observations, reviews and ramblings about Hip-Hop culture, sports, politics and the industry and life in general.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Doug Morris is going to destroy the music industry...and rebuild it...

...even if he doesn't realize it.

Alma put me up on the article about Doug Morris in this month's WIRED.
Great piece with the usual insightful writing from the WIRED crew. Among many things they seized upon was the fact that the music business’s insistence on a DRM gave Apple their dominance. To paraphrase, they allowed Apple to make a Walkman that only played Apple cassettes. Just imagine if Sony could have pulled that off in the 80’s.

While the industry led by Universal and Doug Morris’ dominant market share tried to control a technology Morris readily admits he never understood, they gave Steve Jobs the rope by which our industry is dangling from. The irony is Shakespearean.

Now Morris is trying this Fair Play which we all know won’t work. Subscriptions will never beat the $0.99 model. Why?
1) Apple brand loyalty is something that businessmen have wet dreams about. You don’t just yank that away. Even if the subscription is a better model.
2) The iTunes/iPod hard/software model is something that all the competitors miss. One without the other will never topple the Apple model.
3) THE DAYS OF SELLING RECORDED MUSIC IS OVER. As ubiquitous as it is iTunes is a loss leader. Wake up and smell the Double Tall Soy Latte. But no worries Doug you still are the biggest dog in the game.

Universal is the biggest content producer around. Apple does not produce ANY content. And we all know content is king. Hard and software may be the princes, though.
Universal billings surpass Apple’s. People may not realize it but the Universal is more prominent than Apple. 50, jay, Kanye, Gwen, NIN, Snoop, MJB – all part of the Universal brand.

Recorded music is over but content will never die. Figure out another way to leverage your content:
360 deals (look at Live Nation)
Film/TV (cross pollination)
Publishing (your existing cash cow)
RETURN TO RETAIL under your own rules (I know a great entrepreneur with a killer idea for this)

Doug Morris and Universal are responsible for the current mess but once he gets his ass kicked he is smart enough to rebuild. And just as we all followed him off the cliff we will follow him to the Promised Land.

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Blogger ian said...

You see this? Dru Ha & crew are rewriting the book on how to thrive as an indie/underground hip hop label in the post-Napster internet music era. Gotta give props...

December 03, 2007 10:22 PM

Blogger Wes said...

he is doing well for sure but there are cats definitely earning more

Stones Throw has built a very profitable relationship with Adult Swim and Blue Note

Curious as to what the History Channel deal really is

And those ESPN deals have been pretty short lived in the past

Hopefull ythey flipped it tho

December 04, 2007 1:05 PM


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