Monte & Avery Lipman
POWER MOVE: Breaking new acts like Gotye and Of Monsters and Men, and adding prime labels to a distribution roster that includes Big Machine and Cash Money.
THE RUNDOWN: If you’re looking for a distributing label deal with Universal Music Group (UMG), it seems Republic is the destination of choice. In addition to Big Machine and Cash Money, other prime labels including Rick Rubin’s American Recordings, Jason Flom’s Lava and Tom Whalley’s Seven Four Entertainment all go through Republic. Based on Nielsen SoundScan data, Billboard estimates Big Machine and Cash Money make up about 3% of the 7.3% market share in albums plus TEA (track-equivalent albums) that made Republic the third-largest label in the United States in 2012.
Labels like to do deals with Republic because the company has a proven track record of breaking new bands, and Republic started out in 1996 under Universal Records’ umbrella. As a result, Monte and Avery Lipman know how label chiefs want to be treated and how to nurture the distributing-label relationship. Other than Jimmy Iovine (No. 10) at Interscope, the Lipmans have the second-longest tenure running a front-line major. They feel their success has much to do with their business hustle and simplicity.
Monte says that, as a new label lacking catalog, Republic has no choice but to break newcomers like Gotye and Of Monsters and Men. UMG insiders cite another ingredient that helps propel Republic: Of all the UMG label heads, the Lipmans are the most engaged in using social media as a marketing tool.
Monte & Avery Lipman photo by John Ricard