*Troy Marshall is a music business veteran that has over 20 years in the game. He has shaped the careers of acts like Nelly, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Common and so many others.
While less visible than his other executive counterparts such as Jimmy Iovine, and Sylvia Rhone, Marshall continues to be a driving and creative force in the record industry which has been suffering as of late.
Serving as the VP of Rap Promotion and Lifestyle Marketing for Interscope/Geffen Records, Marshall’s eye for talent and professional experience make him a well sought after industry insider.
Marshall recently spoke with EURweb about the current state of the music industry, creating new streams of revenue, and why some records get pushed back.
With the advancement of technology and downloading in particular, the relative ease in which one can obtain music content for free is mind blowing. The recording industry is struggling to find new ways to make money under these circumstances. Marshall gave his take on this and how the music business will over come:
“I still believe in the music business. People are still buying records. I think people like Susan Boyle and Eminem proved that. We have had to be more cautious about how we spend our money. In addition we have had to come up with other ways of making money like giving artist ‘360-deals.'”
“360-deals” are contractual agreements in which the record company shares in the profits of all of the artist’s revenue streams, traditional and nontraditional, alike. Money that an artist usually made apart from the proceeds from record sales are now being shared by the company. Marshall believes this is fair:
“We as a company invest a lot of money in an artist. From marketing and promotion to development we sink a lot of money into talent. Why shouldn’t we share in some of those profits? You see it’s pretty successful. We started looking for ventures outside of music. For instance like Dre & Jimmy (Iovine) with the headphones. We had an agreement with the Redsox to wear the headphones before the game and during warm-ups while the Cameras were on. You saw players with the headphones it was great promotion. It really took off”
Marshall was referring to the time when Dr. Dre and label head Jimmy Iovine went on TV during a baseball game to promote the Beats by Dre headphones, and the new single by Dre and Jay-Z “Under pressure” off the forthcoming and highly anticipated Detox album. The album has been anticipated for almost a decade, and might see light this year. Why the album has taken so long is a mystery. The executive did shed light as to why other projects get pushed back:
“Its all about a buzz. If we feel a record has not got a solid buzz, or the streets are not responding to a single as we feel it should, then we will not pull the trigger on a project. We don’t care who it is. It could be a well established artist or a newcomer, if the buzz is not strong enough we won’t put it out. It’s very important that we spend our money wisely, so it is imperative we maximize the potential of each project.”
Lasting in a business that is known for its high turnover rate is a feat on its own. 20 years seems like an eternity and Marshall is showing no signs of slowing down. The label is gearing up for the summer release of Kelis’s new album Flesh Tone featuring the leadoff single “4th of July” which is gaining steam. Also, the Game’s R.E.D album is slated for release, as well as a sunglasses venture with Mary J. Blidge. The exec will continue carving out new territory in the entertainment industry.