Feeds

Feargal Sharkey on three strikes… and after

A new deal for music fans?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Feargal on … building a digital music business

I try to reasonably optimistic about these things.

Are people going to stop being creative? Probably not. And if you try and stop them, for sheer belligerence as much as anything else they'll probably be more inclined to do it. And I quite buy into the idea of technology democratising creativity - that's fantastic.

Are people at the other end of the chain going to stop liking music, and wanting to consume music, and listen to it, experience it? Absolutely not - and there is a bigger demand for music has never been higher.

The bit we're trying to work out right now is the bit in the middle that joins the two together. So, if the statements made for Apple for example are true, you could not go out and run iTunes as a separate standalone business, because you're going to lose money.

It's simple - good businesses make money and bad businesses don't make money, in which case they're out of business very quickly. And that's the point I'm getting at. I'm not sure some of the gains technology has to offer a record company aren't offset by costs somewhere down the line. The reality is someone's struggling to create a business based on a 79p download. We're going to have to start exploring other ideas.

Feargal on... three strikes

Even within the past seven days there's been any number of conversations going on - and they're very sticky - with ISPs revolving around the ideal of how do we do this together. We need something which gives you some sort of commercial incentive as an ISP, but which also ensures we as the music industry have a financial model that can still keep signing artists and making records.

It's not a big mindshift right now. I have genuinely seen a huge mental shift in the past six months - that conversation wouldn't have taken place a year ago.

It is incredibly reassuring that if the government will stand up and say, if you can't come up with a commercial solution to something that's a commercial problem, then we will legislate. Personally I have concerns about that, based on my five years as the radio regulator of commercial radio. I'm acutely sensitive to the idea that kind of regulatory intervention does not necessarily provide you with a 100 per cent solution.

El Reg: What concerns?

Nobody in the music industry has any idea what it means when the Government says they're going to regulate.

El Reg: Is it the threat of legislation that's changed that - that's opened up negotiations with ISPs?

It's not the threat of legislation, it's the commercial environment. The set of problems ISPs are facing is totally different. You can only sell so many broadband connections to people in the United Kingdom, then you can't sell anymore. You can only sell so many mobile phones, then everyone's got one.

So they're looking at their business and thinking, "how can we grow this?" That drives you down the route of content and what extra services can you get out of them? What can you offer them that gets an extra fiver out of them?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.