After leaving his post last year as chairman/CEO of EMI Music's Capitol Music Group, Jason Flom jumped right back in the game.
First he entered a joint-venture partnership with Universal Republic, which is providing marketing, promotion, sales and distribution services for his newly relaunched Lava Records imprint. Flom launched the original Lava Records in 1995 and Warner Music Group, which retains the original Lava's catalog, granted Flom the right to use the name.
Now he's extending the Lava brand into publishing with Lava Music Publishing, a joint venture with Cherry Lane Music Publishing. Their first signing is Pop Evil, a Grand Rapids, Mich., band that has a recording contract with Universal Republic.
"We already have things happening in the synch world," says Richard Stumpf, senior VP of creative services and marketing at Cherry Lane. "So to me this is a quintessential example where it works. Having Jason in the role he's in on the label side is really going to help fast track a lot of things that might normally be slow in the label licensing process. It comes in a different context when Jason's attached, which is great."
In a joint interview, Flom and Stumpf discuss how their partnership came together and what to expect.
How did you decide to start this joint venture?
Jason Flom: All the credit for that goes to Rich. For years he had called me every quarter or so. My phone would ring and it would be Rich and he would say, "Can you do a publishing deal with us?" And I'd say, "I'd love to but as the chairman of a major label, they won't allow me to do publishing deals." So as soon as I left Capitol and started my own thing again, the answer was easy. Rich called me as he always does and I said, "Let's go."
When Cherry Lane was courting Jason, what kind of partnership did it have in mind?
Richard Stumpf: Pretty much exactly what we've done—a joint venture where Jason is the eyes and ears. The guy has an impeccable record with talent, and he's got the drive. It's a situation where he's out there finding the talent and we're doing what we do on a publishing level to execute once it's in the house.
Why move into music publishing?
Flom: The real question would be, "Why not?" Publishing's such a great business. It has obviously held up better than the record business has. And there's a real opportunity to build an asset that could be meaningful. It's also something fun to do because I haven't done it before.
What will be the biggest adjustment for you as you get more involved in publishing?
Click here for the full interview, which includes Flom's reasoning for not partnering with Universal Music Group Publishing, the advantages Cherry Lane offers as an independent publisher and more.