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Bring On the Cacophony

By Rick Munarriz - Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 7:52PM

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The band pushers are possibly starting their own band. Oh no!

Does anyone remember when each of the four members of the legendary rock band Kiss put out their own solo albums in 1978? Ace Frehley may have scored a hit with "New York Groove," but the four records were ultimately cutout-bin fodder.

Some foursomes are just greater than the sum of their parts.

Now, it seems as if the four major record labels are trying to band together, creating a site that will feature music videos by Warner Music Group (NYSE:WMG), Sony (NYSE:SNE), EMI, and Vivendi's Universal Music Group.

Silicon Alley Insider first disclosed the rumor a week ago, but now even London's Financial Times is validating the chatter by citing unnamed sources at the different labels.

According to, the new destination could be Hulu, the joint venture between News Corp. (NYSE:NWS) and General Electric's (NYSE:GE) majority-owned NBC that has tried to unify the major television networks.

Music labels bonding together to create a music hub has been a fruitless pursuit in the past. Does anyone remember MusicNet and pressplay? Creating a site for music videos may play out better, especially in the hands of broadcast television pros who know the video advertising market well, but what's the point? Digital delivery has thrived because third-party sites have done it better than the labels can on their own. It's too late to build fences now.

Warner Music has been making enemies lately. It butted heads with Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube this month. It also took a shot at guitar-controller video games like Activision's (NASDAQ:ATVI) Guitar Hero and Viacom's (NYSE:VIA) Rock Band over the summer.  

Facing CD sales that have fallen fairly consistently since the turn of the millennium, Warner Music is trying to squeeze more revenue out of digital delivery. The rub is that it needs YouTube and Guitar Hero more than Google and Activision need any single record label.

See you in the cutout bin, WMG.

Other headlines with a beat you can dance to:

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz once had his band signed to Sony's Columbia Records label. It didn't exactly pan out. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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