Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Boo Hoo for Universal Music

Doug Morris is whining in Wired about Steve Jobs and Apple's success in online music distribution:

The problem is, he became a gatekeeper. We make a lot of money from him, and suddenly you're wearing golden handcuffs. We would hate to give up that income.

Boo Hoo. Record labels are no longer economically necessary. The only useful function they serve is promotion in a world where anybody can get distribution through iTunes or competitor. I don't understand why these music business moguls are surprised that their position in the music eco-system was eroded by new distribution. Control over distribution was really all these guys ever had. It doesn't take a lot of capital to record on album.

Morris goes to lament the lack of his customer's willing to pay for his product:

Really, an album that someone worked on for two years — is that worth only $9, $10, when people pay two bucks for coffee in Starbucks? People never really understand what's happening to the artists.

This is so rich since most artists never made much money from music sales when the labels ruled the business. If people are only willing to pay $9 for album, that's all it's worth. Boo Hoo for the music labels. No one is going care when they are long gone.