coldplayThe takeover at EMI has done something great for all music fans. It has confirmed what was always true but never fully realised – record labels don’t own the music. True, artists have willingly handed over their rights for 50 pieces of silver but the tide has turned and artists are finally cottoned onto the fact that they make the music and they actually own it also. Some like The Rolling Stones have bought and sold those rights so often that they might sometimes forget. Others like The Beatles have had those rights sold from under them but the wealthy ex-EMI and current EMI artists are showing that the evolution of music ownership is well underway.

Radiohead delivered all the albums they had to and now enjoy the luxury of licensing their music to who and how they want. And it’s not only EMI artists, Prince has done much the same thing also – shame about his choice of newspaper. Easy with millions in the bank for sure but set yourself up right and what’s to stop anyone doing that. Now Coldplay are setting another precedent. If you have a ticket from their tour then you can download a nine-track live album for free from their website. Smart move, drives traffic to their site (like they need it), gives something back, repaying loyalty to those that bought a ticket.

Does this mean the end of music labels? Of course not, it only signifies that they’re going to have face up to the real world and the fact that they’re brilliant at marketing and that is the only guaranteed role they may play in the future.