Warner Music Group is starting an e-label

I meant to blog about this a couple days ago. Warner Music Group is starting an e-label:

Edgar Bronfman Jr., Warner Music's chairman and CEO, said Monday that the new mechanism will be called an "e-label," in which artists will release music in clusters of three songs every few months rather than a CD every few years.

Magnatune owner John Buckman has some good observations as this is basically what Magnatune has been doing for a few years now.

The article claims that artists signed to the e-label will keep the copyright to their master recordings, which John says is a less evil agreement. But I'm assuming that all the major perks of getting signed: advances, promotion, etc, are all out the window as well. Which makes it another digital store with a decent brand name. I'd be like "I'm signed to Warner...'s e-label. Can I borrow ten dollars?"

It's a good idea and an e-label would give them flexibility and let the label experiment more with what might catch on with the kids these days without losing a bundle of money. It could work as a minor league for artists that aren't quite ready to be called up to the real Warner Music and have some money invested in them. If they do it right -- like pick bands with good songs for instance -- they could develop a neat little Internet alternative scene. But in my mind I picture a half-broken, basically unusable website covered in flashing ringtone ads, forcing DRM on you, pushing established bands and three song sets of watered down clones of them. But who knows.

business, musicBrad Turcotte