With one foot out the door at Warner Music Group, Michael Nash doesn't try to sugarcoat the music industry's history of the past 10 years.
Nash has been the digital chief of Warner Music Group for four years but has been with the company for over 10. He started when Napster was just hitting the music scene--hitting it like a sledge hammer--and this month Nash announced he's calling it quits.
Nash said he came to Warner Music from the start-up community and joined because he knew the Internet would transform music. He wanted a role in changing the industry as it existed back then; the labels were built around the CD, the bundling of songs, and forcing fans to buy discs when they only wanted one or two tracks.
"That strategy was based on tricking people into buying an album that may not have been very good," Nash said in an interview with CNET last week. Consumer backlash to that was very much part of the digital revolution, Nash said.
He acknowledged that when it came to digital, the sector made mistakes as it tried to navigate "a perfect storm" of change. It's taken its toll on the labels' digital strategists, a fact that is reflected in the high turnover during the past four years. EMI for example went through four digital chiefs, including Douglas Merrill, a former Google exec, and Cory Ondrejka, co-founder of Linden Lab. … Read more