“Argh” is all I got to say to this about new venture EMI Music has engaged in with Sainsbury’s Tu Clothing line in hopes to squeeze out a couple of more pennies for its artists. The clothing line is about to release a new collection for men, woman and children that will be embroidered with lyrics from classic tunes out of a catalog of more than 1.3 million tracks. This is the latest of the EMI Lyric Brand’s initiative to sell-out lyrics on clothes, posters, board games and greeting cards.
My “argh” doesn’t reflect a profound disapproval for the concept in itself – people love apparel representing their favorite bands. The same type of association is made when they listen to the music. They will buy and wear the clothes, and that will make the fans and bands happy, and happy is a good thing (although for now EMI plans on licensing lyrics from 30-plus year old bands like The Troggs, The Tempations and The Monkees).
I still remember that chick behind Lyric Culture blatantly positioning herself as a savior for the music industry by conducting the same type of business (we covered a post on it in August). But as EMI’s decision to hop on the MySpace Music’s band wagon doesn’t do much but serve its personal interests and those of its top-selling artists, selling lyrics is yet another strategy that doesn’t really bring help to those that need it the most.
Actually, in regards to MySpace Music, I do believe that in the big schemes of things the move is interesting, and does set forth new trends for the music industry. Although clumsy in its approach (no real equity for the indie bands that made it all possible in the first place), the majors have all agreed on a single model to bring free music to fans through a business model that also makes most people happy. They’re trying, and as Glenn from the Coolfer Music Blog describes, so is MySpace Music. It is true that the rare times I’ve fiddled around on the site I’ve encountered non-mainstream bands featured on the front page, thus considerably boosting their page views.