By WPU Music Biz Student Christine Soriano
Justin Bieber? Carly Rae Jepsen? Psy? You all probably heard of them. If you know them, You must get to know the man behind the artists. None of them would have been where they are today without Mr. Scott Braun, Later known as Scooter Braun, himself. He found early success in Atlanta’s hip-hop scene, hosting major parties for celebrities like Britney Spears and Ludacris, and the 2003 NBA All-Star Game, all while still enrolled at Emory University. Eventually, he was hired to plan after-parties on the Anger Management Tour which featured rappers Eminem and Ludacris. His big break came when Jermaine Dupri of So So Def took him and gave him a marketing position. As a sophomore, he was able to go for larger events such as 2003 NBA All-Star Game party and also the after-parties on Spears’ Onyx Hotel Tour. After a few years, Braun left So So Def and started doing his own private venture. Braun opened up two record labels: School Boy Records. and Raymond-Braun Media Group (RBMG), RBMG is co-owned with r&b singer Usher.
Inside the Mastermind of Top Manager: Scooter Braun
His big break came through when he discovered the Young Canadian off a Social Media Website called, YouTube. After, he became his manager and helped the Canadian star explode into being arguably the most famous entertainer in the world. With the success of clients Justin Bieber and Asher Roth, Scooter Braun has earned his role as one of the music industry’s most promising young executives. He now works primarily as a talent manager and runs his own record label, Schoolboy Records. He is also the co-founder of Raymond-Braun Media Group with recording artist, Usher Raymond. How did he accomplish so much than entrepreneurs twice his age?
First of all, he used social media to find his top client and internet sensation through YouTube. He knew how kids spend more time on there than anywhere else and makes his client, Justin Bieber live in that space. That’s why Justin literally answers fans directly every single day. Of course, It didn’t come in a silver platter for Scooter. It was hard for him to find companies that wanted to sign Bieber because he didn’t have a Disney or Nickelodeon show, and because no one had ever broken in through YouTube. At the time, Justin Timberlake had the biggest YouTube star in the world, Esmee Denters, and it hadn’t worked yet. Supposedly, the only way minors have broken over the past years was through having their own Disney or Nickelodeon show and they wouldn’t be interested otherwise. A lot of labels didn’t believe in views translating into sales.
He saw the loophole and took risks with his clients. Something different than what his competitors did and succeeded in was that they were very strategic with how they introduced stuff and when they introduced it. He had his finger on the pulse because he has his clients communicate directly with the consumer, with the fans. They left the fans tell them what they wanted at time and constantly kept surprising them, and kept their word, and that’s the most important thing. As his clients became bigger and bigger, they continue to tweet often, post YouTube videos, and spends time on Facebook. He believed that there’s a sense of discovery and a sense of ownership. With Justin Bieber, The kids found him. They didn’t find him on the radio; they didn’t find him through Def Jam, or even through Scooter’s recommendation. They found him by Scooter simply letting Justin introduce himself over the internet, like any other teenager would. They built his brand through word-of-mouth. Scooter Braun said it himself, “At the end of the day, the secret to the marketing was to keep it organic and authentic. Make the kids realize that it’s theirs. Don’t overproduce the videos. Don’t try and put in special editing. Just let the kids sing and play his guitar and if he’s the real deal the kids will run with it because they’ll feel like it’s theirs, and have their own self-discovery.”
Scooter Braun’s job includes developing revenue streams that record labels wouldn’t think of. “This isn’t a dying business, this is a changing business,” he says. The scale of Bieber Inc. is daunting: The newly legal teen’s 2011 concert documentary film “Never Say Never” raked in $100 million globally. His live shows around the world bring in $600,000 in gross ticket sales per night. Psy’s 900 million video views and 1.3 billion YouTube account visits have resulted in $870,000 worth of ad revenue sharing. From the 2.7 million iTunes downloads Psy has earned $2.4 million. His streaming revenues are relatively paltry, a mere $60,000. Psy has also earned an estimated $4.6 million from endorsement deals with brands like Samsung.
“I live life and try and smile as much as possible. Family and friends are everything.” – “That was my first real lesson. At the end of the day, you could be a hell of a marketer, but you’re only as good as what you’re marketing.” -Scooter Braun