The Universal Music award for excellence in customer relations.

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”

2 thoughts on “The Universal Music award for excellence in customer relations.

  1. Damn, I was gonna post this. At least I can confirm that it is an excellent article and gives many convincing reasons why file-sharing is in fact GOOD for smaller artists :

    “Let’s take it from my personal experience. My site ( ) gets an average of 75,000 hits a year. Not bad for someone whose last hit record was in 1975. When Napster was running full-tilt, we received about 100 hits a month from people who’d downloaded Society’s Child or At Seventeen for free, then decided they wanted more information. Of those 100 people (and these are only the ones who let us know how they’d found the site), 15 bought CDs. Not huge sales, right? No record company is interested in 180 extra sales a year. But? that translates into $2700, which is a lot of money in my book. And that doesn’t include the ones who bought the CDs in stores, or who came to my shows.”

    Janis, you go girl.

    By the way, why don’t record companies object to the massive amounts of second-hand recordings that are sold? The overwhelming majority of my collection is from opshops, Dixon’s etc.

    Hi Dave. How’s Eng-er-lund?

  2. “By the way, why don’t record companies object to the massive amounts of second-hand recordings that are sold?”

    They do. Every now and then they think of something to try against the second-hand market. They recently put forward a plan to make a royalty payable on all second-hand recordings sold.

    “Hi Dave. How’s Eng-er-lund?”

    The weather in London is identical to Melbourne. I mean, IDENTICAL. Except no forty-degree days in summer.

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