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Big labels are f*cked, and DRM is dead November 5, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Life, Music, Technology.
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Big labels are f*cked, and DRM is dead – Peter Jenner | The Register
Few people know the music industry better than Peter Jenner. Pink Floyd’s first manager, who subsequently managed Syd Barrett’s solo career, Jenner has also looked after T.Rex, The Clash, Ian Dury, Disposable Heroes and Billy Bragg – who he manages today. He’s also secretary general of the International Music Managers Forum.

The major four music labels today are “fucked”, he says. Digital music pricing has been a scam where the consumer pays for manufacturing, distribution, and does all the work – and still has to pay more. Labels should outsource everything except finance and licensing.But he’s also optimistic that for almost everyone else – indie labels, musicians, songwriters and budding entrepreneurs – as well as network providers – the future’s going to be pretty bright. The Big Four know that the DRM era is nearly over – and within two or three years, he predicts, “most countries” in the world will have a blanket licensing regime where we exchange music freely, for a couple of quid a month.

In the future, he also suggests, artists, co-ops and managers will raise their own investment on behalf of artists – and pick and choose their marketing teams.

Jenner is organising a conference in London on November 15 to discuss these issues. Billed as an “Urgent Blue Sky Debate”, for once a music event may live up to its billing. Earlier this year, France almost voted to legalise P2P and bring in a blanket license – the necessary stepping stone to the future.

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