音楽配信に関するJerome H. MolのOpen Letter


MP3の登場、音楽配信事業のP2P市場急拡大、Napsterへの著作権追求など、急激な変化の中で、リアル・ネットワーク(RealNetworks)社とAOL Time Warner、ベルテルスマン(Bertelsmann)社の合弁オンライン音楽配信事業が誕生し、大手レコード会社ユニーバーサル・ミュージック(Universal Music Group)を傘下に持つフランスの娯楽企業ビバンディ・ユニバーサル(Vivendi Universal)社が2001年4月に商用MP3ダウンロードサービスでは草分け的な存在だったEMusic社を買収し、さらにソニー(Sony Music)と共にメンバー登録制のデジタル音楽配信サービス「Duet」を開発し、2001年5月20日には、MP3.com社を$3億7200万(約460億円)で買収するなど、激動の21世紀幕開けの中、ソニーと共にCD-ROMを中心に、DVDなど、固定型デジタルメディアを引っ張ってきたオランダのフィリップス(Philips)社や松下電器産業、音楽産業のビクター、コロンビアなどが参画しないまま、今回はインターネットを利用した有料音楽配信マーケットを独占しようとしていることから、TORNADO INSIDERのチェアーマンJerome H. Molが Open Letterを2001年5月25日に公開した。WIPO(World Intellectual Property Organization)が2002年12月16日に、知的財産権に則ったデジタル経済についてのレポート「INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ON THE INTERNET」を公開した。詳細情報はURL(http://ecommerce.wipo.int/survey/)で知ることができる。KaZaAは2003年5月26日に、ダウンロード回数が230,309,616になったことを報告した。詳細情報はURL(http://www.kazaa.com/us/news/most_downloaded.htm)で知ることができる。IFPI(国際レコード産業連盟)は2005年1月19日に、2004年の音楽ダウンロード販売局数が2億局を突破し、2003年が約2000万局であったことから、約10倍に急成長していると報告した。市場規模もUS$3億3000万に拡大し、2005年はさらに倍増すると予測した。国別では米国が7倍の1億4000万曲、イギリスが約600万、ドイツが100万曲に達しているということである。詳細情報はURL(http://www.ifpi.org/site-content/press/20050119.html)で知ることができる。1950年代にカリフォルニアの薬局でRuss Solomonがスタートし、全米の20州で89の店舗を展開してきた黄色に赤い文字をシンボルにしてきたTower Recordがオンライン音楽販売の煽りをまともに受け、米国の各メディアが2006年8月23日に、米国連邦破産法第11条(チャプター・イレブン/Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code)を申請し、bankruptcy courtへ2006年8月20日に売却を申し込んでいると報告した。米国のレコード販売チェーン店舗は1991年に約9,500店舗あったが、2006年には約2,000店舗に減り、店舗展開は衰退の方向に向かってきた。詳細情報はURL(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/22/AR2006082201350.html)で知ることができる。

Open Letter
Author: Jerome H. Mol
You can find this article in edition No. 25 (May 2001) on page 12

One of the business sectors that has endured a very visible struggle with the implications of the Internet is the music industry. In October of last year, while most major players pursued nothing more creative than the time-honoured route of litigation, entertainment giant Bertelsmann had the vision to understand that the genie was definitely out of the bottle and formed an alliance with Napster. The latter, as you are probably aware, had been establishing the fastest-growing user base in Internet history -- not merely the history of the Internet, but all human history -- while facing an uncertain future under lawsuits from some of the largest corporations in the entertainment industry. Its innovative P2P application posed a serious challenge to copyright laws and the bottom line of recording artists and the music industry in general.

While pundits have claimed that recent court decisions in this area have undermined creativity, the fact is that Napster has forced intense focus on the issue of intellectual property and its partnership with Bertelsmann has acted as a catalyst for innovation. Witness the flurry of deals for the digital distribution of music announced in the last month in the music sector. The positioning is almost as challenging to keep up with as the activity in the telecom sector. Yahoo announced a deal with Sony and Universal; Rioport.com and the Internet unit of MTV Networks have launched an online song-selling service; RealNetworks and AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann and the EMI Group announced a joint venture called MusicNet; Microsoft launched a new music channel called MSN Music; Italian company Vitaminic announced the relaunch of the Internet Underground Music Archive, and Universal Music Group has acquired MP3 pioneer EMusic. The challenge for all of these services will be to convince users to pay for something that they have been accustomed to receiving for free.

The truth is that the digitalization of entertainment is here to stay. The movie and publishing industries are already struggling with the concept of digital distribution -- if you have the bandwidth to spare and enough power in your PC, there are already places where you can download full feature length movies for free.

With pressure on companies to realize profits for their survival, expect to see a trend in websites charging fees for information and services that have historically been free. Yahoo floated this idea a few months ago when it announced that it was evaluating a fee-charging model. This will force companies to offer high-quality goods and services and create a strong focus on customer services to ensure customer acquisition and retention.

Organizations that offer web services will play an important role as encryption,verification, security, and availability will become key to the success of theseservices. Do you hear opportunity knocking?

It will be very interesting to see the dramatic changes in the music industry over the next three years as it responds to the challenges that the Internethas exposed. Music companies will realize significant cost savings in theirproduction and distribution chain and be forced to invest in the technologiesthat they will depend upon to remain innovative leaders.

There is great opportunity for creative solutions that are geared toward individual consumer tastes. In addition to the obvious pay-as-you-play model, we will see innovations in streaming content as well. As wireless technologies continue rollout and bandwidth increases, products will develop that make this content available to you anywhere you go. This will create more opportunity for music companies to pursue alternative delivery platforms as consumers utilize their handheld mobile devices to access individualized content.

While we have witnessed a slowdown in the marketplace, the music industry has been forced to accelerate its acceptance of, and investment in, technological solutions. Old companies will go out of business and new ones will be created to support new manufacturing and distribution models. This is another perfect example of how progress and innovation are not dictated simply by market conditions. I have often said that there is no right or wrong time to start a company. If you have an innovative solution you know will change the way people work or play, then you should be working right now to bring your idea to the marketplace.

Sincerely,

Jerome H. Mol
Chairman
TORNADO INSIDER