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 donâ€™t matter so much as our enthusiasm, youâ€™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 canâ€™t fake. You are either are authentic (warts and all) or youâ€™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.