Yesterday, Today, & FOREVER The King of Pop

Peas’ Industry Must Abandon CDs, Skip DRM, Modernize To Survive

By Robert Andrews

The music industry must
drop the compact disc format and modernize to survive, says hip-hop artist,
producer and record label owner The producer and Black Eyed Peas
musician said he fears the business may “fall apart” if it does not respond
better to the rise of digital content. “It’s a whole different type of
business, and they haven’t figured out how to monetize it yet,” he said. “I
hate to say it, they just have to abandon the plastic disc; it doesn’t mean
anything anymore, it’s all just straight to computers.

They need to open the format, and really make money off mp3s and not see it as
a threat. They’re trying to hold on for dear life. We have to redefine what it
is we’re selling [listeners]. Yesterday’s model just isn’t working anymore.”

Will runs his own eponymous record imprint inside
A&M/Interscope and last year took up an executive head of marketing post
with Musicane, a site allowing artists
to market and sell their tunes directly on websites then receive revenue via
PayPal. He is currently working in the studio with Michael Jackson on
the veteran singer’s forthcoming album, raising the prospect of an exclusive
online release.

“I dream how he could be
the first major artist to release a record through this platform without a
record company,” Will told “Groups that I work with in the
future that don’t want to go the traditional route with the record company but
want to use this independent route and make money, I would do that with them.”
He said Jackson was in “great shape” and the two are working on “strong
melodies that affect people emotionally and rhythms that make people dance.
I think he’s probably the only person that doesn’t need a label and, through social
networking, be able to release his album and be successful
ly independently
straight from the studio onto the web for people to purchase. I hope he
uses the Musicane thing—that would be fresh.”

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