EXCLUSIVE: The music industry is set to reinvent itself by remastering back catalogue music as 24bit and selling it as premium content according to the CEO of Linn who makes high end digital music gear as well as sells music.It’s also been revealed that the music industry, who are concerned what Apple will do with the pricing of 24bit music, has held discussions with Amazon & Google with a view to getting them to support 24bit content.
In recent months Apple has had meetings with several music Companies, in an effort to push for 24bit music. Executives from Apple have told music industry executives that they can charge double for a high quality 24bit music track or album.
Gilad Tiefenbrun, the Managing Director of Linn and Linn records said that several music Companies including Warner, EMI and Universal were now working to deliver the new format that could start hitting digital stores in the next 18 month.
He said “The battle is not analogue Vs digital, it’s about crap sound Vs good sound” with current MP3 music being pushed into the “crap” sound bin he said.
He said that the music industry has recognised that there is a market for premium 24bit masters which will be sold at a significant premium to the current 16bit content.
Tiefenbrun, who met recently with senior Warner executives and the likes of Neil Young in San Francisco, said that he expects the music industry to start offering the new category of music called Studio Masters in an effort to increase revenues lost because of the Apple iTunes store.
He said “The music industry feels that they have seen their margins eroded by Apple and their iTunes store. Warner believes that Apple is running away with their business. I told them that they should be working closer with Amazon and Google which many music Companies are now doing”.
“The music industry has no bargaining power against Apple despite the fact that they have bought tens of millions of kids into the digital music business. I told them that they need to accelerate their dealings with Amazon and Google. Google need to get their act together and have a comparable offering or a better proposition like 24bit music.
“The music industry has to do three things to get 24bit music off the ground. The need to locate all their masters and then remaster them as 24bit digital. They then need to collectively mount a major marketing campaign to promote 24 bit. They need to demonstrate the difference”.
Tiefenbrun, who was in Australia to launch new 24bit digital streaming products via Advance Audio Australia, said that with 24bit music, Hi Fi enthusiasts will be able to listen to original content. He also admitted that the introduction of 24bit masters allowed the likes of Apple to “have a second bite of the cherry” by reselling a track or album they have already sold as 16bit again, but this time with a higher margin.
A supplier to the British Royal Family, Tiefenbrun’s business card describes his Company as the manufacturer of the world’s finest music systems.
According to Warner executives Apple recently held talks with several music Companies in an effort to push the remastering of music from 16bit to a 24bit format.
Apple have told the music Companies that they will charge double the price for a 24bit format album or track Vs a current 16bit track.
Tiefenbrun said that professional music producers are now recording in 24bit and then downgrading it to 16bit for CDs and digital music stores.
He said that Companies like Sonos, Apple and those that are making premium Hi Fi gear, will have to reengineer their products to deliver 24bit music.
“You cannot get 24bit music out of a Sonos system which has been engineered for 16bit. At Linn we are already engineering our systems as open standard that can deliver 24bit music” he said.