Major Labels

CONTEST: 5 Free Copies Of Fortune’s Fool

image from Fortune's Fool: Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Warner Music, and an Industry in Crisis
was released today. I've been lucky enough to have had an advance copy for a few days and it's a must read for anyone interested in the transition from the old to new music industry.

I've got 5 copies to give away and the rules to be eligible are simple. Author Fred Goodman has agreed to an interview and I want your help with the questions. In the comments section below, tell me what you'd like me to ask him and on Friday morning we'll randomly pick 5 winners from all who participated. Be sure to check back on Friday to see if you're a winner and claim your prize.

Share on:


  1. Other industries have faced crisis situations that were at least as bad if not worse and survived (Kodak for example), how much of the music business’ ongoing problems is due to the arrogance and ego of its leadership?

  2. So Beavis and Butthead will be returning to MTV and they will feature new music videos. Do you think is a step towards the station reigniting their former “Music Television” moniker and returning to form, or is this just an effort to try to snag a portion of their former loyal audience from the 90’s?

  3. In your opinion is there anything major labels can do to save themselves from going under, or is it just too late?

  4. What, in your opinion, will be the future of the music industry once the dust finally settles? A return to many powerful indie labels like the days of Sun, etc? Will the major labels exist in some way?

  5. Do you think “360 Deals” are a way for major labels to save themselves, by forcing them to branch out into sectors of the music industry that they never previously considered; or is it just a mad grab for cash in an attempt to stay afloat as physical CD sales plummet?

  6. Do you think more labels will follow RCA/UK and hire under-30 entrepreneurs that have proven track records and are more in touch with technology’s role in today’s society to run their companies?

  7. With both your books on the music business did you find traits with the men you write about (good or bad) that are similar?

  8. We all know that the music industry made some major mistakes in the digital age, but what, if anything, did the record companies do RIGHT during the early days of digital music?

  9. All things said and done. Whose thoughts on the future of the current ‘music industry’ are resonating with you right now?

  10. It’s no secret that many of the major record labels are in trouble and are having an increasingly difficult time convincing artists that their services are worth taking advantage of. However, are there areas where you still see the major record label system being the best in the world (i.e. music videos, radio promotion, etc.)?

  11. What are the best ways for an indie artist to grab attention of major labels for a real shot at landing the elusive record deal?As rumored does having massive plays on youtube,large downloads numbers from mp3 music sites,having a large fan following,with big live audience ticket sales really STILL play into factor of getting signed to a major?George Kaye,Entertainer,talent scout.Boston,Ma.

  12. Would you say that most big time classic rock artist, (Ex, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, Rolling Stones, Etc. Those guys, would you say they care about helping in the transformation of the music industry, or from what you know and have learned, do you think they don’t?

  13. In the social media space, there is a trending emphasis on tapping into existing communities. Do you think there is a model that the music industry can use to engage existing music communities to better their chances of sustainability?

  14. Artists like Drake are proving that more and more labels are less interested in investing in new artists and more interested in milking established ones. What role do you think labels will play in launching/discovering new artists in the future? Or will they focus more on developing “discovered” artists?

  15. Do the major labels have any real interest in adapting to the new landscape of the music industry or a would they prefer to squeeze the old cow dry until they have nothing left? Are they even capable of adapting?

  16. Did anyone of importance at Warners admit to having “illegally” downloaded music? Did you ask?

  17. Despite what everyone claims major label music continues to dominate sales, followed by formerly signed acts, do you see the aggregation of labels under massive conglomerate parent companies and the identical trend of radio and media outlets as ever being surmountable by truly indie acts?
    How does this affect the ability for an indie act to tour?

  18. Do you think that emerging cloud based music services will cannibalise revenues or help to boost them through turning pirates legal and enhancing music discovery?

  19. I’m curious about whether Fred was able to talk to people from Universal who were around in 1998 when Bronfman bought PolyGram, and if so how forthcoming they were about Edgar’s plans for digital world domination, even back then. He was very forward thinking relative to the rest of the music business in the late 90’s, even if his plans didn’t pan out.

  20. In your opinion, would do you see as the ideal business model for music distribution in the near future and conversely, what do you think we’ll end up with instead sometime in the next five years?

  21. How likely do you think it is that any of the other three major labels will face EMI’s fate in the very near future?

  22. Why is Edgar Bronfman Jr. a better manager than most people think?
    Why was paying $10,4 billion for 75% of PolyGram in May 1998 a good deal?
    Why was refusing to sell the WMG to EMI for $4,2 billion (28,50 per share) in May 2006 a good deal? And for whom?
    Why was offering 2,46 billion pound (320 pence per share) for the EMI Group in June 2006 a good idea?
    Is Edgar Bronfman Jr. more than a pawn in the games Thomas H. Lee Partner and Co. are playing with shares of media companies like WMG and Clear Channel?
    Which music groups are in a better position for the future: The ones owned by fonds (WMG, EMI) or the ones owned by bigger companies (UMG, Sony Music)?

  23. Sooo many questions!!!
    With so many well-known bands giving away free downloads either of singles or entire albums, usually in exchange for an email address, is that a sign that labels are finally catching on to social media and using digital music work FOR them…or is it an act of desperation on the part of the labels who are struggling to get the music into the hands of the fans?
    What’s his take on bands like Ok Go who have kinda given new meaning to the idea of the “DIY musicians”?
    What role, if any, does he think the super fans, the street teamers will have in the advancement of a band’s career?
    Is the decline of major labels giving more indie/unsigned bands a fighting chance or has it just opened the doors to an oversaturated industry?

  24. Is 360 deals the answer for labels in the future? Why has the industry gatekeepers been so reluctant in making the music freely available when it has worked with many artists who have followed the DIY approach and succeeded. Also What does the majors really think of having music in the cloud?

Comments are closed.