Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Irving Azoff Reinvents The Major Label

Major Label image
Last week it was announced that the Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) and music business mover and shaker Irving Azoff would enter into a joint venture called Azoff MSG Entertainment (AMSGE). In a move that could provide a peek into what the major record label of the future could be, it’s been reported that MSG agreed to pay Azoff Music Management $125 million and contribute a $50 million line of credit to the new company.
What makes this venture interesting is that the company will have four divisions; artist management, music publishing, television production and live event branding, and digital branding. Couple that with the many venues owned by MSG that could host concerts with the company’s artists, and you have a look at what the new world record major label looks like.
For the record, Azoff and MSG chairman James Dolan aren’t calling this a record label, but they don’t have to. It’s an outdated term for an outdated concept anyway. The traditional record label combined talent scouting, artist development, distribution and marketing, but each of those operations have changed substantially in the new millennium. Record labels now have fewer A&R talent scouts than ever, and in this one-failure-and-done atmosphere we live in, artist development is merely a nice term with little execution. Couple that with a dying brick and mortar music retail business and companies that market really well in media that mostly doesn’t matter nearly as much to music consumers as it once did, and you can see that something in the way the current music business is run has to change. Read more on Forbes.

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