Screw you, Empire Of The Sun and EMI. Screw you with bells on.

What unmitigated dickhead is running music publishing at EMI Music at the moment?

I heard a track on the radio last week. Rare because I don’t often listen to live radio. Indeed I’m one of those cash rich and completely hidden customers — a growing trend. My dollars, combined with the dollars of my friends and colleagues who also don’t bother with ‘live’ anymore, are significant.

I heard a tune and I though, ‘Right, this is a time for Shazam!’

And woosh.

I shazamed the track. I dialed 2580 and let the handset sit there listening for 30 seconds before Shazam disconnected. 10 seconds later I had the tune.

Walking On a Dream by Empire of the Sun.


The radio presenter said words to the effect of the track being ‘released’ toward the end of February.

Bollocks to that I thought. I’ll go and download it.

Two days later I hit up iTunes.

All I can find is the music video.

True enough, the total dicks at EMI have held it back. It’s not available for me to download.

I can get the £1.89 music video. I don’t want that. I want the audio. I don’t want my iPhone to come alive with video whenever I play the song. No. I want a download.

But I can’t have it.

I can’t have it because some total DICK at EMI has decided to put a ‘release date’ on that track.

They’ve given it to radio stations to ‘generate buzz’.

And now I have to wait 2 or 3 weeks.

Well I say screw you.

Screw you with BELLS on.

Here I am, a customer, ready to buy — and you’re choosing not to sell.

That, Mr EMI, is a dickhead practice from a dickhead era from YEARS ago.

Therefore rest assured that I won’t be buying the video track. Or the audio.

I definitely won’t be buying it.

It wasn’t THAT important to me. I was interested, I quite liked the tune. I was generally up for opening my wallet to the tune of, what, £50 quid over two years — provided your artist came up with the goods over the year.

But your bollocks release date? Your bollocks ‘authority’. Your ‘NO YOU CAN’T HAVE IT YET’ position is ridiculous.

Let me point out that in 30 seconds, I could download the video, rip the audio and have it up on a sharing site — or Youtube or the like — within another 60 seconds. Don’t you GET this? I could simply go and get it for free.

Yet here I was.

Here I was ready to give you some cash. To encourage your innovation and move to digital.

But no. I won’t be downloading it, I won’t be copying it illegally, I won’t be ripping it.

But there’s a million others that will be.

In fact I’m willing to bet that if I asked for it on Twitter, 10 people would send me a link to download within 10 seconds.

You simply don’t get it, do you? Digital demand finds a way.

And I feel better now.

And relax….

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

29 replies on “Screw you, Empire Of The Sun and EMI. Screw you with bells on.”

But, don't you understand? If it is played for weeks on end on the radio, once it's released it will go STRAIGHT to the top of the “Hit Parade”.

No matter that it will disappear shortly after that. Everyone at EMI can congratulate themselves on having another “spontaneous” number 1.

Twunts, the lot of them

Yes, sometimes I will grab a pirate copy of an album to see what I think of it. Generally only when I can't find a site streaming previews of the tracks. Then, if there is enough good tracks I'll get the CD. If it's just one track I will hunt for a pay download of non DRM 320kbps mp3. If I can't get a high quality copy of the file to own, I'll just stick to the pirated one.
From what I see, this is the reality of many peoples attitude to the music industry big and small. I hope somebody from EMI reads this and actually understands that they're conceptually living in an age before the advent of CD burners.

Spot on with the non-live point. The only live radio I get is Radio 4 when doing the dishes or shaving. Otherwise it's podcasts / iTunes. And seeing as we don't own a TV (everything's iPlayer or DVD's) the only ads I ever see are the ones in subscription magazines. So unless you advertise in the Economist, Q, or online, you just can't reach me.

I freely admit to relying on Q/MOJo's 'Top 50' album lists for new music discovery. I pay them to filter, so I don't have to suffer commercial radio to discover the good oil.


“I hope somebody from EMI reads this and actually understands that they’re conceptually living in an age before the advent of CD burners.”

Especially when the album was released (maybe in Australia?) in October 2008!

The golden rule in marketing digital music is “if you can hear it, you can buy it”.
It’s surprising how many people are still clinging to the old models of promotion.

Why wait? Because otherwise you and the rest of the early adopter crew will be screaming about crap software, slow OS, no apps, blah-de-blah. There's a fine balance between releasing a handset too early when the software isn't ready, and releasing it too late when the software's perfect but the competition have been in the market for ages. Hence the very good S60 firmware update system. Similarly the phone needs to be announced early when the hardware's ready so that people say “I'm want one of those” and wait, and don't go and buy a competitor's product in the meantime cos they think Nokia's got nothing on the cards. Simple 🙂

geez man don't blame the band or anything (u stiff them in the headline).

who said the delay was about 'building anticipation'?

Surely this is a straightforward case of a record Co being underprepared for the band to take off outside australia so quickly (its being released in a week or so…geez have a cry about 7days man).

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