UG Articles Archive

Friday, November 12, 2010

WMG Purchases Roadrunner Records

In a move that should not have been a surprise to anyone, Warner Music Group has gained 100% ownership of another, smaller label, adding Roadrunner Records to their list of conquered competitors.  Roadrunner joins Atlantic, Warner Bros., Elektra, Rhino Music and many other record labels now controlled by WMG.

WMG has become famous, or perhaps I should say infamous, for swiftly and harshly responding to any and all cases of what it deems to be copyright infringement of its artists.  Use a WMG song in your youtube video?  It'll be taken down.  Upload a WMG song to youtube by itself?  Gone.  These guys really get marketing and maximizing exposure for their artists.  They really understand the ways technology is changing the music industry and they are clearly embracing the future.  Yep, WMG is a pretty great company to hitch your wagon to, Roadrunner.

But seriously, Roadrunner is currently home to some of the best names in rock and metal, and moving to WMG seems to me to be a horrible decision.  WMG is the definition of a mainstream label, and this move will only decrease Roadrunner's independence and ability to take chances on promising unsigned acts.  You know with Warner at the helm only the safest, most mundane and "commercially-viable" artists will be signed to Roadrunner, and this is very disappointing to me.

Roadrunner currently represents bands such as Dream Theater, Opeth, Killswitch Engage, Korn, Machine Head, Megadeth, Rob Zombie, Stone Sour, Trivium, and yes, RATT.  I'll do an experiment here and post RATT's "Round and Round," mostly to see how long it takes before WMG takes it down on youtube, and partly because it's a kickass song. 

Ultimately, I'm disappointed here, but in this day and age record labels are becoming more and more of a useless middle man.  I firmly believe that in a few years, the giants will fall and the music industry will be propelled not by gigantic corporations and their marketing machines, but by artists and the quality of their music.  Time will tell.  Have a good weekend, readers.

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