Sean Parker - who went from founding Napster to, erm, popping up at the only fairly creepy Bilderberg crypto-capitalist bunfight last year - was on-stage at this week's Web 2.0 summit, and amongst the names dropped and scores settled, he said this:
He also criticized record labels for their bureaucracy and inability to adapt, saying that thanks to digital distribution services like MySpace and Spotify, bands no longer need to pay a third party to get their music into the ears of the masses. At one point during the interview, Parker said, “I’m not actually sure why you would sign up with a record label. Unless you're desperate for money, or you're on skid-row, and you've got a heroin problem."Not entirely sure even that's true - even when the majors were powerful, signing to a record label for the money would have been like a cow striking a deal with a butcher to secure her future.
It's questionable, though, if a man who has invested so strongly in Spotify might want to be quite so rude about record labels in public, though - whatever pipe the music of the future flows through, the majors do still control a big chunk of the archive. Pointing out to them that they're probably not going to be part of growing that archive is only going to make them want to jack up the value they drag out of what they do control.
[Thanks to Michael M]