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Inactivity Kills Music – Rob Wells quote

“It is now clear that Business Development should be a priority in any market. The international unit has been created to provide you with all the support you need so please use the various guidelines and ideas provided. Don’t be afraid to innovate, fan the entrepreneurial spark and make mistakes…. Always remember: it is inactivity that will kill us.”

Rob Wells, SVP, Digital (UMGI)
At the first ever Business Development Conference held in London on May 11th 2010 at The Royal Garden Hotel


24/05/2010 Posted by | Music Quotes | , , , , | 1 Comment

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

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

All-American Rejects Launch DigiMusic Successfully

aardigimusicThe All-American Rejects headed down to Malaysia on October 31st and launched officially DigiMusic, Malaysia’s first unlimited music download service offering by the telco DigiCom.

Held at Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Jalil National Outdoor Stadium, the launch concert was preceded by an autograph session and a press conference, where they endorsed DigiMusic on behalf of Universal Music.

Launched unofficially in August this year, DigiMusic promises its subscribers unlimited downloads of its music catalogue offering with no data charges. The offering was backed by two of the world’s largest labels, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group. DigiMusic subscribers will get a host of goodies which include something the telco calls “DigiMusic Live Concerts”, where subscribers will get first consideration when it comes to tickets.

10/11/2009 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Google Launches Music Search

Google Music Search

A year after launching Google music search for the China market, Google has now embarked on Google music search for the entire world. Launched on 28 Oct’09 in the U.S., Google’s music search integrates audio tracks into your searches, allowing you to listen to full audio tracks (if available) upon receiving your search results. Not available yet in Asia, this search promises to make Google’s giant search engine even more gargantuous and comprehensive.

In line with Google’s world domination quest, the music search is ambitious, and is part of a series of Google initiatives – to provide thorough search results like never seen before – that would be rolled out within the next year. After the music search engine, the world can prepare itself for an infinite number of e-books available online (having been digitized for Google’s e-book project) as well as a state-of-the-art social interaction portal called Google Wave.

But I digress.


I initially thought that Google’s global music search would be somewhat similar in interface to the one they launched in China just last year, but it’s decidedly different. While Google’s global music search integrates your live searches into its search engine interface, Google Music China is a separate search by itself, focusing only on music- and artist-related results. Regardless, both are certainly a bold step in the future of free audio streaming for all, receiving praises from music fans all over the world.

And there’s more. “The real “wow” in this new music feature,” states Google’s blog with much pride, “is that you can type in phrases of lyrics, we recognize the song – and bring you the song for full play.” Bring it into Asia soon, we can’t wait!

How are the labels dealing with the digital music revolution?

Apparently, very well. All 4 major labels have come onboard for Google’s global music search, and are listed alongside online music partners iMeem, LaLa, MySpace, Pandora and Rhapsody. It’s heartening to see Universal Music and Sony Music embracing both VEVO and Google’s music search, which could potentially become rivals in music offering. Bring it on, I say. The more (digital) competition the better!

01/11/2009 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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:

SKY Songs Homepage

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