February 10, 2010 14:36

Warner Music group to stop streaming free music

Muse and REM's record company rethinking its digital streaming strategy

Warner Music group to stop streaming free music
Warner Music has announced plans to stop licensing its artists' content on free music software such as Spotify, We7 and Last.FM.

The move means that acts including the likes of Muse, R.E.M and Red Hot Chili Peppers may not be available on new streaming services.

The label's chief executive, Edgar Bronfman Jr, said that the kind of services offered by streaming sites were "clearly not positive" for the music industry, reports BBC News.

"Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry and as far as Warner Music is concerned will not be licensed," Bronfman explained of the decision. "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."

However, a spokesperson for Warner Music confirmed that, at present, the new plans are only likely to affect future deals, reports The Guardian. This means that streaming applications such as Spotify that already host Warner Music artists will be able to continue doing so.

Bronfman added that he wants to work on getting more people to take out subscriptions with applications unique to Warner Music, where a set fee would be paid in return for content. He reasoned that the amount of potential subscribers for that would "dwarf" the number of people who currently buy music from sites such as iTunes.

Last month, La Roux's eponymous debut album was removed from streaming services including Spotify and We7.

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