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Rob Wells on Spotify and Piracy

Rob Wells (center) with Lady Gaga (left)“What I do know about Spotify is that 80 percent of the user base of the free service have come in from file-sharing services.”

Rob Wells (center)
Senior Vice President, Digital, UMGI
on Spotify user-base

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21/03/2010 Posted by | Music Quotes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Newsflash: Universal Music to lower CD prices all-round

Universal Music is embarking on an ambitious but expectant programme called ‘Velocity’ to lower prices of all CDs to between USD$6-$10. This new policy was to help offset the unstoppable and incremental loss of revenue from falling CD sales.

The programme is said to begin in the second quarter of 2010, and will continue to year-end.

“We think it will really bring new life into the physical format,” says Jim Urie, the Distribution CEO of Universal Music Group.

21/03/2010 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Reach for the SKY

SKY has launched a beta website for their brand-new music-subscription service which allows DRM-free song downloads and streaming for all UK and Irish music lovers. In case you’re wondering, the DRM-free songs offered are truly DRM-free, untethered as the day they were digitally born (or made, if you will). For a simple fee every month, subscribers get a certain number of DRM-free songs to download, as well as unlimited streaming of music on the Sky music website. So far, as usual, only the pro-digital Universal Music Group has jumped right in with the utmost of enthusiasm.

While Sky assures that there are ‘talks’ for other labels to come onboard, I can assure you that it’s not going to happen anytime soon. If Sony, Warner and EMI are not already laughing at UMG for their overzealousness for such digital projects, then they are definitely bidding their time, waiting in line to see if UMG’s throat gets cut first, and when. These three giant labels are more concerned about profits first, and not about paving the way to building new digital business models.

Or maybe they are actually concerned about the latter, but in any case, they still have naught to show for it.

As of 12 October 2009, all four major labels have come onboard with offerings from their catalogue, making SKY a true model of the new digital music business. Wonderful news!

Sky, a self-proclaimed ‘communications’ corporation, has implemented a sleek look for their beta music site, which can be found here. Simple, elegant, and easy to use, Songs.Sky.Com has all the offerings from UMG’s huge catalogue, which consists of jazz great classics from the VERVE and ECM catalogues, hip-hop gems from the Def Jam catalogue, and of course chart-topping hits from pop and rock acts like the Black Eyed Peas, the soon-defunct Pussycat Dolls, Mariah Carey, No Doubt, Pixie Lott, Snow Patrol, Hoobastank, Keane and much more.

Mike Darcey, COO of BSkyB, sums it up, “We aim to offer an easy and affordable service for all UK music fans, while ensuring that artists are properly rewarded for their creativity.” While it has yet to be proven that digital profits from such straight-to-the-label tie-ups will blow through the roof anytime soon, it is heartening to see that a certain digital music business model is taking shape all over the world. To sum it up:

The All-New Digital Music Business Model
  • Unlimited Music Streaming for up to max. 30sec
  • Unlimited Tethered Downloads
  • Limited DRM-free (untethered) Downloads
  • Nice, softly-priced Subscription Fee (it can take any form other than a straight-up music subscription fee)
  • Easy-to-use Website
  • Easy-to-download at the click of a mouse
  • No hassle, no contracts

And there you have it: the new digital music business model of the 21st-century:

skyhomepage
SKY Songs Homepage

29/10/2009 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment