ADOTAS Conversations: Edith Bellinghausen, VP of New Media, Razor & Tie

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You’ve also said the mobile is something you’re keeping your eye on, like iTV aspects. Is it going to go through the net first and then transfer to mobile, or is it kind of already coexisting together pretty well?

It’s difficult. I feel a lot of the things going on in that space now are driven by early adopters.

As well as blogs and everything else.

Exactly. One of the things we’re looking at is OTA downloads. And how is that modeled different from—and I always refer to things in terms of “traditional music download.” I think it’s still such a small percentage of people in the country who know what that is. It’s like everyone in our business is like “oh, iTunes…” And you feel like it’s been around a million years, and everyone knows what music downloads are, and everyone’s like “Oh, let’s get into mobile downloads.” But I say there’s still a huge percentage of the country that hasn’t experienced digital music yet.

I think some places—like here in NY it kind of keeps you sheltered…

Yeah, absolutely.

And every time I see a discman or something—and I don’t want to sound elitist or anything—but it’s almost like you expect it to be commonplace at this point.

Right. But if you get in other parts of the country, people still buy CDs, and our philosophy is always ‘don’t push things to be experienced online.’ It’s always ‘wherever the customer wants to experience or buy our product is where we want to be.’

It’s really about presenting something to the customer in an easily accessible way. Yeah, we’ll license our content to all the PSPs, and we work with iTunes, we work with RealNetworks, Rhapsody, all those guys. It’s just wherever the customer is and how they want to experience our content. That’s where we are. Physical product, digital, mobile, and then just feeling it out and seeing which one is most cost-effective for us.

Mobile’s something that looks like easy opportunity to market stuff for—throw content on their phones… it’s the perfect opportunity.

Yeah. It’s a low cost of entry, and that’s one of the factors that we look at. We’re all about testing and seeing what the response is before we really throw a ton of money into something.

That’s the sensible way to do it.

Yeah. That’s kind of the Razor & Tie way. And it’s worked—it’s a really successful company.

I think at this point, when I talk to a lot of people, they’re like “I started in ’95-’96,” and kind of veered towards traditional things, and they never looked back. That seems to be the case with you as well.

Yeah. The best part about my job is that it’s always changing. And what I’m focusing on this month could totally turn around next month. There’s always a new technology or new distribution method or something that’s still not out there.

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