Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mr. Magoo

Indeed the blind must be in charge somewhere over at Warner Brothers. The other day Lefsetz wrote a really great review of a Mark Knopfler video on YouTube:
Only 3,279 people have watched Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris on YouTube. And that’s CRIMINAL! You’ll be mesmerized by Knopfler’s licks, but just shy of three minutes in, when Emmylou starts kicking her legs backward in time to the music, you’ll exclaim VOILA, she’s fucking KIKI DEE!
One of the legal-eagles at the label must've gotten wind of it and had the video taken down for copyright infringement. This sparked a second post:
I still don’t believe MySpace breaks acts, but I DO know that music FANS are conditioned to go to the site to hear streams of songs by their favorite acts. i.e., you’re interested in an act, you CHECK IT OUT! But the staff at Warner Brothers didn’t seem to get the memo. If you want to hear Knopfler and Harris performing, you’ve got to go to THEIR site. Not the acts’, but WARNER BROTHERS’! And it’s the ELEVENTH LISTING! Done in a typeface so small and so blue that if you’re of an age to LIKE Knopfler and Harris you can’t read it. Then, at the end of the spiel, you click and are taken to ANOTHER page, that allows you to click once more and launch the player and listen to the music. What, are the dodos in Burbank still living in the nineties? When record companies lamely tried to establish THEIR label sites as destinations? Before they rarely updated them with lame information and everybody went elsewhere? (Turns out there IS one song on Emmylou’s homepage, but not the single. Yup, stream the album track, don’t appease curiosity.)

I agree. Exposure is the name of the game. Holding onto the music and making it more difficult to sample means that you're fucking with the ability to take advantage of the most lucrative part of the long tail. Even with all their crappy filtering, MySpace and YouTube does make media exposure EASY, you just have to be willing to participate. Labels need to give up the ghost and understand that the more exposure for the artist, especially on essentially benign non P2P networks, is good.

And if you don't offer quality FREE content, prepare to have it hacked, and then pirated and done for you.

So instead of paying six digit salaries to an army of attack dogs, what about if they invested a portion of that in creating promotional content on a timely basis for release to the public, to not only focus on new releases, but showcasing older catalog items. If you can't beat 'em..... join em and do it better.

No comments: