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November 29, 2004

For Net music, exclusives are king

 まず最初に。CNETの日本語版では抄訳として「アップルはダウンロード音楽界のAmazon.comになれるか」というまったく意味不明なタイトルを付けて掲載しているけど、実は一番大事な説明部分が記事の後半に集中しており、これをバッサリ省略しているため、何が言いたいのかよく判らない状態になっている。CNET Japanで興味がある記事を見つけた場合には、必ず原文を読むようにしましょう。美味しい話が隠されていることが多いっす。(その後、さすがに省略しすぎということに気が付いたのか、2ページ目が追加されていた。それでも、後半かなり端折ってますが…。当初は1ページ目だけだったからね。)

Online music executives seeking exclusives from artists or labels say they'll often put together a proposal promising them top visibility--front-page exposure, a themed playlist, artist of the week status, or sometimes even a whole section dedicated to them--in return for access to new songs or videos.

In some cases, marquee artists have asked for money or sales guarantees, but this is rare. Industry sources have said that The Beatles have sought millions of dollars for the exclusive rights to sell their music online, for example.

"I think for the most part it is a bit of a landgrab just to get some point of differentiation," said John Jones, MusicNet's vice president of programming and label relations. "Money isn't really on the table. It's more of a programming opportunity."

This sometimes results in albums or singles being released solely on one service for a short period of time. But some labels work with several at once, having artists record live tracks unique to each service, distributing the exclusives around.

Joss Stone, a young British soul singer that EMI has put substantial resources behind for the last year, created exclusive live tracks for several different services this way.
 インターネットでの音楽配信ビジネスにおいて、競合他社との差をつけるためには、他が扱えないネタを持っている(=独占契約)ということが鍵となるわけで、それをアーティストやレーベル側へ要求することになる。でも、音源提供者側もバカじゃないので、今度は、配信サービスごとに独占音源を切り分けて供給するという事態が起きているようだ。抜粋した最後のJoss Stoneの例とかは、ある意味、ユーザーをバカにしているとも言える。独占音源を求めるファンは、結局すべての配信サービスを利用せざるを得ない訳で、日本のアイドルとかでこのビジネスモデルを使えば、効果絶大かもしれない(笑)。

"A lot of times the labels don't know what they have," said Tim Quirk, executive editor for RealNetworks' Rhapsody editorial team. "They've been amassing recordings for so many years, but records go out of print, and regimes change. Buildings occupy the same space, but the people aren't the same, and there's no institutional memory. They need music geeks like us to go, 'Why isn't this available?'"

"We used to have this ghetto called new media," said EMI Group spokeswoman Jeanne Meyer, whose label last week credited digital music with helping to bolster its bottom line. "Now that's part of everybody's job."

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