Bill Werde 's Techdirt Comments

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  • Billboard Apparently Unable To Hire Its Own Writers For Copycat Conference; So Just Copies Text From Others

    Bill Werde ( profile ), 15 Jul, 2011 @ 03:32pm

    I'm Billboard's editorial director, and I was, indeed, graciously welcomed by Brian Zisk at his Spring SF MusicTech event. I was really impressed by the energy in the room and the quality of the event. I told Brian as much at the cocktail reception afterward.
    Our use of this language was a mistake. I called Brian last night the second I learned of this situation and apologized.
    Billboard has a long history of integrity. We're a 117-year-old brand. I've worked here six years and as best as I can recall, we've never had a situation like this. It's just not how we operate.
    I said as much to Brian, and I hope he won?t mind me sharing: I think the intersection of investment, technology and music is a really exciting one, after being fairly dry for a number of years, held back as it was by tight credit markets and lingering rights issues. Today, as we look around, there?s an explosion of innovation hitting the market and consumers, and I think there?s plenty of room for multiple events. In the coming days and weeks as we announce programming and speakers and more about the overall production of Billboard?s FutureSound, I think you?ll see that our intention is not to directly compete but to compliment Brian?s event, and many of the others that have joined Billboard in this conversation over the years. I invited Brian to be my guest at our launch event. I hope he?ll be there, and I hope you will too. Only you have to pay.

  • The Increasing Irrelevance Of The Major Record Labels

    Bill Werde ( profile ), 18 May, 2010 @ 03:58pm

    back catalog?

    Hi Mike, I hope you've been well. Curious about something here: How can you say that labels are now "back catalog fillers" when iTunes and other digital retailers easily sell 1.5 to 2 million tracks each week, of JUST the top 10 hits? That's all current, of course. Last week's number one, Eminem, sold almost 400k copies of his new single, "Not Afraid." That's an unusually high number. But still, digital tracks chart toppers are generally selling around 250k per week. (The digital tracks chart updates each Thursday and can be seen here: ) Given all of the major label talent that has been developed and connected in just the past couple of years - from Lady Gaga to Susan Boyle, Justin Bieber to Miley to the Zac Brown band - I'm not really sure where you're coming from on this point.