Due primarily to its low royalty payments and safe-harbor protection, YouTube has been the whipping boy of the music industry for several years now. So when the first installment of a study the company commissioned from RBB Economics was issued earlier this month — and which claimed, among other things, that piracy would actually increase without YouTube, and that 85 percent of the time currently spent watching music videos on YouTube would be spent on similar or lower-value channels — the...
The famous line delivered by Don Henley at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 still holds true, for those fortunate enough to call Irving Azoff their manager: “He may be Satan, but he’s our Satan,” cracked the Eagles drummer and vocalist.
A veteran of concert promotion (Azoff’s Frontline Management firm was bought by Ticketmaster in 2008 after which he was tapped to run the company, eventually ascending to chairman of Live Nation in 2011), record labels (Azoff was CEO of MCA Records from 1983 to 1989 and launched Giant Records in 1990), movie production (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High”) and, of course, artist representation (the Azoff roster includes John Mayer, Fleetwood Mac, and Jon Bon Jovi, among many others).
Azoff is a more recent entry to publishing, founding Global Music Rights in 2014 with the aim of bettering songwriting and performance royalty terms for participating acts. In recent years, he’s also taken on venue ownership (Azoff’s AMSGE, a partnership with Madison Square Garden and chief executive James Dolan, bought L.A.’s The Forum) and magazine publishing (his Oak View Group purchased concert industry trade Pollstar in July).
Although he’s been a fixture on music industry power lists for several decades now, Azoff’s reputation as a no-nonsense player was cemented in the 1970s and through well-publicized spats with fellow music moguls and competitors like David Geffen. But over 40 years in the business, Azoff has rarely been down and never out.