Jean-Bernard Levy, CEO of Universal Music Group parent company Vivendi, the French media giant, today gave a candid, and hugely optimistic, view of the entertainment sector’s future during a keynote Q&A at the MidemNet conference in Cannes.
Levy, a first-time participant at the music and technology-focused event, defied widespread gloomy predictions for the CD when he told delegates the physical format would continue to play an important role in the recorded music industry for years to come, alongside digital formats.
During a 30-minute midday session, the Paris-based executive also confirmed the recording arm of Universal Music Group was not for sale, and gave insight into a range of topics including the UMG’s 360-degree model, interoperability, the integration of BMG Music Publishing into Universal, and the woes of EMI Group.
“There is another debate which is as important as DRM. Interoperability,” he said. “We have to hope that there will be more interoperability in the future.”
And Levy would not be drawn into tipping a successor to UMG chief Doug Morris, should he choose to retire at some point. “The shape of Universal is very powerful. Doug is the key person,” said Levy. “No change is on the agenda.”