Apple should look at music sub service: Napster CEO

Napster Chairman and Chief Executive Chris Gorog on Tuesday said Apple Computer Inc., the digital music market giant that popularized the sale songs online for 99 cents each, would be, er, ignorant of a shift in the market if it fails to start selling monthly or annual subscriptions to its iTunes service.

“I would be absolutely shocked if they (Apple) did not enter the subscription business. It would be idiotic not to,” Gorog said at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York.

Napster, which runs a subscription-based online music service, has one of the best known names in the business but has failed to put a dent in Apple’s 80 percent market share.

The CEO of the reinvented Napster also defended Steve Jobs’ line against the record labels on pricing for digital downloads.

Listen to Napster Chairman and Chief Executive Chris Gorog call variable pricing for music and downloads “a bad idea. Period. Full stop.”

$2 for a DVD? Too much! (in China), Time Warner says

Psssst! Got $2 and looking for a copy of, say, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings on DVD?

If you are shopping in China, where widespread piracy of software, music, films and other goods has provoked constant complaints from multinational companies and governments alike, you might be able to beat that price, a Time Warner senior executive confessed on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit on Tuesday, Jeffrey Bewkes, chief operating officer of Time Warner, whose recent blockbusters include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Syriana, said the company battles the street market for DVDs in China by offering legitimate products, in the right time period at the right price. That price is about $2 or $3.

Still, he admitted that the New York-based company, whose revenues topped $43 billion in 2005, is battling, for example, a guy selling DVDs on a blanket for $1.
He was then asked if he thought selling DVDs for $2 or $3 was cheap enough.

“Probably not,” he said. 

Corning Inc says “We Love New York!”

love_ny_smaller.jpgBreathe easy, residents of Corning, New York — your biggest employer is staying put.

Peter Volanakis Chief Operating Officer, of Corning Inc., on Tuesday said the company, which makes fiber optic cable and liquid crystal glass used in TVs and computer displays, has no plans to leave the small town it has called home for some 130 years.

Asked if the comany, which earns two-thirds of its revenue outside of the U.S., was considering pulling up its roots, he said “No, that is our home.”

“That’s our headquarters, that’s where our laboratory is,” he said on Tuesday at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York. “All roads for us lead back to our central laboratory (there).”

The vote of confidence for New York’s “Crystal City” comes as other household names in the state in recent years have significantly pared thier workforce, most notably camera and film maker Eastman Kodak and printer and copier maker Xerox Corp.

Broadband TV: BT to spend more

BT Group’s take on broadband broadcasting is enthuisastic. At the summit today, the chief executive of BT Group’s consumer arm said of broadband TV, “We have spent tens of millions of pounds on it and we will spend more tens of millions of pounds.”

On Monday, Qwest CEO Richard Notebaert told the Reuters Technology, Media and Telecom Summit his company was in no rush to make the Internet TV push.

Qwest in no rush to make Internet television push

While Internet television may be the global rallying cry for phone companies seeking to wrest video customers away from cable and satellite television rivals, Richard Notebaert, the chairman and CEO of Qwest Communications, questions how ready customers are to buy IPTV, or Internet Protocol Television.

Quest is testing IPTV, but Notebaert doubts whether offering 200 channels over the Internet is much different from what customers now expect from existing television services. Weve got the (IPTV) stuff in the lab, a couple of trials, 20 meg(abytes) going to your home. We are not going to introduce a service that is not equal to or better than what the competitor has, he said, referring to cable TV rivals.

By contrast, rivals AT&T Inc. and Verizon, and to a lesser extent, BellSouth, are pouring investments into IPTV services. “Being a follower is not a bad thing,” he says.