Friday, January 23, 2004

According to Bernhard Warner, the global music industry has only lawsuits, lay-offs, and laziness planned for the year ahead.

* They plan more P2P lawsuits: "a zero tolerance philosophy against online piracy will see the industry take its legal clampdown on individual song Europe and elsewhere"

* With or without consolidation, lay-offs are the only plan to improve margins: "Cash-strapped music companies have vowed to continue cutting staff and B-list artists"

* The laziness is apparent in their "growth" strategy: "The record labels are betting on first-half releases from reliable chart-toppers U2, George Michael and Norah Jones"

Bernhard also reports token nods to online stores ("The "fight-back" campaign also calls for a massive roll-out of new online music stores"), new artist development ("are promising to promote more guitar-edged rockers to boost sales"), and optimism ("There are high expectation that iTunes and Roxio's Napster (news - web sites), which are expected to launch in Europe by summer, can turn music downloads into a vibrant international business").

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