At All Things D’s Dive Into Media conference, on the last day of his time as the chairman of Warner Music Group, Edgar Bronfman, Jr. participated in a far-reaching interview that touched on Bronfman’s attempted merger with EMI, the now-scheduled Universal/EMI merger, and his relationship with Apple and Steve Jobs.
Regarding EMI, Bronfman said that had a merger between Warner and EMI been made, he likely would have stayed on as chairman. While it may seem hypocritcal to say that and then turn around and slam a possible Universal/EMI merger, Bronfman makes a good point in saying that Warner/EMI would have had around the same market share as Universal and Sony, whereas Universal/EMI would have a disproportionate market share, essentially creating a monopoly.
On Jobs and Apple, Bronfman admits that in the eventual deals that Apple and iTunes made with the record companies when the iPod was booming, Apple got the better end of it financially. One telling quote sure to arouse those skeptical of major labels is when Bronfman says “[Apple] decided all songs were created equal, and I told Steve, I never thought that was right.”
The whole interview is a very interesting look into how top-level executives at major labels actually think, so it’s definitely worth checking the whole thing out, especially when Bronfman calls Google Music an oxymoron. Watch the whole thing below. [Billboard]