The Consumer Is King
EMI Music's Alain Levy Tells Delegates At The London Media Summit
EMI Music Chairman and CEO Alain Levy said media businesses must place greater emphasis on the consumer if they are to capitalize on the opportunities of the digital age. Levy was delivering the opening keynote address at the annual London Media Summit held at the London Business School.
Levy said that the time had come for entertainment businesses to embrace the consumer's desire that media be delivered the way that they want it, rather than in the form that content owners dictate.
"Digital has brought us closer to the people who buy music and has facilitated a new age of empowerment," he said. "Power is shifting everywhere from manufacturers, content providers and retailers to consumers. In this age of empowerment, the consumer is king."
Outlining what he describes as "a seismic change to our culture," Levy argued that for media businesses, consumer foresight would be the key driver of innovation and growth, and insisted that companies who refused to adapt their businesses in response to the demands of the consumer would fail.
"In the current environment, we must endeavour to ensure that innovation is central to everything that we do, and that we become true sponsors and facilitators of innovation. We must support models that appeal to all different types of consumers," he said in his speech entitled "Digital Music, and How the Consumer Became King."
"At EMI Music, we will remain committed to working with existing partners to develop new and exciting services for fans. And my door, and those of my senior executives, will always be open to those entrepreneurs seeking support – whether through content licenses or indeed seed financing – for clear business models that will drive digital music forward."
Levy dismissed the notion that there will be no room for record companies in the new era of user generated content phenomena, including YouTube and MySpace. "There will always be demand for compelling content, whatever its source. It is by providing a filter and bringing the consumer an authentic experience that media companies must lead the charge in generating the content of the future," he said.
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