Virgin France To Warner Music: Your Exclusive Smelt Of Elderberries

from the and-your-madonna-is-a-hamster dept

Last year we wondered about record labels doing silly exclusive deals to release songs by artists such as Madonna and Robbie Williams only on mobile phones. First, it’s silly to do any kind of “exclusive” launch on music that you want spread widely. Second, it’s not very smart to limit a new song to just one way of listening to it (on mobile phones). Third, it’s not as if people are really going to sign up with one mobile operator over another just to get the new Madonna song a week earlier. Finally, as the post showed, Warner Music apparently gave the “exclusive” content to multiple mobile operators — meaning it wasn’t so exclusive. It appears that Virgin France took a different approach to the issue. They decided that if Warner was going to make the content exclusive, they were simply going to rip a copy themselves and sell it online. It’s a pretty audacious move for a music reseller. It’s unclear from the article if Virgin was actually paying Warner royalties for each song sold. That would make this a lot more interesting, and would cut against Warner’s argument that this was outright piracy. However, perhaps Virgin recognized that whatever fine they got (in this case: about $750,000) would be worth it in exchange for the publicity and being able to offer a song that others wouldn’t touch. Still, it does show just how silly the idea of “exclusive” content is these days. No content is an exclusive once it’s been released.

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Comments on “Virgin France To Warner Music: Your Exclusive Smelt Of Elderberries”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Warner Music: Go and tell your masters that we have been charged by God with a sacred quest. If he will give us royalties and shelter for the night, he can join us in our quest for the Exclusive Content.
Virgin Mobile: Well, I’ll ask them, but I don’t think they will be very keen. Uh, we’ve already ripped it, you see.
Warner Music: What?
Warner Music Lackey: He said they’ve already ripped it!
Warner Music: Are you sure he’s ripped it?
Virgin Mobile: Oh yes, it’s very nice!
Warner Music: Call the old lawyer from Scene 21!

rotomd says:

it's like you've said...

Media companies want you to buy the same product as many times as possible. If you buy a song on your phone, most people probably can’t transfer it to a cd or iPod very easily. So if you first buy it on a cell phone, you’re more likely to then go buy the cd, or download the song from iTunes than if it’s first released to iTunes (or out on cd).

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