Music Industry Exec Says The Unthinkable: ‘Internet Piracy Is A Good Thing’

From Techdirt:

What you rarely, if ever, see is a top level executive of a major player in the content industry state, on the record, that not only is piracy a good thing, but it may also be a necessary thing. Here’s Mandar Thakur, COO of Times Music, India, commenting on the internet’s upheaval of the recording industry.

I may get lynched for saying this – but I have always believed that internet piracy was actually, in some ways, a good thing to happen to the industry. If not for that, the music industry would never have pulled its act together and embraced innovation and realised changing consumer behaviour and digital distribution. The challenges the music content industry faces are too vast to lay down here but the most significant one is the fact that the very core of the industry and its business dynamics have been shaken deep due to the consumer’s changed consumption habits and habitat, and its value proposition changed forever. It’s almost akin to consumers not wanting to pay to consume Coke/Pepsi anymore. In that sense it is as good as creating a brand new entertainment industry, creating brand new value and brand new revenue models at the same time as preserving the existing value/revenue base.

Time Music, India is a division of the Times Group, the “largest mass media company in India,” with annual revenue exceeding $1.5 billion and the employer of 11,000 people.

Continue reading the rest of the interview here