Who are streaming services really benefiting? According to arguably the most important artist manager and executive in the business, not the artists so much. At the Milken Institute Global Conference on Tuesday…
John Amato (Moderator): Irving, I think the narrative right now is that the artist is more powerful than ever. But is the artist making more money now than ever, relative to before?
Irving Azoff (Azoff MSG Entertainment): I think the mix of an artist’s income has changed, and the big are getting bigger. I serve on the Clear Channel Radio board, and since Bob [Pittman] brought in his team and put it together… Clear Channel in particular — and they’ve forced some of the other radio chains to follow — have become really great partners in the artist development process.
But when you look at a streaming service, that isn’t really how we help market our artists and make them more money.
Everyone says the recorded business is tough, I’m very hopeful that as not only advertising and streaming but subscription comes along and [recorded music] will get even more healthy, but what’s really going on — and from my Live Nation days there were statistics around that —
I went to speak at an AdAge conference and they said, ‘what do you want to talk about?’ and I said, ‘can you do some research for me?’ And they basically did some research and showed me that brands were spending 14 times as much on sports marketing as they do on music marketing.
And we’re now seeing a reversal where those marketing dollars from outside our traditional things are now flooding into the music market. So it’s only going to get bigger, and with that, everybody is going to make more money.
But artists are — newer, starting out artists — in the old days you had a couple of hit records and you could sell out four days at The Forum. Now, you have a couple of hit records and you can $10,000 a night opening for someone on a tour.
Amato: Unless your an electronic music DJ, then you can make $50,000 a night.
Azoff: There you go.
Later in the discussion…
Amato: Irving, it’s only fitting that you get the first and last word here.
Azoff: I’m obviously very bullish [on the future of the music industry], I think the biggest challenge is the lack of respect for intellectual property among the technology companies.
I think that needs to change.