Long-time Apple critic, Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. has seemingly gone through a 'Road to Damascus' moment, telling mobile executives they should look to Apple for direction in how to build positive music purchasing experiences.
Speaking at the GMSA Mobile Asia Congress, Bronfman waxed positive at Apple’s iTunes service, and took the chance to warn incumbents in the mobile space not to repeat the mistakes the music industry made in the digital age.
Admitting that in the past, music industry executives, “used to fool ourselves,” he admits that the snail's pace with which his industry met the digital tidal wave had worked to put music "at war with consumers".
Reflectively, Bronfman seems now to accept that his industry failed to give music lovers what they wanted, causing consumers to become accustomed to using file-sharing services. "As a result of course, consumers won," he admitted.
Like many in the industry, Bronfman has previously criticised Apple's fixed price model on content sold through iTunes, and has also rejected Apple CEO Steve Job's declaration that DRM-free music is the only way to ensure seamless and interoperable music services and products.
But speaking at the event, Bronfman seemed ready for the first time to congratulate Apple for its achievements, and promised his company would offer music fans an extensive selection of mixed media collections, including music, video and ringtones.
Bronfman also warned mobile operators that they must offer media in a form and through a service consumers find exciting to use, that services must be simple to use, and the music on offer must cover a plethora of tastes.
It appears Bronfman is beginning to recognise that in a new age of connected media, the consumer has become king.