Chart Beat Podcast: RCA's Joe Riccitelli on Zayn, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake & More

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Chart Beat Podcast: Zayn Malik, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake

The label's EVP/GM discusses his nearly two decades of promoting hits for the label, including his current batch.

"Artists need to have creative freedom to be and do whatever they want. Our job isn't to put them in a lane. Our job is to take that vision, and that voice, and promote it."

In the new episode of the Chart Beat Podcast, RCA Records executive vp/GM Joe Riccitelli chats with Billboard co-director of charts and host Gary Trust about how the label promotes hits by its vast roster of star acts. The key to getting airplay, which translates to sales? "Being passionate, being competitive [and] being honest," Riccitelli says.

The label vet also addresses the economic realities of the industry, having seen album sales drop sharply since the early 2000s. "We have had to adjust our business model," he says. "If you think you're going to be making money hand over fist, you're not. There are still [industries] that will, but this is not one of them.

"Which is fine," Riccitelli says. "I still am as passionate about breaking music and breaking artists as I was 30 years ago."

Riccitelli also runs down the latest projects from a host of RCA acts, including P!nk, Sia (Is she as shy as her mysterious image projects?), Zayn, Pitbull, Elle King, Justin Timberlake (When can we expect his next album?) and Britney Spears ("A single sometime this summer").

Previous episodes:
Chart Beat Founder Paul Grein / Fred Bronson on His 'Billboard Book of Number One Hits' / Hit Songs Deconstructed Analyzes Drake & Selena Gomez Smashes / WTBU's Anne Donohue on What Makes College Radio Great / Curb Records Founder Mike Curb on More Than 50 Years of Making Hits / News Director Shirley Halperin on How Billboard Covers the Music Industry

Enjoy the entire latest Chart Beat Podcast and stay tuned for more upcoming episodes with label execs, radio programmers, songwriters, producers and more, all with the goal of analyzing how hits happen.

And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!