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G'bye Big Music

mon14jan2008—03w014d3%— 18h30m00s—0utc

I love the anecdote because it makes the point so well and it rings so true. The statistic surpassed even my dire expectations. And yes, major labels should have acted years ago. May we learn something from their example.

IN 2006 EMI, the world’s fourth-biggest recorded-music company, invited some teenagers into its headquarters in London to talk to its top managers about their listening habits. At the end of the session the EMI bosses thanked them for their comments and told them to help themselves to a big pile of CDs sitting on a table. But none of the teens took any of the CDs, even though they were free. “That was the moment we realised the game was completely up,” says a person who was there.

In America, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the volume of physical albums sold dropped by 19% in 2007 from the year before — faster than anyone had expected.

Tim Renner, a former boss of Universal Music in Germany, says the majors should have acted years ago. “Then they had the money and could have built the competence by buying concert agencies and merchandise companies,” he says. Now it may be too late.

The Economist, The music industry: From major to minor

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