Nov 18, 2008

EMI Music top execs interviewed by Billboard

Interesting interview of Elio Leoni-Sceti (CEO), Nick Gatfield (president of A&R for North America and the UK) and Douglas Merrill (worldwide president of digital, former Google CIO).

Some highlights:

Leoni-Sceti : "This industry has always relied on somebody else to innovate in the way that this content is delivered to music fans. Somebody has to invent the iPod, somebody has to invent the music experience and the various incarnations of this music experience. So we have been great at providing the content but somebody else had to take this content and deliver it in your way. We want to regain ownership of the innovation that goes with our product delivery."

Merrill : "DRM certainly doesn't provide value to the fan (...) The pirates are doing a busy business regardless. The best way to get a pirated copy probably isn't to buy it from iTunes and then push it. We didn't see the needle move at all on [piracy]. But what we did see is consumers loved the product. It was good for consumers, it's good for artists. It gets people engaged with the art in a whole new way by getting rid of artificial rules like "we don't trust you, so I'm not going to give you this content". It just sort of set the wrong tone with our customers".

Leoni-Sceti : "I think that "middleman" is a bad description of what our company and our industry should be. If you're a middleman and you're just shuffling the paper from one side to the other one, there's no role whatsoever to being there. If you are actually adding knowledge and enabling that relationship to occur, fans and artists need the industry more than any other time before".

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