Universal Music Group International chairman and chief executive, Lucian Grainge, doesn’t want to destroy Apple’s iTunes with the launch of the new Sky music service, and nor does he want every file-sharer knocked off the internet.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Grainge admitted file-sharing to be something that keeps him awake at night, saying, “The fact of the matter is it is illegal. Piracy is illegal. Peer to peer is [long pause] unfair.”
The deal with Sky is an attempt to offer a legitimate alternative for music fans – it isn’t an attempt to smash Apple’s iTunes dominance…
“That’s what everyone wants to read into these things,” he said. “I don’t have any concerns about Apple…If there was only iTunes providing digital music and they tripled my sales I’d be delighted.”
Grainge stresses that the market needs a range of digital retailers. “We would have had the same conversation when HMV started 70 years ago if there had been no other retailers selling 78s.”
The Sky deal is in fact part of a push to offset declining CD sales the chief executive said – though he is convinced CD sales will remain part of the music industry matrix.
Finally, Grainge had something interesting to say about EMI’s new controller, Guy Hands. “I think he’s a very clever person and has some interesting ideas,” he said.
Some interesting background information in this report – Grainge was the man who signed the Psychedelic Furs.