The CEO of Universal says the reason the record industry never bothered in online music was because no one knew how to do it.
"There's no one in the record industry that's a technologist," Morris explains. "That's a misconception writers make all the time, that the record industry missed this. They didn't. They just didn't know what to do. It's like if you were suddenly asked to operate on your dog to remove his kidney. What would you do?"
Personally, I would hire a vet. But to Morris, even that wasn't an option. "We didn't know who to hire," he says, becoming more agitated. "I wouldn't be able to recognize a good technology person — anyone with a good bullshit story would have gotten past me."
The way I see it, these luddites in the recording industry are why the industry is failing. People have gotten a taste of the freedom of being able to listen to music they like, whenever they want. You can't put that genie back in the bottle.
What they're pissed about is consumers dictated the marketplace based on the medium they wished to use. Had the music industry come aboard early enough (and worked with Napster instead of fighting it), they could have played a major role. Instead, they were more interested in price gouging and paying groups like the RIAA to lobby for increased royalties than they were participating in the development of new technologies.
It's also worth mentioning that UMG got Microsoft to pony up $1 for every Zune sold - something that Apple refused to do. The new UMG online store that Morris is proposing will have a strict DRM scheme that will lock out the iPod. It's a brilliant business model - lock out the most widely sold music player from your online store.
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