Bob Lefsetz Thinks Lyor Cohen Is Doing A Great Job!

May 27th, 2008 // 11 Comments

whatgoesoninsidethatglossyhead.jpgIdolator has already preemptively called “industry insider” Bob Lefsetz’s impending insanity, but to be fair, he’s bounced back well lately, with delightful, cutting-edge posts about listening to Led Zeppelin in the car, various Hall & Oates singles, and some SPORADICALLY capitalized THOUGHTS on American IDOL. However, Lefsetz subsequently decided to defend the tenure of Lyor Cohen, and something has to be said about that.

You may have previously believed that Lyor Cohen didn’t really deserve a raise for his tenure at Atlantic Records, that he was slowly destroying the once proud label, that Cohen might not be the industry talent everyone assumed. You would be wrong.

Lyor might be pilloried, but he’s doing better than Jimmy. How can that be?

A drum roll please… The label with the greatest market share of current product year to date is…ATLANTIC RECORDS! Hell, if you include catalog, Atlantic is #2 to RIGA. Jimmy’s got 7.45% of the overall market, including catalog, and Atlantic 7… (As for market share of current, Atlantic’s got 7.73% and IGA 7%.)

Staying in the current realm, Monte and L.A. Reid are right behind Jimmy, with 5+ each. Then comes Warner Brothers, with 4.76%.

Then comes Barry Weiss with 4.37%.

The man with the golden ears? The irreplaceable Clive Davis, the most successful man in the record business, lording over Alicia Keys and the “American Idol” champs? RCA Records comes in seventh, with 4.33%. Then, Rick Rubin’s Columbia, with 3.74%, Disney with 3.72%, Capitol with 2.08% and Epic, with 1.88%.

What have we learned from the above? That someone is smart somewhere. Turns out Lyon should have kept his job, Clive needed to be demoted, and change was needed at Columbia and is still needed at Capitol and Epic.

Admittedly, all of that’s a little difficult to decipher, but to summarize, based on Soundscan numbers for the year so far, Atlantic has the most total scans of any label, thanks to the Juno soundtrack and discs by Flo Rida, Death Cab, and Kid Rock leading the charge. Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope is second.

So what? It’s May, and while the sales might be leading Atlantic’s way right now, how long will that hold up, especially during a summer with few likely smashes for Atlantic, unless you’re counting the Shinedown and Pretty Ricky discs as future chart-toppers. With discs from G-Unit, Beck, Keri Hilson, and N.E.R.D. slated for this summer, and the lingering possibility of discs from Eminem and Dr. Dre at some point this year, you’d have to suspect that Interscope will be just fine, at least as far as the diminishing expectations game goes in the music biz these days. But hey, Lefsetz, I’m sure Lyor’s ready for that Jason Mraz disc to go gangbusters. Let’s give him another raise!

Market Share Report [Lefsetz Letter]

  1. Captain Wrong

    For the life of me, I can’t get why people care about this guy. If he’s not indulging in boomer band worship, he’s on about skiing in Aspen or some such. Oh, occasionally he has some fairly obvious inside about how the music industry is evil.

    This guy is as irrelevant as the industry.

  2. alec_baldwin

    What is he talking about? Lyor is chairman and ceo of recorded music-North America for WMG. I mean Lyor does take an interest in Atlantic and he is responsible for the label, but Craig Kallman is chairman and ceo of Atlantic records.

  3. Dan Gibson

    @cosmiclove: That part confused me as well, but I figured I had to give him the benefit of the doubt on something.

  4. alec_baldwin

    @Dan Gibson: You’re very kind. Imagine Lyor as a label head again…Well, he’s better at that than his current job. Maybe that’s where Bob is going…

  5. Anonymous

    I refuse to believe that Atlantic, the label that managed to misplay all of the Saigon/Just Blaze hype of the last two years, could be given any sort of compliment whatsoever.

  6. alec_baldwin

    @StuntKockSteeev: Yeah, promotions at any label is nonexistent these days.

  7. alec_baldwin

    @owenmeany: Correct me if if I’m wrong, but I believe Interscope was formed with financial support from Atlantic back in 1990. So you’re right there. But that’s neither here nor there. The game has changed so much today that’s it’s really about innovation. Atlantic is not quite the house that Ahmet built, but it is what it is.

  8. alec_baldwin

    @owenmeany: Yeah, Interscope was formed with money from Atlantic.

  9. Anonymous

    “If you include catalog, Atlantic is #2 to RIGA. Jimmy’s got 7.45% of the overall market, including catalog, and Atlantic 7…”

    Uhh…Hasn’t Atlantic Records been around a HELLUVA LOT LONGER than Interscope?

  10. It Must Be Take a Worm for a Walk Week

    Bob Lefsetz gets the Gas Face.


  11. Anonymous

    @cosmiclove: What I mean is — Atlantic has a MUCH bigger catalog than Interscope so of course it should have a MUCH bigger market share. But it doesn’t. So someone at Atlantic needs to get bounced.

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