Music distribution is changing. Online stores, such as Apple Computer's iTunes, have made digital music a coherent and consumable commodity. While many would now agree that there is a viable alternative to illegal file sharing, Jeffrey Mallett and Mickey Hart both agree that there is much that needs improving and that there is a great potential to make the entire industry more interesting to both artists and consumers.
Jeffrey Mallett, chairman of SNOCAP, and Mickey Hart, drummer for the Grateful Dead and solo percussionist, discuss the online music business and content distribution for artists with John Heilemann at the 2005 Web 2.0 conference. While Mallet's primary business is that of making sure that everyone, especially original content producers and independent artists, get paid, Hart discusses the moral issues and the idea of music being a necessity, and often even a way of life.
Any discussion about online music inevitably involves the iTunes music store. Recent rumblings concerning the one-size-fits-all 99 cents pricing scheme favored by Apple's Steve Jobs, as well as the somewhat restricted selection, indicate that the music distribution business still has much to do to make digital music more interesting and appealing to purchase. It is Jeffrey Mallett's intention to empower traditional record labels with enough data to properly approach the online market and present a reasonable product to consumers. Both Hart and Mallett agree that music is still the biggest consumable media to focus on, but see that there is a demand for a more modern approach to releasing and distributing music.
Jeffrey Mallett, chairman of SNOCAP and former president and COO for Yahoo! Inc. from 1995-2002, has a rich history and proven experience in growing technology companies. Mallett joined Yahoo in 1995, when the company consisted of just 12 employees and zero revenue. He helped the company go public in 1996 and subsequently helped build Yahoo into one of the few global entertainment and media web brands in the world. Prior to joining Yahoo, Mallett was vice president and general manager of the consumer products division of Novell, Inc. He was also a founding executive team member and vice president of Reference Software, who specialise in consumer software language services, which was later acquired by WordPerfect in 1992.
Mickey Hart is best known for being one of the two drummers of rock band the Grateful Dead. Together with fellow drummer Bill Kreutzmann they earned the nickname the Rhythm Devils. During his tenure with the Grateful Dead, Hart was exposed to an ever-growing arsenal of percussion instruments from around the world. This fueled Hart's desire to learn about the various cultures that produced them. Besides being an avid traveller, Hart is also a solo percussionist and the author of several books. In 1994 he was inducted with the Grateful Dead into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Hart currently serves on the Library of Congress National Recorded Sound Preservation Board and is also associated with the American Folk-life Center, and the Center for Folk-life and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution.
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