Record Labels Put Out Misleading Study Trying To Get ISPs To Setup Broken Music Streaming Services
from the neutrality? dept
The record labels have been trying out all sorts of schemes for a while now to try to get ISPs over to its side in propping up their old business models, and the latest is pretty laughable. BPI at the behest of Universal Music, commissioned a study which suggests that ISPs can make a lot of money by offering music services to their users. No doubt. But that leaves out some rather pertinent details. For example: many ISPs have very much wanted to offer such music services, but have been blocked by the likes of (uh oh…) Universal Music and BPI. Funny how that works.
The problem, of course, is that the ISPs want to offer music services that people would actually use, and the record labels want to handicap the services to the point at which they’re completely lame. So there’s a bit of a stalemate there.
But the bigger issue is (reading between the lines here) what the record labels are really saying to ISPs here is: break net neutrality. That’s because they’re not talking about just any music service. After all, there are lots of music services out there that people can sign up for no matter who their ISP is. But what the labels seems to be suggesting here is that ISPs specify one special music service that locks in customers. That’s why the report highlights that a music service can “reduce churn.” Of course, the only way it does that is if it’s locked to that single ISP — and if your music is limited to you only as long as you’re with that ISP. In other words: locking it down so that it’s lame.
As if to make the point even stronger, though, BPI blatantly tells ISPs to break neutrality:
“It’s increasingly clear that it isn’t smart to be a ‘dumb pipe’. This report shows that the revenue potential of digital music services alone makes sound economic sense for ISPs,” said BPI Chief Executive, Geoff Taylor.
Being a “dumb pipe” of course is a well-known code-word in the internet world for a neutral network. So, really what the labels seem to be suggesting here is that ISPs break network neutrality for the purpose of serving up a preferred music service that locks you into that ISP. Apparently, no one who put together the study contemplated the fact that this might piss people off and make them look for ISPs that don’t lock them in. Thankfully, it appears that some ISPs aren’t biting:
“TalkTalk thanks the BPI for its strategic business advice. Though some may question the value of such insight from an industry which has failed to acknowledge the impact of new technology on its own business models and is pressing the Government to criminalise its biggest customers,” a spokesperson told TorrentFreak.
Exactly. If the record labels were really serious about helping ISPs offer up music services, they wouldn’t be blocking them at every turn. This report is a typical red herring.