Record Exec Says Music's Future Is in the Clouds

Terry McBride thinks the smartphone is going to upend the current version of the record industry as profoundly as the iPod changed the last one.

In a speech to college musicians, Mr. McBride said smartphone apps “will radically change the business.” Apps are computer programs for smart phones such as those Apple (AAPL) provides for the iPhone. Upcoming smartphones from companies like Research In Motion (RIMM), maker of the BlackBerry, are likely to create new business models, he said. He was speaking in Boston in a lecture series on music management at Berklee College of Music, a 4,000-student college.

Mr. McBride is CEO of Vancouver-based Nettwerk Music Group, which manages Avril Lavigne, Barenaked Ladies and Sarah MacLachlan, among other artists. He said he anticipates that many music lovers will start to access smartphone apps like Slacker.com’s subscription-radio service.

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