Monday, October 8, 2007

'Hands tells EMI staff to "WAKE UP"'

Sent to me from Mrs. Audio Guy (thanks Hon)!

Story out of Variety, apparently Guy Hands (chairman of Terra Firma, the new owners of EMI) is telling his staff to wake up and get with!

Following the developments of iTunes, P2P, and most recently Radiohead's decision to forgo traditional studio support in releasing it's latest album (and asking fans to only pay what they think it's worth), Hands appears ready to turn the entire music industry on it's ear.

Hands wrote: "Rather than embracing digitalization and the
opportunities it brings for promotion of product and distribution
through multiple channels, the industry has stuck its head in the sand."
The Terra Firma boss believes that other EMI acts and their managers will
be following the Radiohead initiative closely to see whether such a
business model can earn musicians more money than following the
traditional record company route.
"Why should (established acts) subsidize their label's new talent roster — or for that matter their record company's excessive expenditures and advances?" Hands said in his memo.

This is very encouraging. It's one thing to have peripheral acts like The Bare Naked Ladies and The Grateful Dead supporting radical distribution of music, but to have the head of a major label practically daring the rest of the music industry (and challenging their mistakes) is down right awesome. Between this and their stance on DRM, EMI is shaping up to be the most forward thinking label in music.

The formal distribution of music can not become a free service or a loss leader. If there's no incentive to craft an album, if artists can not benefit from the distribution of their content, then we'll be headed for a musical dark ages.


Heh-heh, turn the industry on it's "ear" ...

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