EMI Sets Up Its Own Online Store As YouTube Tries Selling Music

from the try,-try-again dept

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.

Filed Under: advertising, clickthroughs, music, portals, selling
Companies: emi, google, youtube


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  1. identicon
    Alessar, 8 Oct 2008 @ 5:54am

    Youtube knows that music videos are a big draw

    I'm not surprised by this move. A few months ago Youtube started using a new encoder for the sound on uploaded videos. It specifically flattens sound in a way that degrades musical quality quite a bit. The thing is, it's possible to download youtube videos with a browser plugin. Once you have a file, it's possible to strip the audio out as an mp3. Of course, it's a bit complicated and not likely to be done very commonly, but I when they "plugged" that hole I thought, "I bet they're going to try to sell mp3s." At least they'll have links to Amazon and not just i-Tunes.

    As for using it, well I do actually go to Youtube to check out music videos quite a lot. If I hear a snippet of a song on the radio and manage to figure out what it is, often there's a music video on youtube I can watch and preview the whole song. (Amazon does also have a short preview available but sometimes it's not enough to ID a song). I've bought quite a lot of singles off Amazon since its service started, probably about 3 dozen. I'd say 8-12 of them were bought after I viewed a song's video on youtube first.

    When Maroon 5 & Rihanna released their video on Youtube this summer, it was frustrating that the song wasn't immediately available on Amazon, though Maroon 5's myspace page had an iTunes link -- with a partnership deal in place I assume they would have had that buy link up on Youtube the first day; so I do think this is a good step.

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