I saw in TechCrunch yesterday that the Chairman and CEO of the Warner Music Group, Edgar Bronfman, admitted during a presentation that the music industry had been “asleep at the wheel”.
He told a group of mobile industry operators not to make the same mistakes as the music industry:
We used to fool ourselves…We used to think our content was perfect just exactly as it was. We expected our business would remain blissfully unaffected even as the world of interactivity, constant connection and file sharing was exploding. And of course we were wrong. How were we wrong? By standing still or moving at a glacial pace, we inadvertently went to war with consumers by denying them what they wanted and could otherwise find and as a result of course, consumers won.
So they were in a war with consumers over how they thought their property should be used. Can we tell that to the RIAA now so it stops suing the small fish who are merely collecting MP3s?
Will this bring about change in the music industry? Eh. Probably not. It may be “too little too late” to correct the issues. But I hope they give it a try.
Just thought this was interesting as a follow up to my DRM article earlier in the year.
Those of us who are Amazon affiliates may or may not have seen that Amazon has recently launched a beta for their MP3 service (http://www.amazonmp3.com) or you can check out my store here.
But what is interesting is the recent shift of all the major MP3 vendors, such as iTunes and Napster and eMusic to DRM-free MP3s. And with the shift of some of the popular bands like Radiohead starting to drift away from the huge management/production companies and offering their products directly to the consumer, I think we’ve only seen the beginning.
Video is in a similar predicament, though we’re pretty early in that cycle. If you look at Amazon’s Unbox service, which I use, I think it’s pretty cool. Some of the major networks are moving away from the iTunes model and going towards other vendors or even rolling their own. I know NBC has their own shows on their website.
Here’s an example of Amazon’s Unbox service: here
So if you’re marketing MP3s as part of your service, I think DRM-free is the way to go. iTunes philosophy of Apple or nothing has started working against them. As a non-iPod MP3 player owner (I have a Sansa), I have struggled with iTunes as a consumer. You have a great selection there, but you’re limited to using it on an Apple MP3 player unless you can find a way to manipulate the files to get them in a simple MP3 format.The MP3 market is great for individual websites and business owners if you’re affiliated with one of the larger markets. I think Amazon has a great model. It’ll just be interesting to see how things shake out to see how the DRM backlash continues.
Until next time…