A Letter To Warner Music Group

Dear WMG Gatekeepers,

When someone sent me a link to the video for Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” on YouTube, I liked the song so much that I bought it on iTunes. The other day, I saw the glorious opening credits of The Italian Job (1969) on YouTube, featuring the title song “On Days Like These” sung by Matt Monro. I was reminded of how much I loved the song and quickly went to iTunes to buy my own digital copy of it. Some DJ posted “video” versions to YouTube of music I haven’t heard since my own DJ days in college. It hit me with such a wave of nostalgia, I promptly spent about $50 in ten minutes between Amazon and iTunes.

These are only three examples of impulses to spend inspired by YouTube content. That “what’s that song – I want to buy my own copy of it” moment happens to me often, and I’m certainly not unique. YouTube is free advertising, a tool that can be used to expose an expanding audience to your content. As long as you block your content, you cut off this pipeline of potential revenue.

I wish I had a dime for every time I heard a song, whether on YouTube or somewhere else, and immediately went in hot pursuit to acquire my own high-quality copy of it. If you stopped holding your content hostage, you would run the positive risk of exposing some of your long-forgotten catalogue collecting dust in your vaults to a wider and wider audience. Then, when someone like me sees/hears the content on YouTube and gets that “inspiration to spend,” you’d be the one getting that dime.

George Hahn
Music lover who is more than willing to spend money on high-quality audio and video.

2 thoughts on “A Letter To Warner Music Group”

  1. Excellent point! It’s the same way with printed sheet music: If a song is out of print, and the copyright holder refuses to bring it back into print, why do they care if someone else is making copies? They seem to worry that they are losing money if someone else prints or makes copies of the long out-of-print antique sheet music. They COULD draw residules if they would publish it again, but yet they won’t, and they don’t want anyone else having a copy either — wtf???

    I agree that YouTube is an excellent vehicle to re-generate interest in forgotten songs of the past. But apparently the number crunchers don’t see it that way, and they do indeed hold songs hostage when YouTube could be used as an excellent tool to bring in a few extra nickles in royalties. And that’s the bottom line of their business, right? To make money?

    It’s like an old retailer once told me: You can’t sell it if you don’t have it!

    Carry on, George, to the fray!

    1. Thanks, Alan! This is was specifically sparked when I tried to add content to The Manhattan Transfer’s YouTube channel. WMG blocked the majority of them. Ridiculous. No wonder Warner Music is in trouble.

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