Universal Music's Plan To Take On iTunes: Bring Back PressPlay And MusicNow!
from the wait,-that-sounds-familiar... dept
Business Week has the story that Universal Music’s Doug Morris is planning to take on iTunes by bringing together the major record labels and having them set up their own music subscription service, and then having ISPs and mobile operators force customers to opt in. First of all, it should be pointed out that this same story broke a month ago about Universal Music’s plans for a subscription service by the site Digital Music News. It just that this is from a more established publication. When the initial report came out a month ago, we detailed why it wouldn’t work, and there’s no indication that anything’s changed. Doug Morris has shown repeatedly that he doesn’t understand the economics at play, and is simply looking to squeeze as much money as possible in the short term, without any kind of long term strategy.
However, what’s most amusing about this is that it looks like it’s going to merely be an update of the last time the record labels tried and failed to do something similar. The big labels all teamed up to create the services MusicNow and PressPlay, which became better known as MusicNot and PressPause. That’s because they were created by companies who were too scared of cannibalizing their existing business. It took Apple to come along and show them how a music service could be done. While you can hope that they’ve learned something, Morris’s repeated statements on the economics of music suggest he still hasn’t figured it out. He might want to talk to his bosses at Vivendi, who seem to understand that selling music isn’t the business model the company should be in. In the meantime, as was noted a month ago, there’s still not the slightest shred of evidence that ISPs or mobile phone operators are willing to force all their customers to opt into a $5/month charge for music subscriptions.