Warner Music chief has epiphany, praises Apple

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Warner Music boss Edgar Bronfman this week conceded that the music industry is partly to blame for the proliferation of illegal music sharing and -- in an apparent change of heart -- suggested that his peers in the mobile industry could learn a lot from Apple.



Speaking at the GSMA Mobile Asia Congress in Macau this week, Bronfman warned mobile operators against making the same mistake that the music industry made.



"We used to fool ourselves," he said. "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."



MacUser, which reported on Bronfman's comments, said the executive told mobile operators they presently face the same risk, as fewer than 10 percent of cell phone owners buy music on their phones, and the majority of those who do are only buying ringtones.



"The sad truth is that most of what consumers are being offered today on the mobile platform is boring, banal and basic," he said. "People want a more interesting form of mobile music content. They want it to be easy to buy with a single click - yes, a single click, not a dozen. And they want access to it, quickly and easily, wherever they are. 24/7. Any player in the mobile value chain who thinks they can provide less than a great experience for consumers and remain competitive is fooling themselves."



Bronfman, who had criticized Apple in the past over its iTunes pricing model and revenue share demands, even went as far as to suggest that operators follow the Cupertino-based company's lead in simplicity and catering to the demands of consumers.



"For years now, Warner Music has been offering a choice to consumers at Apple's iTunes Store the option to purchase something more than just single tracks, which constitute the mainstay of that store's sales," he continued. "By packaging a full album into a bundle of music with ringtones, videos and other combinations and variation we found products that consumers demonstrably valued and were willing to purchase at premium prices. And guess what? We've sold tons of them. And with Apple's co-operation to make discovering, accessing and purchasing these products even more seamless and intuitive, we'll be offering many, many more of these products going forward."



The Warner Music chief went on to praise Apple for its "beautifully designed" iPhone which includes "brilliantly written software." It has a "spectacular user interface" that "throws all the accepted notions about pricing, billing platforms and brand loyalty right out the window," he said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    hmmm... interesting.



    I didnt realize apple did the whole "bundle" thing... is that what constitutes the "album only" stuff you see sometimes?
  • Reply 2 of 27
    ROTFLMAO... Bronfman. Hooboy! Best laugh all day.
  • Reply 3 of 27
    Will the real Edgar Bronfman please stand up!
  • Reply 4 of 27
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,179moderator
    "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"



    If only all companies had that same epiphany including Apple.



    These people can't be completely stupid if they've managed to get to the positions they are in and yet when it takes them this long to realise such obvious things it makes you wonder.



    Better late than never I suppose.
  • Reply 5 of 27
    Wow! Bundle songs and things into albums. To bad Apple didn't think of that with iTunes!
  • Reply 6 of 27
    Wow. [INSERT "not in Kansas anymore", "hell freezes over", "flying pigs" quip here]



    Yeah... WWWWOOOOOWWWW. I'm going to take another look at what Warner is offering on iTunes. I'd love to see some of what they're talking about. Good attitude. MORE!



    ~ CB
  • Reply 7 of 27
    stompystompy Posts: 316member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "People want a more interesting form of mobile music content. They want it to be easy to buy with a single click - yes, a single click, not a dozen. And they want access to it, quickly and easily, wherever they are. 24/7. Any player in the mobile value chain who thinks they can provide less than a great experience for consumers and remain competitive is fooling themselves."





    My take on this is simply that Bronfman realizes the cell phone music market is just beginning; he'll give a nod to Apple if he can persuade the cell industry to work extra hard at selling his content.
  • Reply 8 of 27
    This undoubtably illustrates just how forward-thinking Apple is under the leadership of Steve Jobs. It takes but one man to say how things are going to be. A man with values and principles. A man with vision. Four years ago, Steve stood on stage and unveiled the iTunes Music Store, saying that it is designed to compete with the most lucrative competitor of all... peer-to-peer file sharing. They were relentless in their pursuit of keeping that easy-to-use model at the forefront of the venture, and continued to infiltrate the expanding market without compromising on that model one bit. And they are now the model to follow. Gee, brilliant, Brofman. Glad you finally woke up.
  • Reply 9 of 27
    ... but did he think no-one there spoke english!?!



    Perhaps Universal/NBC attempt to scuttle a working, profitable, user friendly, patronised system that ensures everyone (artist, record company, apple and the consumer) gets something is about to fail?



    I hope so.



    It has some limitations (most of which have been forced on it by the content providers) but iTunes is clearly the model for the way forward
  • Reply 10 of 27
    It's kind of bright in here.....did someone turn on the lights??
  • Reply 11 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    "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"



    If only all companies had that same epiphany including Apple.



    These people can't be completely stupid if they've managed to get to the positions they are in and yet when it takes them this long to realise such obvious things it makes you wonder.



    Better late than never I suppose.



    well, there IS one company that isn't stupid. Google.
  • Reply 12 of 27
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    An epiphany or did Warner just renew a sweet deal with Apple?
  • Reply 13 of 27
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,513member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    These people can't be completely stupid if they've managed to get to the positions they are in ...



    Intelligence is not what got Bronfman Jr. to positions of prominence in

    business. He inherited his position from his dad, who was a big owner

    of Seagrams.



    Even in cases where there is no nepotism, there are skills for climbing

    the corporate ladder which are totally separate from the ability to judge

    a market (or even to run a company). Clueless ceo's are quite common.
  • Reply 14 of 27
    Wait, its November right.. not April 1??
  • Reply 15 of 27
    wallywally Posts: 211member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    These people can't be completely stupid if they've managed to get to the positions they are in and yet when it takes them this long to realise such obvious things it makes you wonder.



    Makes me think of Bill Gates' line in Pirates of Silcon Valley: "Success is a nemesis, it fools smart people into thinking they can do no wrong"



    Wonder if he really said that, and if he really believes it...
  • Reply 16 of 27
    ak1808ak1808 Posts: 108member
    I want Warner Music in iTunes Plus!



    Go Bronfman go!
  • Reply 17 of 27
    -hh-hh Posts: 31member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by floccus View Post


    Wait, its November right.. not April 1??





    I was thinking more along the lines of the following headline:



    "Exec sez - 'Making money is GOOD!' Film at 11":








    Does AppleInsider have a "Thank you, Captain Obvious" award yet?







    -hh
  • Reply 18 of 27
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ak1808 View Post


    I want Warner Music in iTunes Plus!



    My thoughts exactly - Bronfman can show he's serious by adding Warners content to iTunes Plus. If he doesn't, he's just blowing smoke to cover his backside.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wally View Post


    Makes me think of Bill Gates' line in Pirates of Silcon Valley: "Success is a nemesis, it fools smart people into thinking they can do no wrong"



    Wonder if he really said that, and if he really believes it...



    I doubt Gates actually said that. According to what I've read over the years, Pirates... is not even close to that level of accuracy in its recounting of history. It captures the personalities pretty well, but does not accurately depict the actual events.



    WRT the quote, I agree completely. The world is full of corporations that started out greatly innovative, that became successful, then complacent, and then they lost their dominance (and often went out of business or got bought). Lotus, Ashton-Tate, Digital Research, IBM's personal computer division, Atari, Sega, Coleco, Tandy, and countless others. There are plenty more that have become complacent but have not yet failed, like Adobe, Sun, Microsoft, every major record label, every major movie studio, and most of the big TV networks.



    If Gates said that line, then it's quite prophetic, because it describes today's Microsoft. While MS hasn't collapsed, they are most definitely resting on their laurels. Windows and Office have become so successful that there has been very little innovation in the past 10 years. New versions look different, have different UIs, different file formats, and have much greater hardware requirements, but they really have not changed very much in terms of basic functionality.



    In contrast, the non-dominant companies (like Apple, Be, and countless small companies) are developing great products that really do change and improve the way we work.



    Of course, many (like Be) have failed, and the successes (like today's Apple) must be very careful to not become complacent. And when this happens, others will step up and take over that role.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    Glad to see the light bulb go off over someone's head. It made my day that someone finally gets it.
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