Yahoo Music Chief Rails Against Content Protection, Inconvenience

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Yahoo Music is being placed under a microscope by higher-ups, and portions of the site could be eliminated.

Early last month, Yahoo chief Jerry Yang pointed to a broader restructuring, and the underperforming Yahoo Music Unlimited was quickly pegged by observers as a candidate for removal.

That makes it a difficult inheritance for recently-installed Yahoo Music vice president and general manager Ian Rogers.  In fact, previous Yahoo Music head David Goldberg continuously expressed frustrations with overly-protected, consumer-unfriendly propositions prior to his exit in February.  Now, Rogers is assuming a similar stance.

“In the end you get what you pay for,” Rogers expressed during an executive presentation last week at Digital Music Forum in Los Angeles.  “I won’t spend another dime paying engineers to build false control, making listening to music harder for music lovers. I will put all of my energy into making it easier and making the experience better.”

That grates heavily against an industry push towards subscription, a platform that has attracted only modest consumer support despite years of investment.  But Rogers is cool on the concept, and blames labels and content owners for locking their content and applying dizzying access restrictions.  “Yahoo didn’t want to go through all these steps,” Rogers explained. “The licensing dictated it.”

Rogers Blog, “Convenience Wins, Hubris Loses and Content vs. Context, a Presentation for Some Music Industry Friends