Milken Conference: Irving Azoff Says Technology Services 'Lack Respect' for Artist IP

Irving Azoff

During a panel on the evolution of the music industry, the music mogul said he's bullish on the future.

Speaking to a packed room at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Tuesday, Irving Azoff said he's hopeful about the future of the music industry despite "the lack of respect" for IP from a lot of technology services.

Azoff was speaking at a panel about the evolution of music and the music consumer. Joining him was manager Scooter Braun, Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge, CAA head of music Rob Light, Clear Channel CEO Robert Pittman and Insomniac Events CEO Pasquale Rotella. 

The panel covered a wide range of topics, from streaming music to the growing popularity of electronic dance music. The sentiment among the panelists was optimism about the future of the recording industry. 

"One thing that's a common theme is that all the sectors are more cooperative," Azoff said. "Everyone is really working hand-in-hand, and I think everyone is making more money."

Braun, noting that he was the relative newcomer on the panel of music industry veterans, also addressed the changing landscape, saying "everyone here is no longer just in the music business." 

Rotella, who has witnessed the growth of the live event industry through his EDM concerts Electronic Daisy Carnival and others, echoed that sentiment, adding, "It's not just about the artist, not at our events anyway. It's the whole package."

He added that the rise of EDM has meant big payouts for many of the artists he books. 

"Some of these guys are getting paid as much as $1 million for one gig. They don't split that with anyone except an agent and manager," he said. "These guys are making more money than I ever thought." 

The panelists were all generally bullish on the future of music and the growth of the streaming business. But at one point Light and Pittman debated how the rise of on-demand music services has affected the radio industry. The Clear Channel chief was defensive about the role that radio will play with future generations, arguing that "radio will be even more relevant in the streaming era." 

The panel was moderated by Guggenheim Media's John Amato