Thursday, September 07, 2006

Nettwerk takes another step toward free music for all

I think I see a trend developing here. Every time the RIAA comes out with a new way to pursue litigation against its own fans, Nettwerk seems to respond with another vehicle for giving their artists' music to their fans as effectively and cheaply as possible. The latest move by the Canadian music label is a partnership with Mercora, a Silicon Valley-based company that bills itself as "the world's largest social radio network."

The move will allow Mercora to feature Nettwerk's artists, such as Sarah McLachlan, Avril Lavigne, and The Barenaked Ladies, on their homepage, giving visitors to the site the chance to listen to music from these artists, for free. But here is the quote that caught my eye, from Nettwerk president Ric Arboit, speaking about how digital sales of music have affected Nettwerk: "It's 40 to 50 percent of our business right now, and it has been for the last three years".

So half of Nettwerk's business is coming from selling music over the internet, yet Nettwerk continues to pursue avenues that allow them to give music to their fans for free. Is there a connection? Here's what Nettwerk CEO Terry McBride has to say at the website for Save the Music Fan:
The passionate message of music is in the magic of the "song." The more it's consumed, the more it nourishes. Music is ubiquitous; it's a utility like "water," it's not a pair of pants and as such we need to stop treating music like a product that needs to be controlled.

Again, when your community of customers are using/enjoying your product, you do everything you can to encourage that activity, and find ways to make it easier and more efficient for your community to engage in this behavior.

Now if they could just create a widget that would let bloggers sell their artists' music on their blogs. Hmmm....maybe I should call Erin Kinghorn?


Ryan said...

Selling music on your blog eh?

Remember the 'Marketing in Music' seminar that Jordan and I attended a few months back? Well, one of the concepts they touched on was just that.

From what I remember (and Jordan may have a better recollection than I), Nettwerk was looking into partnering with an outside company to build small pieces of software for online music fans to easily (and legitimately) sell / distribute music of their own and of their favorite artists. How does the music industry not win under those circumstances?

Give the people who know and love the product (utility) the power and freedom to do with it what they want (instead of what the labels want), and I see nothing but positive things on the horizon.

Mack Collier said...

I've read statements by McBride that hinted at something like this. If you are familiar with Goodstorm's MeCommerce widget, it could be very similar to that, allow you to play the song right there on your blog, then if you like it, buy it right there, without ever leaving the blog. And the blog owner gets a certain amount of every song sold. The music fans get the music they want, and at the same time, they could see how they are suppporting their favorite bloggers.

Erin if you're reading this, send an autographed Sarah CD my way, and I might do this for free ;)

J.D. said...

I'd do it for an autographed CD too.

Mack, if you ever get off that frickin' dial up and decide to start podcasting, you should work up a deal with Nettwerk. You could introduce all their new music via your podcast. It's what I'm doing with the Idols.

Mack Collier said...

So you're saying I need to start podcasting and get an agreement to play the music of some of these artists that I've been blogging about?

Stay tuned....