Warner wants your music $

Music giant Warner plans to sting internet users with a monthly fee bundled onto their internet package giving the user access to unlimited downloads.

Music industry veteran Jim Griffin (former head of Geffen Music) will lead the charge for Warner’s controversial campaign to bundle a monthly fee onto the average consumer’s internet bill to provide the user with unlimited access to a database of music from the Warner stable.
Speaking with Conde Naste’s Portfolio magazine Griffin stated: “Today, it has become purely voluntary to pay for music. If I tell you to go listen to this band, you could pay, or you might not. It’s pretty much up to you. So the music business has become a big tip jar.”

While peer to peer file sharing has flourished in the twenty first century, the record industry has seen a decline in sales over the last decade amounting to some 5 billion dollars in lost revenue. The labels have been quick to point the finger at file sharing services which they believe make copyright obsolete and free music distribution as easy as the click of a button.

Griffin would like to see this all change. Accordingly he sees the fundamental issue as being whether music consumers will buy songs and albums individually, or whether they will subscribe monthly to access a “universal” database of songs. It’s the latter that he believes will be a winner for Warner.

Meanwhile the Recording Association of America, continues to go after the average Joe for illegal downloads – last year, the industry group (which represents the major labels) sent 5,400 threatening letters to students at more than 150 schools, and reached settlements with more than 2,300 them.
Griffin isn’t the first to preach the music as a service credo – in the past month many major players in the music industry have expressed their interest in the scheme with Sony BMG developing and online music subscription service and Apple reportedly negotiating with major labels for a slice of the pie…

Written by Cec Busby



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