No. 7

Rob Light

Managing partner/music head
Creative Artists Agency

POWER MOVE: With nearly 100 agents, Light’s CAA music department booked some 19,700 shows worldwide in 2012. That’s more than 10 million tickets, and $820 million in gross.

THE RUNDOWN: An agent is only as powerful as the artists he represents, and CAA’s Rob Light had some of the most popular and powerful clients in the world working in 2012. “Real power,” Light says, “is the ability to influence in a consistent and positive way over a long period of time.” Speaking of a long time, Light has been running CAA’s music operation since 1998.

Six CAA music clients made Billboard Boxscore’s list of the top 25 touring acts for 2012, topped by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band with 2.2 million tickets sold. All of those acts will be working in 2013, as will Bon Jovi, one of the few acts in history to finish as Billboard’s top tour twice in a three-year period. CAA’s music department of nearly 100 agents in Los Angeles, Nashville, London and New York booked some 19,700 shows worldwide in 2012, with clients grossing $820 million in ticket sales and moving more than 10 million tickets.

CAA is changing, broadening its influence on artist careers in other areas like sponsorships, media and philanthropy. In addition, the agency bolstered its roster of concert artists during the past year by adding Britney Spears, PSY, the Eagles, Journey, Eminem, Kanye West, Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige, Pitbull and others.

With those names, those types of numbers and the power of the CAA roster, it’s easy to see why Light is optimistic about the future of music. But he also sees challenges ahead, including new ways to effectively reach consumers with so many entertainment options available. “That’s a challenge for the record business, for radio and for us,” he says. “How do we communicate with consumers in an effective, passionate, responsive way?”

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