Archive for July, 2002

The Universal Music award for excellence in customer relations.

Thursday, July 4th, 2002

Los Angeles Times Calendar Live posits that the real enemy of the CD market is not the Internet – it’s the DVD market. For US$20, you get a movie, commentaries, trailers and extra features; for US$18, you get two good singles.

Jim Urie, president of Universal Music and Video Distribution, pooh-poohs the idea that value for money matters: “We tend to ask how can we make more money and sell more product, not deal with consumer gripes.” Yes, that’s an actual quote.

Indeed. SmartMoney details the RIAA’s latest consumer relations plan: suing individual users of file-sharing networks. Unsurprisingly, Universal and Sony are the strongest backers of this tactic.

The record companies anticipate problems getting some artists to support such plans – Janis Ian, for instance, who declined an invitation to work with the RIAA against file-sharing. As she puts it in an excellent article on her website: “If a music industry executive claims I should agree with their agenda because it will make me more money, I put my hand on my wallet … and check it after they leave, just to make sure nothing’s missing”