage.

                        Can you please explain how you would apply this to the recorded music industry, in direct terms? No wiggle here: What would be your personal plan to give music away and make a killing as a record label owner?

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Ask your current/future/former fans and customers - that includes the artists you work with - what they want, what they value enough to pay for.

                          You are in the *service* industry. It can be lucrative if you realize that, get flexible, and go from there.

                           

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              Donny (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 8:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Facebook's 'commodity' are your friends. It's gossip, social interaction, communication with the 'scarce' people you know.

              If it can turn a profit connecting you with people, why couldn't a similar platform turn a profit connecting you with music?

               

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    Steve R, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 11:35pm

    RE

    This guy had a wired take on Parker's "bid." calls it "through the looking glass," but thinks it would be Parker's loss in the end.

    http://www.mosesavalon.com/mosesblog/http:/www.mosesavalon.com/mosesblog/will-the-once-immor tal-warner-sell-to-their-mortal-enemy/comment-page-1/#comment-2855

     

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