What Could A Google Exec Do If He Ran A Major Record Label?

from the we're-about-to-find-out dept

In a bit of a surprise move, Douglas Merrill, a VP of engineering (one of a few) at Google (and sometimes referred to as the company's CIO) is jumping ship to become "president of digital" at major record label EMI. Amusingly, this comes just a month and a half after he declared in an interview that he had "the best CIO job in the world." No matter what, this should be interesting. EMI has been charting a different course than the other major record labels since a private equity firm bought it out last year. Rather than whine and fret, the company seems to be looking at the changing marketplace (finally!) as an opportunity. The company has also cut back from the IFPI/RIAA campaign of lawsuits, though it hasn't gone away from them completely. Still, a Google exec, hopefully with at least some of Google's DNA of treating users right can only lead to good things. As we've said, there's still a huge role for record labels to play in the new digital world, if they just stopped looking at the past. Either way, we're about to find out what a Google exec could do with a major record label, and hopefully, it'll be a huge step in the right direction.
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Filed Under: douglas merrill, google exec, recording industry
Companies: emi, google


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  1. identicon
    Borse, 2 Apr 2008 @ 9:14am

    The 50% markup makes complete sense to me, with todays popular music market.

    The majority of people NEVER buy full albums, they buy the one or two songs that make it to MTV, BET, and the radio. These people will pay 1$ for that song, rather than paying 12 at Best Buy for the full album.

    And you seemed to overlook the fact that itunes offers many full albums at around 9.99$, so I really don't see how the markup is a bad idea. They are trying to make a profit, and I think it was a good move.

    Of course... a lot of people just illegally download the music files anyway. Which is what Mike Masnick constantly complains about. You can't compete with free. Instead, you should use the infinite free good to market other things.

    Its like water, which if I recall correctly Mike referenced once in a post. Yes, you can get water free out of your sink, but bottled water is better. Its cleaner, and its portable.

    Music companies need to make their products better, no DRM, and offer other things along with them that people will pay for.

    If you know anything about music anyway, you would know that it is becoming exponentially easier and cheaper to record music. Meaning record labels aren't needed as much to lend artist's the money to record their music. So even if there was no way to illegally download music, Record companies will still have to compete with that.

    I completely agree with Mike, Record companies need to change their business models to keep up with the modern world.

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