Warner Music Group--a company that originally took Apple and its iTunes service to task for not allowing it to sell music at a premium--has changed its entire outlook on the music downloading business and has praised Apple for knowing what is best for everyone involved.
"You need to look no further than Apple's iPhone to see how fast brilliantly written software presented on a beautifully designed device with a spectacular user interface will throw all the accepted notions about pricing, billing platforms and brand loyalty right out the window. And let me remind you, the genesis of the iPhone is the iPod and iTunes--a music device and music service that consumers love," Warner Music Group's CEO Edgar Bronfman gushed, according to a blog post by Simon Aughton on MacUser.
Am I the only one that enjoyed a hearty laugh after reading this clown wax poetic on how wonderful Apple is? If you look closely at what he said, you can almost see him kneeling at Steve Jobs' altar begging for forgiveness. Now that is what I call comedy.
But why has Warner Music seen the light all of a sudden? After months of claiming that his company knew what was best for consumers, Bronfman finally found out the hard way that the music industry knows nothing about consumers.
Interestingly enough, a quick glance at the quarterly financial statements of Warner Music Group points out one alarming statistic: the company has been losing money over the past few quarters.
According to reports filed with the SEC, Warner Music Group witnessed a net loss of $27 million during the quarter ending March 31, and $17 million during the quarter ending June 30. Compare that with a profit over the previous two quarters and it looks like Warner is having some trouble.
Is this the reason why Bronfman decided to make Jobs' head just a little bigger? Has he finally realized that Warner Music Group needs iTunes more than iTunes needs Warner Music Group?
You better believe it.
The future of the music industry has nothing to do with CDs and everything to do with downloading. Hasn't the music industry learned anything over the past decade as its stranglehold on our buying preferences slowly released? Sadly, the answer is no.
As music downloading (and dare I say illegal downloading) continues to rise, these music companies bury their heads in the sand and blow policy out the other end. Instead of understanding customers and realizing that what we want is readily available music without DRM, Warner and its friends have decided to bully us in the hopes we'll stop. We won't.
Believe it or not, most people are honest and they don't mind paying for music. After all, I think most people realize artists create music because it's their job and they deserve to get paid for it.
Simply put, all we want is to be trusted. Get rid of the DRM and for goodness sake, get rid of that disgusting Recording Industry Association of America, and start trusting that consumers are willing to do what's right if you don't force them into a corner and make them do what's wrong. Will there still be piracy? Sure. But believe it or not, a happy consumer won't mind paying $5 to $10 for an album if you let them.
Warner, I appreciate your attempt to try to make amends, but actions speak louder than words. Call me when you strip DRM from songs, denounce the RIAA and lose the greed.