Business

Exclusive: Sony Music Forms Disruptor With Chainsmokers Manager

Doug Morris accepts the Howie Richmond Hitmaker honoree at the 2013 Songwriters Hall of Fame.
 Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame

Doug Morris accepts the Howie Richmond Hitmaker honoree at the 2013 Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Sony Music Entertainment CEO Doug Morris has signed a joint venture artistic development deal with the Chainsmokers' manager Adam Alpert that will see the formation of Disruptor Management.

In addition to a management firm, the new company will field Disruptor Records, an imprint that will sign artists and take a long-term stance in developing them by using direct artist-to-fan communication channels. Further, the deal provides for Disruptor to also take advantage of traditional record label marketing capabilities by partnering with other labels within the Sony family on an artist-by-artist basis, according to Alpert.

While the new firm has yet to sign any deals, Alpert says he has been establishing relationships with several artists over the last few months with the intention of bringing them aboard the company's roster.

Alpert says partnering with Morris and Sony Music will allow Disruptor to develop new opportunities for its artists.

"Being a disruptor is about shaking things up, and with this new venture we plan to offer artists a different kind of music company, one that offers a full suite of services and develops artists using a more millennial-focused approach," Alpert says.

Chief among his artist development philosophy is engaging fans beyond the normal boundaries laid out between music artists and its audience.

For instance, he says that fans don't necessarily want to idolize artist and would rather be more involved with them "like a peer. They want to be part of the experience with the act."

When bands are pursuing their career, they're working with concert promoters, mercy companies, labels -- all potentially with varied goals. Alpert says "my role is to find what is best for the band to to connect them directly to their fans." Currently, he cites social media and live venues as integral to his approach.

"Adam Alpert is an exciting young entrepreneur with a strong vision for creating success through fresh approaches to artist development -- that includes building fan bases in nightclubs, online and through direct connections with fans," Morris said in a statement. "We are delighted to welcome him to the Sony Music family."

In addition to managing the Chainsmokers, which are not a part of the deal, Alpert previously spent eight years as director of marketing and promotion for the Butter Group, a hospitality company.

In his new role, Alpert says he expects to sign bands to 360 deals, whereby he would manage the groups as well as release their music through Sony labels. But he also says there is room for Disruptor to work with artists who already have a manager, as long as they share similar philosophies about what is needed to build a long-term career and how to interact with the fan base.

When Alpert signs a band the initial work to help build the fan base will be done by Disruptor, he says. Then, Disruptor will look at the Sony family of labels to see which label shares his company's philosophy about an act. Moreover, Disruptor will also likely deploy the option of using Sony's indie distributor, RED, and its label service division, RED Associated Labels.

"I have been developing acts under the radar and when I manage someone I want it to be forever," Alpert says.