Recording Labels to Offer New Online Music Options

I recently “dug” an Associated Press story from, which spotlights a few digital models the major record labels are pursuing in 2008. Although MP3’s have been around for quite some time now, in the coming months, you’ll see all four major labels groups participating in the direct sale of MP3 in varying degrees. Recently, talk of Sony/BMG dropping DRM restrictions in the first quarter, has led the discussion around digital downloads and what effect DRM-free music sales will have on iTunes, Amazon, Napster, Rhapsody, eMusic and other services.

Read the AP story @ or on

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  1. Tony Zeoli says:


    Maybe, maybe not. There does seem to be some movement lately. Any movement is good. Is it too late is a tough question to answer. With Warner Music Group's stock below $5, the market is definitely not giving the benefit of the doubt to the labels. A few months ago, someone said to me, "2008 will be the year you'll see a major go under." I'm not sure if that's going to happen, but it's not a radical proposition by any means.

    What I can predict, is that this year will be one of the most painful music industry years on record. But, what major labels lose, independent artists gain, as they continue to gain more control of their music. On the flip side, these artists must learn that CD sales are a dead end and that they will have to find new streams of revenue themselves to continue to be able to fund their art.

    Let's talk at the end of Q1 and see where things fall. May be a better indication of where things are going. With all four majors allowing MP3 downloads on Amazon, they could pick up some decent sales in the first quarter, which could be a sign of consumer acceptance of the price point and the download mechanisms.

    News out of CES should also be helpful. How many companies are providing the tools for digital download and play back will be an indicator of the strength of consumer demand. Has it ebbed or will 2008 fuel the growth needed to reverse the trends? A question that can only be answered down the road.

    Tony Z.

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