Bill Werde from Billboard had a nice suprise on his visit to meet EMI’s new recorded music CEO Elio Leoni-Sceti, getting three for the price of one when president of A&R for North America, the United Kingdom and Ireland Nick Gatfield and EMI’s worldwide president of digital Douglas Merrill joined the confab too.
Douglas Merrill, the former CIO at Google, talks about the impact of being the first major label to supply their music DRM free to iTunes. Did this lead to an increase in piracy? No. According to Merrill it lead to increased consumer engagement:
“We didn’t see the needle move at all on [piracy]. But what we did see is consumers loved the product. It was good for consumers, it’s good for artists. It gets people engaged with the art in a whole new way by getting rid of artificial rules-like we don’t trust you, so I’m not going to give you this content. It just sort of set the wrong tone with our customers.”
Here, here. To see the full Q&A with all three executives you can see it here on Billboard’s website. Definitely worth a read.