Pop Will Eat Itself!

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A few weeks ago I posted a blog titled ’The Increasing Internationalisation of Media’ - about how consumers are influenced by and access media globally. I often get musical recommendations from the 4 corners of the world - via various mailing subscriptions and music blogs, and end up buying the CD on import from CD WOW! or similar - as for whatever reason Amazon or iTunes don’t make that track or album available for me - either in hard copy or download format!

One of the blogs I follow fairly regularly is Perez Hilton, and although our musical tastest don’t really align that much, he often features interesting new artists - as a recent example - quirky up-and-coming Danish pop chanteuse Nanna Fabricius, aka ’Oh Land’.

It turns out that ’Oh Land’s’ YouTube Channel is part of the Vevo service - a joint venture between Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI. These companies randomly ’license’ these pop promo videos for random broadcast in some or no countries outside the US.

Some tracks can be viewed in the UK, most cannot; from Iceland - pretty much everything under the ’Vevo’ banner is blocked. These are ’Pop Video Promos’ for goodness sake!!! They’re supposed to promote artists to encourage consumers to buy their music, merchandise and live event tickets. There should be no licensing issue here! This is not a live televised broadcast of ultra exclusive content. Because of Iceland’s geographic position (close proximity to USA), American output is available almost simultaneously in Iceland - so preventing this market from viewing US promotional material is a little nuts.

Surely it’s in the best interest of the record label and artist to gain maximum exposure of promotional material! Kanye West knows how it works - he blogs, tweets and is happy for his promo videos to be featured and promoted wherever by supportive fans.

When I come across an artist or track I like, I want to be able to support and endorse them by embedding said YouTube video on my site, and giving it vocal support via a favourable rating or commentary - this is surely a no-brainer for the artist concerned.

For a minor-league artist like ’Oh Land’ I really cannot understand why I would see the statement:

"This video contains content from Vevo, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds"

Surely this shows how far out of tune the major record labels are with the current social and technological landscape. These dinosaurs think they can drip-feed and control the music markets by restricting access to promotional content - which should be freely available. As a result, YouTube is littered with inferior copies of said videos which do the record labels and artists no favours at all.

This is the fulfillment of the ’Pop Will Eat Itself’ prophecy - as the major record labels disappear up their own greedy ignorant axxxx ... history kind of repeating itself as a different species of dinosaur heads for extinction.

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