Published Feb 11, 2010One of the newest trends in music listening is websites like Spotify, We7 and Grooveshark, which allow fans to stream songs and albums online for free. Most record labels have embraced the idea, likening it to how radio was first used back in the day to promote music and boost album sales. But not the Warner Music Group.
Earlier this week a Warner bigwig announced the label would stop licensing its artists' content for live streaming sites, according to the BBC.
While critics of the plan are saying it's a suicide move by Warner, which has also been hesitant to join in other online music technology advancements, the major label is standing firm, claiming that live music streaming sites won't make the music industry any money.
"Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry and as far as Warner Music is concerned will not be licensed," the BBC quotes Warner chief executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. as saying. "The 'get all your music you want for free, and then maybe with a few bells and whistles we can move you to a premium price strategy', is not the kind of approach to business that we will be supporting in the future."
A spokesperson from Warner later confirmed that the decision will only affect future record deals, according to the Guardian, so the Warner content already available on sites like Spotify should not be affected.
Instead of embracing live streaming, Bronfman said Warner should be looking towards creating its own subscription service to challenge Apple's stranglehold on that market with iTunes (to which we say, good luck with that). Bronfman also hinted that a Warner buyout of EMI, who have lost billions in the past year, could be imminent.