D10: Ari Emmanuel + Spotify

Two very interesting interviews from the D10 conference.

Sean Parker at D10 / Sean Parker (with limited input from Daniel Ek) from Spotify.

Ari Emmanuel at D10 / Ari Emmanuel from WME

I’m sure most people think one is the visionary and the other is out of touch. I’m just not sure they are right about which one is which.

Bob Lefsetz on the Parker video – “You’ll end up hating Sean Parker.”

Ek: “As we are the second largest revenue stream for the labels, then by definition we are the second largest revenue stream for the artists too.”

Ek makes a surprisingly rookie error by assuming that because Spotify is the second largest revenue source for the labels, it is therefore the second largest revenue source for artists. Absolutely not true – not by a long way. What about live performance, publishing, merchandise, endorsements etc?

Emmanuel may rub people the wrong way – but you cannot deny his success and what he has delivered for WME and its clients in a decade of radical entertainment transformation. His comments re Verizon and Google are certainly unpopular in the tech world but still valid. In one video you have Sean Parker almost taking joy in the erosion of value he helped destroy within the music industry, dodging questions around payments to artists; and on the other you have the ‘greedy agent’ trying to build value within content creators and industries and wondering why tech companies don’t seem too concerned with protecting entertainment content and IP.

Watching these videos – one seems honest and raw, the other seems slick and sales-heavy. Which one will the artists trust? My thoughts is they’d lean towards Emmanuel every time. At least they will know with WME what deal they’re on …


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