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Al Teller - Former head of CBS, Columbia, and MCA Records

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Uploaded on Sep 9, 2011

In this week's episode of This Week In Music, Al Teller, former head of CBS, Columbia, and MCA Records, joins Ian Rogers in studio to talk about the music industry past and present. In a fascinating interview, Al talks about going into the music industry after receiving two engineering degrees from Columbia and a Harvard MBA, how the industry evolved over the past 30 years, and where he sees the future of the business going.


00:00 - Intro
00:24 - Ian introduces Al Teller
01:36 - "Coming from an Engineering background, how did you find your way into the music world?"
03:52 -"What drove you towards the management side of the business?"
07:07- "Was it a much easier business once upon a time because you had distribution and marketing?"
09:56 -"How, in your experience, did the business change between the 70's and 80's?"
12:28 - "When did all the various tech disruptions in the music industry (production, distribution, etc) start disrupting the business?"
14:58 - "Just how big was distribution in the past?"
17:35 - "Mass-saturation radio play is still the most powerful way for an artist to connect with a fan"
20:45 - "It seems that the music industry always relies on entities that don't actually care about the future of music...A big moment in the downfall of the music business, pre-internet, is when the big-box retailers became the strongest retailers in music. Do you share that view?"
22:32 - "Define a rack-jobber"
24:00 - "Was it your love of technology and love of music that made you decide that the Internet was the future?"
31:52 - Discussing INgrooves distribution platform
32:50 - "What would your advice be to someone that would be trying to start a new label in today's age?"
35:21 - "Is the music business less interesting today than when you first got into it?"
37:10 - "What would your advice be to an entrepreneur who wants to work in the music space?"
41:31 - Zoe Rogers, General Manager, WMBR, Cambridge, MA joins Ian to talk about her favorite summer concerts.
42:30 - Discussion of the venue The Royale in Boston
43:16 - Yeasayer
43:25 - Smith Westerns
46:00 - Breakfast of Champions Podcast information 8am-10am EST wmbr.org
47:15 -TWiMusic Online info

Special thanks to our media partner Billboard.biz for their support!

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