There May Be Hope For The Recording Industry, Yet

from the let's-wait-and-see... dept

As noted, I'm at the Leadership Music Digital Summit to give a keynote talk tomorrow. Today's keynote is from Rio Caraeff, the executive VP of the eLabs group of Universal Music Group. Listening to his talk, it's impressive to see that it appears someone within Universal Music Group actually seems to understand what's going on. That may seem a bit dismissive of Universal Music Group, but it's not my assessment, but what the CEO of Universal Music Group flat out said just a couple of years ago, in noting that he had absolutely no clue about digital music and didn't even know how to hire the right people.

Caraeff, however, seems focused on all the right things. He talked about how access to music is more important than possession. He talks about how it's the experience that has always made music valuable, noting "you can't steal experience." In fact, he points out that the concept of the album is dead, but that UMG (and others) need to build a true "living album" that goes beyond the music: adding a full experience that can update over time, that allows fans to access the music however they want, and that enables interaction with that music -- including fan participation and user-generated content associated with the music. And he wants it all built on open standards, to avoid a situation like the Blu-ray consortium where only a few companies have control of the system.
"How do we compete with piracy? It's creating a unique experience that can't be easily replicated through file sharing."
He then goes on to say that the business of "licensing music" is a dead end because it's just not scalable (whoo hoo!) noting that it's killing innovation. Even saying that they need to acknowledge that they need to enable letting a thousand innovators bloom.

He did admit that the team at UMG is still struggling to figure out the best way to make money in this new world -- but he recognizes this is where things are going:
"I'd rather have access to all my music, tv shows and movies anywhere on any device, rather than "own" 100 files. This is going to be a swift transition. It's taken us less than 10 years to go from plastic discs to digital files. It will take 5 years or less to go from digital files to cloud-based services, which will make the music even more valuable."
This is all good news. It's someone who clearly recognizes the shift that needs to be made by a major record label. But, the real question is how much influence he actually has at Universal Music Group. We've seen similar recognition among employees at other record labels, including Warner Music and EMI -- but the "top management" at both of those firms has continued to go in the opposite direction, focusing on stomping out innovation, rather than encouraging it.

Unfortunately, this may be a real issue. He did admit:
"Universal Music is a big company and not everyone there is on the same page, but I was put into this job to make these changes. Turning a big ship around is slow. It's not a lack of desire, but it's a question of when not if. A lot of what I do is talk and evangelize to others within UMG to try to raise the consciousness level about where our business is going, to bring us to a path to growth again. It's not about how do we stop the decline of our business, but to find another billion dollar business for us. I'm not interested in how to I sell more MP3s on Amazon or to create new competitors to iTunes. That's important, but that's not going to transform our business. It's difficult in the day-to-day grind to turn a big company around, but it starts with passion. Passion sells. This is how it works."
It's great to see some optimism coming from within one of the major labels, recognizing all of the opportunities out there. Hopefully, it actually leads to something useful.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 10:21am

    I give this guy another six months tops before UMG fires him and continues going along with the MAFIAA Agenda.

     

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    Pixelpusher220, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 10:26am

    this is subscriptions...

    all over again. The quote:

    "This is going to be a swift transition. It's taken us less than 10 years to go from plastic discs to digital files. It will take 5 years or less to go from digital files to cloud-based services, which will make the music even more valuable."

    gives away their entire secret.

    Two things:
    1. the transition to digital files is already here
    2. the 'cloud' already exists, it's called the internet.

    So unless they are saying 'hey its all free and we'll sell the addons now' this is same old same old attempt to squeeze money from the unlimited nature of digital copies. It won't work.

     

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    lavi d (profile), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 10:29am

    How Long...

    ...until he joins Doug Merrill on the unemployment line?

     

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    Dave, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Re: this is subscriptions...

    From reading the above, it seems they want to go to a point where people don't download music, it's just available to them. Kinda like radio on demand, I guess, or maybe like last.fm?

    It sounds like they're trying but still don't quite get it. It'll be interesting to hear Mike's take on the actual talk.

     

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    Weird Harold's clone, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    SCUMBAG!!!

    You people are sooo dense! You think we'll simply allow you to own anything! HAHAHAHAH. You're all sheeple! We own your music, the same as the Post Office owns your mailbox!

    Give me money!

     

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    R. Miles, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    *faints*

    I'd rather have access to all my music, tv shows and movies anywhere on any device, rather than "own" 100 files.
    This has been my beef since day 1! I'm very glad someone recognizes this, and hopes to correlate fans can't pay multiple times to multiple artists.

    It's hard to believe the plastic disk is becoming the scarcer good. But eventually, these will be obsolete as no one will produce players for them.

    Blu-ray? HA! That's going to be extinct long before I buy into it.

    Now, of only the rest of the industry will listen...

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:06am

    WH Mockings

    I think the people making fun of weird harold here now are quite entertaining.
    Queue wierd harold in 3 .. 2 .. 1 ..

     

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    Weird Harold, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:06am

    What I see is a guy that (a) understands what is going on in the field generally, and (b) isn't about the throw in the towel on the music business.

    Plus, anyone who says "cloud" makes me think of the dufuses that were pushing X25 about 25 years ago - you connect via a "cloud". It's a giggle. I suspect more than anything, it is a concept of making the music universally available a short number of clicks away, but likely in return for a membership or some other fee based system. But in a way, it is like flying cars - it is way more complicated than what is current there, and way more complex than most people need - and would entirely outmode every type of music player in existance.

    I would also say that you need to look at the forum this is being presented in. Obviously, someone from Universal coming down and giving a standard RIAA speech wouldn't be welcome to the party.

     

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    Weird Harold, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:12am

    Re: WH Mockings

    Actually, I find it amusing too, only because I know when people are down to making fun of you, they realized your probably right and don't want to discuss it anymore.

     

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    Tgeigs, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:12am

    WH Mockings

    Okay, look at the time stamps. That was just freaky...

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    Re:

    But in a way, it is like flying cars - it is way more complicated than what is current there, and way more complex than most people need - and would entirely outmode every type of music player in existance.

    I get confused when I agree with WH. But there it is.

    I do want to 'own' 100 files. I want to take them, break them down, and do something with them. Right now I can do that. I don't see how this 'access' system will be any better, and can think of plenty of ways it'll be worse.

     

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    Rio (Lobo?), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Re:

    Maybe, unless you consider that cloud to be a massive but centralized music repository managed by the record companies.

    How many people pay $50-$100 per month for cable or satellite? How many pay $50-$100 extra each month for special channel packages?

    Take that centralized cloud of music. Give it the bandwidth of youtube for speed and quality. Back it with convenient, personalized, tier based access to compete with all other sites and the torrents. Throw in special features, the live streams, the web and studio cams, the rockumentaries, and the chance to interact with the artists as features not available elsewhere.

    Boom! Start raking in the dough.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:19am

    Hmmm... one of the things he doesn't seem to recognise is that not everyone's the same, for example:

    "I'd rather have access to all my music, tv shows and movies anywhere on any device, rather than "own" 100 files"

    Well, the "cloud" stuff isn't going to take off everywhere. Not everyone has even broadband access now, and not everywhere has ubiquitous wireless and 3G access. There's the question of how the content would be accessed and charged for - I, for one, would require offline access to files, would need to be able to choose which device to access them on (i.e. no DRM) and a blanket "tax" would be absolutely unacceptable.

    The real future is in combining numerous business models that can work together. One of the biggest issues with the industry is that so much of it has been built around blocking competition and innovation through artificial means that it simply got used to dictating to consumers what they should want. Now, it's increasingly the consumers and artists who are dictating the terms.

    They need to work out how to thrive in this new environment, but if they're thinking there's a single way to do this for all consumers then they're as clueless as ever.

     

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    Geoffrey Kidd (profile), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:23am

    Trust is the real issue

    1. Music companies have traditionally ripped off both the musicians and the customer by "cradle to grave" control of the music. They don't trust either of them not to steal their rice bowl.

    2. Both musicians and the public have returned the favor.

    Let me express this as an example from my own life. I'm currently trying to thin out the physical artifacts of my life: cassettes (remember them?), DVDs, VHS tapes(remember them?), etc. etc. It would be very nice indeed if several terabytes of data were somebody else's professional headache for storage/backup/safety etc. and all I need is a couple of portable gadgets (or a desktop and a PDA, both replaceable at whim with new gadgets)plus the network, in order to have my video/audio/book library with me wherever/whenever I want it.

    Given guaranteed access to the contents of those artifacts, do I really need to care where they are or what form they take, as long as I can listen to/read/watch whatever I've paid for when I want to and where I want to and how I want to with pretty much the same reliability we take for granted with power, gas, and water supplies for our homes. The bottom line is, the user must have a sense of control over the above when/what/how, or they cannot claim "ownership" of any of it.

    However, as things are, unless you have in your possession and control a physical artifact(cassette/CD/DVD/flash drive/hard drive) that access is not guaranteed.

    Now, unless I can trust the entertainment industry to provide that level of access, no such thing is possible. But as far as I can tell, trust requires two conditions to exist:

    First, you must be able to verify the results of trusting. For example, if I loan my lawnmower to a neighbor, I can check whether and when he brings it back, and just what condition it's in when it's returned.

    Second, the relationship in which trust is expressed must be (reasonably) symmetric, in the sense that if trust is violated, the two parties involved have reasonably equal measures to punish or deter that violation.

    Now I can verify whether or not I have access to "my" content. But does anybody have any suggestions for just how one individual can hale the MAFIAA into court and expect that a demand for justice will get answered without being eaten alive by $1000/hour sharks?

    Right now, books/DVDs etc are "pay once, access always." Trust was unnecessary for them because you pay for the artifact and it's yours. Nobody has any idea as to how to duplicate that with network-based content.

    Until the conditions above are met, the MAFIAA will continue down the path of war on their customers, and we the customers will return the favor.

     

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    chris (profile), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:25am

    Re: WH Mockings

    lol. epic.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re:

    But that's the good thing about a truly free market. They will try this new business model, people will try it since its a way to get their music cheap and easy (and legally), find out that it isn't easy at all, go on to something else.

     

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    :Lobo Santo, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re:

    Hmm?

     

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    Weird Harold, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:33am

    Re: Trust is the real issue

    Pretty much when you start calling them the "MAFIAA" it is clear where you stand, and nothing they ever offer (even if it was free beer and dinner) would make you happy. You don't trust them now, nothing they can do will make you trust them again.

     

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    Geoffrey Kidd (profile), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Trust is the real issue

    Given their record, I don't trust them at this time. Trust also requires a "behavioral profile", a history, of trust granted, trust verified. The entire cultural attitude in Hollywood is "everybody's a thief," and that will handicap them for a LONG time to come.

    But it has to start somewhere, because I (and I'm sure other people are too) am getting very tired of having to haul tons of plastic and paper around just to be sure that the treasures of my life will always be with me.

     

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    chris (profile), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Trust is the real issue

    Pretty much when you start calling them the "MAFIAA" it is clear where you stand, and nothing they ever offer (even if it was free beer and dinner) would make you happy. You don't trust them now, nothing they can do will make you trust them again.

    yeah, and there is pretty much a whole generation that feels that way. that's going to be a real problem when the baby boomers have died off and all that's left is the collectors to sell discs to... especially since the collectors are mostly into vinyl.

    the industry backed the wrong horse. it's going to take a lot of work to undo that.

     

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    Mike (profile), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:44am

    Re:

    I would also say that you need to look at the forum this is being presented in. Obviously, someone from Universal coming down and giving a standard RIAA speech wouldn't be welcome to the party.

    Yes, that's why it's sponsored by the RIAA (and similar organizations), and the RIAA's Cary Sherman presented earlier (he's actually standing behind me as I type this), along with a guy from SoundExchange, NMPA and BMI. This is very much the world of the traditional players.

    Most of the speakers are actually toeing the usual RIAA line. But, I'll tell you that Rio got the loudest applause from the audience.

    WH is so often wrong it's almost not worth pointing this out, but when a simple glance at the website of the event would show you how wrong you are, you'd think WH would think twice. Oh well. Once again, demonstrates the lengths WH will go to show how wrong he is.

     

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    another mike, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:44am

    holy carp!

    Reading this post, I kept thinking to myself "When did I fall into an alternate reality where record company execs aren't totally incompetent?!"

    Now, he may still be incompetent depending on how/if he insists on monetizing our ubiquitous access to the cloud of media. I wouldn't mind too much if it was done with an unobtrusive ad letting me know about upcoming concerts or conventions where I can see my favorite artists and actors.

     

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    Joel Coehoorn, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    History

    In my (admittedly very limited) experience, the big company just _can't_ invent the next thing. It has to let a smaller, less restricted, company do it. The big company then buys the little company while the big company still has enough cash to do so. That's not necessarily a bad thing: the new innovative product gets an instance brand boost and payday for investors/founders. Consumers get a new product and brand consistency, and the old company gets to stay in business with a new product and some new employees with a different (better) way of thinking.

    At least, that's the idea.

    The point here, though, is that UMG is unlikely to be able to come up with the next thing on its own.

    This is the problem Warner Music is having, too. They know they can't create the next thing. But rather than just buy up an innovative company so it can internalize it's mantra to realize synergies and all those happy buzzwords, it forces the small company to continue on it's own, while at the same time trying to suck out it's lifeblood by demanding payments for something that's not tied to what the new company hopes to use for it's revenue.

     

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    Ryan, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Trust is the real issue

    You don't trust them now, nothing they can do will make you trust them again.

    It would certainly help if they would stop suing for $150,000/song without any actual evidence. It would help more if they would cease attempting to limit innovation and consumer choice. They could start there...

     

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    TheStuipdOne, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:56am

    I'd Pay For

    I've bought 1 cd in the past year
    downloaded a few songs, movies, and tv shows from bittorrent

    However I'd pay $10 - 20 a month for a service that did the following things:
    1) allowed me unlimited downloads
    2) used the music genome project (think pandora) to push songs to my computer
    3) create playlists that I can take with my mp3 player
    4) download the latest episodes of tv shows that i follow
    5) download movies that I might like (think Netflix)

    I have a 250 GB music and video player that is really good. If I could automatically have it fill up with music from my pandora stations and generate playlists for me that would be AWESOME. I'd love to just listen to pandora all day at work, but my company blocked it for understandable bandwidth reasons. tv shows and movies are perfect for when I need to travel. I just wish it had kindle-like book reading capabilities but I can't ask for everything ... at least not yet

     

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    mobiGeek, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: this is subscriptions...

    No, I don't agree. He specifically talked about how he wants everything on any device, so he gets the part about the digital content being free.

    He also specifically states that they need to work on "building community", that being the value-add to the free content.

    They guy gets it; I just don't believe that his handlers do.

     

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    Matt, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 12:04pm

    talk is cheap

    Talk is cheap,

    I would like to see the industry not shoot themselves but the likeliness they will fire this guy and/or that they will change, is not very.

     

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    Weird Harold's clone, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Trust is the real issue

    Who needs trust when we're working towards a world where SCUMBAGS will have their door kicked in and a black bag put over their heads!! HAHAHAHAHA! WE ARE LEGION. WE ARE HAROLD.

     

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    interval, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Re: I'd Pay For

    @TheStuipdOne: "...I'd pay $10 - 20 a month for a service that did the following things:..."

    I wouldn't. Here's my ideal music situation: I have a device with some kind of identifying "thing" on it, maybe something like OpenID, the device need no more than a few gigs or so of storage. I then, whenever I chose, copy music, video, any kind of media I want, no copy restrictions whatsoever, from various artists, vendors, goof ball vlogs from youtubers, whatever. $10 - 20 per month. No questions asked. These vendors could then pepper the device's LED (and its a hi-tech futuristic device so the led output is small but still stunning and hi-def) with adds for other things, artists could advertise live shows, or whatever. They could pitch anything, as long as this channel wasn't abused. And if a hacker comes up with a little app for this device that by-passes the ads, so be it. Don't sweat the small stuff. If a consumer is looking at the channel at all odds are that they are interested in what that vendor is selling anyway and will occasionally glance at some of those ads.

    That's the kind of media world I want to live in.

     

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    Korrosive, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Trust is the real issue

    Awesome post. I salute you sir and agree completely.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 12:30pm

    im not too sure about that mike

    this:
    "adding a full experience that can update over time"

    and this:
    "It will take 5 years or less to go from digital files to cloud-based services"

    sound like very much like some form of DRM.

    i prefer to have my files on my HD then decide on which player to copy them

     

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    Nathan, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: WH Mockings

    That's why people make fun of Bush, right?

     

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    Tonsotunez, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 12:53pm

    Peeing

    Well, Mike, I'm glad someone lifted the flap and gave you a little peek inside the tent ... you've spent so much time peeing on the tent from the outside with your mind locked in a 2006-2007 frame of reference that you haven't noticed what's going on around you. At this point, more professionals in fields related to creativity and creators themselves have forgotten more about your dated perspective than you will ever know about their embrace of the exciting now world in which they live.

     

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    RD, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 1:02pm

    Not for me, thanks

    Sorry, but this is nothing more than vendor lock-in, DRM of another kind, with a different name. I dont WANT the "industry" to have possession or control of the products I have BOUGHT. I dont WANT them to be able to turn my purchases off with a switch, which WILL happen, and often, with either false-positives ("we know you were sharing!") or just plain error. Good luck getting anyone to listen when that happens. Remember, the customer is the enemy. Once they have your money, they have ZERO INCENTIVE to help you out with anything. Their track record in listening to their customers so far is a vast wasteland of negative.

     

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    Dave, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: this is subscriptions...

    He says that he wants everything on every device, he didn't say for free, just everywhere.

    So if he finds a DRM that is platform agnostic, he still hits that vision...

    Still sceptical.

     

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    Dave, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Trust is the real issue

    That's part of it, but there is another factor. The music industry and film industry want to move to the licensed content idea like the software industry did.

    they don't want to have to invent a new format to make you repurchase your music. They just want multiple revenue points for the same product. That's not an industry that's trustworthy (much like the software industry) as at any time, they can change the rules and force you to re-purchase that what you thought you would have eternal access too

    As long as that's the case, any model that removes my right to have a physical (or digital) copy of my media that I have full control of isn't one that's going to work in the long run.

    Like it or not, iTunes works because you have control of the file. And, if iTunes vanishes one night, and your AAC+ files are locked, there will be lots who can help you re-access the music. That won't work if the cloud closes and you've paid for a year's access.

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 1:22pm

    Re: holy carp!

    Alternate reality: One reason is that Rio Caraeff isn't a career music recording industry guy - and oblivious to new technology and implications. I met him in 2002 when he was in charge of Sony Pictures mobile content efforts.

    People that were already in the mobile content game in 2002 were not tech laggards or luddites.

    So...back to the question of how long he lasts with the career recording industry guys.

     

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    Mike (profile), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 1:50pm

    Re: im not too sure about that mike

    sound like very much like some form of DRM.

    Actually, he also said that he's against DRM. I was very impressed. He's got the right idea.

     

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    Weird Harold, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: im not too sure about that mike

    DRM is a term for a specific way of doing stuff. There are alternatives (such as straight lock codes) or similar. Imagine a situation where you download a song, and you have to enter a validation code that unlocks the file entirely (checked only) and that code can only be used once. You can copy the song all you want, but the digital copies would have your track code in it, in such a way that if your file ended up widely distributed, they could come back and ask what happened. i am sure there would be a way to roll the code in 100-200 times in a track in a way that wouldn't affect playback but might make it harder to trade the original file. Basically, you register your purchase.

    So you use it all you like, you bought it, it's yours - but putting online would be a little obvious.

    It wouldn't be DRM, now would it?

     

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    Rekrul, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 2:48pm

    Caraeff, however, seems focused on all the right things.

    Are you sure about that? Maybe I'm just too cynical, but I didn't see his comments (as related by you) to be all that encouraging.

    He talked about how access to music is more important than possession.

    Translation: He's still pushing the party line about consumers not being able to own music. This is no different than what they've said right along, except now they want to keep control of the music on their end, rather than trying to limit what users can do with a local copy.

    And he wants it all built on open standards, to avoid a situation like the Blu-ray consortium where only a few companies have control of the system.

    Open standards of DRM. Sure, it may not be DRM as we've come to know it, since nothing will be stored locally, but there will be some type of DRM, so that they can uniquely identify you for billing purposes.

    "How do we compete with piracy? It's creating a unique experience that can't be easily replicated through file sharing."

    I'd be willing to bet that what he's envisioning is some type of "social" web site/network like Facebook where people come to chat while listening to streamed music.

    He then goes on to say that the business of "licensing music" is a dead end because it's just not scalable (whoo hoo!) noting that it's killing innovation. Even saying that they need to acknowledge that they need to enable letting a thousand innovators bloom.

    What he means is that licensing individual pieces of music to consumers is a dead end because they can't enforce those licenses with audio. Rest assured that he's not giving up on the idea of licensing, just on the current form of licensing.

    "I'd rather have access to all my music, tv shows and movies anywhere on any device, rather than "own" 100 files. This is going to be a swift transition. It's taken us less than 10 years to go from plastic discs to digital files. It will take 5 years or less to go from digital files to cloud-based services, which will make the music even more valuable."

    This is the big bombshell. Basically, he wants to turn music into the equivalent of cable TV, minus DVRs. When you want to listen to music, you connect to the corporate server, which checks your unique ID, then checks to see if your monthly subscription is paid up, after which, it will let you stream music to the device in question. Of course there will be the equivalent of PPV, where hot new tracks will be available before the general release date for a few cents each time you listen to them. They figure that once they have everyone using streaming-only devices to access their service, piracy will a thing of the past, since most people won't have access to any other source of music. Of course, these services will be country-specific as well.


    I've never been into music very much. There are a few songs that I like, but not enough to buy them. I don't even own an MP3 player, iPod, CD player, or even a radio. As I type this, the only sound in the room is from my computer's fans and hard drives. I find it both funny and sad that music is considered so important to the general population that this guy feels he has to come up with some grand new music "cloud" scheme so that people can have instant access to music 24/7, no matter where they are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: im not too sure about that mike

    lets look at this more closely:
    Typical DRM scenario you buy music tracks its on your HD but every time you try to play them your player has to communicate with the server to authenticate your "purchase" and only then you can listen to it.

    what is being proposed right now: you pay for access to a server online in order to listen to the music.

    aren't these two options the same thing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    me again, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: im not too sure about that mike

    the only difference is instead of the DRM server coming to you and communicating with your player you are going to it and logging in.

    so you are still renting the music instead of buying it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    The infamous Joe, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: im not too sure about that mike

    Then you'd end up with people spoofing these codes, or altering them before they're shared. Then some poor bastard actually plays by their rules, but his code matches a spoofed/altered one.

    The hammer then falls on a paying customer.

    Any way you look at it, trying to restrict access to digital content is going to fail. And worse yet, it usually ends up punishing the wrong group of people.

    I like the idea of the cloud, but if that is another word for streaming, then it will fail. What I'd like to see is a server-style "cloud" of music I'm free to download, mix, whatever. Then you could offer a pay service of finding new music. Like one poster said, if I could decide that I want to hear more songs that sound like The Mountain Goats and all of a sudden my iPhone had 100 new songs from new artists, I'd pay for that. Saves me from hunting it down myself. At $5 a whack, times an infinite number of people, why, according to WH, that's infinity dollars! :)

    Of course, I'm a dreamer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Sorry Mike, didn't see the full agenda... saw you there, saw this guy, saw the title and assumed.

    My bad and I apologize.

    So ask the sound exchange guy about the 100 million while you are at it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Mr Big Content, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Peeing

    Poor, dear Tonsotunez wailed:

    At this point, more professionals in fields related to creativity and creators themselves have forgotten more about your dated perspective than you will ever know about their embrace of the exciting now world in which they live.

    Depressing, isn't it? Enlightened folks like you and I should have ascended to a higher plane a long time, ago, instead of being stuck down here, still futilely arguing with these 06-07tards.

    I wonder when the silvery spaceships will come?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Lorrett, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Trust is the real issue

    The music companies are trying to freeze time, but (as this conversation makes clear) some people understand that the future will happen whether the shareholders in the 20th-century paradigm like it or not. If they go to war with their customers, and try to freeze innovation, both their suppliers and their customers will leak out of their holding pens. Music will be written and performed, a working system for fair payment will evolve(just like Google and Amazon have) out of the needs of customers and suppliers, and the dinosaurs will wither away, UNLESS they abandon the junkyard-dog bit and reinvent themselves.

    Chances are, it will be new companies that do that, because the existing ones have made such a bad reputation for themselves. The studios will eventually sell off their existing "properties" to companies that are trusted by customers. But there will be casualties, in any case...

    There is a rich tradition of music that already exists. That music is a treasure to the people who love it. The people who "own" the rights to it can hold it hostage, and can stop making it available, either "for ransom", or just by saying "nobody ever listens to this any more" and taking it away from us nobodies. As long as this can be done, there won't be trust between music lovers and music "owners" .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    SteveD, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 5:54pm

    Reading all this I'm not sure what's the bigger challenge; convincing an entire business to change its working culture, or convincing TechDirt readers that there might be hope for the music industry...

    Good luck to this fellow. He seems to have the right ideas, but he must have a long way to go before they might be used in any serious manner.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 25th, 2009 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: WH Mockings

    Maybe sometimes, but that argument fails 100% of the time when they are making fun of you before you even said anything.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Janna Sigursson, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 7:45am

    Um, yes, the "Record? biz is dead

    Rio is awesome but if you listen to his comments, he does not really see a "record industry" per se. It's the much discussed shift to a "service" model, which is lovely to hear about, but no one is doing it.

    One smart guy (and again, Rio is great) at one of the big four means NOTHING except that a smart tech co will steal him one day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    SunKing, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 9:39am

    Waffle, waffle...

    And at the end of the day, the key point coming out of the conference was simply Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: im not too sure about that mike

    Nevermind that digital watermarking can be removed without a terrible amount of effort...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Mark, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 12:55pm

    is his house for sale? check his bio link on Twitter http://twitter.com/riozilla

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    cccp, Jun 19th, 2009 @ 3:26am

    Re: WH Mockings

    lol ! that made me laugh better not walk under any ladders or piss off any black cats.. JINX

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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