Wonderful post on transparency

Ethan Kaplan keeps an excellent blog about tech and the music business. Mr. Kaplan is the VP of Technology at Warner Bros. Records. He’s responsible for working with (among others) REM to come up with fantastic Web marketing campaigns that I’ve written about here.

In a recent post, Mr. Kaplan takes on one of the most pressing issues addressing not just the record business, but business in general: transparency. This is a subject that is dear to my heart. I’ve written about it, and just yesterday I taught 100 freshman business students about how the lack of transparency is a huge cause of our current financial mess.

It’s fantastic to read what Mr. Kaplan has to say about transparency at Warner Bros.:

Given the way our industry is getting closer to fans and given the fact that in the end the walls don’t matter so much as our enthusiasm, you’ll probably see more transparency from WBR and I hope other companies like us in the future.

As the title says: transparency is something you can’t fake. You are either are authentic (warts and all) or you’re not. There is no in-between.

There truly is no in-between. Customers demand transparency, because with transparency comes authenticity, and with authenticity comes the ability to discern whether or not you (as customer) want to join the community that the band/company represents.

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  1. Nick’s avatar

    Absolutely agree – I’d take it another step by saying the it’s labels LACK of transparency that’s led to such distrust between artists and labels.

    If labels were to adopt a transparent attitude, not only to customers, but to potential artists, they could attract the kind of artists that are thriving in this new environment of participation and interaction (Radiohead, NIN, David Byrne) and increase the number of people buying into the LABELS brand – and the kind of loyalty that artists like Radiohead ingender is exactly what labels would LOVE to have right now and, really, are the only long term future for any artist.

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  2. George’s avatar

    Absolutely agree, Nick. Thanks for weighing in. By the way,
    Penny Distribution looks fantastic.

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