Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Music industry's new plan: Making records available to people

The heartbreaking thing about Universal and Sony's announcement that they're going to start selling records when they first appear on the radio rather than a few weeks later is that they're acting so proud that they've come up with the idea.

How proud?

Universal and Sony have both notified Ed Vaizey, the minister for culture and the creative industries, of their plans.
Yes, they're that proud. It's only taken them, what, nearly fifteen years to work out that spending a load of time and effort getting a song onto the radio and TV at a time when it's impossible to purchase legally is a bad business move?

I wouldn't be trumpeting this idea. It really should be the sort of thing you just do quietly in case people ask what took you so long.


Robin Carmody said...

The policy of holding songs back from iTunes et al until airplay and wider media exposure had peaked was basically the result of a desire to maintain artificially manipulated number one entries, which the industry had been able to wangle in the mid-late 90s/early 00s as the singles chart became more and more about marketing - while many songs have been happily climbing since downloads came in, many of the biggest hits have continued to falsely debut at number one for this reason. Hopefully that will end now.

Francis said...

I’ve been banging on about this to people for a few years now. Ever since the first high-profile internet leaks of “big” albums happened - the 3 month media promo cycle prior to “release date” is completely obsolete in the the modern age. Given that these leaks usually come from promo copies sent out to radio and print in advance of the date it becomes available for purchase, the answer seems quite blindingly obvious.

There is no reason why music needs that model anymore. A song can be recorded and available for download the same day if the record companies put their mind to it! To all intents and purposes a “release date” now is the date that a digital copy appears on the net. I’m amazed it’s taken them so longto realise it (No I’m not)

The only place this impacts is print media, who need to get the reviews in months in advance – but you know, boo-hoo – they need to up their game too or be totally killed off by online review sites

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

I'm not even sure that it is such a problem for print media - after all, they're happy to review gigs, which by definition have already happened and are beyond the reach of their audience.

And, let's face it: right now they're reviewing stuff when it gets released, so chances are their readers will already have heard the track on the radio already.

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