Showing posts with label EMI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EMI. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Sex Pistols were right

If EMI couldn't promote the Sex Pistols back when record labels were record labels, music was music and no one knew what "downloading" was, except that it sounded vaguely dirty, is it any surprise the company didn't know what to do with the latest OK Go video?

Back in 1977, the Sex Pistols
had the last laugh on EMI, and now OK Go is ready to do a little giggling itself. All the way to the bank, now that the group gets to keep all the profits.

YOU HEARD it first on NPR and All Things Considered:
Since the advent of streaming Internet video outlets such as YouTube, bands and record labels have repeatedly been at odds over how to address the issue that, when a user watches a video online, no money is generated for the label or the band. In an interview with All Things Considered host Robert Siegel, OK Go singer-songwriter-guitarist Damian Kulash says that he — and the rest of the band — view videos not as a potential source of income, but rather as another creative outlet.

"This is all sort of part of the creative project for us," he says. "I mean, the animating passion for us is to get up and chase down our craziest ideas, and sometimes those are filmic, and sometimes they're purely sounds."

The band's label, EMI, didn't see things the same way. In an effort to maintain some control over the dissemination of the music video, EMI denied listeners the ability to embed it on their own Web sites and blogs. After receiving a deluge of complaints, the band eventually persuaded EMI to enable embedding. Soon afterward, however, OK Go parted ways with EMI to start its own record label, Paracadute.

WHAT ESCAPES bloated corporate collections of shortsighted moneygrubbers like EMI is this: The OK Go video isn't a revenue stream, it's free advertising.

The cost for putting it on YouTube? Zero.

The cost of producing it for the band? I'll bet it wasn't much, considering they got State Farm to sponsor it.

The promotional dividends from having it embedded on websites and blogs (like this one) everywhere? Limitless.

YOU WANT to know what's priceless, though? From now on, OK Go doesn't have to get nickeled-and-dimed by a record label that didn't know what to do with the Sex Pistols back in the day, and hasn't learned a damned thing in the intervening 33 years.

P.S.: One more thing. . . . Because of the promotional value of the video and the All Things Considered piece, I'm going to iTunes and buying the album. And the only credit EMI can take for that is indirectly, via the law of unintended consequences.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

See no future, pay no rent. . . .

Well, if this isn't a sign of the times, I don't know what is.

EMI is selling the Abbey Road studios, which it established in 1929 and which the Beatles made famous in the 1960s.
From the Financial Times:

It was not immediately clear whether EMI would sell the Abbey Road brand name along with the property, but one media lawyer said: “The brand is worth more than the building . . . anybody who wants the studios will want the brand.”

EMI bought the house at number 3 Abbey Road for £100,000 in 1929 and transformed it into the world’s first custom-built recording studios.

In 1931, Sir Edward Elgar used studio one to record Land of Hope and Glory with the London Symphony Orchestra and by World War II Abbey Road was used for propaganda recordings for the British government and BBC radio broadcasts.

The Beatles put the studios on the map, using it for 90 per cent of their recordings between 1962 and 1969 and naming their final album Abbey Road. EMI used the studios for last year’s release of remastered Beatles albums.

Pink Floyd recorded Dark Side of the Moon at the studios, which have also been used by Radiohead, the Manic Street Preachers, Travis and Blur.

However, the studios have faced cheaper competition from recording facilities in other countries, and technological advances allowing artists to record using only a laptop computer have made it harder for labels to justify owning expensive recording infrastructure.

“What you have is a very, very expensive piece of heritage. If an artist goes to a label and asks to record at Abbey Road they will be met with maniacal laughter,” the media lawyer said.
MAYBE Paul McCartney saw the future coming. Or maybe all media is now run as if by shady rock 'n' roll managers:
Out of college, money spent
See no future, pay no rent
All the money's gone, nowhere to go
Any jobber got the sack
Monday morning, turning back
Yellow lorry slow, nowhere to go
But oh, that magic feeling, nowhere to go
Oh, that magic feeling
Nowhere to go
Nowhere to go