Miramax CEO Mike Lang told the audience at MIPCOM that Apple is a bigger threat to the music industry than piracy. Miramax was a Disney property (of which Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder) until it was sold last year. Lang told the packed audience that "Apple is the strongest company in the music industry because there was not enough competition, and still to this day there is not enough competition. As an industry it can't then influence packaging, merchandising –- all the things that are vital."
His words were one of warning to the movie industry, which he sees facing the same challenges now as the music industry did at the turn of the century. "As an industry -– the movie industry -– we have to be very cognizant of that [Apple's influence]. That's why we did our deal with Netflix, and why we also did our deal with Hulu. We want multiple players to be successful."
Though his reasoning is valid, perhaps Lang should give some credit where credit is due. Apple single-handedly saved the music industry in 2003 when it unveiled the iTunes Music store, a cheap, legal way to download music instantaneously. As much as Lang wishes other companies share power in the digital music distribution scene, none of those companies stepped up to the plate to save the ailing music industry before Apple.