Suicide Virus Attacks Music Industry!

Again.

Why oh why, music plutocrats from Pluto, does it make sense to choke off a source that lets your consumers find out about new music? 

The practical result of this ruling

In a decision that could drive the nail in the coffin to Internet radio providers, the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board has endorsed a proposal by SoundExchange to enact royalty rates for webcasts and streaming music sites that will stay in effect from 2006 until 2010.

SoundExchange, the royalty collecting division of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), will seek to retroactively charge webcasters for streaming content delivered throughout 2006 to users, a decision that could send the sites packing for good.

The new rates will require webcasters to pay for each song streamed to each user, and will increase yearly…

will be to transform Internet streaming radio sites into one of two things:  A former Internet streaming radio site; or a site that plays sure-fire hits with a predetermined, guaranteed audience.  Kind of like the crappy radio music you can dial into today.

Does the music industry have the slightest clue about how listeners use their product?  Have they ever surveyed listeners who bought a CD or a download from a new performer, or from a non-mainstream genre, to find out how the listener became aware of the existence of this music they’ve now added to their life?   It’s not radio, because radio pretty much plays the music people already know.  And, sorry all you marketing geniuses, but it isn’t the advertising, the PR, the promotions, the commercial tie-ins. Or at least not those things alone; and they don’t apply to the fringe styles of music that many Internet streaming sites specialize in.

Mike at Techdirt channels how the recording industry thinks:

They still view the world (especially the internet) as a broadcast medium. Therefore, they want at small number of “professional” content producers who create the content for everyone else. Then they can just sign a few ridiculously large licenses with those large players, and “the people” get to consume it. It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the internet as a communications medium — a medium where people express themselves back and forth to each other, rather than a place we go sit back and “consume.”  

Bad for the culture, bad business choice by the music industry.

(via LA Observed and Instapundit.)

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