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Old 27th November 2007
Here for the gear

Labels & Artists DO NOT need iTunes....

I thought of a perfect example of why the labels DON'T need iTunes, and could be far better off if they followed the following example:

Now, some of you may be aware of this, but I am guessing that many are not.

In Canada, you can not buy beer in a 7-11 or a supermarket. The Canadian government has mandated that you can only buy beer at a chain of stores that are actually called "The Beer Store." Now, I have no idea why they have this law, but it works flawlessly for the three largest breweries in Canada, which are Molson, Labatt, and I can't remember the third, sorry...Here is why...THE BREWERIES OWN IT! Now, they are of course in competition with each other for customers, but the main thing that all three realize is that they all need to control distribution to their retail customers.

So, from what I have been told by a high-ranking person at one of the breweries, what they did is came up with a way to agree on the principals of how it would be run, and each invested 1/3 of the costs to do it, and they all appointed a "management" board to work together and run it.

So you ask, "How does this apply to the record industry?" Well, it can work the same way. Now, obviously, this wouldn't be mandated by the U.S. Government, but why can't all 4 of the major music label groups in this country sit down and agree that they need to regain control of the music industry, agree to equally invest in a retail website that can serve their need the way THEY want to operate, and pull their catalogs from every other site like iTunes that didn't agree to do it the way the labels wanted? Now, let's not be silly...There would be a lot more to it like front page promotion space, independent accounting audits, etc...But no matter what, if the will by all 4 is there, they will find a way.

Now, that being said, if all 4 major label groups agreed and announced this, how fast do you think Steve Jobs at iTunes would come running to them with his tail between his legs and want to resolve these issues immediately. THAT would certainly threaten his iPod sales and everything else...Sadly, this is what it would take, though..

Now, the question of the independent artist comes up...Here is the answer. The labels would end up making a profit on each one of your downloads, so of course they would want to keep your music up there...And the more you charge for it, the more that they can make on you...!

I'm sure there is more to it, but I think that this could be a great direction to go...The label groups have hundreds of millions of dollars to work with and executed properly, this could come back to them dressed up like a nickel.