warner's comon sense, or lack there of...

so the wonder of having this personal weblog leaves me with the wonderful ability to stop being professional and say whatever i want. its a nice freedom to have. so that said...

what the hell is wrong with warner music? for those of you who may not be up on the latest happenings with their unrest with the iTunes music store ill fill you in briefly. over the past couple of weeks they have let it be known that they are no longer happy with the 99 cent per song model that has made the iTunes music store so very popular. They have decided that they want to charge more and less than that for songs stating that "all songs are not created equal," whatever thats supposed to mean. first off, yes, all songs are created equal. what has happened to music that has made it turn into such a lifeless thing? i dont get it. i think that is is amazing what the iTunes store has accomplished! there has been so much new interest in music that would not have normally been had otherwise. you see a little indie group stuck right up next to these robot bands and its such a nice thing to see. if you really did deep into the store you will find some really amazing music hiding away and this form of distribution is simply the future of music and the major record labels just need to realize this.

i remember years and years ago when i was younger and hanging out with a friend of mine he was telling me about how he heard that in the future you wont go to a record store to buy cds or tapes. you will take in this little chip thats a tiny little device that you plug your headphones into and pay to get it filled up with the music you want. i thought that this was just the craziest sounding thing i had ever thought of. "how cool would that be," i thought. boy was i amazed when i opened the box to my first ipod! i bought it just days after they were released, even among all of the people that were positive that no one would ever buy the things. it was soooo cool! the whole idea of the future coming into the present really started to settle in when i first held a shuffle in my hand. i had immediately thought to myself that this must be what they were talking about years and years ago. so off i went to buy digital music and fill up this little 'chip' with music. i remember having a conversation with my dad recently about how when he was growing up it was flying cars that people spoke of when they talked about the future and he was all excited about flying cars. he mentioned that it was no fair that the future that i had imagined when i was younger is coming true but the future he had imagined has yet to show face.

so back to the topic at hand, the whole world of digital music and its presence in the world today. it was pretty amazing when, after the whole napster fiasco, all of the major record labels decided to take part in this whole iTunes experiment. i was pretty surprised at first to tell you the truth but look at it now. it has grown to be this enormous thing. its amazing really. i didnt really mean to get into this here in this write up so let me get back on track here. as i mentioned before warner music has been the first label to decide that they were unhappy with the current iTunes model. they spoke out and apple spoke back recently calling the labels "greedy" which i find oh to painfully true. warner music stated that they believe that they want to start charging more for the new hot songs. after apples response it appears that warner has decided to pull out all of the stops and be a true ass and state that they are willing to pull out all together if apple does not cooperate. do they have any idea what they are doing? there is this amazing new form of music distribution that costs them nothing to utilize. there are no manufacturing costs here. how could they possibly think they are loosing on this deal? the whole medium has taken off, exploded and rained down upon the dried up world which has soaked it up and loved it! it has re invented the whole idea of an impulse buy all together. it makes it so easy to, when you want a song, to simply hop online do a quick search and click on a button to buy it. i think its going to continue to grow if it continues to get support and hopefully one day will open its arms to musicians that arent on record labels to sell their music on the store.

how could they possibly think cutting off apple could be a good idea? heres their most recent logic. they figure that because apple wont let them raise the price of songs then apple is hindering their ability to make the amount of profit they are used to making because people usually have to buy a whole album but now they are just buying single songs therefore they are loosing money. but thats not the funny part. turns out, they have decided that the reason apples ipod is so popular is because they have been marketing it along with the idea of the iTunes music store being the best way to fill it and because the iTunes music store is driven by its content (warner's music) then they should be getting a cut of the ipod sales because of this... yes, it is confusing and yes, it is stupid and desperate. what a sad attempt at shaking apple up.

“What if Jobs says 39 cents or 29 cents per download—what then?." yes, a warner rep actually said this. in all honesty and sincerity they actually think apple would ever do this? you call that an argument? they think that stands as a valad point??? come on! so on to the next golden quote: “The industry can say, OK we’ll cut him off—very few people people buy music from digital downloads.” very few people? hmmmm. if it appeals to such a few amount of people then why are they so worried about it??? 500 million songs is not exactly a drop in the bucket and that number is rising. heres a kicker, “[Jobs] will figure out another model." man, these guys really are off their rocker. its funny that they go along with all of this in the first place but once they discover that its actually working so they want a bigger piece of the pie. do they not realize that it would be insanely easy for people to just turn back to file sharing? there will always be a way for people to do this. always. it is silly to think that it will be stopped completely. and one last quote here: “The industry got together and said ‘We don’t want another MTV’. Well, now we’ve got another MTV, in Apple. And we have to deal with it." turns out they think apple has to much of a dominance over this form of distribution (but not at all in the same way they have such a dominance over the music industry right? and to compaire them to mtv? there is just nothing to say to that sad little comment. how could anyone in their right mind not look at this company and see just how sad it really is here.

i can only hope that the other labels dont stand up and decide they want to take this same mind set. as you may notice, none of them have... lets say they do pull out. i think iTunes would survive. just on a different level. they would continue on. there are a lot of other labels with a lot of great music on there and at the moment it is just the best overall solution to the problem of the whole music sharing era.

these guys need to wake up and realize that iTunes simply has the best model for digital music at the moment. if you look at the subscription services and compare them to iTunes you will find that iTunes has the upper hand for an obvious reason. when someone goes to a file sharing network, a lot of the time they are just looking to go grab a quick song that they wanted to hear and occasionally an album. its a collection that they own and this aesthetic is still there with the iTunes store. the whole virtual ownership of the subscription models is so silly and i could see how that might work for some people but overall its just not that solid of a model simply because once you stop your subscription, you no longer own your music. you are lect with nothing.

so warner, get your head out of your ___ and realize that this new digital distribution thing is working really well and to try and change it and shake things up like this at this point in time when it is just now gaining a whole lot of momentum is just crazy talk. i think that they are just pulling these little scare tactics to try and get more out of apple but maybe they have not been paying any attention to apple, maybe they dont realize just how stubborn they are. jobs isnt going to back down and so warner is not only making a mistake here, they are looking really really bad in the process. in fact, a lot of companies are doing this kind of thing when it comes to apple. every time a new ipod is released the rest of the industry wines and wines about how stupid it is and they have a product that blows it away. the simple fact of the matter is that the rest of the industry is sooooo over crowded with players that no one knows what other players are worth anything. no one can even remember the names of them (rdsfr-200, or zse 74 super duper player) more or less trust that they are up to par as far as quality is concerned. all of these little bells and whistles on other players are cheep add ons to make these products seem like they do more but it just bogs down the players and clutters the simplicity that needs to be present in them. the ipods simplicity is one of its strong points and its brilliant really, they have let third party developers make the add ons people want for it weather that be fm radio or voice recording. it saves them money and it lets people choose what they want to add to there player rather than cluttering up the device. the ipod accessories market is huge! it seems like its bigger than the windows service and support market which is a pretty impressive feat!

ok i have gotten way off my topic here, sorry about that. i guess only time will tell what will happen in the end. sure makes for a fun ride in the meantime though...