Google’s view on record labels – some “get it,” others don’t and Warner can’t be “forced” to be “a good partner.”
Warner Music recently pulled videos from YouTube in a dispute over terms. Asked, tongue-in-cheek by Ted Cohen, why Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is “screwing” the labels generally, content partnerships VP David Eun told the MidemNet music conference that some innovative people do work in music; but: There are a lot of people who are very defensive as opposed to offensive – ‘protecting‘ business models, ‘protecting‘ what they know. What I would say is, we appreciate there’s a core business that still makes a lot of money – and there are ways of innovating to support your core business…”
– Bear-headed?: “Lots of people ‘get it’. On the other hand, there’s a culture (among music execs) where ‘these are my interests, meet them, if you can meet them then maybe you can have access to our content’. There’s really not a concern for the other person’s business (ie. Google’s) – (they say) ‘if you can’t figure out how to make it work, that’s your problem’. If that becomes systemic, you decrease the number of partners you can have.”
“How much more innovation is going on in the music industry? And how much could there be? I don’t think we have the answer – but neither does the music industry.” So Eun called for closer partnerships, reminding audience members of YouTube’s Content Identification copyright detector.
– Warner dispute: Asked specifically, Eun said: “I think it’s unfortunate. The only way a partnership works is if it works for both parties … You can’t force someone to be a good partner – you can force them to follow contractual obligations, but you can’t force them to be a good partner. The way you become good partners is to give them incentives to go beyond what the obligations are. We don’t have that type of relationship with everyone or with Warner Music right now … but we hope we can find a way of working so that both parties are happy working together.”