Feeds

Achtung, Google! U2 boss blasts 'monopoly' for free-for-all

But Spotify is fine

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Music manager Paul McGuinness has previously used the annual MIDEM show to chastise ISPs – but this year it's the Chocolate Factory that has earned his ire.

"Why are they not trying to solve the future in a more generous way?" he asked of Google. The quick answer is one you already know: Google remains a big fish in a small pond under its current advertising-based data-mining operation, and that's something McGuinness perhaps seems to appreciate: "Never underestimate the ability of a monopoly to defend itself," he said.

"Ultimately it's in their interests that the flow of content will continue. And that won't happen unless it's paid for," said McGuinness, Billboard reports.

McGuinness' own business, Principle Management, looks after PJ Harvey and The Rapture, but is best known for steering U2's ascent. The company earned €4.8m in the year ending March 2010, the most recent period for which accounts are available, with accumulated profits of €7.36m. By contrast Google spent $12bn for intellectual property last year by acquiring a phone manufacturer it didn't really want.

McGuinness had kinder words for Spotify – and blamed the record labels that own significant shares in the company for artists' antipathy to the music service.

"Spotify has yet to become popular with artists because artists don't see the financial benefit. That's partly the fault of the labels because the labels partly own Spotify, and there is insufficient transparency."

In fact, few artists and managers have much of an idea about the financial details of music services. Major labels take equity in the services in exchange for unspecified royalties. That's about all most people know. What's surprising is that ownership of retail operations by wholesale suppliers (the major labels) has escaped regulatory attention to date. The market is set to consolidate even further, with a Universal-EMI merger giving one company 50 per cent share of digital sales. ®

Ironic bootnote

Bono's investment company, Elevation Partners, lined up significant donations to the Wikimedia Foundation, the 'charitable' organisation behind Wikipedia. Wikipedia helped attract worldwide publicity to the anti-SOPA protest campaign two weeks ago by going dark for the day. Google also supported the anti-SOPA protests.

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?