Lots of folks are trying to figure out new business models in the music space, and here we have two separate big companies testing out ideas that seem unlikely to work all that well. First up is EMI, the big record label that keeps insisting that its going a different route
but can't seem to reign in its lawyers from taking the same old route
. This time around, it's launching its own music download site
, where it's promising lots of extras and goodies -- including some stuff for free. It will be interesting to see how the actual site is set up, but the idea of setting up just a label specific site seems destined to fail. People want a one-stop shop. They don't want to have to know that the music they like is on EMI. Imagine, back when people bought CDs, if they had to go to a different store for each record label. Maybe there's more to it than what's being described, but at first pass, this sounds like more of the same: a big record label sticking a square peg into a round hole, covering it with shiny paint, and talking about how awesome it is.
Then there's Google, which has been struggling mightily
to come up with ways to make money off of YouTube. At the same time, record labels have been complaining about how much "music" (accompanied by videos, of course) is available on YouTube, and the folks at Google put two and two together and will start offering options to buy the songs you hear on YouTube
at partner sites such as Amazon or iTunes. While it's not a bad idea (why not offer people a chance to buy if they want it), it's hard to see this really getting that much traction. Some people may go ahead and buy out of convenience, but it's hard to see people actually doing that much music "shopping" this way.