Surviving The Free Music Age

Yet another lawsuit is pending in the continuing saga of major labels and the RIAA focusing their resources on the wrong fight.  It appears they think, for whatever reason, it will get them somewhere, but is it the wrong direction from where they should be traveling?

Warner Music Group is the latest to file a lawsuit, this time against the playable music search company SeeqPod.

Wired columnist Eliot Von Buskirk writes in a recent article:

“Rather than attacking SeeqPod, the labels should view it as a template for how to make money on the internet, which isn’t going away any time soon.

The labels could even harness SeeqPod’s search technology to offer music services far more comprehensive than the ones licensed today.

The music industry would become “Google-ized,” deriving revenue from other products associated with music, rather than music itself.

With music sales continuing to decline, SeeqPod’s attempt to Google-ize the industry could be a perfect fit for the labels’ much-vaunted 360degree deals, which emphasize merchandise, ticket sales and other revenue streams.

The question now, as it has been since the early days of Napster, is whether the labels are flexible enough to survive the free-music age.

Seeqpod may be more of a publishing/performance rights issue, but Eliot’s viewpoint makes sense.  Rather than trying to protect a system that is becoming outdated, we should be embracing cutting edge solutions to cutting edge technology.  Check out the full article here.

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