Napster’s Gorog, Real’s Glaser At Piper Jaffray

It’s not often that we can offer you coverage from London to Laguna Beach. Our VP (and occasional columnist) Robert Spears spent Wednesday at the Piper Jaffray Global Internet Summit in Laguna Beach, where he had the chance to watch RealNetworks Chairman Rob Glaser and Napster Chairman Chris Gorog in action. From his notes:
Both Glaser and Gorog agree that the industry is still in the educational phase – many consumers still are unaware of what is available in subscription models, slowly but surely they will learn the new value proposition. Gorog called music downloads “the training wheels” for the future digital music market and said in the future consumers will care less about the concept of “owning media.” (editor’s note: wishful thinking?)
Gorog insisted the low subscription launch price of Yahoo Music has had no impact on Napster’s subscriber business. He described the Yahoo audience as “a group of 14-21 year olds that are accustomed to stealing music” and wouldn’t be very valuable to Napster. Taking note of his fellow panelist and competitor, he also said Napster would pass Real “very quickly.”
Both execs believe subscriptions will surpass a la carte downloads within several years.