Warner Music's Online Video Archive: Too Little, Too Late

from the this-is-big-news? dept

Lots of news sites are covering Warner Music’s announcement today that they’re going to offer music videos from their archives for free (with ads) streaming online. About the only reason why this should be news is the fact that it took them until 2007 to realize that these promotional videos could be used for promotional purposes. Remember, the whole point of music videos was to attract more interest in the music and musicians. In other words, music videos have always been promotional materials, and as such it’s bizarre that it’s taken Warner Music this long to realize that it might make sense to offer them up for people to view. That said, Warner Music still seems confused about this, as they’re focused not on making it even easier to use these music videos for promotional purpose, but on “monetizing” them. First, these videos are at Warner’s own hub, rather than distributed to content sites where people already go. They seem to believe that people will want to search them out, a strategy that hasn’t worked for other media companies because it goes against the way people want to interact with the content. People don’t know which artists are on the Warner Music label, and they don’t care. If they want music videos they want to go to places where they can get all kinds of music videos, rather than just a random group that happens to have a business relationship with a company that the users don’t care about. Then, of course, these videos are only for streaming — not for promoting. Users can’t share them with their friends, they can only download videos for a fee. At some point you would think that the folks at the major labels would start to realize the difference between promotional goods and goods that should be sold, but it appears they’re still a long way away from that epiphany.

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Comments on “Warner Music's Online Video Archive: Too Little, Too Late”

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Jonathan says:

Real World Killed the Video Star

Umm… music videos are dead. If you haven’t watched MTV or VH1 in the last 10 years, you’ve missed out on the fact that they don’t play videos anymore. One of my favorite artists, Tom Petty, also made some of the absolute best music videos back in the day. However – and this is from Petty’s mouth – he’s not making them anymore because they aren’t worth it. They cost too much to make, and they don’t get any exposure. As a promotional tool they are completely dead.

Why do I bring up Petty? Well he has filmed a few videos under the Warner Brothers label – including his award winning videos You Don’t Know How It Feels and Mary Jane’s Last Dance. If you feel it’s worth the trouble, go look ’em up on Warner Bros new site – or check YouTube; they don’t have any commercials.

Bored Surfer says:

Get a real job

Too little too late? Hardly.

Warner is doing what they want in their own time frame. They already used the videos for promotion back when they got exposure on MTV and VH1. They sold videos on tape and DVD also because people would pay to have a copy of their favorite videos. Now things are changed with the internet. They’ve got content people want to see and a distribution channel with lots of eyeballs. They’ll make money off of advertising while providing content fans want to see.

What would you have them do instead, let YouTube make the advertising revenue? Are you just some Google fanboy or a paid shill for Google? It doesn’t matter. Your little (emphasis on little) opinions matter naught to people who actually create things for a living.

Flap your gums all you want. Cry that people don’t give you stuff for free. The world will go on spinning. You’ll make your little (emphasis on little) money for a couple more years. When the dust settles and the models are established, you’ll be left with a disk full of garbage opinions with NO hope of monetizing them. TimeWarner will still have a phat load of content. It will still be monetizing in ways that irritate you. Maybe you can beg on the street outside the TimeWarner building in NYC. Better yet, while you still have a little income, buy a hotdog cart and become a vendor. You can sell street food to the people you criticize today.

Grow up. Get a real job. Create something worthwhile.

Anonymous Coward says:

How is this different than what MTV did. MTV put commercials along with the merely “promotional” videos, because they have overhead and costs to cover, something writers here don’t seem to understand. Warner Brothers has a lot of costs to cover, including the site to host the videos. They aren’t making you pay, just putting commercials there. So you are getting something you value for free still. Quit thinking you are entitled to all this content for free.

asdf says:

Re: Re:

Ok, so music video is promotional. Presumably, when people see it they want to buy the CD, hence Warner Brothers makes money. MTV shows the video, people buy the CD, MTV gets nothing, thus MTV needs to advertise it is their primary source of revenue (I suppose they make money on those craphole movies). Warner Brother’s music division’s primary source of income is, CD sales.

That is why it is different then what MTV does.

Overcast says:

What would you have them do instead, let YouTube make the advertising revenue? Are you just some Google fanboy or a paid shill for Google?

Who knows – but one could definitely ask that same question of you? Are you a Time Warner Fanboy or a paid shill for Time Warner?

I agree – I don’t give a rat’s tail what company makes the music video, markets the music, or whatever. And no – I don’t just want stuff for free, but I’m not going to pay for something that’s not worth the cost. Like ‘DRM Free’ Music from apple that costs 30 cents more per song? Naaaaa

Plus, Yahoo’s already been doing this for years and on Yahoo I would get all of this and more.

Of course – this would assume any recent music from any of the RIAA zombies was any good…. One thing has happened in all of this for me – I’ve found quite a number of small, independent artists I’m really coming to like. And yes, I have PAID them for their work. It’s something most people really don’t have a problem with, to be honest, but all you hear about is the smaller portion that’s actually getting stuff for free and the RIAA’s ‘War on the Consumer’.

Jonathan (user link) says:

Warner Bros on YouTube

Guess what! Warner Brothers has a distribution agreement with YouTube. They have a ton of music videos on the site, and they put them there. Who cares? I agree with that it’s their content, let them make a profit from it if they want to, but resorting to an ad hominem attack of the author of this post makes Bored Surfer sound very foolish.

SkepticBlue says:

He has a job and he's doing it

Warner is doing what they want in their own time frame.

Sure they are — apparently oblivious to the promotional value of the music videos. That’s Mike’s point — not that he’s not getting something for free.

Warner makes its real money selling music, not music videos. The videos were a promotional add-on to get more people interested in the music. Certainly they’ll make a few bucks by controlling access to the videos and they certainly have every right to do so. But if those videos were really used to promote the music — by making them easy to find and share — they’d probably make much more money on the increased music sales.

The music business model has changed a lot. It’s a hard business to be in right now. However, and I think that Mike’s comments have been trying to point this out, the record companies and RIAA have been brain dead in their reactions to this change and this is just one example of a mindset that is consistently short-sighted.

… let YouTube make the advertising revenue?

If somebody can reach a market that provides my major revenue stream better than I can and will help promote my products, then damn right I’d let them have the advertising revenue.

Overcast says:

You know – Ted Turner, being the big socialist he is…

I mean, if he really believes in socialism – shouldn’t he just give away content anyway?

I mean – afterall, he’s just the majority stakeholder in a big evil corporation, making more profit than even some oil companies.

Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community

I mean – if he doesn’t – then it could be said he’s nothing but a hypocrit. Shouldn’t the ‘community’ own the content?


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