Billboard has a great interview with Scooter Braun, the man who discovered and manages Justin Beiber. The interview is a solid look at what kind of passion is needed to succeed in the new music industry. Braun got to Beiber when he was young and with a tireless work ethic turned JB into a global phenomenon.
THR: What is your philosophy on self-promotion?
Braun: My philosophy is if you’re going to be known for something, make sure you’re known for the right thing. Like before all the music stuff even when I was just a party promoter, I got offered a bunch of reality shows and I didn’t want to be known for that. So I turned it all down. And in the last couple years, as this stuff’s taken off, the same thing is happening — “Come do this reality show, do this …” I want to be known for what I do, which is work for other people. More power to the guy who wants to be known as the paparazzi dating Britney Spears, there are people who want to be known for being an idiot. Then there’s people who I look up to, like Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen, Barry Diller and Steven Spielberg, those are my heroes. The everyday person wouldn’t know who they are, but I do.
THR: What do you think is the biggest problem plaguing the music business right now?
Braun: A lack of understanding that we’re no longer a music business. We’re a multimedia business. We’re a branding business where the music, the songs and stars are the drivers, but at the end of the day, we have to be willing to open ourselves up to different revenue streams.
THR: Same question, but with the major labels.
Braun: They’re built on a structure that’s still based on a failing business. Doug Morris is a legend and what he did was incredible, and I think there’s some great new leadership with [Universal Music Group CEO] Lucian Grainge, but he has a tough job ahead of him. You see the moves that [chairman and CEO of recorded music for Warner Music Group] Lyor [Cohen] is making and he’s very capable. Barry Weiss is a brilliant guy who doesn’t like to lose either. There’s some good leadership out there and I think they’re heading in the right direction. (More here)
I hope more musicians take Scooter’s words to heart.
We are in a multimedia business, social media, video, recorded music, and your live show, are the tools to help you make money. They must all be used to create a full fan experience and hopefully if done correctly they can create thousands of screaming fans. Beiber fever indeed.
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