Capitol New Media VP on Cingular Deal

Matt Maier has a great interview with Capitol Records’ VP of New Media (Ted Miko, who was involved in the “innovative” Cingular Sounds deal earlier this week) over at his equally great MobilePlaya mobile music and gaming blog.

Forget everything I said about the service being about promoting Capitol artists; it’s a total money-grab by Capitol, which considers the ringtone and the underlying Coldplay single “completely separate”. Miko says the point isn’t to boost music sales, but the deal was made “because we felt the ring tone was worth releasing.” And from the rest of his comments, it’s clear that was a financial, rather than artistic, decision.

But the real gem comes when Maier asks, “Would it ever make sense to give the ringtone away? It seems you could give it away, build a lot of buzz with consumers, and—most likely—people would go out and purchase more albums or singles.”

Miko predictably replies: “Absolutely not. We could also sell the ringtone and build a lot of buzz and have people then purchase the album. One is probably a much better business than the other.”

The only problem is he’s probably wrong about which business is better.

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