What did you wake up thinking about this morning? Because I have twins, I usually check on them first thing when I get up. And then I move on to worrying about all the deals and publishing acquisitions in the pipeline right now and making sure they are getting done. Also, we are targeting to raise about $200 million and have raised about half of that.?
Describe a lesson you’ve learned from a failure. One thing that you need to be careful of in publishing is acquiring music that uses samples that haven’t been cleared. We did a deal with one group and even though they stated that they cleared all the samples, they didn’t. It put a break on all the licensing activity. You have to be careful with anything that incorporates a lot of samples. Even if you can’t hear it, there could be a lot [of samples] going on.?
What will define your career in the coming year? Having started Round Hill Music from scratch in 2010, in the coming year we will deploy another $50 million to make investments, which means we should be managing assets of about $200 million. We look at acquiring music publishing and master recordings, with the vast majority of that falling into older, iconic music. But we will sign new writers too. We just closed on signing Big Tractor [Music]. We have also had huge success with one of our young band signings, American Authors. Their single “Best Day of My Life” has been licensed for a wide variety of uses from the new Vince Vaughn film “Delivery Man” to a French Hyundai commercial to a commercial for New Zealand Telecom. This single was also the featured song of the recent New York Marathon and aired 11 times throughout the day on ABC TV. It is only now becoming a hit song on the radio. [During the week of Nov. 12, the song reached No. 17 on Billboard’s Adult Top 40 chart, and has sold 185,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.]?
Name a project that you’re not affiliated with that has most impressed you in the past year. We met with the top folks at the Harry Fox Agency and they showed us their new internal system to monetize YouTube. I was very impressed in how far they have come in understanding how YouTube monetization works. It ties our songs’ registration to a particular video so that YouTube knows who to pay on the user-generated content.?
Who’s your most important mentor, and what did you learn? Two people: Former Bug CEO John Rudolph has given me a lot of good advice since I started Round Hill. Another is Stephen Finfer from Arthouse. He and Rudolph have nurtured me along the way and have both been there when I needed advice.?
Name a desert island album. John Scofield’s “A Go Go.” In my mind, it’s the best jazz-funk record of the last 30 years.