Jobs’ Thoughts

Thoughts on Music

verb ( trans. )

attempt to persuade or pressure by the force of one’s position of authority : the Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman jawboned the dollar higher by calling its recent steep decline a purely speculative phenomenon |  an analyst jawboning about the industry.

Dictionary built into Mac OS X Tiger.

Steve Jobs is under fire.  From those pesky European countries, not ruled in a laissez faire beholden to business President like George Bush.  They want him to open up the Apple iTunes Store.

Unlike the men running the record labels, Steve decided to go on the offensive.

You can read the b.s. about secrets.  It’ll have you scratching your heads.  Jobs sounds like a card-carrying member of the MPAA.  Hell, did owning Pixar fuck him up this much?

But really, it’s all a set-up.  Jobs wants the iTunes Store to be DRM free.  He’s jawboning the industry to come to his position.

Jobs isn’t a pawn in Doug Morris’ game.  He’s using his position as the fourth largest music retailer to move the game forward.

Ironically, this is not a story of DRM.  It’s a story of sale by track.  How it’s not a reasonable economic solution.  God, if only 22 of 1,000 songs on an iPod were purchased at the iTunes Store, what we’ve got is a sieve.  Sure, you might rip your CDs, but how many of those tracks on iPods were paid for?

And it’s not like DRM on discs is gonna solve the problem.  Hell, just ask Andy Lack, he lost his job trying to lock up the music.  That solution is DEAD!  Furthermore, there’s always the analog workaround.

In other words, Apple’s not the problem.  The ignorance of the labels is.  They’re fighting a DRM war that’s protecting the provinces, but not the homeland.  You’ve got to replace that CD revenue.  Removing DRM won’t do it.  You’ve got to go to subscription.  Get EVERYBODY to pay.  To own unprotected music.


Don’t be, that’s what’s ALREADY happening!  People want a lot of music, and they want to own it, and they don’t want to pay much for it.  So, we’ve got to license at the ISP level, or sell a trading license, and THEN sue all those who don’t pay up.  Like cops stop speeding (they don’t do it by saying you can’t drive, or must take the BUS!)

Steve Jobs is on the hot seat.  The Europeans are circling the wagons.  He’s developed a coping strategy.  BLAME IT ON THE LABELS!

Makes a lot of sense if you think about it, both his plan and his passing the buck.  Why DON’T the labels get rid of the DRM?

Dirty little secret…  They’re gonna.  One of the heads of the four families told me weeks ago that he was OUT, he was all for removing the protection, he wanted this to happen AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

Unfortunately, this same man still thinks sale by track will win. That people only want all that music because it’s free, that they don’t play much of what they steal.

That’s an incredible misconception.  People only steal what they WANT, and they want MUSIC!

Give the people what they want.  A ton of music at one low price per month.  Maybe make them sign up for a year at first, just like the iTunes Store was Mac only.  Experiment.

Sometime in the future, no one will own their music, everybody will rent it, music will be a service.

But not today.

We haven’t charged for 8 years.  This is not a winning economic strategy.  We’ve got to monetize trading, it’s the only way out.

As for Steve Jobs?  His play is iPODS, not individual songs.  And if he’s willing to give up his MONOPOLY, his LOCKED SYSTEM, isn’t it time for the labels to move into the future TOO??

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  1. Pingback by LIVE MUSIC | Steve Jobs: DRM = Bad | 2009/02/22 at 14:24:05

    […] Bob Lefestz has a great reaction (probably my favorite response so far) […]

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  1. Pingback by LIVE MUSIC | Steve Jobs: DRM = Bad | 2009/02/22 at 14:24:05

    […] Bob Lefestz has a great reaction (probably my favorite response so far) […]

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