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Warner To End Free Streaming of Its Content 278

Posted by kdawson
from the moment-of-silence-in-the-stream dept.
eldavojohn writes "If you have a license to stream content for free from Warner, be aware: Warner has announced plans to cancel streaming licenses. Major sites such as Last.fm, Spotify, and Pandora may be affected — Warner has not yet spelled out whether streaming restrictions will apply to existing licenses, or only to future ones. Warner's CEO Edgar Bronfman said, 'Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry and as far as Warner Music is concerned will not be licensed.' You might contend that Warner gets a cut of the ad-based revenue these free streaming sites take in. While true, Bronfman contended that this revenue comes nowhere near what they need in compensation for each individual's enjoyment of each work. The article quotes spokesmen for other labels who disagree with Warner's stance, however. Music's digital birthing pains continue."
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Warner To End Free Streaming of Its Content

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  • See! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12, 2010 @09:57AM (#31112264)

    We tried streaming and working with those filthy nasty people pirating our shows.. And it didnt work! We need more laws quick! We must stop those dirty evil pirates!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12, 2010 @09:58AM (#31112278)

    >revenue comes nowhere near what they need in compensation for each individual's enjoyment of each work

    Then they won't get anything.

  • by SharpFang (651121) on Friday February 12, 2010 @10:02AM (#31112324) Homepage Journal

    ...because I'm pretty sure this will only boost piracy...

  • by natehoy (1608657) on Friday February 12, 2010 @10:10AM (#31112404) Journal

    Yes, it is a pity. For Warner. I could care less.

    I've discovered a bunch of new artists through Pandora, and even purchased music from a select few. I neither know nor care who the artist is signed up through. I use free streaming media to discover new artists, and if I like the artist I might go out and buy an album or two from them. I couldn't name the label that my last 10 CDs came from, though I could list off the artists.

    If Warner chooses to withdraw their catalog from Pandora, well, that's their decision and they are well within their rights to do so. It means that I, for one, will not hear any of their new music. But there are plenty of talented artists out there who use more enlightened labels that actually want their artists' work to be discovered. I won't lack for good music to discover, it just won't include Warner's product.

    Doesn't matter to me. If they don't want to market to me any more, that's their right.

  • Unmitigated Greed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dog-Cow (21281) on Friday February 12, 2010 @10:18AM (#31112478)

    The streaming services are doing all the work. They host the songs. They pay for the bandwidth they use. Warner is doing NOTHING except giving permission. After that, they pay nothing. They do NOTHING.

    Any money they get should be plenty, considering they do NOTHING for anyone. It's literally free money.

    This is pure greed.

  • by headkase (533448) on Friday February 12, 2010 @10:19AM (#31112480)
    I'm gonna vent here because this just happened and is directly to do with digital media. A certain store that deals in tunes I emailed last week. My niece had spent over $150 on those 99 cent or so tracks there, at my encouragement. I really do want to see her at least start out on a path of compensating the artists (even though the labels can suck it). So, anyway, she had a catastrophic hard drive crash - everything gone. Reinstalled Windows no problem, go back to this tunes program, no option to re-download legally purchased music. A bit of Internet searching led to people referencing a mythical "form" which when filled out would get the Internet gods to flip a switch and give you a magical one-time additional download. Bandwidth doesn't really cost that much, this is a customer service issue here: it's different from physical cd's. So filled out the form and the days go by and no response. I'm disheartened. What did we do last night? I installed Limewire on her machine and I'll be damned if she's going to throw her money away again. $150 may not be a drop to them but to my thirteen year old niece it was a fortune I talked her into spending when she could have chosen to get her music the way everyone else does from the beginning. We'll try again in a few more years and see if the industry has smartened up by then. I don't have the heart to talk her into potentially throwing her money away again before then.
  • by T Murphy (1054674) on Friday February 12, 2010 @10:25AM (#31112544) Journal
    I'll buy my favorite band's music without hearing it first, but otherwise I never purchase music I haven't heard already and know I like.

    Streaming lets me hear the music and encourages me to buy it. Remove that, and the best way for me to hear music is to download it, which removes the incentive to purchase. I suppose the good thing from this is that it should encourage artists to think harder about signing on to a label until they return to sanity (which may be never).
  • by Aeros (668253) on Friday February 12, 2010 @10:33AM (#31112684)
    How can you say you hate something thats free? If you dont like it then dont watch or listen to it! There are some people I am sure that dont mind and deal with it.
  • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Friday February 12, 2010 @11:01AM (#31113044)
    "Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it." - Publius Syrius

    Definitely one of my favorite quotes from Civ IV ;-p
  • Re:See! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Red Flayer (890720) on Friday February 12, 2010 @11:27AM (#31113386) Journal

    Streaming like last.fm and pandora are NO DIFFERENT than listening to the FM radio.

    That's not true.

    When I listen to FM radio, I have no control over what gets played -- except by changing stations. On Pandora (not sure about last.fm, I don't use it) I have input into the song selection. I've fine-tuned my favorite stations so that I can enjoy the music I like without ever needing to buy it. I don't have to worry about songs I like dropping off the playlists of my favorite stations (so I don't need to buy the songs if I still want to listen to them).

    This is markedly different from FM radio, where the marketing arms of the labels, along with Clearchannel, decide what gets exposure.

    Because the labels have less input into what I listen to on Pandora (than on FM radio), their marketing efforts are less effective. Aggregated across millions of users, what streaming services represent is a loss of control of the industry (and the marketplace!) by the labels. They want to avoid this at all costs, since technology is making their role almost exclusively marketing.

    Long story short, streaming services where the listener has control over what content gets played spell the end of the big label era. The big labels fighting tooth and claw for their survival.

  • Re:See! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12, 2010 @12:05PM (#31113978)
    Please remind us once again why someone who wants to get paid for work/services they provide is 'greedy', while someone who expects to have whatever they want for free is not.
  • by King_TJ (85913) on Friday February 12, 2010 @12:10PM (#31114044) Journal

    But as others have said, it's *always* really been your responsibility to protect the goods you purchase. If she had invested even $79 or so for an external USB hard drive (a lot less money than she spent on the music itself!), and did regular backups of her data to it, she wouldn't have had this issue in the first place.

    I wouldn't get the ability for a "one time free replacement" of my collection of physical CDs and cassette tapes if they were all destroyed in a fire tomorrow, or they were stolen, or ??

    On the other hand, I *might* have insurance that would pay for their replacement ... and I suspect that's another thing we could start seeing more of, as things go digital. Perhaps companies will start pushing insurance policies covering your expenses for intangible works, like software titles downloaded onto your Playstation 3's hard drive, or iTunes music purchases.

  • Re:See! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by natehoy (1608657) on Friday February 12, 2010 @12:29PM (#31114354) Journal

    Because the labels have less input into what I listen to on Pandora (than on FM radio), their marketing efforts are less effective.

    I disagree. I pay a lot more attention to the music I listen to on Pandora because more of it is interesting to me. I also have the artist's bio at my fingertips, and I'm far more likely to make an impulse purchase.

    Pandora is a near-perfect combination of radio and on-demand from a music marketing perspective. I don't get to pick individual songs, but music gets limited to stuff that I'm likely to want to listen to and therefore buy.

    Clearchannel may have absolute control over the radio, and they may be able to market that music to a larger audience, but it's scattershot advertising. They have to throw a song out there and hope it sticks.

    Pandora is targeted advertising of music, under the transparent guise of letting you listen to free music. Once you hear a song on Pandora, it's unlikely you'll hear it again anytime soon, so if you want it you will have to buy it. And Pandora's selection certainly brings up a lot of stuff their listeners will want, since the music is targeted to the tastes of that specific listener.

    Streaming services where the listener has *absolute* control over what content gets played are a clear threat to the labels. Streaming services where the listener only controls the types of music but not the specific song are the greatest marketing engine a record label could possibly hope for.

    These guys should be falling all over themselves to give Pandora all the music they have, and BEGGING (no, PAYING) Pandora to play it. A lot.

    Pandora is, at its heart, a gathering of interested customers who willingly reveal their purchase preferences and ask to be exposed to new music in return for the right to listen to tracks you have chosen for them based on those preferences. Those customers can then purchase music directly from within the application, or research the artist further to see if they want to buy more of their music.

    If there are marketers out there and the previous paragraph did not make you orgasm uncontrollably, you need to go back to marketing school and pay attention this time.

  • Re:See! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Internal Modem (1281796) on Friday February 12, 2010 @12:33PM (#31114434)
    Pandora introduces me to new artists I like, whose music I do purchase. Pandora has directly resulted in increased spending on my part due to this.
  • by Internal Modem (1281796) on Friday February 12, 2010 @12:39PM (#31114522)
    'ARTIST' is the key word. They are selling products, not art. Did you miss the Grammy Awards?

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