Bit of a rough day at the office today, trying to limit the damage caused by Robin’s jacket getting nicked whilst out at a Warner records showcase event last night. The jacket wasn’t so important – most of his clothes come from photoshoots back in the Olive days anyway – but the keys, wallet, money, passport and credit cards contained therein, were a bit more difficult to replace. It’s felt a bit like this lately. It’s only been a couple of months since Robin’s house was burgled, and theft is starting to feel like the natural way of things at the moment. Funny that last night’s event was a Warner promotional do, seeing as Warner Music were the first of the notable entities in the music business to decide that, actually, streaming sites were not actually that great a deal after all. I wrote about their decision to withdraw their catalogue from on-demand streaming sites some months ago. At the time it was considered a radical act by a record label – people still believed that their subscription fees to streaming services were benefiting labels and artists in some meaningful way back then. Now we’ve all seen the Lady GaGa $167 headline, and if nothing else, a healthy doubt about whether or not streaming sites have any benefit for artists is now part of the informed consumer’s mindset. Doubt that has been made public now, as in a discussion BlancoMusic had yesterday via the Guardian comments thread on Helienne Lindvall’s ‘Behind the Music’ piece in the paper. Lindvall asked an interesting question about LAst.fm, and our continued efforts to have our music removed from their servers. Last.fm’s official line on this is that the music is placed there by the fans, as in the YouTube model. Our requests to AWAL – our digital distributor – to remove the material meets with the same answer. Lindvall asked the question – if AWAL no longer administer the material up there, who gets paid for the plays? And the truth is, I have no idea.
That was just the start of a day of feeling like the world exists just to rip us off. She also mentioned a friend of hers who found out from a third party that his music was being featured on Mog.com. She advised that we check to see whether ours was too. Unsurprisingly, everything we have ever released is there, on mog.com, free to be listened to on a fee-paying basis, on-demand, as often as the listener wishes. Why would anyone in that situation feel compelled to go and pay yet more money to buy our music direct from us? They can hear it anytime they like on mog.com. We did not give mog permission, we receive nothing from them for the privilege of distributing our music for their gain, and without a California-based lawyer, we have precious little chance of getting the music taken down.