Jimmy Iovine: Music Industry Survivor and Change Agent

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Read in Coolfer yesterday about Universal Music (Interscope, Geffen, A&M) entering in a business to do non alcoholic and alcoholic beverages with their artists. This is I’m sure a part of Jimmy Iovine’s continued play of non-music business driven businesses for his artsits. Iovine orchestrated the Hasbro-Pussycat Dolls deal and they also release music under the Bratz brand. Very interesting play by Iovine who is no stranger to the marketing business. Besides becoming insanely wealthy from being a pioneer in the music business he also has dabbled in marketing investments with his good buddy Steve Stoute. As an investor in Stoute’s Translation Marketing he also is a part of the Carol’s Daughter investment team which also includes Will & Jada Smith, Jay-Z, Tommy Mottola and Jay-Z. I’m sure there are even more investments with pop culture friends but I guarantee as the record business ship is sinking, Iovine getaway boat will be a Yacht. In a business that is dying for innovation, record labels now resemble artist management companies participating in revenues of both album sales and marketing deals. This allows the marketing departments to actually become marketing/biz dev units and “make money” something I argued for during my tenure at Columbia Records. Needless to say the music business is an interesting soap opera to watch these days.

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