THINKBAND 10: Bye bye Warner Music PT2 (Welcome Spotify).

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If last week’s announcement about the split between Metallica and Warner Music wasn’t surprising enough then you are ready to see Napster’s founder and current Spotify partner Sean Parker having a friendly press event along with his new partner Lars Ulrich from Metallica. Yes, Parker and Lars together… pure surrealism

If you are reading this blog I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Just in case you didn’t know Metallica sued Napster for several copyrights infringements back in 2000, a move led by the band’s drummer Lars Ulrich. Not only the band image was damaged by this but their global fanbase turned against them and Lars became one of the most hated guys in the music industry, and memes like the following appeared everywhere…

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But yesterday Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek along with Parker announced their brand new partnership with Metallica which represents the second big strategic move from the band in less than a year (actually in less than a week) so now we can guess why the band split with Warner Music. We all know that copyright licensing can be a real nightmare nowadays and in the end of the only winner is the lawyers’ team.

But apart from avoid losing time and money, what exactly is Spotify going to gain with this partnership? Apart from the obvious (more advertising and memberships to say the less) we can suspect that Spotify will take advantage of the band’s wide catalog, immense global market and diverse psychography to develop strategies that can integrate more and more partnerships in an exponential way (streaming of the band’s never ending tour performances, for example).

So what could be the next big move for Metallica? Looks like the genius musicians turned into brilliant businessmen…

THINKBAND 9: Bye bye Warner Music…

Last week Metallica ended their 28+ year relationship with Warner Music in order to launch their brand new label: Blackened Recordings. This move will allow the band a 100% control over their master recordings, including music and videoclips.

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Even when the label was considered enough with the band’s terms (in 1994 they re-negotiated their contract to please the band’s requirements) it seems that Metallica’s assets are bigger than any offer Warner could give. Behind this strategy is music business mastermind Cliff Burnstein, the responsible to bring the band from the underground stage to the mainstream stardom. Earlier this year Burnstein stated that despite their successful tours the band had more liabilities than ever and needed to expand their business in new and disruptive ways. The time has come and the band started to stay away from the traditional path.

Cliff-Burnstein

Metallica’s first release under their own label will be Quebec Magnetic, a 3D concert movie that will be premiered this monday December 10th. Blackened Recordings will take care of all marketing and promotional activities while the distribution duties will be under Rhino Entertainment and with a licensing deal with Universal Music Group.

Time for Metallica to start being the real masters of puppets.