Music Biz 101 & More: The Podcast With Special Guest Paul Sinclair of Atlantic Records
Music Biz 101 & More: The Podcast With Special Guest Paul Sinclair of Atlantic Records
From L to R: Dr. Stephen Marcone, Paul Sinclair of Atlantic Records, student co-host Kari Keller, and Professor David Philp’s bad hair.

Music Biz 101 & More is the only radio show in America that focuses on the business side of the music & entertainment worlds.  Hosted by William Paterson University’s Dr. Stephen Marcone & Professor David Philp, the show airs each Wednesday at 8pm on WPSC-FM, Brave New Radio.

Music Biz 101 & More: The Podcast With Special Guest Paul Sinclair of Atlantic Records

In this episode, Paul Sinclair, Head of Digital Strategy, Marketing, eCommerce, and Product Development at Atlantic Records, talks about streaming and how labels & bands can optimize playlists to increase awareness and sales of their music.  The phrase “Big Data” is thrown around like a softball.  How DIY artists should be thinking when it comes to digital is also discussed.

This was the final podcast of Season #1, a season which featured these great guests:

  • Steve Leeds – Sirius/XM Radio
  • Karl Guthrie – Entertainment Attorney Extraordinaire
  • Dr. Rob Quicke – Founder of World College Radio Day
  • Dr. E. Michael Harrington – Copyright/Intellectual Property Expert
  • George Dassinger – PR Guru (that means Expert)
  • Aaron Van Duyne – Business Manager for KISS, Dave Matthews Band, and more
  • Harvey Leeds – Personal Manager for Southside Johnny
  • Tom Hefter – Marketing Specialist at TicketMaster
  • Elena Lanza – Independent Dance Radio Consultant
  • Dr. Dave Demsey – Coordinator Jazz Studies Program, William Paterson University

To read write-ups about every podcast and listen right away, just click HERE.

At about 5 minutes in, your hosts Philp & Marcone talk about the guest list for Season #2.

7 minutes in, student co-host Kari Keller chats about her summer internship opportunities and why she chose William Paterson University to pursue her MBA in Music Management.

Around 9:30, Mr. Paul Sinclair speaks about how he got into the music biz after a short stint in the defense industry.

Then at 15:30, the subject of streaming revenue from a record company perspective is discussed.  Sinclair talks about how to get more streams and how to get somebody to listen to your song in the first place. In this section, Sinclair talks about how 2/3 of streamed songs are catalog plays, not the new hits.  2/3 of songs heard are heard through playlists – personal playlists or playlists curated by services like Pitchfork and Spotify (not YouTube). Longer playlists do better because people skip through them.

Professor Philp interrupts at 20 minutes in to plug the Music Biz 101 & More Spotify playlist.  He interrupts again, now, by letting you see it below.

Moving on…

Sinclair goes with the playlist discussion, which he started, and mentions how the new Atlantic Records website features a playlist section.

At 21 minutes, the reasoning behind Apple purchasing Beats is discussed.  Sinclair reasons that Apple needs to be in streaming now and Beats provides that.

May, Mostly WPU & Radio Show 042
The pre-show notes. Lots of questions for Mr. Paul Sinclair.

Sinclair talks about Twitter and Shazam around 22 minutes in.

The Beats Music Service gets more talk at 25 minutes – headphones too.  Then Kari Keller, that student co-host we discussed a while back, asked how iTunes Radio fits in.

At 31:22, Philp asks Sinclair about the Warner relationship with Shazam, crowdsourcing artists, and Big Data in the the music biz.  Sinclair talks about how today’s A&R humans have been using data to help filter new artists their way.  The Shazam arrangement could conceivably work because there are so many unsigned artists who have music within the Shazam database.

At 37 minutes in, Philp gets emotional and rips into Pitbull, which somehow leads into Freddy Prinze Jr. and Robin Thicke.

38 minutes in, when Philp has settled down, he asks Paul Sinclair of Atlantic Records about the digital agency he created within the company and how it started.

41 minutes in, Sinclair explains why marketing people should deal with an artist’s career and the artist should focus on the music, which works when you’re signed to a label and marketing people are there for you.  DIY bands – keep doing both.  What’s your other choice?

Apps are discussed at 44 minutes in.  Where do they fit in an artist’s bag of tricks?

At 48 minutes in, Keller asks Sinclair about the future of digital.  Where is it going?

58 minutes in, Sinclair talks about how marketing an artist is about what fits the artist, not a “gimmicky thing” that doesn’t really match up.

Sinclair brings up Bubbly, which you can find out more about HERE.  (Jimmy Iovine, formerly of Interscope, founder of Beats and now a big dude at Apple, is on Bubbly’s Board of Advisors.)

**Special Note: @Spinclair read this post and had this to say about – “In the blog post you linked to ‘bubbly’ which is the voice app that Jimmy Iovine is (somehow) involved in, but I was actually referring to ‘bubbli’ the super amazing photo app which was acquired by dropbox.  This is one that I created in the winter — it works well on desktop, but even better on mobile with the app b/c you can either navigate with your finger or by spinning the phone in a circle – ”

So there.  Burn on us.

At 56:30, Sinclair talks about what DIY artists should be thinking when it comes to digital.

Finally, you hear a recap of the hour and the lessons learned.


One Reply to “Music Biz 101 & More: The Podcast With Special Guest Paul Sinclair of Atlantic Records”

  1. Aha! Bubbly IS an interesting idea (and a nice coincidence as we were talking about Jimmy and Beats), but I was referring to Bubbli – the spherical photo app. Try it out on your next vacation and you’ll love it as well!

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