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Warner Music gives up on free streaming services

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Warner Music is to stop licensing its music to free streaming services.

Streaming services like Spotify, last.fm and We7, which use adverts and subscriptions, were seen as a great way to wean freetards onto paid-for services.

Edgar Bronfman Jr, chief executive at Warner Brothers, said: "Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry, and as far as Warner Music is concerned will not be licensed.

"The 'get all your music you want for free, and then maybe with a few bells and whistles we can move you to a premium price' strategy, is not the kind of approach to business that we will be supporting in the future," he added, according to the Beeb.

But it is not clear whether Bronfman means existing deals with streaming services - like Spotify - will end, or if he just means the label will not be signing up to any other services. We'll add comment from Warner Bros if they get back to us.

Nor is it clear if Bronfman has a cunning business plan to put in place of streaming services - later in the interview he said potential subscribers to streaming services could far outstrip users of iTunes.

Bronfman said subscriptions could appeal to "hundreds of millions if not billions of people, most of whom are not today either buyers or certainly heavy buyers of music".

Earlier this week Warner seemed to question figures from YouTube which suggested a near doubling of the number of Warner videos watched on the site.

A Warner Brothers' flack emailed us to say it is not pulling out of its current agreement with Spotify in Europe.®

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