What benefit do music label bring me?


Heiko asks: What would you ask Universal Music?:

On Monday I will speak to the management team at Universal Music Group’s German HQ in Berlin. I will talk about weblogs, podcasts, videoblogs… and how digital tools and technology change the way consumers interact with music (or any type of content).

I though about it and I don’t have a real question, more a statement.

The last times I did listen to radio stations I recognized the songs – even though I have not been listening to radio for a long time. I heard a similar argument from other podcast listener.

I don’t feel akward to watch (music) videos like I would watch them on TV – if I would turn it on: For free. I have not bought one record in the last 5-7 years because the music just plain wasn’t worth the money. Albums had one good song and that is about it.

Through podcasting I have discovered more good music than ever before – and I only liste to some music podcast, like Coverville, the Tartanpodcast and Accident Hash.

I have given money to those podcasters to distribute them to artist as well as bought some from the bands themself. Albums are decently priced at 5-10 dollar.

I do not plan to buy any records in the near or far future out of the record store as a CD – which I only will rip to have it where I want to play it. DRM? Please print it in big letters that you “protect” the artist aka try to get me to pay so much more because you think you can milk me.

Direct contacts with bands are possible, artist are able to conduct tours through support of the web and – most important of all – are able to earn money. It is my suggestion to every band not to sign up with Gema and alike (BMI / Ascap in America) but market their musik directly on the net. Be it Podcasting, Myspace etc; instead reaching some people through last-millenium ways they can reach the world.

Music labels and alike are not any more needed in this equation. The mostly show up as being annoying (install DRM), seem not really interested in artist, and have to feed themselves first. I am a customer. I enjoy spending money for music I like. On my terms, not being annoyed and with a win win for the artist.

So the question for every company like Universal would be: What is my benefit from you?


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