by Mike Masnick

Michael Robertson Set To Annoy The Recording Industry Yet Again

from the there-he-goes-again... dept

Michael Robertson has a pretty simple strategy for starting companies. Figure out how technology is completely undermining existing business models -- especially in cases where incumbents are fighting hard to protect obsolete business models -- and simply push them over the edge. That is, he takes the business model changes to the logical extreme, and goes there. He did this originally with, upsetting the recording industry. Then, he did it with Lindows (now Linspire) upsetting Microsoft, and he's tried to do it in the VoIP world with SIPphone, though that one came a bit late to the game. In some sense, he does this for two reasons. First, he knows that the logical extreme he's offering is often exactly what customers want. However, more importantly, the anger (and, hopefully, lawsuits) directed at him from the incumbents he's undermining acts as tremendous publicity. In fact, with SIPphone, he was so late to the game, that when no one sued him, he had to sue another company that was better at the game than he was. Well, now he's going to try to do it again -- and he's going back to his roots. He's starting up a company called MP3 Tunes, which will be an online music store that actually sells MP3s. There won't be any copy protection or restrictions. He also plans to sell portable music players and software for listening to MP3s. His idea, of course, is that people want MP3s, rather than copy protected files that only work on certain players and can't be transferred around easily. Obviously, there are a few other online music stores that have tried this, but Robertson is very good at getting publicity, so this ought to get some attention. The big question, of course, is going to be about selection. Is he going to be able to offer music that people actually want -- or will the recording industry make sure he's left with lesser known acts?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2005 @ 4:46pm

    Lesser known acts?

    That's not such a bad thing as long as he sell mostly RESPECTED lesser known acts, like The Faint, LCD Soundsystem, Foreign Exchange, Ugly Duckling, AS One, Bugz In The Attic, Le Tigre, Junior Boys, Four Tet, etc. However I've got a sneaking suspicion that it will end up being unsigned acts, or 99 cent bin artists that will fall as flat as other sites that cater to such unpolished acts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Brave!, 23 Mar 2006 @ 4:40am


    Just what we need, someone to keep the MP3 coming at us without restriction so we can play them WERE WE WANT!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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