39 | SVP MARKETING, HOLLYWOOD RECORDS
When the wheels came off the music industry a few years back, record execs flailed around trying to figure out just what this fickle new generation of fans wanted. Ken Bunt had a better strategy: He asked them. Behind his initiative, Disney's labelhome to Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, and until late last year, Hilary Duffhas thrived by harnessing each successive technology, and by using social networks like Facebook to gather some priceless (read: free) market research. "I'm a 39-year-old white guy in BurbankI can't pretend to know what a 12-year-old girl likes," Bunt says. "But I can ask Jonas Brothers fans a question and have thousands of responses in an hour." And Bunt couldn't care less whether albums are among the 140 Hannah Montana products for sale on the Disney-Wal-Mart microsite he developed. "Maybe the fans buy the music, or maybe they steal it," he says. "But they're going to want to buy the concert tickets and T-shirts for years to come, so it behooves us to make that connection."