Record Labels Doing Smart Things

Warner led the other record labels excepting EMI in working deals with Google's YouTube. And they did it the smart way by negotiating a stake in Google's new acquisition. In return the labels get a collective $50 million worth of equity, a system for helping control digital rights and a pioneering position in a hot property that means a lot to the music industry. Now this is more like it. Better than suing consumers through RIAA. Better than sitting on the sidelines while technology passes them by. The record label of the future has to do more of this. More pioneering. More entrepreneurship. As bitter a pill as it is to swallow that the CD is not likely to be the workhorse of record company revenue going forward, it is time to move on. I find Warner particularly suited to adapt to a changing industry. CEO Tom Whalley and his digital music ace Robin Bechtel have been working on the grassroots level to bring about change that corporate Warner has recognized.Make no mistake it is hard for old-line labels to become new age Internet operators overnight. That said, the potential is virtually limitless if they begin to direct their thinking to cooperating with the inevitable. No good can be done to fight the technology-related advances of the next generation. They have earned their criticism for acting like prehistoric media companies all too many times. But their investment in Google YouTube is not one of them. Let's see more.