Universal digital chief: Android's selling bucketloads of Amazon MP3s, litigation is not a long-term fix to piracy


I haven’t exactly hidden my contempt in the past for Doug Morris, CEO of Universal Music Group. For many years, UMG has ridden the coattails of the other record labels, particularly the trailblazing EMI, when it came to digital music. It was with mild trepidation, therefore, that I began to read Cnet’s interview with UMG’s Digital Music head honcho, Rio Caraeff.

There are a number of interesting nuggets of info in the interview – that Android’s driving “a ton” of sales for Amazon MP3, that litigation is not “a definitive or long-term fix” for piracy, and another confirmation of the “tens of millions of dollars” that Rio had previously claimed the label was getting from YouTube.

Most interesting of all, though, is the way that Rio sounds like a guy who’s really got his head screwed on. He speaks very knowledgably about digital music, but the most telling statement is when he says “We’re trying new things constantly. There is nothing we won’t try.” Trying new stuff was one of the central themes of my Six Tenets series about how the next generation of music companies will work. Good to hear someone so high up in the ‘traditional’ industry echo those sentiments.

Cnet’s Rio Caraeff Interview

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Universal Music Group takes on iTunes with Total Music subscription service

fighting-grandads.jpgThe Universal Music Group has been making it known for some time that they’re deeply unhappy with Apple’s iTunes service, with UMG’s Doug Morris and Apple’s Steve Jobs fighting with handbags more often than not.

Morris recently refused to sign up for another contract with Apple allowing their record label’s music on iTunes, due to their strict contract terms which apparently limit the company’s marketing and the fact that Apple takes 29 cents of every 99 cents paid per song owned by UMG. Instead of pulling out of Apple…