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Former Warner Music Group Chairman discusses Apple upon exit

Kelly Hodgkins, @kellyhodgkins
February 1, 2012
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I don't know about you, but I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when Apple was negotiating its iTunes deals with the major record labels. We can't go back in time, but we can get an occasional glimpse of what it was like from those who were there. Such a person is exiting Warner Music Group chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr., who recently sat down with AllThingD's John Paczkowski and talked about digital music and Apple.

Bronfman was optimistic about mobile devices like the iPhone and said mobile was "a massive opportunity for music." He acknowledged that the iPod kicked off portable music and the phone is the future. Though he supports mobile music, Bronfman regrets the deal Warner ultimately cut with Apple over iTunes pricing.

Apple from day one believed in music and content. That was the good news. The bad news is that they decided all songs where created equal, and I fought Steve on that. Ultimately, Apple got the better part of that deal. Ultimately, I wish we'd gotten more pricing flexibility.

I'm sure the recording companies would love to set higher prices, but, as a consumer, I'm pretty happy with Apple's pricing. Most albums are around US$10 and most tracks are $1.29 or less. This price point is low enough that most people can afford to buy the occasional album without putting a dent in their budget.

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