Google is trying to break into the music business. But the squeaky-clean company is aiming at a very grungy market, as Oscar de la Renta-wearing VP Marissa Mayer discovered during a recent — ultimately contentious — radio appearance.
The incident on Silicon Valley's 910 AM neatly encapsulated the computer scientist-music industry culture clash Google Music will have to overcome. Mayer went on the show to tout Google's ability to find songs and lyrics — it reportedly plans to sell MP3s against those searches — but ended up hearing about how one of the hosts was Googling for nude pictures of her. After the segment wrapped, a spy tells us, Mayer "got pissy" with the station over how she'd been treated on air. The hosts later discussed on-air some complaints they'd received from unidentified parties at Google. (See clip above; the full show can be found here at episode 110409 H1.)
It's easy to understand how Mayer became offended. She's got a master's degree in computer science from Stanford, oversees hundreds of managers and thousands of engineers at the world's most powerful internet company — and she was subjected to repeated discussions about whether there are naked pictures of her online. Also easy to understand is how this happened: It's radio. Morning drivetime radio, at that. Crude talk is par for the course. The likes of Howard Stern would consider this segment a giant softball, even if it was followed by a rant about how free school lunches might turn children into lifetime welfare cases (lovely).
In short, welcome to the radio/music business. Get used to the sleaze!