Billboard recently reported that Total Music, a joint venture between Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment (s SNE), has finally ceased operations. The two music giants have “agreed to stop funding the effort, citing both business and economic factors for doing so.”
As far as I’m concerned, this thing was doomed from the start. It was born, like many of the hare-brained music companies’ schemes, out of thinking they could out-do iTunes. It was just one of several ventures that some of the labels entered into in ridiculous attempts to damage iTunes so they could somehow get back to the wonderful world of selling albums, not singles, at $15 a pop, like the good ol’ days of CDs.
For those of you sorry to see Total Disaster Music go, cheer up. This isn’t the only time Sony and Universal have teamed up to do something stupid. Maybe their other effort will do better.
Meanwhile, I’d like to think that the recent deaths of Ruckus, Total Music, and others are finally why the labels caved in on removing DRM from iTunes. Sure, they got variable pricing as well, but if these services hadn’t quickly withered on the vine and died, I believe the labels would just keep slugging away at it in an effort to do anything other than get behind iTunes.