The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Apr/11

17

Why Google Should Buy The Record Industry

Why Google Should Buy The Recording Industry http://tinyurl.com/3r2xmaz

Since the music industry seems to want to stifle every innovation, why wouldn’t Google, or Amazon, or Apple, just simply buy them!  I’ve explored this idea before focused on visual content but it makes perfect sense here.

Another article I read today pointed out that the old industries – Record Labels, Studios, Networks – see themselves as gatekeepers so their immediate response is to say “no” until they can have ultimate control. Instead they should be seeing themselves as the enablers of any service that makes money for them, and more importantly, for the artists they represent. (Yeh, right!)

The fact that this is literally true tells us something that is often overlooked: the music industry is economically quite small and unimportant compared to the computer industry. And yet somehow — through honed lobbying and old boy networks — it wields a disproportionate power that enables it to block innovative ideas that the online world wants to try.

Why not fight the cartel with another cartel?

But that throwaway comment also raises another interesting idea: how about if Google *did* buy the music industry? That would solve its licensing problems at a stroke. Of course, the anti-trust authorities around the world would definitely have something to say about this, so it might be necessary to tweak the idea a little. 
How about if a consortium of leading Internet companies — Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Baidu, Amazon etc. — jointly bought the entire music industry, and promised to license its content to anyone on a non-discriminatory basis?

However, as Chris Adamson said in response to my Twitter post of this link:

Hard to imagine a Google or Apple takeover of the music industry passing antitrust review, though.

And that’s a very fair point.

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2 comments

  • Tony Williams · April 17, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    What if each of them, Apple, Amazon, Google, bought one of the performing rights organizations. Then they would control a large part of the money flow to the studios and exert that influence.

    OK, the record companies could sue Google, but then Apple and Amazon would drop their songs and records from both retail and licensing.

  • Admin comment by Philip · April 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I’m surprised the Computer/Distribution companies don’t play harder ball with the legacy media companies. Or simply bypass them as Netflix is starting to do.

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