Berklee today

OCT 2015

Berklee today is the official alumni publication of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a forum for contemporary music and musicians.

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Fall 2015 29 You've been at the fore with new trends and ideas, such as monetizing online videos by establishing Vevo. That was a logical idea. Rather than having people search through the mishmosh of user-generated videos, my idea was to take the premier videos and put them in one place. It became a big thing. As regards digital strategies and streaming services, they don't stream music that people don't want to hear. The key to everything is to fnd what people love. The whole music business is based on this one thing. People make it so much more complicated. The major labels got criticized for not being out in front with technology. But we didn't know anything about technol- ogy back then, we understood how to make great music. Without great music, none of those surfaces work. Is piracy still a major problem for record labels or is it abating given the alternative methods consumers have to access music? It's continues to be a terrible problem. It's easy for people to steal music and have no conscience about it. Everyone steals off of YouTube. Piracy has put tens of thousands of people out of work. There used to be six major labels, now there are three in the United States. A lot of jobs were lost. [Consequently], there's not enough money to put into devel- oping more artists, and many have been deprived of the opportunity to be successful. It's not a victimless crime. I'm hoping that when streaming services become sexy enough, they will put a dent in piracy. There will be a transition and people will fnd streaming services easy and interesting enough to want to pay them $10 a month. It will not be a matter of character where people wake up one morning and decide that they shouldn't steal. What gives you the most hope for the future of the music industry? I feel the industry is going to do better than it ever has. Over the past few years the profts in the industry have started to increase. It has to do with streaming and the record companies starting to know how to deal with the tech companies. The digital business itself is a much bet- ter business model. There's no manufacturing and there are no returns, so the margins are much better. I think that will continue and there will be more money to invest in artists and marketing them. I think we are in for a really nice change in the atmosphere. It's a fascinating business and it's important that people understand that it's not one-dimensional. One door leads to another. That happened for me and I've enjoyed the whole trip. You will never get bored in this business. When you work at something you like, it's fun. And when it's fun, you get good at it. What would you tell people aspiring to a career in the music industry? I think of the kids coming out of Berklee and they have to fgure out what part of the industry they love and where they'll have a chance if they work hard. Go and do that because it will be fun. The worst that can happen is that you don't do well, but you will have a good time. There are a lot of things to do in the music industry. You can be a producer, which requires a lot of talent, or an engineer, which is technical. You could be a songwriter or a pub- lisher fnding the people who write great songs. You could become a music publicist. There are so many different jobs that are intimately involved with the industry. When students graduate, they have to make the rounds and not become discouraged. I wish everyone good luck. Make your Berklee Fund gift at berklee.edu/make-gift or by calling 617-747-2439. BERKLEE FUND DONORS MAKE DREAMS COME TRUE.

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