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October 17, 2007



Nice article, Andy. Glad to see you making a foray onto this side of the fence!

There's definitely a gap between the tailing off of CD sales and the uptick in paid music downloads. No wonder that the labels are getting spooked.

One of the things that worries me about these direct deals with labels is the potential for them to manipulate the playlists of the web stations. If a big label signs a deal to let a webcaster access its back catalogue, there's always the temptation to say "by the way, it would be really beneficial to this relationship if you gave our latest upcoming artist a little extra airtime this month". Even with 'social' stations, there's always the chance that the music served up individually could change. Naturally no-one will talk about it, and the deals are all done behind closed doors, so it's very difficult to know -- especially with social stations where it's hard to monitor the content statistics - but the webcasting world really is the wild west where such commercial relationships are concerned.

Got to be better than the Smashy and Nicey world of mainstream terrestrial radio, though.

I have this dream that the content owners and publishers will realise the folly of DRM and will switch their business model to foreground the relationship between the consumers and the content producers. The songs will be a pivotal point around which other conversations revolve, including everything from merchandising sales to concerts, paid membership forums where people can have conversations with the bands, and each other, and where they can exchage mashups, etc. As the labels understand how to capitalise on these conversations the business model around the music itself will change. Or maybe not...

Anyway, I really enjoyed the piece. Hope to see another one from you soon.

Andrew Smith

Hi Danny - thanks for the kind words - and the extra perspective I'd hadn't considered - the beauty of the web ;-)

Flour Mill

I'll follow you there. RL interevened and I was not able to check out a lot of stuff. Now that I am back am doing it with a vengeance.

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