Record label's inability to understand and effectively get on the band wagon with new tech was recently highlighted by the shuttering of video hosting service and wannabe YouTube competitor Vevo, which will ironically now only be found on YouTube.
Guest post by Mike Masnick of Techdirt
Just last week we wrote about how the big record labels have a hilariously long history of failing to grasp the importance of providing a good underlying technology service for music online and how they always overvalue the content, and assume that the technology and services are a commodity that is effectively worthless. And, yet again, that approach has failed them. The latest is the collapse and capitulation of Vevo, the service put together by a few of the major record labels to try to "take on" YouTube (even while using some of YouTube's underlying technology). Earlier this week, Vevo announced that it was shutting down its own site and app, which basically no one used anyway. Instead, it'll just focus on using YouTube, which was where everyone watched Vevo videos in the first place.
Still, as with that article last week, this is yet another demonstration of how the labels overvalue the content and assume that the only thing that matters is the content, and that the technology is interchangeable. It's not. History has shown time and time again that without good technology and services for the public, content delivery platforms will fail. And, that's not to say the content isn't important -- it is. But it's the combination of both together than make a compelling service. Netflix figured this out. Spotify figured this out. Apple figured this out. YouTube figured this out. But the major labels still can't seem to let go of the idea that it's the copyright holders who have the leverage and should be able to (1) control everything and (2) take nearly all of the profits.
Either way, we can add Vevo to the list, with MusicNet and Pressplay, of examples where the record labels thought that they could mostly ignore building a good and compelling service, because just having the content would make it work.