Music Mogul Fires with Determination at Own Foot

Edgar Bronfman Jr, who has squandered a great deal of his family’s liquor fortune trying to be a media mogul, has been running his mouth lately about how completely untenable Apple’s 99 cent/song pricing is on the iTunes Music Store.

Similar comments cropped up “a month ago”: in a New York Times article which is no longer available on the web without paying (stupid, but the subject of another post), but as I recall, those comments weren’t attributed to someone in quite so high a position of authority, nor someone posessed of such appearant cluelessness.

RED HERRING | Bronfman Fires Back at Apple
“There’s no content that I know of that does not have variable pricing,” said Mr. Bronfman at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia investor conference.

I’d quip that he hasn’t been to the movies in the past 50+ years, but appearantly he is aware of how ticket prices work, because he doesn’t like it:

Why, [Bronfman] asked, should you pay the same amount to see a $2 million movie as you would to see a $200 million one?
“from slate”:

Um, because a $200M movie is a mass market product that needs to sell a hell of a lot of tickets to break even, much less profit, and raising ticket prices much will cut into that audience, which will reduce word of mouth, which will cut into the audience even further.

I should be applauding Bronfman’s willingness to challenge conventional wisdom, but I can’t bring myself to.

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