Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More waves of community-empowered goodness rippling from Vancouver

Sometimes when I'm pressed for a new topic here, I'll go to Google News and do some searching. Common terms I like to use to find stories are "marketing", "social-media", "promotion", and the like. But there's one search term that almost always reveals a hidden nugget of a story for me.

"Terry McBride".

And the latest search for the Nettwerk CEO brought me some very interesting quotes from McBride last week at the Transmission Music Conference in Vancouver. McBride, expanding on a topic he addressed during my interview with him back in October, talked about the potential of peer-to-peer music recommendations as a selling channel. McBride wants to empower music fans to sell music themselves through email, IMs, and text messages, with the sender receiving a portion of the sale.

"Stop talking about having kids transfer music to every device they have. Just do it," he said. "You can do it right now. There's nothing stopping you. The only thing that's stopping you are your egos."

Terry is, of course, exactly right. But for the immediate future, it's not going to happen, because the dinosaurs running the big music labels will never give up that type of control over the distribution of their music.

And I think Terry knows that better than anyone.

Recall that Terry also stressed that labels needed to give more control over music back to artists, and give fans music in more forms. They mostly ignored him, so he started having his clients go independent, allowing them complete control over their music, giving them a much greater share of the profits, and the ability to sell their music in any form they desire.

Now he's stressing a move toward peer-to-peer music recommendation, and unless the big labels suddenly grow brains, that's not going to happen either.

The REAL question is, when it doesn't happen, will Nettwerk again follow its own advice and jump into the P2P game themselves? Was this another reason why Terry is trying to move his clients, such as The Barenaked Ladies, to their own label so they have complete control over their music and how it is distributed? Is this the precursor to Nettwerk maybe partnering with an existing social-networking site to give its users the ability to share and recommend music through emails and IMs? With a mobile version of the service so users can wirelessly recommend and sell music? Or will Nettwerk create their own social-networking site with the peer-recommendation system as its backbone?


Am I jumping to conclusions? Giving Nettwerk too much credit? Maybe, but based on Nettwerk's actions thus far, I'm betting they have something in the works.

Technorati Tags:
, , ,


Anonymous said...


We've briefly discussed before my concerns about sharing, that the artists may suffer financially. I think I am becoming convinced, however, that sharing is a good thing. Art is meant to be seen, read and heard. And the more people touched by it, the better.

Mack Collier said...

Lewis I think that's why Nettwerk is moving their artists toward publishing their music through their own label, so they maintain the rights to the music, and thusly more control and more of the profits.

Since they have more of the profits, they can afford to offer customers a share of the money through a referral system.

At least I *think* that's where they are headed. As always, will be terribly interesting to see what happens.