First Look: Fortune’s Fool – Bronfman, WMG & Why I’m Glad I Don’t Work For A Major Label
(UPDATED) I've only had my advance copy of Fortune's Fool: Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Warner Music, and an Industry in Crisis since Friday, so I haven't quite finished it. But since today is the public release day I'd thought I'd comment on what I've read so far.
With Fortune's Fool, author Fred Gooman, who also wrote the music industry tome The Mansion on the Hill, has penned another must read for those interested in the modern history and questionable future of the major record labels (aka most Hypebot readers). Using Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Warner Music Group as the lens, Goodman chronicles the triumphs and missteps of the modern record music industry.
Edgar Bronfman Jr. bought Warner Music Group group in 2004 promising toe-make to fit the realities of the digital revolution. While the portraits of Bronfman, his lieutenant Lyor Cohen and many of the other major players is not entirely unflattering, it's also clear that they, along with the rest of the industry, misjudged the impact of the internet on music and in particular their own ability to reshape it.
As someone who has almost always run smaller entrepreneurial companies, it is also disheartening to be reminded of just how much ego and greed has shaped the music that most consumers have been exposed until recently. I'll let you read the stories for yourself...
What does the future hold for Bronfman, WMG and the other major labels? I'll let you know what Goodman thinks when I reach the end of the book and interview the author. So far, the jury is still out, and I'm guess will be for some time.