Over at Business 2.0, Eric Hellweg reminds us that Bob Hurwitz has a license to innovate for Warner Music Group at the Nonesuch label, which is bucking the industry trend with growing revenues.
At the web site, you can listen to the tradition 30 second snippets or load Nonesuch radio and just float along with complete songs from David Byrne, k.d. lang, the Buena Vista Club or many others.
While the industry giants rack up losses chasing megahits, Hurwitz thinks small. His specialty is niche acts with rabid fan bases -- so Nonesuch doesn’t have to spend much on promotion. And he’s not afraid of the Net: Last year he streamed Wilco’s entire A Ghost Is Born album as a free come-on. That tactic would have given most label execs seizures, but it helped Hurwitz move a respectable 250,000 copies. Says Mark Kates, a former Geffen A&R rep who’s now CEO of Fenway Recordings, “The future of selling recorded music will be based on the models Hurwitz is creating now.”