Feeds

UK retailer threatens music biz with payment freeze

Our Price demands online stores shouldn't get best deals -- they're not, says music industry

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

UK music retail chain Virgin Our Price has said it will freeze payments owed to record companies over allegations that its online music rivals are getting preferential treatment. Richard Branson's High Street giant met with record companies yesterday to say it was holding off on bills owing to distributors until it got better business terms. "We are not happy with the terms of trade," the company said. "We are fed up with the fact that [the record companies] are giving better terms to online start-up companies than they are giving to 95 per cent of the business." It added that it would be happy to pay up when it got better terms, today's Financial Times reported. However, a senior UK music industry source told The Register that he was sceptical about Virgin Our Price's claims, and said any threats to refuse payment until terms and conditions are changed would be "completely illegal". "Almost all retail and online stores are supplied through third-party wholesalers, not direct by the record companies," he said, "so if Amazon or whoever is getting preferential treatment it's because they've done a deal with the distributors, not the record labels." And he denied record labels were pursuing online sales to the expense of traditional retailers. "Right now, the vast majority of music sales are impulse buys, and the industry knows the best way of making those sales is by getting CDs physically in front of the punters. Sure we're interested in online sales -- we're a commercial business -- but the focus is on retail sales." Curiously, Sony Music Entertainment is being sued in the US for allegedly forcing shops to sell CDs that drive users to online stores affiliated with the company. The National Association of Recording Merchandisers, representing over a thousand record shops, lodged the charges with the US District Court in Washington, Reuters reported. Last week, Virgin threatened to pull out of music retailing if major labels failed to support the High Street over online businesses. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.