Most adults save up for a house or a new car as their first major purchase. Courtney Holt saved up to buy a nightclub — the Echo in Los Angeles. His passion for music dates back to his teens, when he worked three gigs — reviewing albums for the Boston Herald, managing venues and clerking at a record store — to pay his way through college. He later became head of new media at A&M Records, then senior VP of new media at Interscope Geffen A&M. He’s also been executive VP of digital strategy at MTV Networks and president of Myspace Music. Now, as COO of Maker Studios, the 45-year-old executive is still in the music biz. One of the videos in Maker’s network, “Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney,” earned a gold certification from the RIAA in August, primarily on the strength of the clip’s 38.3 million YouTube views, which now count toward the RIAA’s certification program.
6:00 AM I do an early run around the Silver Lake Reservoir.
7:30 AM Driving to the office, I connect with our U.K. team to go over a few key talent and sales partnerships and coordinate my forthcoming trip over.
8:30 AM Quick check-in with the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation, which is a nonprofit record label I started with a few close friends eight years ago to revisit lost Jewish music. We have a project coming out in November telling the story of the Jewish/Latin music scene from the 1940s to the 1980s.
9:00 AM I do my daily debrief with Maker’s executive chairman, Ynon Kreiz. We go over everything — current audience metrics, deals, key projects.
10:00 AM Jump on a quick call with the Gregory Brothers in New York and our programming lead there to talk about a project for early next year. Beyond making some of the most well-known YouTube videos, those guys are some of the most creative musicians I’ve had the pleasure to work with.
12:30 PM Working on-site lunch with Ryan Lissack, Maker’s chief technical officer, and his team for new product deep-dive.
1:30 PM I reached out to Will.i.am to get his feedback on a video project.
3:00 PM I take a four-block walk to our soundstage down the street to check out a shoot for “Epic Rap Battles zof History.” “ERB” gets well over 30 million views an episode now.
4:00 PM In the middle of a staff meeting, Andrew W.K. busts into the conference room. He wants to check on the status of a show we are developing together.
6:30 PM I do a call with Maker Asia, where we’re looking to expand our presence.
8:00 PM Dinner at the Elf Cafe with Mitchell Frank, founder of the Spaceland nightclub in Los Angeles. Mitchell and I, along with some friends, came together 11 years ago to open the Echo and the Echoplex.
9:30 PM Mitchell and I swing by the Echoplex for a quick drink and to see Big Black Delta play.