Pop quiz: name a store full of items that all sell for the same price, regardless of each item’s differences or time on the market. Can you think of anything? The guy running Warner Music sure can: the iTunes Music Store. And he thinks that’s crazy:
“There’s no content in the world that has doesn’t have some price flexibility,” said Warner Music Group Corp. chief executive Edgar Bronfman at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia investor conference here. “Not all songs are created equal. Not all albums are created equal.” [qtd. in Reuters: Apple, record labels to face off over pricing]
“No content in the world”, eh? Is it just me, or did Eddie forget something? A pretty major form of “content”? They’re called movies, and anyone who’s been to a movie theater knows for damn sure that not all movies are created equal, but when it comes to the theater, everything is priced the same.
But maybe Mr. B was just having a bad day. At the same conference, “Red Herring” quotes him* as saying this:
“We are selling our songs through iPod, but we don’t have a share of iPod’s revenue,” [Bronfman] said. “We want to share in those revenue streams. We have to get out of the mindset that our content has promotional value only.
“We have to keep thinking how we are going to monetize our product for our shareholders,” added Mr. Bronfman. “We are the arms supplier in the device wars between Samsung, Sony, Apple, and others.” [from Bronfman Fires Back at Apple" via Gruber]
See? He’s just losing it, is all. Expecting a cut of hardware sales (when you’re already getting a cut of digital and CD sales for the actual music) would be like Coke demanding they get a percetange every time a cup is sold. Ridiculous. But what can we expect from a guy who uses the quasi-word “monetize”?
* Interestingly, the sources differ on the “world” line. Rather than “in the world” and “flexibility”, as Reuters has it, Herring quotes him as saying “There’s no content that I know of that does not have variable pricing,” which is different phrasing but the same effect.