Saturday, April 21, 2007

An old threat returns to stalk the record labels

Three years ago, the music industry got its pants internally twisted over the "threat" of newspapers giving away CD compilations. "It'll lead people to think that music has no intrinsic value" they wailed, ignoring the simple logic that people were buying the paper to get the CD, and that was the motivation for including the discs - it wasn't like the Sunday Times suddenly thought that their readers deserved a collection of 70s funk classics as a treat.

The habit died out around the time - less because of the fuss kicked up by the likes of one of Victoria Beckham's old managers, more because the papers got fixated on doling out DVDs instead. But now, the spectre of free records is back - and it's a lot more disturbing for the BPI than shabbily conceived various artist compilations or live eps. Tomorrow's Mail on Sunday is coming with a free copy of Tubular Bells.

Does this mean EMI has finally abandoned the BPI/RIAA line that letting people get music for free undervalues all music? Or does it simply need the cash so badly to shore up its business that it'd even sanction 'free downloads with every wrap' if it could be shown the numbers added up? Will the Beatles entire back catalogue wind up being parceled into the Buckingham and Winslow Advertiser?

1 comment:

James said...

Shame it's not free with the Sunday Express; I'm sure even Mike Oldfield would see the brilliance of an album where tracks 1 to 8 were side A of Tubular Bells, then tracks 9 to 16 were 'Free Bonus Tracks' 'inspired' by the album, played by acts with names like 'Tubular Tommy and the Bell-Tones'.

"Dunnnnn...... Duh-duh-duh-dunnnnnn"
"Deeeeeeeee! Deeeee-deee-dee-dee-deeeeeeeee!"
"Hammond Organ!"
"Doooooooo! Dooo-do-do-doooooooooo!"


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