SXSW Interview: Ted Cohen
Austin Convention Center, Wednesday, March 15It was impossible to miss the central point of Ted Cohen's SXSW interview: "It's not about the technology, it's about the business model." Cohen, head of digital business development for EMI, was a little vague, however, on who the models served, because ultimately the fights in the digital world are the same as those in the world of round, shiny objects, namely: Who gets how much? The bulk of the panel was basically a quick survey course in technologies and trends, to which the iPod was central. There are a number of portable players on the market with more features than the iPod and at a better price, but the iPod has 80% of the market. There are scores of new technologies and new ways to deliver music to consumers, and with those will come a whole new generation of business-to-business fights (sometimes called "deals") and artist-to-business fights that determine who gets how much of what. One of the audience questioners was frank: "Are the splits better for the aritst?" Cohen cited a recent deal with the band Korn and said yes they were. Then added that he wasn't sure because he wasn't involved in doing those deals.