Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Black Is Black

New York Daily News and EMI Music Offer
Free Exclusive Music Downloads to Readers

The New York Daily News, New York's most read newspaper, and EMI Music, the world’s leading independent music company, have announced an agreement to offer Daily News readers free music downloads from EMI's music catalog. The deal will give Daily News readers the opportunity to download three free songs of their choice from a selection of over 120,000 top tracks...

"Maybe not a big deal to file-traders, but in the world of major labels, it’s significant. Instead of saying no, instead of locking the music up, suddenly EMI is looking for a way to give back, to engage consumers in music, to hook them, TO GROW THEIR BUSINESS. If this is evidence of the changes Guy Hands has wrought and is wringing, I greatly approve. Instead of saying Prince giving away his CD with the newspaper is killing the industry, EMI is now seeing the wisdom in new marketing ideas. It’s a start." - Bob Lefsetz -

And so the new "evolution" of the record business has been made manifest at EMI under new boss Guy Hands and his private equity stakeholders who are now willing and desperate enough it seems, to embrace a future that's already arrived. It's worth noting for the "if you can't beat 'em, join em" turning point it represents for a dying business monopoly that for more than a decade has failed to accept that its vastly outdated model was seriously in need of being overhauled, if not abandoned altogether. A kinder, gentler approach of relational trust with music consumers is therefore now being tested. As Bob Lefsetz says, it's a start.

And about time. It may, however, be too little too late.

Black Is Black...they want their business back...

It's grey it's grey...since you went away...oh oh...

What can they do...cause ah ah ah ah ah...they're feelin' blue

The Biz is feeling blue for sure and no doubt troubled by the fortunes they've seen slip from their greedy grasp into the Limewire night. But the business is finally waking up to the fact that re-establishing its relevancy and viability in today's new technologically advanced world while hoping to win back lost customers begins and ends with being attendant to real music firstly, and to music consumers priorities, not just to the myopic greed that has been the hallmark of the industry for decades.

So they're hurtin' in the record biz these days, but so what...?

As Paulie Walnuts from The Sopranos might say..."'ve got your troubles...I got mine pal ok" But you'd better let Paulie know if The Fortunes ever come back...he'll want his juice.

Meanwhile, the conversation in music has changed dramatically this past year. This past 12 months alone we've seen incredible shrinkage in the primacy of powerful corporate brand entertainment media across the spectrum. The real dynamism is 100% on the side of creative artists whose futures will depend on circumventing legacy structures for bolder, uncharted pathways.

As the ongoing effects of radical multi-media hybridization transforms culture, great music will nevertheless thrive as timeless important questions must always be asked, such as... "Hey, Carrie Ann, what's your game now, can anybody play?

If all else fails, and diehard music business beancounters eventually revert back to their default positions of fear and loathing while frantically awaiting their checks to come in the mail, they can always try writing and performing their own songs. In fact, I think a song about a postman bringing their checks and all those love letters from music fans is a cool idea so whadda ya say boys...grab your pens & WAIT...wait a minute…Mr. Postman.

Youtube video clips: Los Bravos [Black Is Black]...The Fortunes [You've Got Your Troubles]...The Hollies [Carrie Ann]...and montage of The Beatles [Please, Mr. Postman]


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