Industry Profile: Mat Vlasic

— By Larry LeBlanc (CelebrityAccess)



This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Mat Vlasic, CEO, Bravado.

In the current age of digital democracy, the fan has the power to tell artists what they want, and when they want it; however, new music distribution models, increased creative branding, and aggressive marketing combined are extending artist brands now.

Music is still centrally important to an artist’s career, but so is the merch through creatively strategic global programs, baby!

Hoodies, T-shirts, jackets, sneakers, water bottles, and hats--all emblazoned with logos, album art, and the artists’ faces—dominated music merch for decades.

These were largely one-dimensional event-driven products sold at concerts as a souvenir of the moment.

Today’s new era of merch lets fans step inside the style of their favorite artist, and shell out on designer bowling jackets, handbags, muscle tees, printed denim jackets, and layers of oversized flannel, and distressed denim with high-end American retailers like Barneys, Alchemist, and Vfiles along for the ride.

At the same time, there’s been the national break-out of pop-up stores from cultural trendsetter Kanye West as well as Justin Bieber, Drake, Future, the 1975, and the Strokes executing stores as well.

Since being acquired by Universal Music Group in 2007, Bravado has grown into being one of the leaders in the merch sector, representing more than 150 artists, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Prince, Guns N’ Roses, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Drake, and Selena Gomez.

Founded in 1997 by brothers Keith and Barry Drinkwater (now group executive chairman of Global Merchandising Services), Bravado is a 360 degree, full-service merchandising company with a footprint in over 40 cities around the world.

Headquartered in New York City, Bravado designs, manufactures, and distributes their products. Its staff oversees the creation of merchandise lines and strategizes distribution rollouts, including via Internet sales, e-commerce sites, tour sales, and traditional retail around the globe.

Mat Vlasic was named CEO of Bravado in March 2016, after working his way up the corporate ladder at Sony Music Entertainment, where he went from the finance and operations department to VP/Merchandising.

Along the way, he founded Sony’s in-house consumer products and licensing division and struck merchandising agreements with such artists as Bob Dylan, A$AP Rocky, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Johnny Cash, Lamb of God, the Strokes, and others.

Prior to Sony, Vlasic worked in corporate development at , a digital media agency and business incubator which guided clients, including CBS, Sony and Viacom, on the development of their earliest digital initiatives.

Music and fashion have been alongside each other in the culture space for decades, but evolving types of music distribution have led to further ways to monetize artist popularity with affiliated merchandise ricocheting from being a handful of flashy T-shirts sold at events to a global lifestyle commodity.

It’s (merchandise is) a very important piece of the puzzle right now. To keep the fan connection, and keep them engaged

With changes in music distribution beyond retail stores, e-commerce and touring, merchandising can now extend an artist’s brand through a strategized and unified program of the artist’s product offerings around recordings, tours or other moments in their career.

Yeah. I think technology has innovated communication, and therefore the communication as it relates to what we do has changed too. Kanye (West) being able to tweet out his website, and then (fans) being able to go there, and Kanye being able to have all of the pop-up locations, or with the 1975 posting the night before that we are doing a pop-up here or there is great. It adds to the curiosity of the fan, and to the impact of when we do these things. In terms of distribution points, I would say two years ago you wouldn’t think that you were going to find music-focused product in Barneys or some of The Websters. Some of these higher-end (retail) stores. Those are becoming our top customers.

For merchandise, I imagine Bravado must approach each artist differently. There just can’t be a simple plug-and-play model that you can just plug the artist into a formula. When you and your team sit with an artist and their management for the first time what are the questions you ask the artist to figure out how to sell their merchandise?

Well, the number one question is what’s their vision? That question can have so many answers. That could be specific to creative. That could be specific to the overall product. That could be specific to roll-out. I think that the things that we need to know are what’s the goal, and then it’s about the kind of the strategic planning of it which is very much who, what, why, where, and how. How are we going to roll it out? Who are we trying to touch, and market to? How are we going to roll it out? Where are we going to roll it out? Those are the important things, particularly. It all starts with the creative, and the artist is the visionary and the creative. So that’s going to be number one.

Selecting distribution points would be a factor too; whether the roll-out includes e-commerce, touring, or commercial retail that unite all of the products on offer.

When I say roll-out plan and how, I definitely include distribution points. Yeah. Our main distribution points are retail, direct-to-consumer, tour licensing, and then is it global? is it local? Here, we really try to think on a global level and act on a local level. Empower our local marketing and sales team members to take our overall global strategic marketing plan for each artist, and activate those on a local level.

How many artists do you currently work with?

I would say 150 plus.

What indicators do you look for with a new client? An artist might be exploding with social media online or with music streaming or download sales, but they might not be able to sell merch.

My gauge when I am looking at an artist is always do they have, or can they have true fans? The most successful artists in this business all have true fans. When I say success, I mean artists who have robust music merchandising, touring, and an overall business. They have to have real fans who will consume the different types of products we put out. Whether that is music, merchandise, branding, whatever it is. They (the artists) are real. They are authentic. They have that relationship with their fan. And when you have that, you have success. It doesn’t mean that you can have an artist who has breakout pop songs and has hundreds of millions of listeners. That’s great, but that will not always translate to sales in our world.

At one time merchandising, including T-shirts and posters, was viewed by artists and managers as a “cash cow” on the road when music sales were still growing, Then the merch business expanded with Brockum, Signature, Bravado and the major labels coming onboard. With first the innumerable music piracy sites, and then since with reduced revenues derived from streaming, merchandise sales suddenly took on a new importance. Today merchandising is far more than just being “cash cow,” it’s a lucrative sector for those artists seeking to expand their brand. An artist can probably now do more with a global program offering different consumer products than anything else in their portfolio, including music.

Not to...yeah...how do I answer that question? There’s a ton of opportunity, I don’t necessarily think that one is greater than the other for recorded music. There’s tons of opportunity for recorded music as well. I think the two...they are an extension of each other in a way. The merchandising is a brand extension of the artist’s music or the artist’s music is an extension of the artist overall. You could debate that, but there’s definitely a focus, unlike before, that I have found with artists that I work with, paying much closer attention to all of their brand extensions with merchandising products being one of those things.

This includes a greater focus on music copyrights and so on.

Yeah. There is a heightened awareness that it’s all part of their ecosystem, and all of those things need to be given thought and time to build them, and (to work with) the best partners. That’s why a lot of our artists come to us because we are the leader in this space. Time and time again, we have proven that with our unbelievable artist roster.

Rap, hip hop, and pop musics tend to be genres that lend themselves more to merchandising opportunities for their artists.

I don’t know if I agree. There are artists that we work with in all different genres that are successful in this business whether that is heritage rock acts, female singer/songwriters, pop stars, or urban stars. We’ve got very successful artists in all of those.

There’s not a lot of (classical artists) Joshua Bell or Glenn Gould merchandising in the marketplace.

Fair enough. I am not saying that all genres are equal.

Country acts seem to lag behind in merchandising.

Yeah. I think that the country merchandising from what I have seen has been really tour focused and event driven. There’s not a lot of retail penetration that I’ve seen. But it is something that I am definitely very interested in, and curious about, and really want to learn about it.

Taylor Swift's successful entry into the European market a decade ago, as well as Toby Keith’s success afterward in the UK, Norway, and Sweden, led to Europe embracing mainstream American country acts like Kenny Chesney, and Jason Aldean more recently.

I’ve heard about that. They are pretty legendary there.

Country is becoming huge again in the UK.

I know. One of our businesses is being in the concession business in the UK. There’s a country festival at the O2, (Country 2 Country), and it does gangbuster business. Gangbusters. It’s a great venue.

Certainly, an act being played heavily on radio would have a leg up in being successful with its merchandise?

I think that there are two things to it. One is sheer market penetration. So, yes if your song is getting played hands-down more than anyone else, and you have a smash hit, and it’s infectious, yeah it’s going to get into peoples’ heads, but it is not necessarily going to see you a lot of merchandise at all. I have worked with artists who have had the biggest selling hits in the world, and I haven’t sold a lot of merchandise.

Why do you think they didn’t sell?

They didn’t have real fans. You can start building a fan base on one hit song. This is a question to you as much as it is to me. When does a fan become a real fan? Is it on single two? Is it after show one? I don’t know.

How did Justin Bieber transfer from being a YouTube and Facebook sensation to being a superstar merchandising dynamo?

If you look at his career he has crisscrossed the world doing the shows. He spent the time at radio. He’s done all of those things, right? He built those fans, and he speaks to his fans, and he nurtures his fans, and he has real fans.

[American manager Scooter Braun discovered Canadian Justin Bieber in 2007 through videos that he and his mother had posted on YouTube. When Braun found Bieber, he had a handful of videos on his account with a few thousand views each. Braun then tracked down Bieber's mother in Stratford, Ontario, and convinced her to fly with her son to Atlanta for a meeting. Braun then signed Bieber, who had just turned 13, to a management deal. After creating further YouTube videos, and building up an online presence, Braun scheduled meetings with numerous labels. All turned Bieber down, saying he was too young and didn’t have Nickelodeon or Disney behind him. Around the same time, Usher's road manager asked Braun if he had signed any new artists. Braun showed him Bieber's YouTube clips, and Usher called to set up a meeting which quickly put things in motion.

Bieber then signed a multi-rights deal with Raymond Braun Music Group which was created for him. L.A. Reid, then CEO of Island Def Jam Music Group, inked Bieber to a 50/50 joint venture in late 2008.

Bieber's debut album, "My World” in 2009 debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200. Four tracks—"One Time," "One Less Lonely Girl," "Favorite Girl" and "Love Me"—were released prior to the album's street date. All charted, making Bieber the first solo artist to have four top 40 singles before the release of his debut album.]

Justin nurtured his fans as has Lady Gaga.

Much like Lady Gaga. And there are different artists in different genres. Much like the Rolling Stones. Much like Bob Marley. Much like the 1975. All of those artists that I just mentioned are quite successful in their music careers, in their touring careers, and in their merchandising careers, and that’s because they have real fans.

Do artists in specific music genres adapt better to merchandise marketing? Hip hop, rap and pop artists seem to have it together.

Yeah. I think that success is measured in different ways. From a sales standpoint right now, urban and hip hop are doing really well. They are also are very much leading in terms of sales and streaming when you look at the charts today, right? So we are definitely in a pop music cycle it feels like. But yeah, you are going to have breakout artists in every genre; whether that’s metal or singer/songwriter or Latin or hip hop or pop. You are going to have breakouts in all of them. Just because you are an urban artist doesn’t mean that you are going to sell a lot of merch. Because you are a rock artist doesn’t mean that you are going to sell a lot of tour merch. You have to be mindful of it (merchandise). Pay attention to it. Build it as an important part of your brand like the music. Focus on it, sometimes as much as you are focused on the music because at the end of the day it a natural brand extension, and it’s one that your consumers are going to consume in a physical way. When they wear your T-shirt walking around the street, it’s the best marketing billboard that you can have.

As a global, 360-degree full-service merchandising company, Bravado designs, manufactures and distributes its products. What infrastructure does an artist need in place to work with your team, and be successful with their merchandise?

They don’t need anything. We are the infrastructure. They just need the vision and the fans.

Not every artist is a Beyoncé or Kanye West or Justin Bieber. There has to be something happening in their careers, and they should have some in-built support system to take advantage of merchandising opportunities that arise.

Do you mean a tent-pole marketing thing (which is expected to support the sale of tied-in merchandise)?

There has to be momentum in their career. Some artists now have gaps of three, four years or more in releasing albums.

Yeah. I’m not sure if I agree with that (losing momentum) today. I think particularly in the long tail music model now, the (album) cycle can last 18 or 24 months. It almost feels like that there is no downtime. There’s constantly something going on, and we are constantly finding things to do with the marketing of artists. If you look at a fashion brand or a clothing brand, for example, they are going to have their seasons, and they are going to market against those. There will be a new look or a new product, and you are going to cycle through that quarterly; almost like Spring, Summer, and Fall. We are trying to take cues from that as we try to build our artists’ brands.

One of my issues with how the merchandising business was run for so long was that it was really based upon kind of riding the coattails of artists, and not being proactive. It is was, “Okay, they are going to do a show, we will set up a tent, and sell some T-shirts.” Or, “There’s an album coming out, great, we will refresh the web store.” What we are thinking about and doing is much more proactive. Okay, we are going to refresh the web store once every quarter, and we are going to do something unique twice within that quarter. We are not only going to have amazing merchandise line at the tour, but across town we are going to have an experiential shop where the fan can come in, and experience what the artist intends them to see, and have all those different activations firing in a way that complements each other and builds out a much more robust plan than just riding the coattails.

[Pop-up shops staged miles from the venue and, in some cases, opened weeks from the local show date, have become a key component of successful merch sales.]

Artists and merchandisers used to be satisfied that merch was 100% event-driven. Put a band photo and logo on a T-shirt, “Thank you.” Fans bought a memorabilia item to indicate that they were at this specific show at this specific time. There were few eye-popping, explosive product lines. Today, merchandising is being specifically styled for each artist, and based on who they are. Merch has evolved to being a fashion and cultural statement

Yeah. We’ve have had to step up the game. When you step up the game on the production, and the manufacturing and the design, you also step up the game on the marketing and distribution, and the activations. All around you are creating this cycle where you constantly stepping up the cycle of stepping up the game or you are getting out of the game.

Bravado and Kanye West have been working together on merch since his Glow in the Dark tour in 2007. As an exemplary intersection of music, fashion, style, and artistic expression, Kanye has set the pace for merchandising. He’s a leader.

Very much so. He’s an innovator. That’s all I can say. He’s an innovator. It’s amazing to work with him.

Does Kanye get heavily immersed with planning merchandising designs and rollouts?

Yeah. To be able to innovate, you have to get really involved.

[The pop-up store concept was conceived by Kanye West. In October 2013, West opened a Yeezus temporary store on Hollywood’s Melrose Avenue, next door to the Kardashians’ Dash boutique. All of the merchandise sold on tour, including the '80s rock-themed shirts, were available for purchase, and fans lined up for hours. West’s subsequent pop-ups for his The Life of Pablo merch were also highly successful.]

Considering the success of the pop-up store concept would you consider opening up Bravado stores?

Unclear. Unclear at this point, but definitely we are always looking to what is next. If I knew...

What would be the challenges of opening a Bravado retail store?

Stagnation is a problem. That is something that I fear. Part of what we have done with the temporary and moments in time (marketing) is created excitement. If it lives forever, it’s not as exciting.

Plus you don’t want to be trapped into long-time store leases or costs of running a retail outlet either.

Yeah, there’s a reason why a lot of those stores close, right? So we’d really need to figure out the right model, and the right application. The right way to do it. I don’t know. That is like the 4th or 5th time that I have been asked that questions in the last couple of weeks, and the reality is that I don’t really have an answer.

How quickly can you put up a pop-up or a temporary store?

We love as much time as we can, but we have been nimble, and have had to work under excruciatingly short timetables, but that’s the nature of the business today. There’s not a specific...I can say 36 hours, but we’ve have turned them in a couple of days here and there when necessary when circumstances presented themselves.

How much time will an artist give Bravado that they’d like to do a pop-up store? Artists like Beyoncé are known for having merchandising in place virtually overnight for her surprise releases.

That’s the trick. With an artist’s ability to release music at any time, right now is how music is being consumed. We have to be nimble enough to react to that. There’s not a dead set answer to some of these questions. If an artist of ours called us right now, and said, “I’m releasing a record on Thursday, and we want to do a pop-up,” we will try to make it happen. I don’t know if we can. There are so many variables. What does it look like? Is it just a white box (a white box gallery)? Is there just a simple product line? It’s hard to give you broad answers to these questions because there are so many nuances.

[Surprise releases have been part of the Beyoncé brand since the 2013 roll-out of her self-titled visual album. Fans quickly had the opportunity to buy crew neck sweatshirts and T-shirts in black with pink text, replicating the album cover. As Beyoncé released the single "Formation" from her 2016 album “Lemonade,” shop.beyonce.com exploded with offers for song-specific merch. The next day Beyoncé unleashed "Formation" during the Super Bowl half-time show accompanied by a group of dancers dressed in militaristic black leather reminiscent of Black Panther garb. The Queen Bey also announced a world tour via a commercial spot.]

At the beginning of 2017, it was announced that Bravado had signed an agreement with the Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson to serve as the exclusive branding and licensing partner worldwide. In the past, the merchandising of such iconic figures as James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix and others became of paramount importance to contemporary culture. Can the same thing happen with artists like Prince through merchandising? What’s the challenge in dealing with his merch in the marketplace without tours, and newly recorded music unavailable?

The challenge is to create a product offering that is consistent with the Prince plan and to keep that resonating for an indefinite amount of time without having the obvious tent-poles of albums, touring etc. To do that we have to be clever, and we have to be strategic, and we have to think as if we were launching a fashion brand or another consumer product brand. To do that, and much of what I have done here over the past 15 months now, is to bring in people who don’t come from the merch business, but come from brand building businesses, from consumer product companies. Who come from the fashion world. Who come from places where the focus was building brands and not just flipping transactional T-shirts. So that’s how we do it. And yeah, it is 100% a challenge, but it’s a rewarding one.

In interviews talking about pop-up stores, you have emphasized that they are like traditional music stores. That may be so, but with merchandising, instead of having to wait 18 months for a piece of product from my favorite artist, I can now have something from them right now. And more to come too.

Yes. That’s what we are trying to do and that is where I talk about it from a 365-day sampling. It’s about that. It’s not just about the album. Is the temporary store the kind of experience of being the new record store? It‘s as close to it as we can get.

You are too young to truly remember local music stores. You are just 38.

I was in record stores.

C’mon, you weren’t really?

Of course, I was.

While living in Brunswick, Maine while attending university?

Bull Moose Music. I was in there every day. The one in Brunswick. One hundred percent.

[When DeOrsey's Record Store in Brunswick, Maine closed, leaving Bowdoin College students without a music source, Bowdoin student Brett Wickard, with a $7,000 nest egg and a $30,000 loan, launched Bull Moose Music in 1989. His business plan consisted of looking up record distributors in the Yellow Pages and ordering one album by every act that had released at least two albums. Wickard opened Bull Moose Music on out of the way Middle Street. He soon moved Bull Moose Music to its present location at the corner of Maine St. and School St. The 12 Bull Moose Music outlets in Maine and New Hampshire continue to have the grungy look and feel of a college town underground record shop.]

Today, fans don’t have to wait 18 months for new artist product with merchandise being continually introduced or updated. But how do you control oversaturation?

You have a plan, and you execute your plan to perfection. That’s the only way to do it. I think every product line or artist is going to have a different level of saturation they will reach, and you have to be smart about the way you approach retail, direct-to-consumer, tour and licensing (merchandise). There has to be a nice harmony between all of them so you just don’t blast out product into the marketplace and cannibalize yourself.

How do you determine what quantity of product to put into the marketplace?

There’s not an algorithm for that. It’s a test and repeat kind of process.

Do you test in individual markets?

Yeah. You look at any kind of indicators that you might be able to. First off, there’s data. We look at analytics. We look at demographics. We look at where their (an artist’s) products or other things are selling, and how they are doing, and where they are doing well and with who they are doing well with. We analyze all that, and then we come up with a plan. We work very closely with our analytics team and deep dive into that. We look at Spotify charts and global music charts and follow that action, and radio. All of that is information is there for us to plan our strategic rollout.

Bravado has a presence in 40 cities around the world? Offices or affiliated distributors?

It can be an office like our headquarters in New York City where there are 70 people or it can be a UMG (Universal Music Group) office in a territory where we have two or three people focused on Bravado that sits within the broader Universal Group company in that territory.

Universal Music Group bought into Bravado in 2007. While you aren’t restricted to working with UMG artists, what is your relationship to Universal Music Enterprises president, and CEO Bruce Resnikoff? What would you work on with him?

Well, we have quite a few clients in common. Artists that we work with in common. We’ll sit down at the table when he is planning when I am planning, and we will loop each other in. He might have a relationship, I might have a relationship that we can help each other with. We are very effective. We pitch for new business together. We put ideas together. So there’s quite a lot. In fact, Bruce is someone that I speak to on a regular basis.

Why did you jump over to Bravado last year? Did it have anything to do Sony Music Entertainment’s 2013 strategic partnership agreement with BandMerch, the merchandising division of AEG Live, to expand and develop Sony’s merchandising programs in the North American retail market in conjunction with the Sony-affiliated Thread Shop which you oversaw? Any friction there?

No. I just...the opportunity presented itself to me. It was the right time to make a change. It really is as simple as that. Sometimes you just need to make a change.

Bravado was the big footprint in the merchandising marketplace.

Yep, and that’s why when the opportunity presented itself I jumped at it.

You attended Bowdoin College Brunswick in Maine. That’s a small school. You graduated with B.A. in International relations and affairs.

I majored in international resolution and conflict which is a government major. It was a minor in architecture.

Was it your ambition to go into the diplomatic corp?

There was no idea. There was no forethought. I went to college, and I liked studying international law.

Why did you decide to attend Bowdoin?

One, I really wanted to play college football. I had played football in high school. Two, my parents said that if I wanted to do that that I had to go to the best school that I got accepted into, and I got accepted into Bowdoin. At the time, it was either the 3rd or 4th ranked liberal arts college in America. A lot of successful people went to Bowdoin. It’s a great place. There were rough adjustments coming from New York City where you could get a bagel and cream cheese at four o’clock in the morning on the way home to not being able to get a slice of pizza at seven o’clock at night.

Not sure you can easily get a good bagel in many places in Maine.

You can’t get a bagel in Maine. That’s a good point. But you get a great lobster there, and it is a beautiful state once you get to know it. Yeah, it was good. In retrospect, I’m really happy that I went there.

You played college football. Do still do CrossFit training?

I still do. I was there at six thirty this morning. Every day.

When you started working at Sony in 2003 you began as part of a three-person finance and operations team responsible for the overall financial performance and development of Epic Records, and its affiliated labels.

Yeah, I started in finance, exactly. Before I went to work at Sony, I worked at a small company that was really a hybrid of digital services and venture capital company called . It was run by Mark Patricof. I had some training in corporate development and business development. Then the opportunity presented itself (at Sony) after a meeting that I had with (Epic Records president) Polly Anthony who is no longer with us (passing away in 2013). There was a job opening in finance working for Adam Granite, and I took it.

[Long-serving Sony Music executive Adam Granite joined the company in 1996, and spent time within the company’s finance and operations division before being named GM of Epic Records in 2007. In 2011, he became president, Northern & Eastern Europe, and Africa at Sony Music Entertainment International as part of Sony’s efforts to expand overseas. He retired from the company this month (June 2017) after serving 21 years.]

Just to get your foot into the door of a record company?

Not just or because. Epic Records was a top label at the time. It was a great position. I was very excited.

You were at the company from 2003 to 2015 in different positions.

Yep. Twelve years.

When you became director, artist development and merchandising in 2007, the role of merchandising within the record industry broadened with major labels introducing 360 deals that included merch rights.

Yeah, that kind of started at Epic. We started to acquire some of those rights and I got of look around, and I said to Adam, “We should start monetizing these rights. We are doing nothing with them.”

By the time you became VP of global products at Sony Music Entertainment in 2009, significant global opportunities for merchandising initiatives were becoming more evident.

What happened is that we started small. Sean Kingston, who was a pop sensation, had a hit song with Epic called “Beautiful Girls” (in 2007). We had the merch rights. I was at the time in the artist development department working for Harvey Leeds (who developed Sony’s first video promotion department, as well as Sony’s first artist development/touring department). I love him. We had this opportunity with Sean, and we started doing it (marketing). There was some success. We built another case study with another label within the Sony family, and that was a success. We did a third and a fourth. It became clear that we had a little business there. And at that point it made sense to spin the business out of Epic, and make it a central organization within the broader Sony Music Group. It kind of lived on its own for a moment, reporting to each one of the music groups. Ultimately, it ended up in the commercial music group under Richard Story.

This is The Thread Shop?

Yes.

Such a cool name for a merch company. Who came up with it?

It was a consortium of people including myself, Charlie Walk, Lee Stimmel, and Adam Granite at the time

You had access to artists signed to Epic, Columbia, Zomba, RED. and the Commercial Music Group?

Yes, but having access. Define access. We had rights to everything our artists were signed for. Was I able to call Bob Morelli (pres., Sony BMG’s indie-oriented distribution unit, RED)? Sure, but I could have called him from anywhere, right? You really have to define access.

Still, those artists and their managers were within a family and you had relationships with them. They sat at the same Sony table. You could get a meeting with any one of them without any trouble.

Yes. That is correct.

If merch rights were negotiated with newly-signed artists by Sony—which happened about 85% of the time--you would have had access to their merch rights as well.

Yes.

How did you convince Bob Dylan to license merch for retail for the first time? Of course, he had been doing traditional tour merch. Artists from his generation tend to frown on merchandising as a form of unwanted commercialization. What was the argument you used? As with most cases involving Bob Dylan, all roads lead to Jeff Rosen, his manager since 1989 who acts as his gatekeeper.

I am trying to think of my first meeting with Jeff Rosen. If I recall correctly, the pitch was focused on how one plus one in this scenario could equal three. How being able to have everything in one place under one roof—the marketing department from the merch talking to the marketing department of the music and executing this like a film studio would execute a release of a motion picture. Where there was a complementary product line that you could tell the story in the way that you wanted to, almost playing defense to deter copyright infringement product and all that. I think that was the overall conversation to Jeff, and Jeff bought it. It made sense particularly as the T-shirt or whatever the product was starting to take the place of—from a physical standpoint—of the physical aspect of music and become kind of that last physical product that you wanted that would still be in the market. That would still be out there at distribution points.

And convincing another complicated legend, jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, to license merch, same level of challenge?

(Laughing) Ahh, every artist is going to present a different type of challenge.

Larry LeBlanc is widely recognized as one of the leading music industry journalists in the world. Before joining CelebrityAccess in 2008 as senior editor, he was the Canadian bureau chief of Billboard from 1991-2007 and Canadian editor of Record World from 1970-89. He was also a co-founder of the late Canadian music trade, The Record. He has been quoted on music industry issues in hundreds of publications including Time, Forbes, and the London Times. He is co-author of the book “Music From Far And Wide.”

Larry is the recipient of the 2013 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award, recognizing individuals who have made an impact on the Canadian music industry. He is a board member of the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia, Ontario.

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JC Ahn, VU Entertainment 04/10/13
Steve Alaimo, Vision Records & Audio Vision Studios 05/26/06
Jaye Albright, Albright & O'Malley Consulting 07/19/10
Randy Alexander, Randex Communications 10/12/07
David Alexander, Sheer Publishing 07/21/16
Eva Alexiou-Reo, FATA Booking Agency 05/14/15
Marcie Allen, Mad Booking 12/14/00
Jeff Allen, Universal Attractions 08/16/02
Marcie Allen, MAC Presents 06/05/09
Marcie Allen Cardwell, MAC Presents 12/21/07
David Allgood, Bama Theatre 01/03/11
Patrick Allocco, AllGood Concerts 10/05/07
Michele Amar, French Embassy 05/26/16
Mike Amato, Rok Tours International 02/02/07
Jeff Apregan, Apregan Entertainment Group/Venue Coalition 09/30/15
Billy Atwell, AMP Studios 12/13/07
Bob Babisch, Milwaukee World Festivals Inc. 04/02/15
Tom Baggot, thebookingagency.com 05/02/03
Stephen Bailey, EPACC & Deleware Center For The Arts 02/06/04
Cary Baker, Conqueroo 05/11/11
Vince Bannon, Getty Images 07/05/11
Phil Barber, Barber & Associates 02/04/01
Camille Barbone, WineDark Records 12/09/05
Erin Barra, Musician/Producer/Educator 07/10/14
Ben Baruch, The Fox Theatre 09/27/08
Ben Baruch, By Larry LeBlanc (CelebrityAccess) 04/05/17
Paul Bassman, Ascend Insurance Brokerage 08/03/16
Adam Bauer, Fleming, Tamulevich & Associates 02/15/02
Ed Bazel, That's Entertainment International 10/05/01
Joachim Becker, ZOHO Music L.L.C. 01/12/07
Howard Becker, Comet Technologies 05/02/11
Mark Bego, Author 06/15/07
Jim Beloff, Flea Market Music 09/20/10
Richard Bengloff, The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) 09/12/13
Seth Berg, South Bay Music 01/30/09
Aimee Berger, 2 Generations SPA Music Management 09/24/04
David Berger, Future Beat 10/29/14
Barry Bergman, Music Managers Forum 03/14/03
Steve Bernstein, Relix LLC 09/30/05
Mark Berry, Attack Media Group 04/07/07
Scott Billington, Rounder Records 01/17/12
Jeffrey Bischoff, Cinder Block 03/24/06
Sat Bisla, A&R Worldwide/ Musexpo 03/29/10
Nina Blackwood, Sirius Satellite Radio 07/14/06
Adam Block, Legacy Recordings 11/07/13
P.J. Bloom, Neophonic, Inc. 01/24/11
Rishon Blumberg, Brick Wall Management 06/27/03
Justin Bolognino, Learned Evolution, and The Meta Agency 04/25/13
Steve "Chopper" Borges, Total Pro and Borse Techos 03/03/06
Les Borsai, Mediocre Management 01/30/04
Shane Bourbonnais, Live Nation Canada 03/21/08
Jeff Bowen, Sears Centre Arena 03/13/08
Rick Bowen, Mystic Music Experience 07/11/08
John Boyle, Sanctuary Music Group 03/19/04
Jeff & Todd Brabec, Writers/Attorneys 01/03/12
Bill Bragin, Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 08/08/03
Joel Brandes, Avenue Management Group 11/02/08
Joe Brandmeier, Moving Pictures 03/15/02
Scooter Braun, SB Projects 12/13/10
Ron Brice, 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill 06/08/16
Billy Brill, Billy Alan Productions 11/11/05
Doug Brown, Talent Buyers Network 09/21/01
James Browne, Sweet Rhythm 11/01/02
Bob Brumley, Brumley Music Company 02/17/16
Tony Brummel, Victory Records 05/17/09
Charlie Brusco, TBA Entertainment Corporation 10/13/01
Del Bryant, BMI 05/18/07
Cortez Bryant, Bryant Management 12/06/10
Stephen Budd, Stephen Budd Management 07/13/17
Bruce Burch, University of Georgia Music Business Program 10/09/09
Deborah Burda, Kentucky Exposition Center 08/03/07
Patti Burgart, IEBA 06/07/02
Jordan Burger, The New Musiquarium 01/22/01
Ron Burman, Roadrunner Records 08/25/06
Suzanne Cadgene, Elmore 05/19/06
Karen Cadle, KGC Productions 03/12/04
Gary Calamar, KCRW 07/10/09
Charles Caldas, Merlin 07/05/10
Brian Camelio, ArtistShare 02/29/08
David Campbell, AEG Europe 08/02/10
Tom Cantone, Foxwoods Entertainment Group 10/20/00
Tom Cantone, Foxwoods Resort Casino 07/03/03
Tom Cantone, Mohegan Sun 08/30/09
Ashley Capps, A. C. Entertainment 05/21/04
Rio Caraeff, Vevo 07/12/11
Mike Carden, Eagle Rock Entertainment 08/16/11
Charles Carlini, Carlini Group 05/16/08
Mark Carpentieri, M.C. Records 05/27/05
Mark Carpentieri, M.C. Records 01/10/11
Troy Carter, Coalition Media Group 06/07/10
Daniel Catullo, Coming Home Studios 06/22/08
Raffi Cavoukian, Folk Singer/Children's Entertainer 05/11/16
Jeffrey Chabon, Chabon Entertainment Group 08/22/02
Mike Chadwick, Essential Music & Marketing 08/01/12
Rob Challice, Coda Music Agency 03/27/13
Tom Chauncey, Partisan Arts 01/11/02
Tom Chauncey, Partisan Arts 10/04/11
Lisa Cherniak, Artists Against Racism (AAR) 07/20/01
Bob Chiappardi, Concrete Marketing 06/13/03
Joel Chriss, Chriss & Co. 10/04/02
Michael Chugg, Michael Chugg Entertainment 09/14/01
Michael Chugg, Chugg Enterprises 10/02/09
Gary Churgin, Harry Fox Agency 09/13/10
Vinny Cinquemani, S.L. Feldman & Associates 12/13/12
Barry Coburn, Ten Ten Music Group 03/28/11
Matthew Cohen, Green Room Productions 10/19/01
Ted Cohen, TAG Strategic 01/10/13
Lisa Cohen, Associated Booking Corporation 02/10/06
Steve Cohen, Music + Art Management, Inc. 03/09/07
Dan Cohen, Music & Memory 01/12/17
Michael Cohl - Part 1, S2BN Entertainment 03/06/13
Michael Cohl - Part 2, S2BN Entertainment 03/13/13
Bryan Coleman, Union Entertainment Group 02/14/12
Mamie Coleman, Fox Broadcasting 07/05/12
Dennis Condon, Disneyland Resorts 07/13/01
Peter Conlon, Peter Conlon Presents 05/20/05
Tony Conway, Buddy Lee Attractions 10/06/00
Allen Cook, TOURtech 04/16/15
Tomas Cookman, Cookman International 09/05/03
Alex Cooley, Alex Cooley Presents 07/12/10
David Cooper, Foxman.com 10/31/03
Jay Cooper, Greenberg Traurig, LLP 05/23/11
Julie Coulter, Near North Insurance Groups 06/07/01
Amy Cox, Deep South Entertainment 02/09/07
Michael O. Crain, Crain Law Group, LLC 10/09/13
Charlie Cran, The Strawberry Music Festival 04/05/10
Jim Cressman, Invictus Entertainment Group 06/06/12
Russ Crupnick, MusicWatch, Inc. 07/23/15
Todd Culberhouse, Vision Management /Vision Records and Entertainment 09/05/08
Tony D'Amelio, Washington Speakers Bureau 04/21/06
Ruth Daniel, In Place of War 08/09/17
Ray Danniels, Standing Room Only Management, and the Anthem Entertainment Group 03/05/15
Ken Dashow, WAXQ-FM (l04.3 FM) - New York 09/08/06
Hal David, Lyricist 07/26/11
David Davidian, Independant Lighting Designer/Director 06/18/04
Anthony Davis, D&L Entertainment Services, Inc. 03/02/01
Chip Davis, American Gramaphone/Mannheim Steamroller 05/31/02
Mitch Davis, Tempest Entertainment 07/16/04
Jeff Dawson, Canadian Recording Services 06/08/08
Desiree Day, USO Celebrity Entertainment 08/10/01
Shauna de Cartier, Six Shooter Records/Six Shooter Management 10/23/13
Gene DeAnna, The Library of Congress 02/21/12
Vincent Degiorgio, Chapter 2 Productions 08/01/13
Tony DeLauro, DeLauro Management 12/23/04
Valerie Denn, Val Denn Agency 04/30/01
Val Denn, Val Denn Agency 03/06/14
Robert DePugh, Alligator Records 07/29/05
Tom Derr, Rock Ridge Music 10/29/04
Paul Dexter, Masterworks Lighting Design and Road Cases 12/10/04
Marty Diamond, Paradigm 01/22/10
Glenn Dicker, Redeye Distribution/Yep Roc Records 07/07/06
Barry Dickins, International Talent Booking Agency 06/06/13
Jim Digby, Event Safety Alliance 09/01/16
Mark Dinerstein, The Knitting Factory 11/17/06
Neill Dixon, Canadian Music Week 03/03/16
Thomas Dolby, Musician, academic, technologist, and author 11/09/16
Jasper Donat, Music Matters 2009/Branded 04/24/09
Jim Donio, National Association of Recording Merchandisers 04/22/11
Marc Dottore, M. Dottore Management 04/11/03
Tim Drake, The Roots Agency 12/12/08
Mike Dreese, Newbury Comics 11/23/11
Charles Driebe, Blind Ambition Management Ltd. 09/22/06
Jeremy Driesen, Ray Bloch Productions 09/07/01
Michael Drumm, Music Link Productions 07/18/08
Angie Dunn, Lucky Artist Booking 10/13/06
Jay Durgan, MEDIAmobz 11/09/11
Erik Dyce, City and County of Denver's Division of Theatres & Arenas 08/02/02
Erik Dyce, City and County of Denver’s Division of Theatres and Arenas 08/23/10
Paolo d’Alessandro, International Solutions 06/25/14
Ros Earls, 140dB Management 02/19/14
Art Edelstein, Festival Productions 12/01/02
Bruce Eisenberg, Audio Analysts 08/31/01
Martin Elbourne, The Glastonbury Festival 12/18/09
Michael Elder, Red Entertainment 03/17/06
Tod Elmore, Sixthman 11/24/06
Paul Emery, Clear Channel Entertainment 11/19/04
Arty Erk, Citrin Cooperman 04/27/16
Joe Escalante, Kung Fu Records 07/08/05
Colin Escott, Music Historian/Journalist 07/18/11
Ritch Esra, The Music Business Registry 09/27/02
Ritch Esra, The Music Business Registry 04/24/12
Mike Esterman, Esterman Entertainment 09/01/06
Jeff Eyrich, BePop Records 11/25/05
Bob Ezrin, Bigger Picture Group 05/24/09
Lisa Fancher, Frontier Records 08/09/10
Rick Farman, Superfly Productions 10/15/04
Ray Farrell, eMusic 06/09/06
Sam Feldman, S.L. Feldman & Associates 10/25/02
Bob Feldman, Red House Records 11/24/02
Charlie Feldman, BMI 08/26/05
Paul Fenn, Asgard Promotions 11/22/09
Debra "Fergy" Ferguson, TourDesign 08/01/03
Pete Fisher, Grand Ole Opry 09/11/09
David Fishof, David Fishof Presents 01/08/01
David Fishof, Rock 'N Roll Fantasy 10/05/08
David Fishof, Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp 02/28/12
Mike Flanagin, New England Country Music Festival 09/12/08
Joel Flatow, RIAA 12/13/11
Jim Fleming, Fleming Artists 03/20/10
Joe Fletcher, Joe Fletcher Presents 01/12/06
Jeff Fluhr, StubHub 10/06/06
Nancy Fly, The Nancy Fly Agency 04/02/04
Arthur Fogel, Live Nation 08/09/09
Martin Folkman, Independent Music Awards & Music Resource Group 08/11/06
Belle Forino, Fantasma Tours 03/18/05
Fletcher Foster, Universal Records South 07/31/09
Sam Foxman, Contemporary Productions 01/06/06
Todd Frank, 4Star Entertainment, LLC 01/24/03
Bob Frank, Koch Entertainment 01/09/09
Larry Frank, Frank Productions 01/17/11
Mike Fraser, Record Producer/Engineer 10/11/08
Carl Freed, Metropolitan Entertainment 06/22/01
Elizabeth Freund, Beautiful Day Media & Management 01/26/07
Harlan Frey, Roadrunner Records 07/11/03
Adam Friedman, Nederlander Concerts 06/22/07
Ted Gardner, Larrikin Management 04/25/03
Daniel Gélinas, Festival d’été de Québec 05/23/13
Marci Geller, Sonic Underground 08/15/08
Chris Gero, Yamaha Entertainment Group 10/26/16
Steve Gerstman, SGS 07/19/02
Sandra Gibson, The Association of Performing Arts Presenters 01/09/04
Sandra L. Gibson, Association of Performing Arts Presenters 01/16/09
Steve Gietka, Trump Properties 07/30/01
Steve Gietka, SMG Entertainment 03/19/14
Darren Gilmore, Watchdog Management 03/17/16
Daniel Glass, Glassnote Entertainment Group 10/16/14
Jake Gold, The Management Trust 04/13/01
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 09/07/07
Harris Goldberg, Concert Ideas 06/27/11
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 04/16/14
Martin Goldschmidt, Cooking Vinyl Group 09/29/16
Harvey Goldsmith, Harvey Goldsmith Productions 06/28/10
Michael Goldstein, RockPoP Gallery 11/09/07
Seth Goldstein, Turntable.fm 09/20/11
Anna Paula Goncalves, CEO Global Brand Appeal 08/20/14
Arnie Goodman, Blue Storm Music 11/15/02
Wesley Goodman, Red Entertainment 09/16/05
Richard Goodstone, Superfly Productions 01/27/06
Christie Goodwin, Photographer 03/18/15
Rob Gordon, What Are Records? LTD 02/01/02
Steve Gordon, Entertainment Attorney 08/06/04
Yoav Goren, Immediate Music & Imperativa Records 06/10/14
Mike Gormley, L.A. Personal Development 11/10/06
Jonathan Gosselin, Gosselin Marketing & Promotions 07/02/04
Richard Gottehrer, The Orchard 04/10/09
Sean Goulding, The Agency Group London 09/12/12
Jerimaya Grabher, RPM Direct 09/26/03
Mary Granata, The Granata Agency 09/06/10
Kelly Graves, Providence Performing Arts Center/Professional Facilities Management 01/20/02
Stan Green, Stanley A. Green Lighting and Productions 12/12/03
Mark Green, Celebrity Talent Agency Inc. / Bergen Performing Arts Center 08/12/05
Jeffrey Green, Americana Music Association 03/10/06
Paul Green, The School of Rock 07/06/08
Benjy Grinberg, Rostrum Records 12/06/11
Brent Grulke, SXSW 03/06/09
Michael Gudinski, The Mushroom Group 10/29/15
Phil Guiliano, CIE USA Entertainment Inc. & OCESA PRESENTS Inc. 03/25/05
Steve Gumble, SBG Productions 06/16/06
Greg Hagglund, Vivelo! 05/07/04
Rodney Hall, FAME Music Group 11/06/09
Rob Hallett, Robomagic 02/05/15
Craig Hankenson, Producers, Inc 02/23/06
Kerry Hansen, Wynonna Incorporated 10/03/03
Eric Hanson, Ted Kurland Associates 12/20/02
Eric Hanson, Tree Lawn Artists 03/23/07
Rusty Harmon, MTM Music Management 12/06/07
Ali Harnell, Clear Channel Entertainment Nashville 08/15/03
Bob Harris, 02/06/09
Evan Harrison, Huka Entertainment 12/08/16
David Hart, The Agency Group 02/20/04
Laura Hassler, Musicians without Borders 12/02/15
Abe Hathot, Musician, composer, and music producer. 12/21/16
Steve Hecht, Piedmont Talent 08/29/12
Travis Hellyer, Mezzanine 09/02/05
Janie Hendrix, Experience Hendrix 02/01/10
Nona Hendryx, Rhythmbank Entertainment 06/02/06
Dan Herrington, Dualtone Records 07/25/03
Sara Hickman, Sleeveless/Stingray 06/30/06
Dan Hirsch, On Board Entertainment 04/04/03
Nick Hobbs, Charmenko 12/14/01
Carel Hoffman, Hilltop Live/Oppikoppi Productions 11/07/12
Ian Hogarth, Songkick 08/09/11
Gene Hollister, Rose Presents 04/08/01
Rusty Hooker, Rock Steady Management Agency 02/16/01
Jake Hooker, Hook Entertainment 05/10/02
Martin Hopewell, Primary Talent International 04/19/02
Tom Hoppa, TKO Booking Agency 09/29/06
Bobbie Horowitz, Times Square Group 01/04/02
Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages 11/01/11
Bruce Houghton, Skyline Music 10/27/00
Bruce Houghton, Skyline Music 01/22/14
Andi Howard, Peak Records and Andi Howard Entertainment 09/02/03
Barbara Hubbard, ACTS 09/12/03
Laurent Hubert, BMG US 11/12/15
Seth Hurwitz, I.M.P. 04/20/09
Ariel Hyatt, Author, and founder of Cyber PR 11/23/16
Mark Hyman, Ashley Talent International 11/09/01
Brett Hyman, Category 5 Entertainment 07/23/04
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 08/17/01
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 05/28/14
Doug Isaac, Super Bowl Concert Series Producer (EXI) 08/24/01
David Israelite, National Music Publishers' Association 11/29/08
Tom Jackson, Tom Jackson Productions 02/06/13
Jay Jacobs, Parc Landon 09/21/07
Larry Jacobson, World Audience 09/17/04
Audra Jaeger, The Management Trust 05/09/03
Ralph James, The Agency Group 01/31/11
Jeffrey Jampol, Jampol Artist Management 07/18/12
Jean Michel Jarre, International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) 06/19/13
Michael Jaworek, The Birchmere 05/08/09
Peter Jesperson, New West Records 11/03/06
John Jeter, The Handlebar 08/15/12
Mike Johnson, Groundrush Media 02/17/06
Mike Gormley & Jolene Pellant, Yes, Dear Entertainment 04/23/10
Susan Joseph, Justice Entertainment Group 02/21/11
Darren Julien, Julien's Auctions 10/25/10
Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson Guitars 09/28/10
Justin Kalifowitz, Downtown Publishing 04/20/17
Leonard Kalikow, Music Business Reference, Inc. 06/26/08
Craig Kallman, Atlantic Records 03/20/09
Steve Kane, Warner Music Canada 02/09/17
Danny Kapilian, Independent Producer 07/12/02
Mike Kappus, The Rosebud Agency 10/26/09
Andy Kaufman, Birdland 05/17/02
Wendy Kay, Mars Talent Agency 03/09/01
Lucas Keller, The Collective 03/22/11
Marty Kern, Clemson University 07/07/01
Carlos Keyes, Red Entertainment 10/08/04
Golnar Khosrowshahi, Reservoir Media Management 10/24/12
Martin Kierszenbaum, Interscope/Cherrytree Records 09/06/09
Barney Kilpatrick, Rattlesby Records 10/28/05
John Kinsner, The Walnut Room 03/28/08
Doug Kirby, LiveTourArtists 10/24/03
Steve Kirsner, Compaq Center 06/29/01
JoAnne Klabin, Sweet Relief 03/21/03
Andrew Klein, Revolution Marketing 11/05/04
Larry Klein, Producer, bassist, songwriter 03/13/12
Jack Kleinsinger, Highlights in Jazz 04/25/08
Ann Kline, Casa Kline 09/04/14
Brian Knaff, Talent Buyers Network 09/29/01
Kymberlee Knight, IEBA 11/16/00
Mike Kociela, 360 Productions 05/30/08
Stefan Kohlmeyer, Bach Technology 02/08/10
Lily Kohn, Microsoft Corporation 02/14/11
Tim Kolleth, Alligator Records 01/25/08
Al Kooper, Musician/songwriter/producer/author 02/06/14
Mitchell Koulouris, Digital Musicworks International, Inc. 02/11/05
Mark Krantz, John Schreiber Group 06/15/01
Jeff Krasno, Velour Music Group 11/19/07
Jeffrey Kruger, The Kruger Organisation 01/25/02
Harvey Kubernik, Author/historian/music journalist 08/20/15
Ted Kurland, Ted Kurland Associates 01/15/01
Jordan Kurland, Zeitgeist Artist Management 08/23/11
Carianne Laguna, Blackheart Records 03/07/08
Brady Lahr, Kufala Recordings 04/30/04
Ernie Lake, EL Records 01/19/07
Roks Lam, Wolfman Jack Entertainment 12/17/04
Anni Lam, Parc Landon 06/29/07
Gary Lane, CenterLane Attractions 10/14/05
Tom LaPenna, Lucky Man Productions 09/10/04
Camilo Lara, EMI Music Mexico/MIS 08/10/07
Gary Lashinsky, Lipizzaner Tours 05/13/05
Gregg Latterman, Aware Records 12/13/02
Tony Laurenson, Eat to the Beat 02/27/04
Emily Lazar, The Lodge 10/15/15
Bill Leabody, Leabody Systems 06/10/05
Peter Leak, 24-7 Worldwide Management 03/28/12
Steve Leeds, SR. VP/Promotion/Rock Formats at Virgin Records 07/26/02
Elliot Lefko, Goldenvoice 09/21/17
Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter 11/14/08
Carl Leighton-Pope, Leighton-Pope Organisation 07/05/09
Steve Lemon, Live 4 Live, Inc. 12/06/02
Randy Lennox, Universal Music Canada 06/24/15
Simma Levine, Disson Furst and Partners 11/10/00
Andy Levine, Sixthman 06/08/07
Rich Levy, Clear Channel Entertainment Properties 06/25/04
Eddie Levy, Chelsea Music Publishing 07/24/14
Myles Lewis, Denise Rich Songs 12/20/10
Adam Lewis, Planetary Group 01/20/16
Terry Lickona, Austin City Limits 03/14/11
Justine Liddelow, Stage and Screen Travel Services 08/31/11
Jim Lidestri, Border City Media 09/03/15
Larry Lieberman, 4EverWild 03/28/03
Eric Lilavois, Crown City Studios, and London Bridge Studio 12/10/14
Miriam Linna, Norton Records 05/18/17
Marc Lipkin, Alligator Records 03/05/05
Tommy LiPuma (Part 1), Verve Records 11/08/10
Tommy LiPuma (Part 2), Verve Records 11/15/10
Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud 10/04/10
Andy Lo Russo, The Singing Chef 12/16/05
Phil Lobel, Lobeline Communications 08/13/04
Paul Lohr, New Frontier Touring 01/21/05
Paul Lohr, New Frontier Touring 05/17/10
Julie Lokin, New Audiences 03/23/01
Dave Lory, Artemis Records 03/30/02
Max Loubiere, Tour Director 04/11/12
Mark Lourie, Skyline Music 03/08/02
Dave Lucas, Live-360 04/28/06
Joe Lucchese, EventJoe 02/23/07
Kevin Lyman, 4 fini 03/30/01
Kevin Lyman, Vans Warped Tour 05/23/12
Bubba Mac, 09/14/07
David Macias, Emergent Music Marketing 06/17/05
Kristen Madsen, Grammy Foundation and MusiCares 11/22/10
Larry Magid, Larry Magid Entertainment 05/04/10
Peter Malkin, PM Management 02/07/03
Toby Mamis, Alive Enterprises 02/12/01
Billy Mann, Green & Bloom | Topl1ne, Manncom 09/18/14
Tasea Margeolas, Multi Entertainment 06/23/06
Tony Margherita, dBpm Records 09/06/11
Bob Roux & Mark Campana, Live Nation 12/20/11
Lee Marshall, Magic Arts & Entertainment 09/13/02
Zach Martin, Radio Producer at New York's WAXQ-FM 08/30/02
Mario Martin, Gorgeous PR 04/27/07
Molly Martinez, Ticket Summit 2008 05/23/08
Paul Mascioli, Mascioli Entertainment 01/14/05
Michael Maska, Big Hassle 01/28/05
Ted Mason, Mi-5 Recordings 11/16/01
Steve Masur, Masur & Associates, LLC 11/21/03
Pam Matthews, The Ryman Auditorium 04/08/05
Terry McBride, Nettwerk Music Group 03/01/10
Michael McCarty, ole 06/20/11
Jim McDonald, McDonald Group 12/19/03
Virginia McEnerney, HeadCount 11/26/07
Doc McGhee, McGhee Entertainment 06/14/10
Camilla McGuinn, Tour Manager 08/24/07
Andy McLean, North By Northeast (NXNE) 04/01/05
Dennis McNally, Grateful Dead historian/publicist 09/06/02
Garry McQuinn, Back Row Productions 06/14/11
Ruthann McTyre, The Rita Benton Music Library; and president of the Music Library Association 08/31/10
Dick McVey, Musician's Referral Service 10/27/07
Katherine McVicker, Music Works International 01/08/15
John Meglen, Concerts West/AEG Live 02/21/13
Mark Meharry, Music Glue 05/28/15
Jorge Mejia, Sony/ATV Music Publishing 09/17/15
Dan Melnick, Festival Productions, Inc. 02/22/02
André Ménard, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 06/12/09
Bob Merlis, Merlis For Hire/Memphis International Records 01/16/04
Doug Merrick, Cumberland Talent Agency and Merrick Music Group 07/21/06
Louis Messina, The Messina Group 10/22/04
Louis Messina, The Messina Group/AEG Live 07/17/09
Louis Jay Meyers, North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance 03/30/07
Louis Jay Meyers, Folk Alliance International 01/23/09
Todd Miller, House Of Blues - New Orleans 11/14/03
Jeff Miller, Fantasma Productions 03/16/07
Ben Miller, Rock Ridge Music 11/02/07
J. B. Miller, Empire Entertainment 08/22/08
Richard Mills, S.L. Feldman 11/02/09
Marty Monson, Barbershop Harmony Society 07/07/16
Linda Moran, Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) 04/05/09
Jesse Morreale, Nobody In Particular Presents (NIPP) 09/20/02
Chuck Morris, Live Rocky Mountains 09/28/09
Mo Morrison, Independent production 05/24/02
Kevin Morrow, Steel Wool Entertainment 01/25/17
Nick Moss, Blue Bella Records 11/30/07
Jim Musselman, Appleseed Recordings 04/14/06
Natalia Nastaskin, United Talent Agency 04/13/16
Marc Nathan, Flagship Records 07/01/05
David Neilon, Rising Star Promotions 11/30/01
Don Neuen, Star Coaches Inc. 10/10/12
Dennis Newhall, DIG Music 10/07/05
John Nittolo, John Nittolo Productions 04/13/07
Ian Noble, Metropolitan Talent 05/23/03
Fabricio Nobre, A Construtora Música e Cultura 05/04/17
Josh Norek, JN Media, LLC 07/05/02
David Norman, Tour Manager 04/20/07
Mimi Northcott, Canadian Recording Services (CRS) 04/11/08
Bill Nowlin, Rounder Records 01/05/07
John Nugent, NY JAM Inc. 11/08/02
Andy Nulman, Just For Laughs 11/20/13
Sal Nunziato, NYCD 06/01/01
Bob O'Neal, Ryman Auditorium 06/28/02
Andrea Orbeck, Prehab Health and Fitness 03/15/10
Heather Orser, Toad's Place 01/29/01
Janet Oseroff, MultiMediaProperties 11/18/05
Marc Ostrow, Boosey & Hawkes 12/05/08
Riley O’Connor, Live Nation Canada 07/24/09
Jeremy Palmer, Buddy Lee Attractions 11/02/01
John Palmer, Megawave Records 08/31/07
Panos Panay, Sonicbids 12/23/05
Julien Paquin, Paquin Artists Agency 04/30/14
Graham Parker, WQXR-FM 11/26/14
Crispin Parry, British Underground 02/24/08
Donald Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 04/09/10
Donald S. Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 01/06/16
Bruce Patron, Overland Entertainment 07/28/06
Alexandra Patsavas, Chop Shop Music 09/27/11
Cheryl Pawelski, Omnivore Entertainment Group 09/26/13
Kerry Peace, Alligator Records 08/18/06
Eric Peltoniemi, Red House Records 12/14/09
Scott Perry, Sperry Media 03/11/05
Lawrence Peryer, Jr., 23 Omnimedia 11/07/08
John Peters, MassConcerts 06/07/11
Holger Petersen, Stony Plain Records 04/15/05
Jon Phillips, Silverback Professional Artist Mgmt/Controlled Substance Sound 08/29/08
Dave Pichilingi, Sound City 03/30/16
Vince Pileggi, Music Inc./Music Inc. Sounds 12/01/06
Eric Pirritt, Endit! Presents / The Fox Theatre 10/17/03
Neil Portnow, The Recording Academy 02/08/11
Louis Posen, Hopeless Records 04/04/11
Stephen Posen, Estate of Glenn Gould 01/23/13
Nadia Prescher, Madison House 06/20/03
Jeff Price, TuneCore 02/28/11
Tom Principato, Powerhouse Records 02/01/08
Roger Probert, Core Records 12/08/06
John "Grinder" Procaccini, JP Squared (JP2) 01/17/03
Mark Pucci, Independent Music Publicist 09/09/05
David Pullman, The Pullman Group 11/03/00
Rod Quinton, Saigon Sound System 04/18/11
Dolphus Ramseur, Ramseur Records 10/19/07
Jack Randall, Ted Kurland Associates 04/05/02
Jack Randall, The Kurland Agency 03/08/17
Debra Rathwell, AEG Live 05/03/13
Jeff Ravitz, Visual Terrain 02/08/08
Paul Reed, Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) 06/14/17
Rich Rees, M.P.I. Talent Agency 09/19/08
John Reese, Freeze Artist Management 08/01/08
Bill Reeves, WRIII, Inc. 10/20/06
Stephen Rehage, Rehage Entertainment 07/30/04
Lisa Reiss, Pearl Productions 08/17/07
Salaam Remi, Composer, producer, musician and label executive. 01/08/14
David Renzer, Universal Music Publishing Group 08/23/09
Alison Richard, Universal Orlando Resort 05/06/05
Kelli Richards, The All Access Group 02/07/12
Gary Richards, HARD Events 08/29/13
Sam Righi, Waterfront Entertainment Group 05/30/03
Jon Rinaldo, Joker Productions 01/02/04
Geary Rindels, Geary Rindels Enterprises, Inc. 12/05/03
Doreen Ringer Ross, BMI 01/18/08
Lisette Rioux, Island Def Jam Music Group 05/16/03
Dave Roberge, Everfine Records & Everfine Artist Management 12/03/04
Sandy Roberton, Worlds End Producer Management 02/20/09
Ty Roberts, Gracenote 01/31/12
Bill Rogers, BRE Presents 07/13/07
Ian Rogers, Topspin Media 06/01/10
Benji Rogers, PledgeMusic 12/19/13
Dave Rose, Deep South Entertainment 09/15/06
Eric Rosen, Ronald S. Bienstock & Associates 05/25/01
Stuart Ross, The Ross Group 02/23/01
David Ross, President IAAM; Director, Show Me Center 09/23/05
Jack Ross, APA Canada 09/07/17
Bobby Rossi, Ruth Eckerd Hall 02/28/03
Michael Rothschild, Landslide Records 04/29/05
Robert Rowland, Red Entertainment 06/13/08
Bill Royston, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival 03/07/03
John Rudolph, Bug Music 05/24/10
Elizabeth Rush, E.R.A. / Elizabeth Rush Agency 08/20/04
Aran Rush, Expo and Foro Imperial 02/16/07
Maurice Russell, Harry Fox Agency 10/21/05
Barron Ruth, Skyline Music 02/14/03
Andrea Sabata, Skyline Music 01/07/05
Numa Saisselin, Count Basie Theatre, Inc. 02/04/05
Ron Sakamoto, Gold & Gold Productions 01/16/10
David Salidor, dis Company 07/20/07
Shaw Saltzberg, S. L. Feldman and Associates 06/21/10
Bruce Allen & Sam Feldman, A&F Music 12/19/08
Mark Samuels, Basin Street Records 06/11/04
Jacqueline Saturn, Harvest Records 01/21/15
Tamara Saviano, American Roots Publishing 07/22/05
Tamara Saviano, Author, journalist, and producer 08/18/16
Michael Scafuto, Mountain High Entertainment 12/07/01
Steve Schankman, Contemporary Productions 12/21/01
Steve Scharf, Carlin America 10/11/02
John Scher, Metropolitan Talent 11/21/08
Al Schmitt, Producer/Engineer 02/13/10
Bobby Schneider, Tour Coordinator, Third Eye Blind 01/31/03
Jake Schneider, Madison House 04/02/14
Steven Schnur, EA Music Group 07/03/13
Elaine Schock, Shock Ink 02/19/10
Stacy Schott, Mad Booking and Events 08/22/03
Daylle Schwartz, Revenge Productions 08/19/05
Dean Sciarra, ItsAboutMusic.com 11/26/04
Joel Selvin, Author and Journalist 08/07/14
Jay Sendyk, Sendyk, Leonard & Company, Inc. 05/03/02
Peter Shapiro, Ideal Entertainment 04/16/04
Seth Sheck, Access Pass & Design 01/03/03
Seth Sheck, ACCESS Event Solutions 06/22/16
Seth Shomes, The Agency Group 11/12/14
Jay Sieleman, The Blues Foundation 07/18/03
Anya Siglin, The Ark 03/05/10
Bill Silva, Bill Silva Entertainment 10/19/10
Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy Entertainment 03/06/12
Steve Simon, Clear Channel Communications 05/14/04
Ralph Simon, Live Earth 07/06/07
Ralph Simon, Mobilium 04/12/11
Michael Simon, The Harry Fox Agency 08/14/13
Ron Simpson, RCS Productions 01/11/08
John Simson, SoundExchange 07/15/05
Dion Singer, Warner Bros. 12/07/09
Gram Slaton, The Community Arts Center 02/25/05
Owen Sloane, Gladstone Michel Weisberg Willner & Sloane 10/11/10
Peter Smidt, Eurosonic Noorderslag & manager Buma Cultuur 07/17/13
Garrison Snell, Gyrosity Projects 02/23/17
Mike Snider, Paradigm Talent Agency Nashville 05/17/11
Andrew Snowhite, Musictoday 05/04/01
Bruce Solar, The Agency Group 05/14/14
Nikki Solgot, Circle Talent Agency 02/18/15
Michael Solomon, Brick Wall Management 05/25/07
Mark Sonder, Mark Sonder Productions 07/25/08
Steve Sonnier, UIC Pavilion at the University of Illinois, Chicago 09/03/04
Kathy Spanberger, peermusic 06/20/12
Carolyn Specht, CIE USA Entertainment Inc. and OCESA PRESENTS Inc. 03/26/04
David Spelman, New York Guitar Festival 10/01/04
Jason Spiewak, Rock Ridge Music 04/07/06
Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts 11/29/12
Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts 02/18/05
Jeremy Stephan, Ventures, LLC 04/23/04
Walter Stewart, Mars Talent Agency 02/21/03
Gail Stocker, Gail Stocker Presents 11/12/04
Jon Stoll, Fantasma Productions 10/13/00
Jesse Stoll, AEG 06/27/09
Henry Stone, Henry Stone Music 06/24/05
Jason Stone, Live Nation New York 03/31/06
Howard Stovall, Resource Entertainment Group 05/28/04
Cameron Strang, New West Records 10/18/02
Don Strasburg, AEG Live Rocky Mountains 02/27/09
Barbara Strauss, Sovereign Ventures 05/12/06
Richard Stumpf, Cherry Lane Publishing 08/07/06
Deb Suckling, SUGARRUSH Music 07/27/17
Patrick Sullivan, RightsFlow 10/25/11
Bernie Swain & Harry Rhodes, Jr., Washington Speakers Bureau 12/07/00
Dean Swett, Paramour Group 06/14/02
Jake Szufnarowski, Rocks Off 05/02/08
Marc Tanner, Chime Entertainment 12/22/06
Donald Tarlton, The Donald K Donald Group 04/12/02
Tess Taylor, Los Angeles Music Network 08/09/02
Race Taylor, WPLJ - New York 10/27/06
Race Taylor, WPLJ - New York 10/27/06
Chris Taylor, Taylor 03/15/09
Peter Tempkins, DeWitt Stern Group 03/16/01
Peter Tempkins, Momentous Insurance Brokerage 03/27/09
Lisa Tenner, Tenner & Associates (EAT'M) 08/06/01
Jeremy Tepper, Diesel Only Records 10/10/03
Allan Tepper, Bicycle Music Company 09/28/07
Martin Terefe, Kensaltown Studios 05/31/11
Milun Tesovic, MetroLeap Media 10/18/09
Mandar Thakur, Times Music 08/06/15
Jerry Thompson, Promoter Line Inc. 03/05/04
Jose Tillan, MTV Networks Latin America 12/02/05
Jon Tiven, Hormone Studios 08/05/05
Adam Tobey, Concert Ideas 08/24/17
Rob Tonkin, Marketing Factory 12/17/15
John "J.T." Toomey, 25/8 Management 11/15/11
Livia Tortella, Warner Bros. Records 01/10/12
Phil Tripp, IMMEDIA! 01/19/06
Claudio Trotta, Barley Arts Promotion 11/26/01
Chris Tsakalakis, StubHub 01/11/10
Ben Turner, Graphite Media 05/10/10
Steve Vai, Favored Nations Entertainment 04/26/02
John Valentino, Fantasma Productions 04/18/03
John Valentino, AEG Live SE 11/01/10
Don Van Cleave, Coalition of Independent Music Stores 04/09/04
Casey Verbeck, Partners in Music 06/06/03
David "Boche" Viecelli, The Billions Corporation 04/18/10
Marsha Vlasic, Artist Group International 05/31/17
Mat Vlasic, Bravado 06/28/17
Ray Waddell, Billboard Magazine 08/27/04
Rob Waggener, Foundations Recovery Network 03/07/11
Jim Walczak, Racine Civic Centre 06/03/05
Jeff Walker, The AristoMedia Group 08/16/10
Carla Wallace, Big Yellow Dog Music 11/04/05
Russell Wallach, Live Nation Network 03/20/12
Steve Walter, The Cutting Room 10/24/08
Neil Warnock, The Agency Group 05/02/09
Diane Warren, Realsongs 08/14/09
Butch Waugh, RCA Label Group Nashville 01/10/03
Lauren Wayne, The State Theatre 05/09/12
Kirt Webster, Webster PR 02/03/16
Ken Weinstein, Big Hassle Media 04/22/05
Bruce Weinstein, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts 02/15/08
Larry Weintraub, Fanscape 05/18/01
Pam Weiser, Momentous Insurance Brokerage 10/11/11
Kevin Welk, Welk Music Group 01/24/12
D-J Wendt, Dmand Management 05/09/08
Alison Wenham, Worldwide Independent Network 02/13/09
Bill Werde, Billboard 08/03/11
Joel Whitburn, Record Research 11/13/09
Judd White, Tour Manager/Accountant 02/13/04
Jeff White, In Ticketing 12/16/06
Adam White, Author 09/14/16
Adam Wilkes, AEG Live Asia 10/13/16
Fenton Williams, 04/04/08
Del Williams, Right Arm Entertainment 04/18/08
Bryan "Birdman" Williams, Cash Money Records 09/13/11
Paul Williams, ASCAP 10/19/11
J.P. Williams, Parallel Entertainment 10/03/12
Kurt Willms, Green Room Productions 09/20/03
Chris Wilson, Heartbeat Records 03/02/07
Tony Wilson, Factory Records/In The City 06/01/07
Tom Windish, The Windish Agency 07/26/10
John Wiseman, XL Touring Video 05/05/06
Thom Wolke, Twincloud.com 02/08/02
Michael Wood, City Lights Entertainment 08/08/08
Keith Wortman, Blackbird Presents 03/22/17
Nigel Wright, Independant Record Producer 11/07/03
Dusty Wright, CultureCatch.com 07/27/07
Jeremiah “Ice” Younossi, A-List Talent 09/20/09
Gail Zappa, The Zappa Family Trust 10/02/14
Kevin 'Chief' Zaruk, Chief Music Management 06/10/15
Ron Zeelens, RAZco Visas 04/20/01
Rick Zeiler, Sidney Frank Importing Company 06/04/04
Danny Zelisko, Live Nation 06/19/09
Hillary Zuckerberg, Brick Wall Management. 07/09/04
Steve Zuckerman, Global Entertainment and Media Summit 03/22/02
Paul Zullo, Muze 01/23/04
Nanette Zumwalt, Hired Power 02/03/06

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