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Warner plans to launch e-label

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 25 Aug 2005 1:01 User comments (10)

Warner plans to launch e-label Warner, one of the world biggest record companies is setting up a label that will drop CDs completely in favour of offering their artists' work as music downloads. The idea of the new "e-label" is to take some of the pressure off the artists' backs. The artists signed to the e-label won't have to worry about the pressures or costs of recording, manufacturing and distributing full albums. Warner chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr sees this as a revolutionary move for the music industry.
"Our most important job is to work with artists and help them hone their craft," he said. One of the biggest reasons he gave for the new label was that too many young artists were being dropped from labels if their first album failed to sell enough copies. "While the old system allowed an artist time to develop and grow, today's business is such that an initial commercial failure for most artists means they no longer get a second chance." he said.

Instead of having their artists release full albums of music every couple of years, they will release "clusters" which will comprise of about three or more songs from their artists every few months. Albums and singles are usually only available for download from legal music stores when they are released on CD. Now Warner is experimenting with another approach to releasing and selling new music.

Another good point for this label is that artists retain ownership of the masters and copyrights while signed to the label. "We see our mission as not to control the means by which artists' voices are heard, but to amplify those voices," Mr Bronfman said. "And the more those voices are amplified and distributed through more and more channels, the more we empower consumers to make emotional connections to the artists and music they most want to hear."

BBC News

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10 user comments

125.8.2005 4:44

Terrible, no more buying from Warner for me. I really really do prefer non-DRM'd CDs. And to all the download stores (except AllofMP3), I want WAV/FLAC/AIFF/lossless of some sort, definitely not DRM-ridden WMA/AAC/Realplayer files. What's so hard to understand about wanting high quality cover scans or the original cover images and WAV/lossless files? None of the stores do this (AllofMP3 does have WAV available for most of their CDs). It really isn't like buying the real thing if I can't get it in WAV/lossless with high quality covers (including a disc label). If all stores did it that way, they could easily have my money.

225.8.2005 23:21

this situation is becoming rediculous by the second. the tie between artists and these major recording lables needs to cease; very quickly, or run the evident risks of screwing the consumer AND the artists. now hear me out, who in the right mind shall sign contracts with a company like Warner Bros to have their music professionally recorded and slapped on a service like napster or iTunes? Will the artists still recieve 10% royalties?... Will the money hungry music empire still eat the 50% profit and own the rights to the material? Do we even need them anymore? If it weren't for contracts would these artists still run to em'? I see a new market emerging where artists hire professionals to record their music, and sell it themselves. The Industry was primarly the word of mouth and the distribution. Now we have the internet, which convers both the advertising and the distribution like nobody could of ever imagined. Get real and help yourselves. people each time you download from iTunes or buy a cd @ retail price you're feeding them revenue. This is a very sick and twisted industry and they want your money whether they have to sue you to get it, or sell you crap on the internet (iTunes), which is not even what the average consumer desires. what people want is music they've purchased (cd's, ect) and the ability to move them to portable devices. Here's a perfect example for the iTunes subscriber. I'm gonna use "Korn, Follow the Leader" album for my example. 15 Tracks x .99 cents = $14.85 for your downloaded and poorly recorded album with restrictions, no booklets, cases or nothin, which you probably paid to burn to cd as well. An easy search on amazon i find the album used... used Disc .98 cents + 2.49 shipping = $3.47 for the real thing, maybe a cracked case, but the book still in tact and the ability to back it up to your computer "legally" since you own it, and transfer it to your player without paying a cent. :) the indsustry is fighing to take this right away from you, how dare them!?.. and how dare anyone who supports them!.... hope this paints the right picture for everyone! sorry i rambled on but it's how it is and how it will be if we continue as we do!

326.8.2005 3:06

Well I don't really care about the price, I buy mostly non-RIAA music and most of it costs even more anyway (Japanese CDs especially, also most electronic music CDs are more expensive than the average CD). I actually just bought a vinyl. This is the way to go, it's better than cassette (some say better than CDs but I disagree) and have you heard of copy protection on vinyl??!! NO

426.8.2005 21:07

jAmEsTn: Well said ! I couldn't agree more with everything you have said. The bottom-line question you ask is very relevant, namely, who indeed , needs the gouging RIAA anymore??? "eLabel" indeed! This is nothing more than a confirmed admission by the major-label cartel that they have been defeated (wiped out by the internet). They HAVE to conform, or else die. If you look closely you'll see that 'eLabel' is a very thinly (lamely) disguised attempt to hang on to what they hope will be an ongoing monopoly of music that doesn't (really) belong to them. And of course you're right - this will be a last-chance for them to still keep an iron-fist on the copy rights of artists' work. That's all they care about. If they can still manage to own and control the artist's music rights into perpetuity, the artist will receive the merest fraction of what (s)he *should* rightfully receive. The artists DO NOT NEED Warner Brothers to distribute their work on the internet - they themselves can do it relatively CHEEP, (or hire someone to help set up a website) and give Warner Brothers dick-all. PLUS, they will own all of their OWN music rights! Oh yeah, ... the RIAA's days are numbered.

531.8.2005 6:14

As to Warner itís all about the bottom line and control, their best interests. They, not the artist, can make a lot more money by cutting costs of production and increase their overall sales by holding on to those poor artists, also continuing to control those poor artists. This is a win-win for Warner and also combats those artists that setup their music for sale on independent WEB sites, which they have tried to shutdown in the past. And this wonít decrease the price to us, it will just increase their profit. We loose in the long run as the quality of the music decreases greatly MP3, WMA, Oorg VORBIS, and so on just are not high fidelity compared to PCM, WAV, MLP and so on. My home stereo costs way too much to play this crap on it and I will not buy that kind of digital music ever. Thatís not to say I donít rip to WMA or MP3 from time-to-time as for a hand held it works great and holds a lot more music in a given space. Unfortunately what he is doing will probably work very well for Warner as the majority of people enjoy downloading music and donít seem to mind the great loss in quality or cover art provided in CD, or better yet DVD, audio packaging. For those of you who donít think they can copy protect CDís they do and are, however like most things you can get around their protection schemes easily. If vinyl was still popular they would attempt to copy protect it as well but letís face it the extra fidelity isnít worth the pops and crackles that vinyl suffers from. My favorite format from yester year was reel to reel great fidelity and lots of record time but those days are long gone and the tape unfortunately has a short shelf life compared to most CDís. A_Klingon states most of this very well above.

61.9.2005 6:38

My favorite format from yester year was reel to reel great fidelity and lots of record time but those days are long gone and the tape unfortunately has a short shelf life compared to most CDís.
I had a wonderful collection of (rather inferior) 5" reels of Creedence Clearwater Revival albums. Large center hub, 3-3/4 ips, 1/4-track stereo, duplicated by Ampex. Only consumer grade, but very fun nonetheless. Open reel was just plain sexy. And to support my shiny new TEAC tape deck I had just begun a much higher quality selection of reels - one prized acquision was Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" album. 7" reel, 7-1/2 ips, 1/4-track stereo. (Good lord - it was on the Warner Brothers label mentioned above). No "eLabel" in those days! And then of course, reel-to-reel faded away. [sigh ..... waxing nostalgic]

72.9.2005 1:13

corporations will buy up everything on the internet that makes a buck or reaches a mass number of people whenever they feel the need...... i used to buy into the myth that the internet was going to be the great equalizer , the end of corporate greed where the little man could throw his stone at goliath.... thats a pipe dream, all we are doing is working like worker bees in a hive by building websites , setting up new networks for distribution ,technology, software , ad revenue streams, etc. that is nothing more than the ground work for the corporations who will just come in & buy everything up once everyone has put up all their own money & done the hard work that they just didn't want to do.... in the end everyone will sell out when the price is right & yeah you can say i'll keep 100% if i stay indie but a 100% of next to nothing is just that , next to nothing , & it only takes 1 lawsuit to wipe you off the map not to mention most indies are run like corporations themselves they just don't have bugs bunny or mickey mouse looking over their shoulder not to mention if you read the bottom of the elabel article artists retain ownership of their masters & copyrights .... which is usually only reserved for acts like the rolling stones or ray charles & a move in the right direction ..... corporations are greedy & can play very dirty but my momma never said the world was fair so if your not ready to slug it out for whats rightfully yours , you might as well just sit back & cry like baby cause your going to get nowhere and you can't escape it the system is designed to get your money no matter if you boycott & bitch till the cows come home the same people that will sell you a the cigarettes you boycotted , sell you mac & cheese the same company that claims to have family values & promises clean programming will charge you $14.95 for a pay-per-view porn people the war was lost along time ago when it came to choices you might as well realize they are going to get your money no matter what ......... your only option left is to find something you like that appeals to your sense of taste that will bring you a mometary release of electronic / high tech pleasure its a pestimistic view ..... but its the truth you can say screw the corporations all you want , but everything in your daily lives that keeps you alive & makes up your life as we know it is owned , built, & controlled by them..... welcome to the 21st century .... its nothing like what you were promised

82.9.2005 3:14

WoW. I woke up this morning in a fairly good mood, ready for another day at-the-grindstone - only to see the (above) message putting into unforgiving naked light a decidedly dismal outlook on life. Xmuzik, you're a scary fellow on this bright, sunny morning - but I see a disconcertingly narrow window of opportunity to argue with your logic. Although the early AM sky is still blue and I can hear the myriad of local birds gaily twittering their 'good mornings' to each other out in the maple trees in our back yard, I can sense - if not actually see - the dark clouds gathering on the other horizon. Perhaps it will rain today after all, [sigh], but I mustn't let that put a damper on my hopeful prospects that measured, more optimistic reasoning will ultimately save our human race from extinction. The will of man (you 'n me) is ever optimistic in this life - it's the #1 defining characterisic of who we are and who we have to be if we ever plan on rolling out of bed each morning. WE are all WE have. Each other. The ancient, unchanging, universal law "Hope springs eternal" in the hearts of men (or some such sentiment) is what keeps us alive. Otherwise, we may as well just pack it all in and go that great Home Theater In The Sky. It's not that we don't still have a few good options at our disposal. I think you are right in your original thinking - about the Interner being the Great Equalizer. I believe it still IS an awesome weapon for Joe Q. Average little-guy despite the enevitable and expected manipulations (truth twisting; propaganda; double-speak; lies; posturing; corruption) that Joe Q. MegaCorp liar-guys use to further control our lives, our minds, our hopes, and the air we breathe. But you know? Last time I stuck my head out the window, I could still hear those little birds greeting the new day. And like them, I will bravely do the same in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. It's US against THEM, XMuzik, and I'm still, naively perhaps, of the opinion that the will of the greater good will ultimately prevail. (Silly me, huh?) If I must lose, however, I plan to go down swinging, with my six-shooters ablaze. God bless the hackers, reverse-engineers, patch-makers, "fix" providers, open-source advocates, and all those other 'evil' entities that continue to hold Mega Corp. firmy in its place. Without them, we are all lambs to the slaughter. Oh yes - the Internet, despite your recent misgivings, may just be the last greatest weapon we have, and I will not underestimate it's power for one second. Besides..... it really IS a beautiful morning out there. :=)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 02 Sep 2005 @ 3:19

98.9.2005 16:22

i feel ya man, i hope that there truely is a alternative road route for the future ..... really i do..... but at the same time i am being realistic when i say alot of people screaming open source , open networks , freedom of information , freedom of whatever the &!&@#%, will sell out at a moments notice & that over the next 10 or 20 years the hard work being put in by independents will be bought up for pennies on the dollar the 60's showed us that a movement can be silenced & marketed with the greatest of ease......... i'm not saying i support it, i'm just saying to those out there listening keep your eyes open, your ears to the ground, & don't let your guard down......

1030.9.2005 10:32

From 9/29/05 Hopefully this view of the future won't ruin anyone's beaut of a morning... but it should...and everyone should sign up for EFF newsletters and take action by writing, calling and emailing their respective legislators!

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