There are some pretty big music industry stories breaking today so we’ll get straight onto topic and get stuck in…
Firstly, Google Music, or as it’s officially named, ‘OneBox’, launched in America today. Currently 1-5% of our trans-Atlantic cousins can access the new service (www.google.com/music) but this will be ramped up over the coming days and weeks to provide access to everyone and presumably bring it overseas in the not too distant future as well… In essence, the service uses the traditional Google interface, via a new ‘Music’ tab and will allow users to search by artist, title, lyric or song for music. The results will be presented with an image representative of the artist and a ‘play’ button that, when clicked, will open a new player, powered by Lala.com, allowing the user to stream the song once, in full, for free, before being directed to purchase it from various other platforms.
We are looking forward to having a go on this service, it’s great to see that the big companies are starting to realise the potential of bringing music to the mass audience in a cost-effective and revenue generating fashion. You can watch a video and find out more about Google ‘OneBox’ on Google (believe it or not!) here, or, for less biased information, you could try this story from the BBC.
Next up is file-sharing, now we all know about file sharing and there’s been a great deal of discussion in the press of late, from the perspective of artists, industry professionals and the public discussing the issue but the government have now weighed in and apparently finalised plans for a slightly amended version of the ‘Three Strikes’ legislation that will see persistent file sharers slapped with internet suspension.
Peter Mandelson announced this at the C&binet meeting in Hertfordshire this week outlining that the legislation may be brought into action if internet piracy has not fallen by 70% one year from April 2010. There is a lot of discussion surrounding human rights and complaints from the public, as well as some from artists and the ISPs in charge of the connections but you can read more about all of this here.
What are your thoughts on the piracy debate? It’s always interesting to hear from artists, especially those new to music who have seen ‘free’ music as somewhat of a promotional tool and a way to attract attention.
In related news, there are two interesting (and conflicting) opinions on the fall of torrent-based internet piracy circulating the web today, one from the perspective of the music industry and another from the perspective of the pirates. One suggests torrent traffic fell by 80% when the Pirate Bay was closed in August, the other, claims this is entirely nonsense… Can you guess which opinion belongs to who?
Well that’s it for today and as always, send any news tips our way on firstname.lastname@example.org