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Melissa Chang’s 16th Letter blog has a good comment on: Facebook’s music plans: Five random thoughts & one prediction This topic was also covered in TheStandard, here. Considering the current rumors about iMeem’s demise and the recent developments at Myspace Music both features are well worth your time, especially this part:

“The music labels are going to have to step it up because they are ridiculously behind the times. OK, this might seem unrelated, but really, the record labels are getting more archaic by the second. According to reports, Facebook is having trouble working out licensing deals with the giants. Apparently, the big four labels won’t give up their music libraries without getting an ownership percentage in Facebook first. That’s just ridiculous on so many levels. There will come a day (I think) when the labels realize that having access to Facebook’s enormous, loyal, repeat audience will be worth the trade of their content…”

So here is what I am wondering: when will we finally see the day that the countless new methods of music distribution, marketing and promotion that the web and its ingenious entrepreneurs have brought us are actually embraced and utilized rather than subverted into the most bizarre ways of deriving the last few pennies out of an outmoded, units-based distribution system? It has been 10 years that dozens of great ideas have come and gone only because they could not ‘made to fit’ into the CD or pay-per download / view model. And here we are, today: some people are still ranting about how they want to avoid another MTV-like situation – talk about missing the boat!

The future of music is about attention revenues, about making money around the music (not just from the music), from music as social medium (not as central, controlled medium). And it’s not about Control – it’s about Collaboration now. I have said it many times before: Social Networks like Facebook are the new Broadcasters – and we must license them accordingly.


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4 Comments

  1. “Apparently, the big four labels won’t give up their music libraries without getting an ownership percentage in Facebook first.”
    I actually laughed when I read this, admittedly off the back of reading the Doug Morris interview and his comments about MTV. The failure of the majors to adapt and embrace change remains their biggest risk – far more than those they persistently cite such as illegal downloads etc. I’m reminded once again of the Motley Fool article where one of their investment gurus was saying he wouldn’t invest in the music industry at present because he could never back anything that refused to embrace new revenue opportunities. Sadly that situation remains the case, and is the reason great new models continue to be stifled.

  2. Having lived through the Internet boom a few years back, there is a terrible feeling of déjà vu all over again in this. If I was Facebook, I’d resist the pressure categorically. The site has a life of its own and exists outside of music, and if it became another mp3.com or even MySpace, what’s the point? I’d love to see the argument in favour of labels receiving ownership.
    I would also be very curious to see how the benefits of this ownership trickles down to the artists on whose work the ownership would be leveraged.

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