Barely a day goes past without online commentators complaining about how the music industry is doomed because it doesn't 'get' the web.

Yet recent actions suggest this may be changing, which is more than can be said for the promoters of the national game.

The recent introduction of full tracks to music community, following deals with all of the major music companies, suggests that the recording industry may finally be coming to grips with how to make the most of digital.

There are lots of people, myself included, who are only to happy to pay for music, so long as we can find it.

In a post just over a year ago I suggested that the record companies either used SEO to try and beat sites like, and the thousands of lyrics sites that make up results pages for many music related searches, or they do a deal with them.

But just as one of my major loves looks like it may be getting to grips with the digital age, I'm reminded that there are plenty of other sectors which still seem unable to grasp the opportunities that the web offers.

Take football; a friend of mine writes a blog about Newcastle United.

He makes no money from the site, but does it in his spare time, simply because he loves the club so much.

Recently he posted the fixture list for the season and soon afterwards received an email from the Premier League ordering him to pay for the right to publish it or take it down.

Begrudgingly he did so but at the same time wrote a post explaining why he had done so; this post actually caused a spike in traffic (possibly because he currently ranks at the top of page two for the phrase Newcastle United fixture list).

This means that many more people will have read about how the Premier League sees no value in allowing fans to act as free marketing channels for the league and the clubs, than would have ever seen the illicit fixture list.

While I appreciate that the issues of copyright & intellectual property are incredibly complex, it strikes me as nothing more than an own goal to punish fans who are quite willing to give up their time to promote their clubs, thereby enriching the league.

Of course some might argue that the recent proposals to take games abroad suggests that the Premier League sees more value in foreign fans than home-grown ones, but whilst that seems slightly exaggerated, it certainly seems as if they have so much money that they can even turn down free advertising.

Ciaran Norris

Published 5 March, 2008 by Ciaran Norris

12 more posts from this author

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Comments (4)



I would say that the web is becoming the music industry.

EMI will fold. So what?

Would be reat if the Premiership folded too, but that's not going to happen.

Would your friend have been asked to take his fixture list down if he had published the same information not as a list but as a paragraph"

"Oh, and on Monday 25th of May Newcastle will be playing Man U. That's a week before the away game with Chelsea."

Surely the Premiership don't own what is just factual information?

over 10 years ago

Ciaran Norris

Ciaran Norris, Chief Digital Officer at Mindshare

He was told that he could:

editorially mention an upcoming fixture but not mention more then two on the same page.

which kind of misses the point!

over 10 years ago


Kaya PPC, Internet Marketing Manager at Optimised Media

Its amazing that they wouldn't have considered the damage this would cause their brand. I guess it would have been easier to just link to their site. Definitely "nofollow" that link though.

over 10 years ago

Jonathan Moody

Jonathan Moody, Freelance at Language4Communications

I think that if the Premier League were to do a complete trawl and analysis of online media (magazines, portals, blogs, forums, message boards, microblogs, social networks etc etc) they would find things far more damaging information and opinions than a mere fixtures list, including such alleged copyright infringement (and maybe even some praise).

What does Newcastle United think of this?

What a lot of sectors and the customer insight/market research industry as whole do not get is the insight into and potential for interaction with customers and other stakeholders that social media analysis offers.

Jon Moody

over 10 years ago

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