Bob Lefsetz Quick Q&A

Originally published in summer ’08, Bob was not his usual verbose self, but he’s great anyway …

Bob Lefsetz is a legend. His newsletters are practically read by everyone in the music business who has the slightest interest in where things are going (and that’s all of us right ?!?). Hypebot recently listed Bob as one of the ‘5 Most Unlikely Music Industry Heroes’ and said of him …
“Beholding to no one and armed with a passion for music and unwavering honesty, Bob is a music industry must. Even the powerful are forced to take another look at themselves through Bob’s lens.”
But he is far too accomplished a writer to just pass comment on how the Internet impacts on music affairs. He’s equally as engaging when discussing life in general. Whilst I cannot say that I agree with his take every time, I can say that he’s on the money very, very often and like many others I know, I look forward to receiving my Lefsetz Letters and read everyone.
Don’t be fooled by the brevity of the interview below. We are delighted that Bob took part, even in a small way. For the full affect of the Lefsetz Letter you need to head over to and sign up if you haven’t done so already.

1. If you could assemble all the key music industry players in one place and set the agenda, what would your first item for discussion be?

License P2P.

2. With many established acts opting out of the major label process, how is artist development in the future going to be funded?

By gate/merch receipts.  Unless a band whores itself out to a corporation, like Procter & Gamble.

3. Is there really still a place for record labels?

The manager is the new overseer of the 360 deal.  You’re your own label.

4. Do you think that there can be a successful drive to monetize P2P?


5. Any new music tips, I can highlight these acts as part of the feature – Who are your favourite new acts / albums?

To answer this is to ask for ridicule.  That’s what the Web is about,  cussing out other people and their choices, laughing at them.  Not realizing that we don’t live in a monoculture anymore and that no one cares that you hate what they like.

6. Do you read music blogs – any particular favourites?

Read Seth Godin’s blog.  It’ll tell you more than any other site about  the music business, and it’s rarely about the music business.  And, I’d say to read the Mac Daily News too!

7. And finally, what was your favourite historical year for music?

Great records live on forever…  So to pick out a year is irrelevant.  A parlor game.  I’m more interested in how many of  today’s records will have more than a brief shelf life…


~ by donjenkins on November 22, 2008.

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