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Masuch predicts end of A&R

SHOCK VALUE: Hartwig Masuch seems to enjoy shocking people. Late last year, the BMG Rights Management CEO took the entire music biz by surprise when he stated that he was far more interested in scooping up EMI’s recorded music catalog than its highly valued publishing company, when everyone assumed just thew opposite. On Wednesday at Cannes, Masuch topped himself, flaunting the conventional wisdom by asserting that the function at the very core of the music business was obsolete. Speaking at Midem on the future of music publishing over the next 200 years Masuch said, “I think the importance of A&R in finding new talent will be less important going forward. Currently there is an A&R bottleneck which is stopping a lot of talent being recognized. There is a proliferation of systems that allow aspiring artists to make their own music and to monetize their works for not very much money, and this, along with the Internet, will abolish that.” Whoa. (1/27a)

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