Who: Karen Allen
Company: Recording Industry Association of America Inc.
Has Held Title For: 1 year
Previous Title: Director of marketing and promotions, Rocktropolis.com
The sound of music is changing, thanks to MP3 technology and the Web. Creating a digital-music market that meets listeners' needs and protects artists' rights is no easy score to conduct. But that's what Karen Allen does.
How do you spread your message?
I'm involved with keeping new-media companies updated on copyright laws. I also meet regularly with the labels. Our biggest goal is getting consumers good-quality music in the format that they want it in — a digital one.
Do you have faith in MP3?
A lot of misconceptions about the recording industry are floating around. MP3 has proven that there is a market for music online. But people won't be ready to let go of CDs until their computers stop crashing.
So using MP3 doesn't necessarily mean ditching CDs?
A storage file can get erased; a virus can wipe out your collection. We're not going to toss CDs, just as we won't be ditching magazines because we can read them online. Julie Piotrowski
A version of this article appeared in the June 2000 issue of Fast Company magazine.