David Stewart Vows To Drop "Neutron Bomb" On Current Entertainment Distribution Model

Dianne See Morrison
Monday, March 31, 2008; 10:59 AM

A week after British musician Billy Bragg let rip on Bebo and other social networks for exploiting musicians and their songs for their own monetary gain, David Stewart, one half of the Eighties band Eurythmics, and recently appointed founding member of Nokia's (NYSE: NOK) new Artist Advisory Council, set up to try to ensure artists get a fairer share of digital revenues, has vowed to "drop the neutron bomb on the old paradigm of the entertainment industry and the way in which it functions."

In an interview with Reuters where Nokia entertainment and communities EVP Tero Ojanpera plays good cop to Stewart's bad cop?Stewart called the current situation, "insane," noting, "They say ringtones is a $3 billion business; I still haven't seen one cent on a "Sweet Dreams" download. There's always been a bit of foggy accounting." When Reuters (NSDQ: RTRSY) noted it sounded like he and Nokia were going to try to use "mobile phones as a way of distributing content directly to fans without all the other layers," Stewart replied, "I'm not going to try to do that. I am going to do it? It's going to be a completely different world. I can send you clips of what I'm working on and you can pre-order it. There's a dialogue going on so you actually know who your fans are and where they are."

Ojanpera meanwhile, when asked if power were shifting to handset makers as devices were becoming increasingly consumer based, tried to play down the idea, saying that what was good for the artist wold eventually be good for the growth of the entire industry. Ojanpera: "This is not about who has more power or less power?this is about, Can we attract the consumer to really use these services?"

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