Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

Fast Talk: Gamer Controls Music 2.0

Steve Schnur

Worldwide Executive of Music and Marketing, Electronic Arts
Redwood City, California

Steve Schnur, 40, creates the soundtrack for all Electronic Arts video games, including such franchises as Madden NFL and Harry Potter. His latest music initiative, Artwerk, is a separate unit that plans to sell games-based songs to the public.

"It is odd and ridiculous that my friends in the record industry expect young people to discover and listen to music the same way they did. Radio and TV are mediums we grew up in. Video games and the Internet are today.

The gaming industry has experimented with music since the mid-1990s. When Trent Reznor [of Nine Inch Nails] did a song for [the game] Quake, it was a big deal. It really opened people's eyes to the possibilities. The problem was that we kept talking about it for another 10 years. Now we are finally at the point where we are launching new artists and new music.

I am not here to compete with Warner Music. I am not here to sign 300 bands because 2 will pay for the other 298. By the end of the year, we hope to have signed 6 acts. We are just utilizing our real estate to further develop artists. We sign and introduce bands through games and make them available to people globally. Young people want to take music from the game and buy it for their phone or iPod. I am in the music 2.0 business."

A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.