Edgar Bronfman, Jr may be on the way out from Warner Music Group, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't have something to say about how the label thinks about digital music and mobile music here at Dive into Media. It's gratifying to see a music industry executive doing something other than railing against music piracy, though it's clear that those efforts have moved into the legislative sphere and also into the board rooms of music distributors like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Spotify.
WMG has taken a harder line about negotiating deals with distributors than other labels, notably refusing to sign with Google and getting a better bargain from Spotify than other labels. On the former, Bronfman gave a stark assessment of Google Music, saying that there's really only one company with a real content strategy: Apple. He called Google Music "an oxymoron" and that it "has to decide whether or not it wants to have a content platform." On Spotify, Bronfman overall believes that it is "incrementally positive" for its artists, calling it "a real and growing revenue stream." Bronfman isn't alone in that assessment of streaming music's potential for the industry. He also notes that he has hard data that shows that the streaming music service isn't hurting sales of music. Similarly with Apple, Bronfman didn't seem especially pleased with music locker services like Amazon's cloud or even Apple's service, but his preferred solution in both cases is to set up direct deals with those tech companies (as happened with Apple's iTunes services).
From WMG's perspective as a label, Bronfman talked a lot about wanting to get more dialogue with the technology industry instead of labeling. That applies to deals with Google Music (which comes down to "economics") and to SOPA / PIPA. Bronfman admits that those particular pieces of legislation had problems and his solution is to get the "most senior people" from tech companies and content companies to engage more directly. He defended labels (naturally) and suggested that they're not out of touch with technology, but rather have different priorities. "The tech industry knows what it's doing. The content industry also knows what it's doing. [...] We need to decide what we want to do together." Given WMG's hard-nosed success in negotiating deals thus far, it sound like exactly the sort of thing the company would want to do to determine the future of digital content distribution.