Music Retailers Flip Out That Prince Wants To Give Away His Music

from the it's-madness! dept

For years, some have been saying that the real problem holding back the music industry from embracing digital distribution hasn't been the record labels so much as the record stores. In fact, in the Rolling Stone article about the suicide of the recording industry, one of the key stumbling blocks was that the music retailers threatened the record labels if they embraced digital distribution such as Napster. So, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that music retailers are spitting mad over Prince's plans to give away his latest album. Prince has actually been on the cutting edge of new music business and distribution models for many years, so this doesn't come as much of a surprise. What's interesting, is that he's actually linking two troubled industries: recording and newspapers in a way that helps both. His latest CD will be available for free with a newspaper in the UK -- and the newspaper is thrilled because it's going to seriously increase circulation for that week. This is a perfectly reasonable idea: it adds value to the newspaper and makes it a more worthwhile purchase, while at the same time getting Prince a lot of attention and many more people hearing his latest works (which opens up many more opportunities for him to make more money through concerts, back catalog, merchandise, appearances, sponsorships, etc.).

However, the music retailers are freaking out that someone else might distribute music instead of them. Apparently they haven't been paying much attention to all that online distribution of music that goes on these days and the fact that the business model of the traditional record shop is pretty much dead and buried. Instead, they blame Prince for actually getting more fans to hear his music. "It would be an insult to all those record stores who have supported Prince throughout his career," claimed one. Another said: "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince should know that with behaviour like this he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores." Of course, that's the funniest one, since it's pretty clear that Prince has already realized he's better off without the record stores. Then there's the head of HMV: "I think it would be absolutely nuts. I can't believe the music industry would do it to itself. I simply can't believe it would happen; it would be absolute madness." Basically, what you're reading here is an industry in complete and total denial over the fact that their service (delivering plastic discs to willing buyers) is a business model that's increasingly obsolete.

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  1. identicon
    Comicfan, 1 Jul 2007 @ 8:25pm

    Re: Funny!

    I agree with you! Empty threats. As well, with an above post. Coffee house, listen to the music, etc... innovation has stopped due to the RIAA and music stores. We have NO music stores, 0, zip, nada, nill, zilch. They all moved out years ago, why, because no one wants to pay 15.00 for a bunch of garbage. A crapload of music takes all new meaning nowadays. Some of it's good but man, you get one or two good songs and then you are like, where the hell did the rest come from? Is that the same artist? Who put this on my CD???

    No, I haven't bought, downloaded legally, or illegally, any music in years. If there is a good song, the radio station gets paid to wear it out in a week.

    I did like some Prince music like the classic 1999, little red corvette, and quite a few others. I was almost strictly hard rock but I felt Prince had some decent songs. Either way, I applaud his efforts and even if I didn't like some of his music would back him up 100%.

    It's just as bad as the bands like Backstreet Boys, New kids, etc...arrrggg i'm gonna hurl! These types were all simply created to make quick money for the Recording industry as well as many solo artists, or regular bands in the last so many years. Get them out there, make some money, dump em' and move on to the next while WE, the listener gets screwed with a crappy CD and a one hit song on the whole damn thing.

    At least Prince had quite a few good songs on his albums. I didn't agree with Metallica taking on Napster, however they did get put forefront to others who supposedly were in on it. Still, they were my favorite band throughout the years and sure, I could have downloaded for free but hell, I bought and own everything they have made, why? Because I felt they were worth every penny despite the Napster happening.

    So Prince gets his music out for free, I suppose Metallica is going to crap themselves over this which in some ways, even as a top fan, I hope happens. They have gotten to big on themselves and i'm not afraid to say it. What a blow to me as a fan, seeing how they became RIAALLICA. I think Prince is going to set a new standard for music and even if it means pissing off my favorite band,!

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