Bronfman Discusses Apple, EMI; Won't Support Streaming Sites
February 10, 2010 at 4:25 AM (PT)
THE NEW YORK POST's PETER LAURIA writes TODAY (2/10) "He's not regularly accused of being an industry leader, but WARNER MUSIC GROUP CEO EDGAR BRONFMAN JR. is the lone person in media -- let alone music -- willing to throw jabs at STEVE JOBS."
Commenting on digital music sales during YESTERDAY's Q1 earnings call, BRONFMAN said "The number of potential subscribers dwarfs the number of people purchasing music on iTUNES." BRONFMAN made that comment as part of a discussion focusing on APPLE's "shift away from music after building the iPOD and iPHONE on the back of the industry's content."
Rival EMI was also a topic of conversation, with BRONFMAN commenting that he "saw no regulatory impediment to a deal for EMI, whose auditors recently expressed significant doubt that the label could continue as a going concern if owner TERRA FIRMA can't raise another roughly $180 million from investors to avoid failing a debt covenant test at the end of MARCH."
"We feel consolidation is certainly is possible," BRONFMAN said. "Should it come to EMI's lenders having the opportunity to rescue value, they're going to try and rescue as much value as possible."
Not A Fan Of Streaming Music Sites
BRONFMAN also touched on licensing WMG music to free streaming services, saying they "are not a positive thing for the industry, and as far as WARNER MUSIC GROUP goes, will not be licensed. The get all your music you want for free, and then maybe with a few bells and whistles we can move you to a premium price strategy, is not the kind of approach to business that we will be supporting in the future."
His comments cast doubt over WARNER's continued involvement with free music streaming services such as SPOTIFY and WE7.
It is unclear where any move on WARNER's part would leave deals it's already struck with streaming services -- if it would withdraw from them, or if it simply plans to enter no new licensing agreements.