sep 2

Rick Rubin

I was actually just thinking someone needs to do a new story on Rick Rubin. NYT Mag gave him the cover.


hi. please allow me to spam your blog with a micro-rant already published elsewhere:

That article is just about the biggest pile of horse shit I have ever read in my life. The first part of the article talks about how all Rubin cares about is the music; the next part of the article talks about how it was his idea to pay kids to spam chat rooms and websites in a sponsored "word of mouth" campaign. His other big idea: a subscription model. NEWSFLASH, RICK: it's already been tried, and it has failed miserably because -- and here's another news flash -- PEOPLE WANT TO OWN THEIR MUSIC. And he has the nerve to be bitching about DRM at the same time he is touting a subscription model. All the crap about him being a guru just makes it all the more annoying. Stay in the f'ing studio, Rick.

posted by adm at 5:38 PM on September 2, 2007

Although my feelings aren't as strong as yours, I agree... and was waiting for a line that said something like, "Rick might not be able to transfer his studio wizardry into business wizardry." As a talent scout, there's no one better in America (not even Jay-Z), but it's questionable that this transfers over to wise business decisions.

Two things I'll say though: 1) he's right about the industry needing to do something or a tech company will buy up the remnant inventory of these dying record labels and 2) I was surprised all these music execs are on record as saying they support the subscription models.

posted by Rex at 5:53 PM on September 2, 2007

yeah, the record execs like the subscription model because it locks people into paying money every single month, regardless of whether they listen to any music, want new music, etc. of course they love it: people have to keep paying to "own" their music. the execs STILL do not get it, and rubin doesn't get it any more than they do. geffen was the only one who made any sense in the whole article. he, or someone in there, says, the subscription model will either save the record industry or be the last nail in the coffin. if the big record companies do all migrate to a subscription model and don't let people buy music anymore, it will be the death of the industry -- and i mean *death*, not just "excuse to give lip service to new business models" -- and somebody who truly gets it (not yahoo, since they don't) will come in and, as you say, buy the back catalog and release it itunes-style, without drm, and that will be it, and rick rubin can go back to producing neil diamond records.

posted by adm at 7:39 PM on September 2, 2007

Nah. I'll bet you're 30+. For kids 20-, access-in-the-now is everything and ownership means far less than it does to old people.

Or rather, access + being relieved of the burden of having to manage a bunch of files outweighs losing them when you stop paying. Subscription model will work fine in 5 years, and if you're aiming at youth. (Furthermore, hybrid models will be around in which one can purchase drm-free tracks to supplement one's rental subscription  for the oldsters who like moving files back and forth and back  and still worry about ownership.)

posted by j at 7:50 PM on September 2, 2007

great. now i'm an oldster.

if you are right, then ipod's days are numbered, as jobs has bet the farm on a non-subscription model. i guess it will be a battle between 100 million+ ipods sold and whatever subscription-based, drm-laden, yahoo-branded, rick-rubinized ipod killer (heh heh) comes around. and then the other oldsters and i can sit around and grumble (via email, of course) about kids today who made it impossible for us to go to the store and, you know, buy things.

posted by adm at 9:31 PM on September 2, 2007

There is nothing but fear preventing a subcription model that allows people to keep their files when their subscription ends. Sure, theortically, people could load up on catalog items before a subscription ends (and some would - but not likely that many given the managing music files hassle as noted in another comment), but if they legally want new product, they'd still subscribe. Or the labels could try to rectify their greatest mistake in hindsight and immediately move to monetize p2p by striking non-DRM deals with the file sharing services. These would be bold steps. Buying CAA's old building on Wilshire in Beverly Hills as Rubin apparently wants, is not. Like that ego move will help profits. Puhllleeeeaase.

posted by Dean Wermer at 11:19 AM on September 3, 2007

Rubin is a genious and big props to Columbia for having the guts to hire him. "real" record execs have srewed the pooch the last 10 years....might as well give Rubin a shot at it.

People don't really want to own their music...what they really want is to have access to it any time and any place. Ownership has been to only option to accomplish that until now.

The subscription model is starting to work...Napster just posted it's first quarterly profit. And as quickly as the ipod got to where it is, it will only take half that time for it to be obsolete.

posted by Big Tuna at 8:49 PM on September 5, 2007

NOTE: The commenting window has expired for this post.