Major Record Labels Form Joint Venture With MySpace

from the to-do-what-exactly? dept

There's been some buzz about this all week, but now it's official that MySpace has teamed up with three of the four major record labels (the smallest, EMI, is still holding out, though it may join eventually) to create a joint venture offering called MySpace Music. The company is separate, but connected to MySpace. Unfortunately, the details are incredibly vague. So far, it seems to say that the new company will "let people listen to tunes and watch videos for free on the Web, as well as buy merchandise, concert tickets, and music through downloads." That's a pretty broad description, and while it sounds good upfront, execution is everything. And, historically, the major labels haven't executed particularly well when it comes to creating online music offerings. Already, it seems like they're hedging by saying that they're not committed to offering DRM-free music from this service. In fact, it often seems like these efforts are designed to fail. So, let's take this as a tentative step in the right direction, though with the expectation that the labels will likely do something to screw this up along the way. At the very least, it's the labels recognizing they need to change -- even if they still haven't come to terms with how to actually change.
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Filed Under: business models, music, record labels, social networks
Companies: myspace, sony bmg, universal music, warner music

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  1. identicon
    Bill, 3 Apr 2008 @ 3:53pm

    If they want this to work...

    If they really want this to work...
    1. They need to keep the purchased/downloaded songs DRM-free like Amazon and many of the new offerings from iTunes.
    2. They need to NOT charge for the "listen online" service and only charge for the DRM-free downloads.
    3. They need to use a standard music format like MP3 that can be used on ANY music player with any media application. And they need to include album artwork.
    4. The price, quite frankly, needs to beat Amazon and iTunes. I could see a DRM-free, high sample-rate MP3 track selling like hotcakes for $0.79. Seriously.

    If they fail to do ANY of those four things, there will be NO compelling reason for anyone to ever download a single song. Zero. Nada. Particularly considering the vast majority of people are already entrenched in using iTunes or Amazon.

    If they finally learn to put the needs of the consumer first, I may even drop my boycott of buying new music and start purchasing again. I own 700 CD's, all of which were purchased prior to the start of my boycott about 8 years ago. I stopped my habit of buying a couple CD's every week after reading about the RIAA legislative lobbying efforts and seeing their insane push for DRM. I informed and encouraged everyone I know to do the same.

    Who knows? If they do this right, I might even take down the multitude of links I have accumulated on my personal web site asking people to boycott the RIAA (and MPAA) members and pointing to all the published articles about how self-centered, greedy, and power-crazed they are with their insane levels of legislative lobbying, buying congressmen, and treating paying customers like criminals. Their treatment of their loyal customers these past 10 years was just as illogical as if Walmart decided to arrest all of their customers nationwide because they suspected a few of them might have stolen something worth 50 cents.

    They seriously could save a fortune by firing the teams of lawyers and lobbyists and just servicing their customers fairly. They might even win back all of their previously loyal customers like me who have felt betrayed and been bitterly angry at them for the past decade because they treated us like criminals after we spent so much money on their products.

    So now, let's just sit back and see if the RIAA members' overwhelming greed and stupidity compells them to shoot themselves in the foot once again. What they really need is a HUGE turnover of upper management with young replacements who grasp the concept that the music world has radically changed and they better evolve faster or they will soon become extinct.

    The MPAA folks should watch this process closely because without a doubt they are next. The writing is on the wall.

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