Friday, October 10, 2008

EMI Sidles Up To Downloading

EMI is planning to enter the crowded digital music market, forming its own site to join the likes of iTunes and MySpace and marketing its artists' music directly to fans online., a consumer-facing portal to be launched before Christmas, has been closely monitored by Guy Hands, head of the Terra Firma private equity group that bought the record label for £2.4bn last year.

Don't get me wrong, I feel like celebrating every time a music label wakes up and embraces downloads. But why do so many labels take a "don't join 'em, beat 'em" attitude? Going solo didn't work for Sony or Virgin. Why not just play nice with iTunes instead of trying to reinvent the wheel? What makes more sense, a bigger piece of a smaller pie with your own download site, or a percentage of the action from a way bigger base of users than the label will ever attract on their own?

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