The Future of Music

Did you see the headline in the paper the other day about Microsoft signing The Rolling Stones? No, neither did I because I just made it up. “What are you talking about? Microsoft is not a record label”, I hear you cry. True. But what if?

I was listening to Ken Radio the other day when the co-host came up with an idea that I thought was too good not to share. Microsoft ended license talks with four major record labels at the beginning of the week because of the high royalty fees demanded by the record labels. Sounds familiar. You would think with the success of iTunes the record labels would have learnt a thing or two but apparently not. Greed. That’s all it is. It makes me laugh when record companies cite piracy as the reason why sales have dropped etc. Err, no! I think they will find it’s the extortionate prices that they still charge for a CD. I buy most of my music from Amazon and iTunes.

If the record companies won’t play ball, build another stadium. Companies like Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo have the distribution channels, and the cash, so why not create their own record companies? Artists could sign deals directly with the aforementioned companies so there wouldn’t be any issues around downloads; that could be included in the contracts they sign. All they would need to do is hire a few veterans from the music industry, stump up the cash and there you have it: Microsoft Records. Apple is already halfway to becoming an entertainment company anyway, as is Yahoo. Why not notch it up a level?

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