domingo, 2 de septiembre de 2007

Curioso,largo, a veces demasiado pasteloso sobre la bondad y las maneras zen del protagonista y a veces totalmente fascinante, artículo dedicado a Rick Rubin, en su elección como nuevo co-director de Columbia Records (propiedad de Sony) para tratar de salvar el mercado para las grandes compañías discográficas. Como el link se irá al garete en una semana o así, ahí van un par de párrafos destacados:

"Until very recently," Rubin told me over lunch at Hugo's, a health-conscious restaurant in Hollywood, "there were a handful of channels in the music business that the gatekeepers controlled. They were radio, Tower Records, MTV, certain mainstream press like Rolling Stone. That's how people found out about new things. Every record company in the industry was built to work that model. There was a time when if you had something that wasn't so good, through muscle and lack of other choices, you could push that not very good product through those channels. And that's how the music business functioned for 50 years. Well, the world has changed. And the industry has not."

"While Columbia has made some small changes in its organizational structure, it has not instigated the kind of extensive alterations that Rubin says are crucial to the salvation of the business. Barnett is promoting the division at Columbia that sells music directly to TV, so that a network or cable show can introduce an artist to audiences the way radio once did. At Rubin's suggestion, he has also set up a "word of mouth" department, which will probably employ some members of the Big Red focus group along with dozens of other 20-somethings. The "word of mouth" department will function as a publicity-promotional arm of the company, spreading commissioned buzz through chat rooms across the planet and through old-fashioned human interaction. "They tell all their friends about a band," Barnett explained. "Their job is to create interest."
Rubin has a bigger idea. To combat the devastating impact of file sharing, he, like others in the music business (Doug Morris and Jimmy Iovine at Universal, for instance), says that the future of the industry is a subscription model, much like paid cable on a television set. "You would subscribe to music," Rubin explained, as he settled on the velvet couch in his library. "You'd pay, say, $19.95 a month, and the music will come anywhere you'd like. In this new world, there will be a virtual library that will be accessible from your car, from your cellphone, from your computer, from your television. Anywhere. The iPod will be obsolete, but there would be a Walkman-like device you could plug into speakers at home. You'll say, 'Today I want to listen to ... Simon and Garfunkel,' and there they are. The service can have demos, bootlegs, concerts, whatever context the artist wants to put out. And once that model is put into place, the industry will grow 10 times the size it is now."

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