Speaking at the Bandwidth Music and Technology Conference last weekend, Nettwerk CEO Terry McBride again took the RIAA to task for their practice of pursuing litigation against their own customers, and asked for the RIAA to stop this behavior.
"[The major labels] are using fear as a tactic [to] push these kids away from these P2P systems. You can't use fear to change these behaviors - it just isn't effective. These lawsuits have hurt my artists. We need to stop these lawsuits."
But here is the money quote:
"you should never tell the consumer how to consume your music. You should make it available wherever they want. I don't want to dictate how people buy our music."
Amen. You don't try to re-route the flow of the community, you accept their momentum, and find ways to empower them to more easily engage in the activities that they are already enjoying. This is precisely what New Line did with SoaP, and the future of marketing rests in this very simple concept.
One of the key takeaways from my talk with Nettwerk's Marketing Director Erin Kinghorn back in January, was her claim that within the next few years, we would begin to see the cultures at music labels shift toward a philosophy of empowering artists, and their fans. If that happens, it will be because the industry has followed her boss' lead.
Sounds like a plan to me.