One more nail in the major label’s coffin…
Will they end up going out of business before they learn how to use technology for their own benefit? Are they really this dense?
On Friday, February 25, I received a message from my New Media contact at Interscope Geffen A&M. It said:
As some of you may or may not have heard, UMG is putting in place a new Pay Per Play Video Policy. This means that we will no longer be servicing video streams for free use. I will continue to service audio Streams and fulfill online publicity requests.
This also means that as of Monday Feb 28th, all of Interscope’s current videos will be suspended. If you have links that are live on your site, I would suggest you take them off or they will just redirect to our Artist’s site.
If you are interested in striking a deal with UMG to play videos, please let me know and I will put you in contact with the right person.
For Glorious Noise, this isn’t that big of a deal, really. We rarely link to major label videos anyway.
These video streams were usually sent to us by publicists and label reps who asked us to post the streams on GLONO in order to promote the release of whatever album they were pushing that week. If it was something we liked, we’d occasionally post it. Usually to the “Listen to the Band” hype forum on the boards. Rarely, if it was something super cool, we’d add a link to it on the home page. That way, our readers might get to see a good video (they’re not going to see them on MTV, as we all know) and the label gets a little free publicity and feels justified sending us the occasional promo cd. Win-win.
But now, some suit at Universal Music Group has had the brilliant idea that if the kids were willing to watch videos on their computers, they might as well charge them for the privilege. Of course. I’m sure some Finance guy took a look at the monthly bandwidth bill from Streamos and was very proud of himself when he devised a clever way to turn those expenses into revenues. Monetize that shit, yo! Maybe Herbert Kornfield finally backed his shit on up outta tha Midstate Office Supply and landed a primo position at UMG.
CFO at UMG?Shit gets done when H-Dog’s around. Ain’t nobody balance more spreadsheets in a pay period than him. Daddy H coordinate the second-shift check-processing schedule like a mother fuck. Bills be sent.
Regardless of how it went down, this is a really shortsighted and stupid idea for Universal. When it comes down to it, what is a video but a three-minute commercial for a cd? Nobody’s going to pay to see these videos and then nobody’s going to buy UMG cds. This is another example of a major label completely misunderstanding technology and their audience.
For those of you wondering, UMG is the conglomerate that owns the following labels:
Geffen Records • Interscope Geffen A&M • Island Def Jam Music Group • Lost Highway Records • MCA Nashville • Mercury Nashville • Motown Records • Universal Classics • Universal Records • Universal Music Enterprises • Universal Music Latino • Universal South • Verve Music Group
So what does this mean? Does it mean you won’t be able to watch free videos online anymore? Probably not. I’m guessing sites like Yahoo will work out a deal so that we can all watch the latest Beck video without having to stay up all night watching for it on MTV2. And guess what? Glorious Noise will probably still link to it wherever it ends up. No big deal. This is still the internet, after all.
It’s just one more piece of evidence that the major labels are run by complete morons who don’t give a flying fuck about you, me or the future.