Nettwerk: Digital Marketing in the Music Industry

Posted: 30 Apr 2010

See all articles by John Deighton

John Deighton

Harvard Business School - Marketing Unit

Leora Kornfeld

Harvard Business School

Date Written: March 17, 2010

Abstract

How is music marketed in the digital era? Nettwerk Music Group built on its foundation as a social, grassroots marketer of music and artists, and emerged as a leader in the Internet-enabled social media environment. For most of the past decade Nettwerk CEO Terry McBride let fans consume music on their own terms. He encouraged file-sharing, the remixing of his artists' songs and videos, and an environment in which "the audience is the record company." In the digital marketplace compact discs mattered much less, said McBride. "Digital assets" were the currency, in the form of ad, television, movie, and videogame song placement, ringtones, mixes, and community-created content. But new artist-label contracts were needed if digital assets were going to flow freely. Moving away from the infrastructure of the music business also meant having to do without the financial, logistical, and promotional power of the major labels. To provide an alternative to the muscle of the major labels, the company is launching a venture capital project called "Polyphonic."

Suggested Citation

Deighton, John and Kornfeld, Leora, Nettwerk: Digital Marketing in the Music Industry (March 17, 2010). HBS Case No. 510-055; Harvard Business School Marketing Unit . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1593017

John Deighton (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School - Marketing Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Leora Kornfeld

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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