CNet: Big Champagne’s Eric Garland; Media Meltdown

Eric Garland

Eric Garland

Big Champagne has been collecting data on file sharing for over 10 years and enjoyed a front row seat as the music and entertainment industry has grappled with the changes mandated by an evolving digital world. In this CNet.com interview by Greg Sandoval, CEO/co-founder Eric Garland turns his attention from music to movies to highlight some key differences between the two entertainment formats. One area specifically addressed is consumer expectations of ownership vs. renting for music and film and the challenges that represents for various business models.

Here’s some edited quotes: Click HERE for the complete story

Garland: The cute answer, which is probably the truest answer, is that growing a sector is a privilege and not a right. There is no right size. There is no correct or God-given size for any sector. Why do we get to make movies that cost $300 million to make? Because we have found venues where people will spend more than $300 million on the result. If people spend only $50 million then the price of a movie must be $49 million or less.

Garland: But I want to be clear that I was far more bearish on music than I am about Hollywood’s prospects… Customers would say “I want MP3s” and the music industry would say “We can’t do MP3s because we have to have (digital rights management).” The customer would say “deal breaker!” The customer said “I want to eat all I want at one low price that feels like free.” The music industry said “No my friend, it’s a dollar a track.” There was no point of agreement. Hollywood conversely, is very different.

Hollywood says we like DRM, we would like to extend to you this content but on terms that we control and the customer says “Yeah, that’s cool. I’ve always been good with that. I like renting.”… The music industry says “How come we can’t we do that?” The customer says “No, because it’s not my expectation. It’s not the contract that we’ve had all along.”

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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