Warner Music to stop licensing to free music streaming services

“Record label Warner Music has said it will stop licensing its songs to free music streaming services,” Ian Youngs reports for BBC News.

“Companies like Spotify, We7 and Last.fm give free, legal and instant access to millions of songs, funded by adverts,” Youngs reports.

“Warner, one of the four major labels, whose artists include REM and Michael Buble, said such services were ‘clearly not positive for the industry,'” Youngs reports. “That raises questions over the future of free streaming, which is popular with fans but not lucrative for labels.”

“Warner chief executive Edgar Bronfman Jr said: “Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry and as far as Warner Music is concerned will not be licensed,” Youngs reports. “The ‘get all your music you want for free, and then maybe with a few bells and whistles we can move you to a premium price’ strategy is not the kind of approach to business that we will be supporting in the future.'”

Youngs reports, “It is not clear whether Warner will remove its music from existing services or decline to do deals with new outlets.”

“Bronfman said the focus would be on promoting streaming services that require payment, which he said could appeal beyond those who currently pay for downloads in stores such as Apple’s iTunes,” Youngs reports. “‘The number of potential subscribers dwarfs the number of people who are actually purchasing music on iTunes,’ Mr Bronfman said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Instead of hopping aboard, ♫ ♪ Middlebronfman got run over by the cluetrain. ♪ ♫

“Mr Bronfman’s comments come just weeks after another major label, Universal, said Spotify was well on the way to proving its commercial viability. ‘Spotify is a very sustainable financial model – full stop,’ Rob Wells, senior vice president of Universal Music Group International, said in January,” Youngs reports. “Paul Brindley of digital music consultants Music Ally said the other major labels were unlikely to follow Warners’ lead.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s too bad that Samuel Bronfman never told his young grandson Edgar, “Fickle, greedy and clueless is no way to go through life, son.”


  1. I am surprised these buffoons at the music labels can still walk since they’ve shot themselves in the foot so often.

    These days many people, like me ,buy music after we hear something good on a streaming service like Last.fm or Pandora. If we can’t hear Warner’s songs anymore I guess we will not be buying Warner’s music.

  2. Doesn’t Warner get the idea about free streaming, poeple listen and then they go buy it themselves! Of course not, dumb record execs are to greedy! Anything free can’t be tolerated for to long.

  3. Unbelievably out-of-touch, is what I call this. Maybe I should write them a letter explaining how something like 80% of the popular music I own I was led to by finding it and then listening to it on streaming music sites: Pandora, Last.fm, and Lala.


  4. I subscribe to Live365 as my means to access 1,000+ of streaming radio station and yes I do pay yearly for ad free VIP access.

    Yes I too hear music I like and then end up searching, not always finding it, on iTunes and paying for it.

    Last.fm didn’t really do much for me and I stopped accessing its service, Spotify too didn’t capture me. Each to their own I guess.

    Perhaps something behind closed doors is going on with Warner, something close to what’s happening with EMI? Or Warner’s reaction to the troubled EMI?

  5. Well it’s the old addage”this is going to hurt you more than it will us” I see thier sales model as dwindling fast and as thier money goes so will thier talent that is a circle of buisness and greed interfers with art which is what good music is

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