John Janick: The 2014 Billboard Power 100
NO. 19

John Janick

President/COO, Interscope Geffen A&M

Piloting IGA to No. 1 in total album market share with Robin Thicke, Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons

This time last year, John Janick of Fueled by Ramen and Elektra fame was just four months into his new role as president of Interscope Geffen A&M, and the company had ended 2012 in second place with a 7.5% market share.

Asked to assess Janick’s impact after nine months in the post, IGA chairman/CEO Jimmy Iovine summed it up in one word: clarity. “Efficiency is a real talent,” he said. “John knows how to read everyone’s instincts, and mine. It’s a better company than it was before he got here.”

And the ensuing months bore that out. Thanks to a global song-of-summer smash (Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”) as well as additional wins on the singles and albums fronts (Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Eminem)—Interscope wrapped up 2013 as the No. 1 label in total albums plus TEA market share with 7.7%. Also capping the year: a bumper crop of Grammy Award nominations. The list includes record of the year nods for both Thicke and Imagine Dragons plus seven nods for rapper Lamar, hinging on album of the year and best new artist.

“It’s about trying to make sure you’re nimble, and that you’re able to do things differently than the way business was done in the past,” Janick says.

And therein lies the challenge, he adds. “Things are shifting,” he says. “It’s a completely different world: retail, branding, the delivery and monetizing of music. You saw that this year with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Beyoncé. The shift into streaming and online radio is also interesting. Streaming is gaining traction, but how does that balance out with downloading and physical? It all morphs into what’s still the biggest challenge yet: figuring out how it all shakes out.”

In 2014 Janick says the label will continue to make inroads with breakthrough acts Lamar, Imagine Dragons and the 1975.