Best Advice for a Young Indie Artist: “Learn the business side of music, how deals work, especially on rights. It’s a complex industry.”
Emmanuel Zunz, 47
Nashville-based OneRPM, an indie digital distribution company, continued to expand its international presence (with staff now in 20 locations worldwide) while creating a new content management system to improve the quality of service it provides to clients, says Zunz. “It’s a way for us to manage marketing globally, allowing us to create campaigns and [oversee] them across all our 20 offices. It enables us to be held accountable” with the ability to measure performance. Looking ahead, he adds, the new system “will allow us to scale our business without sacrificing quality of service to our clients.”Urgent indie issue “[With the] consolidation of indie distribution, the amount of money going for artist advances is absolutely insane.”
Contributors: Trevor Anderson, Katie Bain, Steve Baltin, Alexei Barrionuevo, Jeff Benjamin, Harley Brown, Ed Christman, Tatiana Cirisano, Leila Cobo, Danica Daniel, Steven Edelstone, Griselda Flores, Bianca Gracie, Hilary Hughes, Steve Knopper, Carl Lamarre, Joe Levy, Geoff Mayfield, Gail Mitchell, Melinda Newman, Paula Parisi, Glenn Peoples, Bryan Reesman, Annie Reuter, Jessica Roiz, Craig Rosen, Dan Rys, Taylor Weatherby, Deborah Wilker, Nick Williams
Methodology: The record companies featured on Billboard’s Indie Power Players list are defined as independent because they are not owned by one of the three major music groups: Sony, Warner and Universal. Distributors are defined as independent, regardless of ownership, based on the repertoire they market, largely from labels not under the majors’ umbrellas. Billboard editors and reporters weighed a variety of factors in determining the 2020 Indie Power Players list including, but not limited to, nominations by peers, colleagues and superiors at selected music companies, as well as recommendations by indie trade group A2IM. In addition to nominations, editors weigh the success of each executive’s label or distributor as measured by chart, sales and streaming performance. Career trajectory and industry impact were also considered. Unless otherwise noted, Billboard Boxscore and Nielsen Music/MRC Data are the sources for tour grosses and sales/streaming data, respectively. Nielsen is also the source for radio audience metrics. Unless otherwise noted, album streaming figures cited represent collective U.S. on-demand audio totals for an album’s tracks, and song/artist streaming figures represent U.S. on-demand audio and video totals.
This article originally appeared in the June 13, 2020 issue of Billboard.