Sony/BMG Offers Fan Sites Free Music & Music Videos

Sony/BMG is promoting a new site, called Musicbox Video, that showcases videos, artist interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and other material from a broad portfolio of its artists.

Instead of beating down the fan sites and bloggers with the usual cease-and-desist letters, Sony/BMG will advocate linking to Musicbox. Easy to implement links for adding Musicbox content are displayed right next to the songs and videos. Using Flash to deliver the music and videos cuts down on the pirating, but the credit has to go to Sony CEO Howard Stringer who mandated opening up Sony/BMG’s vault to the online public.

So What’s The Catch?

Sony/BMG will sell ads on the service. The ads will be displayed before the content similar to what CNN and others are doing.

The technology to deliver the content is from Brightcove, the IPTV start-up founded by Jeremy Allaire, formally of Macromedia. Brightcove is responsible for deploying the content , selling the advertisement and displaying the code required by fan sites to showcase the material.

This syndication model does raise some questions. First off, artists are usually the ones who pay for the videos. It comes right out of their advance. How will they be compensated? Labels, until recently, haven’t really monetized music videos, it was strickly for promotion. How will this change music video production and influence music television channels like MTV2 and Fuse?

There also could be a backlash from the fan sites themselves…
As the site stands, webmasters can only link to what Sony/BMG allows them too. However, they will demand more freedom. Will Sony acquiesce?

The Future: The good news is that at least one label is starting to get it. However, a lot is riding on Brightcove’s technology. Will they be able to deliver the music and video content quickly and reliably, or will it end up being another copy protection disaster?

Author: FutureMusic

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