“Ultimately, the consumer electronics giants… are all going to come to this Windows Media party.
This is really going to be the ubiquitous format.
Steve Jobs and Apple are going to be toast. There’s going to be a completely different landscape.”
What with all of Apple’s success in the fresh-faced world of digital music—42 million iPods now out in the wild (which accounts for 78% of the entire MP3 player market) and over a billion songs sold by the iTunes Music Store (which is responsible for 80% of commercial digital audio downloads), you have to wonder exactly where statements like this come from.
And then it struck me. Napster CEO Chris Gorog and Wayne Rosso, former president of Grokster and current head of
—the gentlemen responsible for these respective statements—are taking this whole “music as lifestyle” thing a little too seriously.
I imagine them in a smoke-filled Las Vegas suite, littered with pizza boxes and empty Oreo packages, days before CES.
[cue dream sequence]
Rosso [slowly exhaling]: Dude, this is
Gorog: What is, man?
Rosso: Like, Steve Jobs…
Gorog: Like Steve Jobs what, man?
Rosso: …like Steve Jobs has got, like the music industry, by, like,
Gorog: [inhaling] Totally! That is
sweet man, that is
… [exhaling] wait, he’s got us by the balls too, right?
Rosso: No, man, he’s totally toast. I mean
Gorog: Man, you are
high! Where’d you get this stuff anyway?
Rosso: No listen, man. You remember how popular, like Napster was… I mean, like, before you took it over.
Gorog: That’s totally harsh, man.
Rosso: No offense, amigo, we’re cool. But, like, so, I’m talking to Fanning again and, like, we’re going to do the iTunes thing but like we did in the old days. P2P, man. P2P! Ya dig?
And, like, that’ll toast iTunes, like,
Gorog: But, so, hang on, you’re going to let people give music away? Didn’t, like, the Supreme Court tell you that you couldn’t do that any more?
Rosso: No man. Listen! This is the beauty part, we’re going to charge people like, $.99 a track to, like, download it.
Just like iTunes, man!
Gorog: …and so… we’re talking, what, a way of buying the same stuff but just, you know, like a different way?
Rosso: Haven’t you been listening, man!? P2P, man,
Gorog: But, like you’re going to do it using Windows Media, right? Cuz that’s the friggin’ future, man, and besides, I don’t want the things playin’ on my friggin’ iPod…
[Yahoo Music Chief Dave Goldberg reels into the room]
Goldberg: I finally tripped on it, man.
Music should be free!
Rosso: Nah, man, we tried that see, and…
Goldberg: [inhaling from the nearest appliance] No, man, I mean, like without copy-protection.
no friggin’ DRM!
The labels are so
gonna dig it!
All [bursting into giggles]: Oh man, we are