Hands challenges music industry to find new ways to sell

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The Independent Online

Guy Hands, the boss of Terra Firma, the private equity group that has just taken over EMI, has accused the music industry of ignoring its customers.

Mr Hands said: "It's got away with hiring artists and putting out boring CDs that very few people want to buy any more. It even tried to stop Napster, and stop youngsters from downloading. Why on earth would you want to stop people getting free music? What you have to do – and what we will do – is find ways for them to want to buy the music."

Mr Hands was responding to criticism from within the industry since taking over EMI and planning 2,000 job cuts. He even agreed with Radiohead, the band that put its latest album on the internet rather than launching a CD, asking its fans to pay what they wanted for the music.

"I completely understand why Radiohead did this," he said. "The challenge now for us at EMI is to find new ways to finance and nurture young artists, and to please our customers, who come in all age groups and all want different things. CDs just don't compare with records for their excitement. We want to find new products of the future."

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