Jimmy Iovine Discusses The Future Of The Music Business

by Moe Arora on September 13, 2008

Here’s an interesting video I found of Jimmy Iovine discussing his views on today’s music industry and his vision on the direction it’s taking. (Note: The video is about a year old)

He offers advice for new artists as well as talking about possible distribution models, what makes a great producer and the future of Interscope and the traditional record label.

[flv:http://www.artistshousemusic.com/video/recordlabels/jimmyiovine.flv 425 319]

{ 12 comments }

Danny September 13, 2008 at 12:04 PM

WTH is interscope buying clubs & doing online magazines for? Stick to what you know and stop trying to take money from everything artists do! Labels are rapists and Jimmy Iovine is the worst of them all!!!!

The Power Mogul September 13, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Iovine had some good points but I think it will be a little difficult to achieve the “new model” that he wants with companies like youtube and myspace offering the same service for free. Truth is.. the internet has kicked the record companies in the balls and they can’t do anything about it.

roger September 13, 2008 at 7:41 PM

awesome video! it’s not that common to get real insight into the thoughts of someone like him.

MarcusX September 15, 2008 at 7:50 AM

He’s all bullshit right now. Basically, don’t blame the record company, blame yourself. Which is a “independent” platform. I agree. He’s skating around the quagmire that is the major labels and companies. A word to the wise, do you and build your own empire. Get it how you live. Record companies are not in the best interest of the “artist”. Never will be. Write your own shit and take control of your craft. He’s selling a bunch of bullshit. Period. Waste of time. Jimmy’s a slick snake oil sales man.

Moe Arora | makingthemogul.com September 15, 2008 at 10:33 AM

@Danny – It’s actually common practice for a major label to invest in other venues with the talent they’re in business with. People have been spreading the “360 deal” buzzword around in recent years, but reality is, it’s been like that for quite some time now. It’s like an investment firm. Artists and record companies will invest in a project (whatever venue the project may be) and they use entertainment & that talent to promote it. Music and entertainment used to be the primary product, however it can also be a vehicle to promote another product/service (especially these days).

@The Power Mogul – Very true. I get what he’s saying, but I’m not 100% sold on the subscription service idea. Actually.. I think I’m going to write a blog post about it to delve further into the whole concept.

@roger – Thanks for your comment man. It’s true, it’s not too common to get that direct insight with industry figures of his stature. I’m looking into more, relevant videos to post.

@MarcusX – I definitely agree that artists need to build themselves; it’s a vital point that most just don’t understand. One of the things that bothers me most is when artists say that their goal is “to get signed”. Why? For what purpose? I still believe that a major label, in whatever format they continue exist in over the years, will still be relevant since we need that size of an infrastructure in order to continue as an industry, however what their purpose may be and in what capacity they continue to exist, is still yet to be seen. I strongly believe artists need to become better educated and informed as to what “getting signed” means in 2008 and beyond, since most seem to still believe that it’s a Disney fairytale moment that will bring them a lifetime of happiness and riches.

Scott September 15, 2008 at 11:00 AM

I think the role of the old record label is dead. Jimmy Ivine needs to retire or go into a different business and leave this to the new generation. I agree with you Moe that artists need to understand what getting signed means now. I laugh anytime I hear someone say that.

J Million September 15, 2008 at 12:21 PM

so if we’re not supposed to think about getting signed, what should we do? any advice?

veena September 15, 2008 at 2:02 PM

great video. i’m not a singer or rapper but i always tell everybody i know who is to come check out this site for advice. everybody loves it!

Moe Arora | makingthemogul.com September 18, 2008 at 4:10 AM

@Scott – Exactly, the role of the old label is just that – old. I don’t know Jimmy Iovine personally, so I can’t really say for sure if I think he’s part of the “extinct mentality”, but his contributions thus far are definitely major. That being said, I honestly believe that while we’re in this state of experimentation as an industry, almost everybody is on the same playing field when it comes to new ideas. Older veterans, younger newcomers, consumers…pretty much anybody with an idea – we all have something to contribute and the leverage of “experience” is no longer as valid since nearly anything goes now. That’s my opinion anyhow.

@J Million – Building your own hype is definitely a major factor in it. The days of “shopping your demo” are lost. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it never happens anymore, but we’ve with budgets being cut at every label and turnover time continuing to decrease, there is less importance being placed on artist development from within the label, so work on developing yourself. Your friends can give you their opinions, but that’s not enough (and make sure to do your best to eliminate the “yes-men” from your circle. They do more harm than good)

Study your craft and yourself and then develop the weak areas. If you need to work on your flow, then work on it. Also, one thing that I’d recommend, is to read up and implement ways of improving your breathing. A lot of times, artists suffer from poor breathing habits and that can greatly affect your vocal delivery and ability to stay on beat. If you have stage fright or aren’t fully comfortable on stage, go book shows at tiny, out of town venues or go to a bunch of karaoke bars and just get up there. The biggest obstacle of becoming a stage performer is accepting humility.

Once you get over that shyness; you can develop your stage presence. So really focus on developing yourself first, then drum up your own buzz, build your own following. If you feel you need or want the assistance of a major label or national/international distributor, approaching them as a proven act with an existing following will give you a much higher chance of “getting signed” and will offer you more leverage than most of your counterparts.

I’ll get more into it in another post, but I hope this info helps some.

@veena – Thanks so much for your support! I appreciate your referrals and the positive feedback you always give my blog. If we ever run into each other, I owe you a drink :)

Yidakiy September 27, 2008 at 6:36 PM

WOW, so much stuff here, an excellent resource. Thanks guys!

TheJennTaFur October 12, 2008 at 12:44 PM

Excellent resource especially with what I found recently. Are you familiar with this website – http://www.futureofmusic.org ?

I appreciate him highlighting to know your CRAFT as a musician. It is IMPERATIVE in my book for a musician to know an instrument and even HOW to read music. You need to know the musical language in some circles to just even be heard seriously by others. I think the real musicians will shine more in the future than those who rely on technology to produce the sounds for them. You need to know though how to use technology to your advantage and to be conversant in web 2.0.

Building a social community through your appreciators is the key. If you do not have appreciators who sincerely want to help promote you and see you grow, FORGET IT!

The performer and the appreciator need to be able to work together in appreciating and acknowledging one another. I see this is the key of Amel Larrieux’s success with her website (http://www.blisslife.com) and her fan base. This goes the same for Prince but when he let his website go (http://www.3121.com), his fan sites replaced the NPG online but still his fans are dedicated. It is interesting to witness the vibe from those artists who are independent and those who are on major labels and how their fan bases talk and discuss their artists.

I’ve been active in a few music web communities and it is really a family like environment in a lot of these music circles for the music is very personal and dear to us. Many of us try to blog and share positive insights on the musicians to help get a positive vibe in the air and to remind people it’s all about the music!

Thanks again for sharing!

James January 29, 2010 at 4:27 AM

Yeah I’m not even gonna lie . The video was okay but If there’s any artist out there listening you might wanna take note . Do what I’m doing .Be different , Be unique , write lyrics that make sense, Talk about what everybody else isn’t talking about ,but be trendy about it in a way EVERYBODY IS FORCED to accept you . Make A HOOOOOOT song then draw the people in with HOT album snippets to BUY your album .GRAB YOUR MUSIC CAREER BY THE THROAT AND BUild a Buzz. For about 5 Years now,I’ve been networking with Extremely MAJOR DJ’s , Radio personalities , and Program Directors , to have a HUGE GLOBAL BUZZ already set up to give my music to . Without a LABEL. By doing this it has allowed me UNBELIEVABLE opportunities and personal replies that you would have to read to believe . To the point I can give my Music to 4000 DJ’s in one day . And that’s not even anywhere near half of what else I learned to do on MY OWN. Get the hype going about yourself and your music . NETWORK . Then Become a member of ASCAP or BMI ,Register with sound scan, and finally copyright and publish your music BEFORE Submitting to anyone . This way You will get a CHECK for your music in case it gets played on the air of any radio station . If you have a big azz fanbase , nice soundscan numbers, and everybody talking bout you and your music ,….then LABELS will come to you . Once this happens , You can negotiate BIGGER MONEY , and it’ll be hard for them to refuse due to your track record . Once you’ve established all this it doesn’t stop there . Then it will be easier to get Music placements , make deals with HUUUUUGE advertising agencies that need you to promote their product or company. Get Video Game placements, etc . Tons of things you musicians have completely forgot about . I have learned to be a BRAND not just another musician wishing upon a Star.

Go to my Myspace and twitter .
http://www.myspace.com/herostime
http://www.twitter.com/herostime
I will put my music up the end of feb 2010 .
I write and perform BOTH Hip Hop and R&B, As well as Produce My own tracks and create Choreography .

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