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@ D6: Stringer on Digital Music: The Vanishing Album Is An Issue

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Howard Stringer, the CEO of Sony (NYSE: SNE), is on stage talking about, among other things, Sony’s position in music: “We have sold about 170 million music enabled phones, which is more than iPods…we have sold that in about two years. We started the trend with the Sony Walkman phone, mostly in Europe. Clearly there is something happening in digital music on phones…Nokia (NYSE: NOK) has led the charge in all you can eat experiments and we will get there. We are back in the game, but we recognize our failing.” Notice he didn’t even mention any online music service/Sony Connect or a standalone MP3 player…Sony has pretty much given up there.

Later, he talks about iTunes and iPod: “In a sense, iTunes is a gatekeeper…the price is fixed. I have my own hostilities to the iTunes experience. I will get blogged to death for saying this: the problem with iPod model is it is a singles model, and the album stands for a body of work. Being competitive to iPod is healthy, but in the end it is about the music. Preserving the quality of music, and the A&R business is imperative. The vanishing album is an issue I worry about, but maybe I am old.”

Video clip, courtesy of AllThingsD:

3 Responses to “@ D6: Stringer on Digital Music: The Vanishing Album Is An Issue”

  1. Jonathan

    The album is a concept conceived by record labels to increase their profit margins. Many artists are not fans of albums and would prefer singles or EPs (or at least the choice of what to put out). Music's availability on the web finally gives creative control back to artists since they aren't reliant on record companies for distribution any longer.

  2. Albums are not "bodies of work" anymore.

    And why get something you skip thru anyway?

    Why should I get Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks"
    when I don't EVER EVER EVER
    want to hear
    "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts"

    (PS The Golden Age of Music is over anyway.
    It was roughly 1964 to 1978)

  3. i agree with his concerns about the death of the album and itunes participation in it's demise.

    case in point: what is most infuriating about itunes to me is the inability to move the tracks column away from being the flush left column. everything is allowed to move but that column.

    that's the death of the album and long term pain to the industry right there.