Poor Warner…Don’t Blame Piracy, Blame Yourselves…

Have you been to the Warner Music Group YouTube page lately?

Wow…I guess in a way, I can understand people hating major labels nowadays.  I mean, I’m not a huge fan of them myself most of the time.  I’ve heard stories about them suing elderly people and 12 year olds for copyright infringement.  I’ve also heard cases of artists going platinum and still coming out bankrupt.  So many negative stories.

Look, in all fairness, these labels are scrambling right now to make money in an industry that no longer really seems to need them.  They no longer have a monopoly on high quality audio production of worldwide distribution.  In fact, they’re no longer the “gatekeepers” when it comes to breaking new music.  Any artist can put their music out nowadays, and the ones who work the hardest (and the smartest) are usually the ones to succeed.

The labels still control terrestrial radio, of course.  No indie artist could or would pay an “independent promoter” thousands of dollars a month just to get their records onto commercial radio.  Shit, most of the young music fans now don’t listen to radio anymore anyway.  They’re much more likely to stream their favorite tracks through MySpace Music, or Lastfm.

It seems to me that the major radio companies, like Clear Channel, are pretty much losing money the same way the major labels are.   Payola has ruined those guys.  I mean, who wants to listen to a radio station that plays the same 20 songs a day?  Not me.  And not most people, it seems.

So the playing field is a lot more level nowadays (thanks to technology), and the labels are no longer making the money they used to make.   In fact, most of them are losing money. Now, instead of using the new technologies available to them, the majors (and the RIAA) persist in blaming technology and piracy for their problems.  Man, I wish I could sit in on one of their strategy sessions!

Here’s my advice to Warner (and all the other major labels):

Suing your customers doesn’t work.  Bad customer sevice, lousy material, and ridiculously high pricing (not technology and piracy) are the reasons for your downfall.   And putting up a YouTube page and then removing all your videos like a little kid throwing a temper tantrum at Walmart really can’t be helping you.  Pay attention to your comments, guys.  I know you really could care less about the average joe that buys your records (and watches your videos), but obviously, people hate you.  If I was in your position, I’d take the challenge, change my ways, and start giving customers what they want!

What people want is free music.  Or at least, value for their money. Most real music fans will pay for their music, if they know it’s supporting the artists they love.  But who wants to contribute to the price gouging of the major labels, just to watch their favorite artists file for bankruptcy?  So stop trying to force the clock back.  This isn’t 1980 anymore.  You’re all doing 360 deals nowadays anyway, so just use the music to advertise your artists, their shows, and their merch.  Stop fighting free music, because that horse is already out of the barn.  Besides, from what I understand, you had a deal in place with YouTube for ad revenue sharing, at one point.  I don’t know the particulars (and I honestly don’t care), but I’m sure you guys must have been making millions.  But evidently it wasn’t enough.  Problem is, fans of your music and videos are pretty much the only ones being inconvenienced by this.

Putting Pirate Bay out of business isn’t going to save you, because piracy isn’t the cause of your problems.  You are.   But hey, why would you listen to me, right?  I’m just one of those little guys.

Stop deleting your comments, and try reading them for a change.

Holla at ya boi.

-Iceman Streetz

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