Hopes that Terra Firma were at least grasping the future for music companies is providing content under licence, embracing the idea of an arms-length world where it doesn't need to be the distributor any more have just died. Not simply died, but died in a horrible way. With a nasty noise.
EMI has decided that it actually wants to be a webpublisher instead of a music company.
No, really. It thinks that's a good idea.
The thing is, they probably believe this, although if you asked EMI to name any evidence of this pioneerng spirit, they'd have to spend a bloody long time before they could come up with something. "One of the first companies to sue Napster", perhaps?
The decision is intended to allow EMI to replicate the success enjoyed by stars such as Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen on MySpace and Bebo.
Now - leaving aside the question of how far the Monkeys and Allen were dependent on the existing social networking sites - what sort of logic is it that looks at the propostion 'The kids hear about new music on MySpace and Bebo' and concludes the best idea is not looking to get your artists onto MySpace and Bebo, but instead to try and build an inhouse version of MySpace.
We could just about see it almost working, if there was something unique about the access this EMMySpace could offer to, say, Kylie. But if all we're talking about is a couple of ghostwritten blog entries and the odd remix download, it's impossible to see why the company is wasting its money when, for about one sixth of the price, they could put the same content in front of a much bigger audience by using the existing networks.
The overriding logic of the music industry: never take a scheduled flight if you can get to the same place, at the same time, by chartering your own jet for ten times the cost.