Monday, November 24, 2008

Universal To Charge For Viewing Online Music Video?

While perusing headlines on earlier this morning after a cleaning appointment with my dentist, I came across an interview with Interscope Records chairman Jimmy Iovine earlier, mostly concerning the decisions made to delay some of the label's biggest expected fourth quarter hit albums into 2009 (as if the music industry needed any more woes).

Other topics were briefly touched on as well, including the increasing trend of major labels/acts offering their new releases exclusively to such big boxes as Wal-Mart and Best Buy, and this interesting little nugget:

I've always felt, and this is just in general, that there's an oil well for the record industry in their music videos, and so does Doug Morris. Universal Music Group had 3 billion views on YouTube and we are so underpaid for those videos. Now, we'll set up an infrastructure, and Doug's in charge of this. We'll make a deal where we really see the value. We have the most perfect content for the Internet. People love to watch them and they watch them over and over again. If Saturday Night Live gets 100,000 views on the Internet, they throw a party. Soulja Boy, on his site alone, got 500 million! It's nuts. The Lady GaGa video has 25 million views.

This is all going to be turned back toward the labels. That value has to be achieved.

Sooo help me out, here: does Iovine honestly think Soulja Boy would have had 500 million views if he charged, say, a buck a view for his video clip? How about Lady GaGa? Or how about those 3 billion views for Universal artists on Youtube? Am I over-reacting or is this the absolute nuttiest thing I have heard from the music industry this year?

Jesus, you guys can't even do catalog reissues right anymore without somebody fucking something up and now you want to start charging people to watch promotional videos that were made exclusively to sell your records and mp3s?

Sorry, MTV, looks like your cool new venture might crash before it ever achieves full flight.

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