Monday, April 2, 2007

Answering Some Important Questions: EMI and iTunes

Engadget's coverage of today's announcement from EMI includes a transcript of some Q&A from members of the press that many of us might find informative.

Eric = Eric Nicoli (Chairman of EMI)
Steve = Steve Jobs (Obv)
Q: When are the Beatles tracks going to be online?
Steve: "I want to know that too." chuckles.
Eric: "we're working on it, hopefully soon."

Regarding Nordic consumer groups, Steve says they are not offering anything new today that's not already available on DRM-free CDs.

Q: Is this a green light for piracy?
Eric: no, we take the view that we have to "trust consumers." Some will disappoint us. The idea is to give them the best music experience to grow sales and not diminish them.

EMI confident this will grow their sales. 1/4 of all sales digital by 2010. Hard to predict, but they think this will make their music more accessible to promote sales.

Q: Have talks begun with other majors?
Steve: EMI is pioneering something that will probably become very popular. Can't comment on any discussions. Again, Steve points out that CDs ship with DRM. Sony tried it... it didn't work.

Q: Are some of the majors being more difficult, if so, who?
Steve: I don't want to go into it, there are always leaders. Customers will love it, they get what they want. Music companies make more money by offering more value.

Q: Will DRM now be removed from videos such as Disney's where you (Steve) has a say?
Steve: I knew I was going to get that question today. Video is different, they never distributed 90% of their wares DRM free like music companies. So he doesn't hold the two in parallel.

Q: Now that the link between iPod and iTunes is broken, will there be a fall in sales?
Steve: No -- no link broken. You can already rip CDs and put songs on any player you want. Apple's success is based on having the best and easiest to use music store and players -- they've never felt any differently.

Q: Which other digital retailers has EMI spoken too?
Eric: We hope they all take this on. (avoids question)

Q: What's the point of keeping DRM on $0.99 tracks?
Steve: We don't want to raise prices on anybody. We'll continue what we started and offer more value for the money without taking anything away. Consumers make the choice.
Eric: Not everybody cares about interoperability or sound quality.

Q: Will EMI dictate pricing to other on-line music stores?
Eric: EMI sets the wholesale price, not the retail price. So prices may vary by other on-line music services.

Via engadget / digg.

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