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Big labels are f*cked, and DRM is dead - Peter Jenner

Clash, Pink Floyd manager lifts the lid

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In your report you suggest that a blanket license for digital will really begin to change relations fundamentally. You mention managers, and artists co-ops. Can you elaborate?

The key things that the record companies do are probably finance and distribution. Well, distribution is much easier because of the net. There's also marketing - and that's really finance. Then you have an issue of these complex rights - so who do you back? Do you put your money into the record or into the whole game? And I think everyone's moving into putting money into the whole game.

You can envisage a different investment model - imagine estate agents for IP. Someone wants to come in and invest £100,000 in Billy Bragg. And he goes to someone and someone says "Sure, Billy Bragg, it's safe to give him £100,000"...

I can't see it working. We might live in four or five houses in a lifetime and there's only one Billy Bragg career for Billy.

There's one career - but the logic is sound. If you turned over 50,000 and made a 50,000 profit, he'd be safe

You can look up the recording part of it, and chop that up. Or you can just promote the brand. I think you call them consultants rather than estate agents. That way you're asking what is the key element of the equation - and the key is to "own the fans" - and the person who owns the fans is the artists. So it may be the best person to invest in is the management - you'll get the best return on your investment - and you can see what the manager did last year. Or they can say, Peter Jenner - I know what he does. Let's let him go out and find the promotion people and the marketing people.

I like the idea of doing co-ops to raise the money, too. If I give money to you to write a book, that's fairly high risk. If I lend it to 100 people that's much lower risk - someone's going to come through and I'll get my money back. The industry understands these issues. And you're less likely to rip each other off.

Small businesses working together strengthens the market.

There are intangible things about physical music we're only just discovering we value. I'll tell you something. Have you noticed that digital people are pretty twitchy people. Recently I was reunited with all my old vinyl and it's much more sociable than running it off a computer or an iPod. People appreciate each other's company more, and appreciate the music more - we grow more patience and it's lovely. The tyranny of the playlist, of interactivity is horrible - it's a curse.

Well, without sounding like a clever clogs, I always said this was going to be a streaming media, which has even less interactivity.

Like what we're listening to now it washes over me. That's fine. I see music as a commodity as being the driver. There's far more casual access to music and for those people, you need all of the music. It's no good just having Sony's catalog. While for the fans, they want more from one artist. They want to get close to the artist, they want better packages. Real fans might want many versions of a song from a demo, to the final version, to the mash-up version, as many as 20 - it's a continuum. And you can give them it now. You've got that sort of market for the fanatics - they want the live recoridng, the backstage photos, the singer's blog when he's on the road.

That's a complicated bundle of rights - it's about bundles. You can't sell that individually, but it's a bundle. And people will want to give your their money.

And mobile?

The real game in town is not online. It's a skirmish. The real game is mobile phones. If your mobile phone is a portable computer, which has got all the facilities of an iPod and a radio, and a TV, with some limits on their memory but as time goes it'll have huge memory. But you need access to everything. ®

Peter Jenner's conference Beyond The Soundbytes, organized by MusicTank, takes place on 15 November.

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