Peter Edge & Tom Corson
CEO & President/COO
RCA Music Group
The Sounding Board...
"I haven't been in promotion or management; I'm coming at it from the music side," Peter Edge (pictured) told Billboard when he became CEO. "So I will put the focus on A&R." That's something Edge has been doing since the launch of J Records-founded by another keen set of ears, Clive Davis. At J, Edge signed Alicia Keys, Dido and Jamie Foxx. During four years as RCA's president of A&R, he worked with Pitbull, Mike Posner and Marsha Ambrosius-and lately, the elusive D'Angelo. He now helms a roster (combining Jive, Arista and J) that includes Ke$ha, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Chris Brown, R. Kelly, Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson and Justin Timberlake. In 2011, RCA posted a 6.6% market share, second to sister Columbia's 8.7%, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Edge's mandate in 2012: expand its R&B and pop dominance, and build up hip-hop and rock. Pegged for those goals are releases by D'Angelo, Leona Lewis and rock act Walk the Moon, plus strategic co-publishing deals with Sony/ATV. Promoted alongside Edge and overseeing promotion, marketing, digital, sales and other operations is president/COO Tom Corson. The former RMG executive VP/GM has also been with the company since J's inception. Sharing his philosophy in the same issue of Billboard as Edge, Corson said, "It's very clear we need to be artist-centric. We will have more circular conversations in that with some artists, we will have [360 deals] and in other instances we will have to support an artist's overall branding initiative. Change provides opportunities, even if it's not always without pain." Edge added, "We want to up the ante for RCA and rebrand it. There's a quiet revolution going on. What we're really talking about is not a record label, but becoming a music company."
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