×

NARM calls for pricing regs

Music retailers say major labes locking up internet

WASHINGTON — Exposing their growing bitterness, music retailers said Tuesday that the major labels are trying to hog online music distribution and cut out the middlemen.

In a letter to Recording Industry Assn. of America prexy Hilary Rosen, National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) topper Pamela Horovitz said there will be “no incentive” for music congloms to provide low prices or innovative Web sites if they are allowed to lock up the online market.

NARM supports legislation introduced last week on Capitol Hill that would force the recording biz to offer the same prices and other terms when licensing music to unaffiliated sites.

That measure, sponsored by Reps. Rick Boucher (R-Va.) and Chris Cannon (R-Utah), is designed to give a boost to competition for two online music services — Pressplay and MusicNet — being backed by the majors and scheduled to launch this fall.

The Dept. of Justice has launched a preliminary inquiry to make sure the two sites aren’t in violation of any antitrust regs.

Soon after Boucher’s bill was introduced, Rosen said it’s wrong for Congress to substitute regulation for market forces, adding that the majors are perfectly willing to license music to other Internet ventures.

Horovitz said in her letter to Rosen that she suspects otherwise.

“While NARM shares RIAA’s view that private-sector efforts are preferable to government regulation, music retailers have no choice but to seek legislative remedies when copyright owners refuse to engage in any meaningful discussion with them regarding digital distribution,” Horovitz wrote.

The RIAA could not be reached for comment regarding NARM’s letter.

More Digital

  • Google Stadia Pro to Include 1

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service to Include Free Monthly Game

    Google has been busy sharing additional details about its upcoming game streaming service Stadia, clearing up some confusion in the process. Stadia’s pro subscription tier, which will cost $10 per month, won’t be a Netflix-type subscription service. However, subscribers will get free games at the rate of about a title per month. That’s according to [...]

  • Crypt-TV-Facebook

    Facebook Signs Deal With Crypt TV for Slate of Five Horror Series

    Crypt TV, the digital studio founded by Eli Roth and Jack Davis and backed by Jason Blum, expanded its deal with Facebook, inking a content partnership to create a slate of five horror and monster-themed series exclusively for Facebook Watch. For Facebook Watch, it’s one of the first deals for a full slate of content [...]

  • Elaine Paul - Amazon Studios

    Elaine Paul Exits as Hulu CFO to Join Amazon Studios

    Elaine Paul has departed Hulu after nearly six years as chief financial officer to join Amazon Studios as CFO/VP of finance. She started at the ecommerce company’s studio division on July 15, reporting to Dan Jedda, VP of digital, advertising and corporate development finance for Amazon, a company rep said. Paul’s move to Amazon, first [...]

  • BritBox to Roll Out in the

    'Downton Abbey' and 'The Office' Heading to BritBox as Streamer Unveils U.K. Launch

    British broadcasters the BBC and ITV have formally agreed to launch their joint streaming service, BritBox, in the U.K. in the fourth quarter of 2019. It will be priced at £5.99 ($7.50) per month, making it the same price as the cheapest Netflix subscription in the U.K. ITV will control BritBox, holding a 90% stake. [...]

  • Vobile - ZEFR acquisition - Yangbin

    Zefr Sells Its Copyright-Flagging and YouTube Channel-Management Businesses to Vobile for $90 Million

    Vobile Group, a video protection and measurement company, announced a deal to acquire Zefr’s RightsID copyright-management and ChannelID YouTube channel-management businesses for about $90 million. According to the companies, Zefr’s RightsID and ChannelID together generated over $40 million in revenue in 2018 and were profitable. The deal stands to more than triple the revenue for [...]

  • Justin Connolly

    Disney Merges All Media Sales and TV Channel Distribution Under Justin Connolly

    Disney promoted longtime ESPN exec Justin Connolly to the new role of president, media distribution, overseeing a single organization that combines all of the company’s media sales and TV channel distribution operations. Connolly previously served as EVP, affiliate sales and marketing, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. Based in New York, he will report to Kevin [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content