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Imagine if J.C.Penny was a record label

The refrain remains the same. Tech blogger says that major record label execs are Luddites, incapable of adapting to the digital transformation.

While there was a lack of understanding about the label's new reality—perhaps it was hubris—protecting a multi-billion dollar business while addressing tectonic shifts in the underlying industry model is no easy task.

So what happens when a tech heavyweight gets is faced with a similar situation? JC Penny is the answer. Bill Campbell said the following at a recent event held by Intuit:

Whatever you need to do, you have to keep the current business going while you are experimenting with your new one. He didn't do that. What he did was put a bullet hole in his current business and went about trying to create a new one. And when the new one went down, well think about it, 25 percent? It's a multi-multi billion dollar company. It's a disastrous thing.

No matter where I was, you always think about how you limit the downside as you are making product transitions. He didn't do that at all.

That's exactly the challenge faced by the major recording labels since ~2000. Could they have done things differently? Definitely. Did they make serious strategic errors. Again, definitely. But I certainly didn't (and still don't) envy anyone trying to adapt their business to a new reality.

RobC

RobC

Marketing. Tech. Tunes. Words. Don't believe everything you think.

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