The Goldberg Variation

(CelebrityAccess) — A document leaked in Sony's inadvertent data dump last year shows former label exec Dave Goldberg's vision for a radical re-envisioning of the music industry

Goldberg, who died last year, was a former Capitol Records label exec who later went on to help found Launch Media, which was eventually sold to Yahoo! Goldberg was never shy about sharing his views for the future of the label industry and those views were encapsulated in a memo he sent to Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, which was part of the data released after Sony was hacked last year.

In the memo, reported on by Steve Kafka at Recode, Goldberg shares his views on what he sees as a path for labels to remain viable in a future dominated by streaming music, but a path that would require changes that may prove too radical for the industry to countenance.

“I think this amount of reinvention has rarely been done inside a public media company and it would be tough for Sony as a company to stomach the complaints from artists, employees and related parties,” Goldberg wrote in the memo.

Goldberg recommended these key points:

A dramatic reworking of the digital music licensing system to encourage innovation in the digital streaming sector and to provide v

Start focusing on catalog instead of trying to sign big ticket artists. Labels should focus on fewer new releases and sign smaller acts who require smaller advances and lower marketing costs, seeking to generate a steady stream of good music without striving for blockbuster hits.

Reduce labor costs, particularly in A&R and marketing while at the same time, increasing investment in technology to more effectively track and leverage licensing revenue.

Reduce high overhead and low impact international operations.

However, Goldberg's most radical suggestion was a complete reworking of the digital music licensing revenue system. Goldberg advocated flexibility in deals offered to streaming music services to allow them to find new and better ways to drive subscriptions.

Goldberg suggested offering flat rate deals to large players like Spotify and Youtube, allowing them to better tailor music consumption to their users.

""If Netflix wanted to pay 200 MM per year to give all of its 40MM subs a music subscription — that should be encouraged, not scoffed at,” Goldberg wrote. – Staff Writers

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