Thursday, February 21, 2008

Observation: Why Don’t the Major Labels Interact With Music Fans?

Universal Records and the other 3 - Why aren't you blogging?I am knee deep in my feed reader and I had starred a few Evolvor posts from last week that got me thinking:

Corporations have started to understand the importance of interacting with bloggers, commenters and consumers. They have been able to shift advertising models, control complaints and increase brand acceptance by being in tune with social media.

While it has become commonplace for corporate CEO’s to talk personally on blogs, reply to comments and messages and openly address the people that keep them in business, the music industry has kept shut.

  • Is this because they are too busy coming up with lame answers to declining CD sales?
  • Is it because they have nothing to say to the people who are stealing profits from their 7 figure salaries?
  • Is it because they don’t know how to set up a free blog on Blogger or Wordpress?

Theory 1

They might be busy, but so is Matt Cutts at Google. I bet he’s pretty busy doing some engineering for the most innovative company in the planet according to Fast Company. So how and why does he find time to not only blog about what Google is up to, but comment on top blogs when Google methods are being questioned.

What about Dell? They had a nightmare on their hands a few years ago. Negative comments ranked higher than positive ones. Now they have a dedicated team of bloggers who make sure customer comments are met and answered, and quickly.

Mark Cuban is a busy guy. Between running the Mavs and his billion companies, he spends a great deal of time blogging and talking about what is going on.

Ok so the time theory has gotta be out.

Theory 2.1

DRM? Lame. Alienating iTunes? Lame.

Maybe if they became the authority they used to be on finding new bands, they wouldn’t have the problem of relying on fad-happy websites to tell them who is talented. Maybe that time they don’t have could be better spent finding better bands, who have more than one single and maybe a career like U2, Green Day or Snoop Dogg that can land them residual income instead of a get rich quick ringtone scheme.

Theory 2.2

The Warner CEO made $3.4 million in 2007. For a company that reported $21 million in loses the same year. I think they have a bigger problem on their hands than the song I just downloaded for free on some site that makes more money on advertising per year than they do in music sales.

Theory 3

Eh, my 5-year old brother can Myspace and blog. If you can’t figure it out, ask the kid bringing you your mail to help out. He is probably pretty connected.

I usually don’t rant too much, but I can’t find an email address to any marketing exec at a major label for an interview. I can’t find a good blog with good content from any major label employee. I can talk to the CEO of Fortune 500 companies but not that of one that needs my $15 to stay in business.

So this is for Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, EMI, and Warner Music Group to step their game up and start talking with the people that you need to talk to. The days of closed door meetings are over. Welcome to Web 2.0 and Social Media. Don’t miss this bus or you might be riding with the Pinto’s of the world.



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