Warner Music gives up on free streaming services
Er, that's all folks
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.®
A model people like comes around, where some are even willing to pay for it, they endorse it for a while, then decide to pull the plug.
If they think everybody is just going to go out and buy the music they were listening to on spotify instead they're wrong. A lot of people using spotify like it because of the format (convenient, all under one roof), were happy that it was legal because of the ads, but were never going to go out and buy the CDs. They'll just listen to something else on the service instead. They didn't buy anything, and they're not going to buy anything. The monthly fee is tempting to get rid of the ads, without restricting their choice.
Other people, such as myself have bought several albums I've listened to on spotify, while they were still available on spotify. It didn't matter that I could listen to them for free, I like the concept of physical ownership and being able to store my own local FLAC copies of the discs I own, to convert on demand for my MP3 player etc. For me, spotify is/was a nice way to be able to preview some albums, without having to resort to illegal means, it resulted in actual physical sales for albums I deemed good enough, of which there were plenty.
It might not be what Warner want to see, but the true value of their music is far better reflected by business models like Spotify (wihch is really just a personal radio station) than the prices they'd like to charge for their lossy compressed files. They're obviously afraid of this becoming the accepted value, but it's inevitable anyway and all they're going to achieve by pulling the plug is driving people back to torrents etc. It's as if they've seen the future, and decided they don't like it, and still somehow think they can change it.
Give people a reason to buy your products and they will. I quite happily just paid ~£27 for the deluxe edition of David Ford's new album, there's nothing special about it over the standard one, it's the exact same CD, but I'm paying the money for the physical product.
Really, need a 'pulling hair out' icon here, sometimes it's hard to believe that the people making these decisions miss the obvious.
talk about moving backwards! How can the RIAA$$ possibly hope to stay competitive if they stick their heads in the sand, or whistle to the "We don't need to innovate" tune?
I don't know about other Reg readers, but the only subscription service I would *Ever* use would be one that, for a monthly fee, I could download whatever the hell I wanted, without DRM, in a high quality file of the format of my choosing. There's no way I would pay a subscription for a streaming service if I had nothing to show for my money at the end of it. Sorry Warner, but DAB works just fine for that. Digital (or indeed Internet) radio doesn't always cater to my tastes, but even Spotify gets it wrong sometimes, and I'm not going to fork out £x with no guarantees that you're even going to recommend me stuff I like.
I am a big fan of free streaming services, love Spotify and We7 (not so keen on last.fm, but only because of the rumours that they're in cahoots with the BPI enforcement mafia) and I have discovered many new artists through their recommendations, and gone out and either brought their album (a sale to the music industry), or gone to see them live (profit to the band), often both.
So, Warner Music, I ask you this. If your music is not brought to my attention through the free streaming services that I use, how exactly is it going to be brought to my attention? Answer is it won't, so it's highly unlikely I'll be buying any Warner produced music in the future. I doubt it will be missed.
EPIC FAIL. Here's 10p Warner, go buy yourself a clue about how your customer base operates
I'm with B3vil
I've also adopted to the "listen to new stuff on Spotify and buy a real CD" model. I've even suggested to the Swedes that they put a buy-it-now link to Amazon for exactly that purpose and maybe get a small margin.
I think the tragic fact is that Warner (et al) are just far too greedy. There is no way to convert "Billions" of non-paying customers to a subscription model - they will simply get it for free, even if it means going back to borrowing friends CD collections.
The music industry really has no clue about their market.