Friday, May 30, 2008

EMI bloke hopes EMI has some value

Interesting - if slightly over-hopeful - comments from Jesse Kanner, Senior Director of Digital Strategy at Capitol/Virgin EMI Music, over on Hypebot about the value of label branding:

My position is: Label branding doesn’t matter to the consumer - until it does. Meaning - if you conduct yourself right, market well, understand your audiences and messaging, attend to the sonic and visual quality of your product, consumers will start to pay attention to your mark. It matters. People do need filters.

Well, yes they do - but record labels don't really mean anything by way of filter. Indie labels, perhaps, but with their marques, the value is limited to only a small sector of the market. But with the wide range of acts swilling about on the majors, how could you use that as a filter? EMI has released The Beatles, Maria Callas, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and the Sex Pistols - which suggests a lack of filtering ability on their side, never mind as a guide to customers.

Naturally, EMI people are keen to suggest that there's some value in those three letters beyond the ownership of a back catalogue. But it's not very convincing: nobody ever went into a shop and asked for "the latest thing on EMI".