Monday, October 23, 2006

The Zune's lead balloon

Although Pitchfork are denying there's anything political about their polite refusal to create a Microsoft-themed Zune area on their site, it's clear the idea of Bill Gates underwriting part of the alt-rock training bra of the internet would have been, well, uncomfortable:

"They asked us about generating new content with them or creating a new section on our site specifically for Zune visitors, but it wasn't something we were interested in pursuing," Pitchfork Editor-in-Chief Ryan Schreiber told The Post.

Sources attributed Pitchfork's reluctance to the blog's fiercely indie audience.

"Pitchfork's audience looks at that site like it is the Bible," said one high-level music industry executive. "They might not take too kindly to a Microsoft pop-up on the site or a relationship with such a big corporation."

But Schreiber shot down that rationale. "It wasn't anything political, and I don't want to sell Microsoft or the Zune short," Schreiber said. "But the idea just doesn't make a whole lot of sense for us."

The New York Post, though, reports one outlet which is happy to cosy up to Bill Gates:

One of those other outlets is NME magazine, and the London-based publication may be more receptive to Microsoft - the duo are co-sponsoring a party during the CMJ Music Festival in New York next month.

"NME is a company and a publication that is doing interesting things in the online space, and they are certainly avatars of taste in their world," [Richard Winn, Zune's head of artist development] said.

There's suggestions that there's something terminally wrong about Microsoft being involved in the creative world, and when you hear the people at their most interesting end using phrases like "they're certainly avatars of taste", you can start to see why.

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