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The Music Business Worldwide Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

Music Business Worldwide (MBW) is the leading information and jobs service for the global music industry. It publishes two podcasts: The weekly series, Talking Trends – which dives behind the headlines in the music industry – as well as The MBW Podcast, which sees us interview some of the leading figures in the global business.

Music Business Worldwide (MBW) is the leading information and jobs service for the global music industry. It publishes two podcasts: The weekly series, Talking Trends – which dives behind the headlines in the music industry – as well as The MBW Podcast, which sees us interview some of the leading figures in the global business.


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Music Business Worldwide (MBW) is the leading information and jobs service for the global music industry. It publishes two podcasts: The weekly series, Talking Trends – which dives behind the headlines in the music industry – as well as The MBW Podcast, which sees us interview some of the leading figures in the global business.




Spotify Vs. Songwriters (The Redux): David Israelite, CEO, NMPA

Late yesterday (October 14), the National Music Publishers' Association made the claim that a number of digital service owners – including Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and Pandora – are trying to cut the amount of money they pay songwriters in the US to the "lowest royalty rates in history". That claim was made by David Israelite, CEO and President of the NMPA, in reference to a new rate-setting procedure in the States involving the Copyright Royalty Board ('CRB IV') that has just got...


Adele's back with new album 30... but what are we expecting? (Talking Trends)

Welcome to the latest episode of Talking Trends, the weekly podcast from Music Business Worldwide – where we go deep behind the headlines of two major news stories affecting the entertainment industry. This week, host Louise Porter and MBW founder Tim Ingham discuss the return of Adele with her new album 30, now confirmed for release on November 19. In Ingham's words, we're already seeing strong evidence of the British superstar "doing things her way" when it comes to the record, and the...


What will be music's next big buyout? (Talking Trends)

Welcome to the debut episode of Music Business Worldwide's Talking Trends podcast. Each week on Talking Trends, host Louise Porter and Music Business Worldwide founder, Tim Ingham, will delve behind the headlines of two major news stories affecting the entertainment industry. In this episode, Ingham ruminates on where music's next big music rights buyout will come from – and the relevance of Scarlett Johansson's recently-settled Disney lawsuit for the music business. Talking Trends is...


Is Timbaland about to revolutionize music production (again) with Beatclub?

Online marketplaces selling music beats and samples are big business. Los Angeles-based Splice has raised over $150 million to date, including a recent round led by Goldman Sachs. The latest entrant to this fast-growing sector comes with a twist. Multi-grammy-winning producer Timbaland is launching Beatclub alongside his long-term manager, Gary Marella, who is our guest on the Music Business Worldwide podcast here. Marella is founder of Mono Music Group, and boasts over two decades of...


Troy Carter, Founder, Q&A: 'The music industry has to change the business model; it's as simple as that.'

Troy Carter has seen the music business from all sides. He was the manager of superstar artists like Lady Gaga and Eve at Los Angeles-based Atom Factory; he was also an early investor in Spotify, Uber and Lyft. Now, he's the latest guest on the Music Business Worldwide podcast. In 2016, he joined Spotify full-time as the platform's global head of Creator Services, with a direct line into Spotify CEO & founder, Daniel Ek. There, Carter helped transform the record industry into a...


Biff Stannard, Songwriter: Spice Girls, Kylie and a Near-Death Experience

On paper, Richard "Biff" Stannard is having one of the toughest years of his life. But music, as it has time and time again, has steered him away from the shadows – and towards celebration. Stannard says that his songwriting style has always been to "write myself happy". This approach has led to him writing and producing some of the fizziest and most successful pop songs of all time, including a run of Spice Girls' hits such as Wannabe – a timeless No.1 record in both the US and the...


Larry Mestel, CEO, Primary Wave: Bob Marley, Whitney Houston, and Spending $800 million

Is Larry Mestel about to raise a billion dollars? Don't bet against it. Mestel's Primary Wave has already raised over $800m in the past four years via two IP funds: a $300m fund in 2016, backed by Black Rock, and a further $500m-plus fund launched last year. This money has been used by Primary Wave to acquire assets that live up to the company's billing as "the home of legends". As such, Primary Wave now owns substantial stakes in the song catalogs of the likes of Ray Charles, Bob Marley,...


Poo Bear, Songwriter: Justin Bieber, Black Lives Matter, and Being Hit By A Tornado

Jason Boyd aka Poo Bear is one of the most successful songwriters working in the modern US pop music industry. During a storied and Grammy-winning career, he's written and/or produced tracks for the likes of Pink, User, Lupe Fiasco, Chris Brown, Mariah Carey and Ty Dolla Sign. He's perhaps best known as a long-time collaborator of Justin Bieber, for whom Poo Bear has co-written hits like What Do You Mean?, Where Are U Now? (with Jack U) and Yummy, as well as working on Bieber's...


Mattias Tengblad, CEO, Corite: Raising $1 million direct from fans

Mattias Tengblad is co-founder and CEO of Stockholm-based Corite, which believes it can revolutionize the way artists generate money from their recorded music. Corite is, at first glance, a simple digital distributor, in the same core space as TuneCore, CD Baby, United Masters, Ditto etc. But it has a key difference: Corite enables fans to directly invest in artists themselves – and then take a share of money paid out to these artists from future streaming royalties. As such, it enables...


Dooney Battle, CEO, Tha Lights Global: Lil Pump, Dominic Fike and Turning Down $5 million

Dooney Battle is CEO & Founder of Tha Lights Global – a record label, publisher and artist management company whose clients include Dominic Fike and Lil Pump. Lil Pump previously signed to Warner Records in an $8m deal but now, two albums on, is back independent and releasing with Tha Lights Global direct, via distributor Vydia. Battle initially built Tha Lights Global as a home for social media influencers, especially on Musical-ly – the karaoke app which would go on to power...


Merck Mercuriadis, CEO, Hipgnosis: Spending $1 billion on Songs

Merck Mercuriadis is Founder & CEO of UK-based Hipgnosis Songs Fund, which has acquired songs – or pieces of songs – that have fuelled hits like Rihanna's Umbrella, Al Green's Let's Stay Together, Ed Sheeran's Shape Of You, Beyoncé's Single Ladies, The Chainsmokers' Closer and many more. Hipgnosis floated on the London Stock Exchange in July 2018 and, according to Mercuriadis, as of April 2020, has spent over a billion dollars acquiring music catalogs.


Steve Stoute, CEO, UnitedMasters: 'That's not the record business, man – that's the lottery business!'

Steve Stoute is the founder and CEO of UnitedMasters – the US-based music distribution and services platform that in 2017 raised $70 million from backers including Google/Alphabet and 20th Century Fox. UnitedMasters has signed brand partnership deals with the likes of the NBA and Apple Music, while helping break artists like NLE Choppa who – according to Stoute – signed an $8 million deal with Warner Records last year. Stoute knows about the major label world: he's the ex-President of...


Milana Rabkin Lewis, CEO, Stem: 'Our ambitions are bigger than just being a distributor.'

Stem is one of the most talked-about companies in music distribution. The Los Angeles-based company was founded by Milana Rabkin Lewis (pictured) in 2015, and has raised over $12m to date, reportedly from figures including Scooter Braun and Mark Cuban. Here, Rabkin Lewis sets out Stem's vision for the future of the music industry, and explains why Stem quit DIY distribution last year to focus on making tools – particularly financial tools – for VIP artists.


David Israelite, CEO, NMPA: Spotify vs. Songwriters

David Israelite is President and CEO of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA). The NMPA is up in arms over the fact that Spotify and Amazon - in addition to Google and Pandora – are objecting to a ruling offering songwriters a streaming pay rise in the United States. Apple Music has declined to oppose the royalty rate rise, which has been decided by the Copyright Royalty Board. David explains: "[Spotify and Amazon] have shown their true colors. They don't respect songwriters,...


Kerry Trainor, CEO, SoundCloud: 'We're in a much clearer place now.'

An exclusive interview with SoundCloud CEO Kerry Trainor on the MBW Podcast. Trainor, who took charge of SoundCloud in August 2017, discusses a range of topics with MBW, including SoundCloud's power for emerging artists, the company's financial health, his hopes for the future of the industry and Spotify's recent flotation on the New York Stock Exchange.


Justin Tranter, Songwriter: 'I'm just going to be honest...'

An interview with Justin Tranter, one of the most in-demand pop songwriters in the world today. Tranter has written hits for the likes of Selena Gomez, Fifth Harmony, Justin Bieber, Gwen Stefani and Britney Spears.


Mike Caren, CEO, APG: 'I hate the word rules.'

An interview with Mike Caren, the founder of APG. Mike Caren started his career in A&R 21 years ago, aged 17, at Atlantic subsidiary Big Beat Records. Since then, he has signed or co-signed over 20 artists that have achieved gold or platinum status. From 2009 to 2012, he served as Co-President alongside John Janick of the relaunched Elektra Records (Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Cee Lo Green). He established Artist Partners Group in 2013 as a sister company to Artist Publishing Group, which is...


Justin Kalifowitz, CEO, Downtown: 'The amount of uncleared music online is insane.'

From John Lennon to Ray Davies, Randy Newman, Hans Zimmer and One Direction, New York-born Downtown Music Publishing represents some of the most valuable and beloved songwriting copyrights in existence. Justin Kalifowitz is the New York firm's founder and CEO.


Alan McGee, Founder, Creation Records: 'I really hate music biz events.'

Creation Records/Management founder Alan McGee discusses his new label, as well as Creation, Oasis, Primal Scream and working with the major labels.


Chris Wright, Founder, Chrysalis: 'Do I regret selling it? Yes.'

Chrysalis co-founder Chris Wright discusses his career, the major labels and how it feels to sell a music biz legend.