News & Press

Record Labels Kill Competition – good article from Wayne Rosso

Just read a great post from Wayne Rosso:

John Lennon would have been 70 years old this week. It got me thinking about one of his most famous lyrics, a line from “God”: “The dream is over.”

Lennon may have been reflecting on the demise of the Beatles, but it seems to also apply to the once enthusiastic promise of digital music services. The hope of pioneering the music industry’s most profound transformation that inspired entrepreneurs over 10 years ago has finally been snuffed out by the very people who would have profited the most—the music industry.

The table is now set. There will be no new players of significance to enter the business. Investors don’t want to entertain the remotest possibility of funding any startup that deals with music no matter how clever and innovative. As one major media venture firm told me a few months ago, they’re tired of writing checks for big advances to record labels. Not to mention the huge legal fees that startups have to spend in order to get licensed, a process that takes at least a year (for no apparent reason, I might add).

What’s most ironic is that the record labels have now put themselves in the position of having to depend on the bulk of their digital sales from companies that actually could care less about selling music: Apple, Amazon, and now Google. These behemoths have huge revenues, 99.9% of which are not related to digital music sales.

Read the whole thing.

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