George Ergatoudis. Head of music BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra.
Chairman: Ted Cockle
The UK music industry has undergone a transformation over the last decade, with the shift from CDs to digital downloads hugely affecting the way music is bought and sold, and filesharing impacting on retail sales. There has also been a new British invasion of the US, which is a notoriously tricky market to break for UK recording artists. Our list shines a light on the people who are making the most impact on this fast-changing industry, from the recording artists and record label executives, to the radio playlist-setters, music critics and the people changing the face of the music industry in this digital age.
Ted Cockle is president of Virgin EMI Records, which finished 2013 as the UK's number one record label for both singles and albums in Virgin's 40th anniversary year. Cockle was previously co-president at Island Records, Virgin EMI's sister label at Universal Music, where most recently he worked with artists including Mumford & Sons, Robbie Williams and Florence + The Machine. He joined Island in 2005 as head of marketing after ten years at Sony Music, becoming marketing director a year later. In that role he worked with Amy Winehouse, The Sugababes as well as steering an award-winning launch campaign for Mika.
Lucian Grainge, CBE. Chairman and CEO Universal Music Group.
Lucian Grainge is chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Music Group and is widely acknowledged as the most influential Briton in the worldwide music business. He began his career after leaving grammar school and landing a job as a runner at MPC, a talent scout company, and has been in music all his working life. He has played an integral role in the careers of many top artists such as ABBA, U2, Amy Winehouse and Andrea Bocelli. He is an assiduous advocate for the recorded music business and in 2012 oversaw UMG’s $1.9 billion acquisition of EMI’s recorded-music assets. He serves on the Vivendi management board and is a UK business ambassador.
David Joseph. Chairman and chief executive officer Universal Music UK.
David Joseph is chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Music UK, overseeing all divisions of the UK’s leading music company including the labels Island, Polydor, Decca and Virgin EMI plus the world’s most famous recording studio, Abbey Road. Joseph was head of artist development at RCA Records where he worked with artists including Kylie Minogue, Take That and Annie Lennox. In 1998, he joined Universal Music as general manager of the company’s Polydor label. Over the past three years Joseph has been chairman of the Brits Committee, which oversees the Brit Awards. In this position, he instigated an overhaul of the awards which culminated in this year’s show attracting its biggest TV audience since 2005.
Nick Gatfield. Chairman and chief executive Sony Music UK.
Nick Gatfield is chairman and chief executive of Sony Music UK, the UK’s second biggest record company and home to successful artists including David Bowie and Calvin Harris as well as Simon Cowell’s X Factor contingent. In 1985, Gatfield joined EMI Publishing as A&R manager, where his signings included the internationally acclaimed Radiohead. After progressing through roles at a number of the biggest record companies in the UK, he became chairman and chief executive of Sony Music UK in 2011. With his vast experience, Gatfield is recognised as having a special understanding of the artist community, and last year he announced the creation of an A&R Academy, set up to develop young creative talent and find the music industry stars of the future.
George Ergatoudis. Head of music BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra.
According to George Ergatoudis, “I became aware of the cultural significance of music when I was about twelve years old as the punk revolution exploded and I lay in bed at night listening to John Peel on Radio 1”. He studied architecture at university, but says “my real energy went into starting a music fanzine and once I realised I could create a career out of my passion for music I never looked back”. Ergatoudis is now head of music at BBC Radio 1, and took on 1Xtra in 2009. With 20 years of experience in the radio industry and an excellent reputation, Ergatoudis has an in-depth knowledge for contemporary music across genres, and ultimately decides which songs make it onto the Radio One playlist.
Simon Cowell. Television producer and founder Syco Entertainment.
Simon Cowell is best known for his caustic attitude as a judge on the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, where he has been a successful star-maker of artists like the world-beating One Direction. Susan Boyle, Leona Lewis and Il Divo have also emerged from Cowell’s instruction and have sold a staggering 46 million albums between them. Cowell left school and started work as a post boy at EMI Music Publishing in 1997 where he worked until 1982, when he founded his own company Fanfare records. When Fanfare hit bankruptcy, Cowell had to move back in with his parents due to his debts. A far cry from where Cowell stands now as the most powerful TV producer and music executive in the UK.
Ian Hogarth. Co-founder and chief executive Songkick.
Ian Hogarth is co-founder and chief executive of Songkick, the website and service that provides personalised news about live music events. Hogarth’s granddad was an inventor, his dad was an entrepreneur and for Hogarth, “those two things gave me the interest to create something.” Founded in 2007, Hogarth established Songkick with two friends in retaliation to the difficulty they faced in finding information about concerts. The company is one of the original tech startups in London’s Silicon Roundabout and has tie-ups with the likes of FourSquare, MTV and Spotify. It recently launched a new service, Detour, to help fans attract their favourite artists to their hometown through crowd funding. Hogarth won the British Council’s UK Young Music Entrepreneur competition in 2010.
Jo Dipple. Chief executive UK Music.
Jo Dipple is the chief executive of UK Music, the organisation that brings together key representative bodies from across the UK’s commercial music industry. With a background in newspaper publishing and at the Treasury, Dipple is proving adept at drawing together the manifold strands of the music business into one coherent voice. The music industry’s cultural and economic force is well supported by Dipple’s expertise. She joined UK Music for their launch in 2009 as a senior political adviser, before becoming CEO in 2012. Dipple plays a crucial role in ensuring the dominance of the UK music industry.
Alexis Petridis. Head rock and pop critic The Guardian and music editor GQ.
Alexis Petridis is The Guardian's head rock and pop critic and the music editor of GQ magazine. His insightful opinions on new music resonate far beyond the pages on which they are published. Petridis began his journalistic career whilst at the University of Cambridge, writing for Varsity, one of the university’s main newspapers. He was also the final editor of the now extinct music magazine, Select. He has been named Record of the Day’s Record Reviewer of the Year for eight years in a row.
Tim Ingham. Editor Music Week.
Tim Ingham is the editor of the industry bible Music Week and MusicWeek.com, having joined the company from the gaming world in September 2011. The magazine has been the valued vanguard of the music business for over 50 years; however, it has been under Ingham’s careful hand that the brand’s trusted influence over the industry has been intensified. Proliferating its publication through a digital edition, website and iPhone/iPad apps, the publication rests as a valued and appreciated source of news and opinion, which broadcasts across the global music world.
Mark Cooper. Head of music television BBC.
Mark Cooper is head of music television at the BBC, where credits include BBC TV’s longest running live music programme, Later... With Jools Holland and coverage of Glastonbury, Reading Festival and Radio 1’s Big Weekend. He is also the executive producer of many of the ground-breaking documentaries on the BBC 2 and BBC 4 channels. Beginning his career as a music journalist with Record Mirror, his first review was of the Sex Pistols in their last gig at Winterland. He worked for a number of other publications including The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph before moving into PR. In 1990, Cooper began his career at the BBC. Today he is renowned for his impeccable track record in music television production.
Tom Connaughton. Director of programming and content VEVO.
VEVO is the world’s leading all-premium music video and entertainment platform, delivering over 4 billion monthly views globally with over 200 million in the UK. As director of programming and content, Tom Connaughton oversees all editorial, label and artist relations, social media, design and original content strategy and production. He graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in geography, but moved straight into the music industry with a job as an A&R assistant at Columbia Records. He progressed through a series of marketing roles at Columbia, Sony Music Entertainment and MySpace, before joining VEVO in 2011. He now plays a hugely influential role in the music industry.
Pete Tong, MBE. DJ and music producer.
DJ and music producer Pete Tong has defined whole periods of dance music, from his early soul boy roots to spearheading the global electronic dance music takeover. As a DJ on BBC Radio 1 since 1991, he continues to be a true spotter of current and next generation dance artists, club songs and DJs. Tong is a mainstay on the club circuit, championing new music and managing to lead the charge into the ever-expanding US market alongside the existing global club network. No other DJ has spanned the different club fashions as impressively as Pete Tong.
Zane Lowe. DJ.
New Zealander Zane Lowe is considered the number one tastemaker in the UK alternative music landscape. Having been a hip hop artist for seven years in the group Urban Distance, Lowe began his career as a radio DJ. He worked for a number of years at XFM before joining Radio 1 in 2003. Lowe’s show won Best Radio Show at the NME Awards every year from 2004 to 2008. Regardless of genre, many consider Lowe’s blessing as crucial in the rites of passage for new leftfield artists developing in the UK, as well as firmly ensuring that the legacy of established alternative acts remain appropriately represented and revered.
Simon Moran. Concert promoter.
Simon Moran is an independent UK promoter handling the live careers of many of the world’s premier artists, from One Direction and Beyonce, to Coldplay, Adele and the Arctic Monkeys. Moran is also the man responsible for re-igniting the careers of Take That and the Stone Roses. He is a mainstay of the UK live circuit, suitably adept at helping bands rise from the corners of pubs to stadium tours. In his role as the managing director of SJM, an impressively run and impactful organisation which has the feel of a caring corner shop, Moran puts on about 2000 shows a year and has been described as one of the most influential music executives of the time.
Oliver Schusser. Senior director iTunes International.
Despite a moderately low profile and a modest manner, as senior director at iTunes International Oliver Schusser is at the heart of most ex US activity in terms of what flows through the store and what is awarded major coverage at iTunes. The company’s market share is practically unprecedented with consumers opting for the iTunes format above all others. Schusser ensures all market trend information from their 60+ country penetration is fully integrated into their future planning. He plays a key role in the firm’s dominance of the European download market and in the organisation of the Apple festival at the Roundhouse.
James Cator. Manager of contents partnership YouTube.
YouTube remains the key access tool for a huge swathe of music consumers. James Cator is at the heart of the relationship between the platform and most of the music labels and content creators. Inspired by his father's record collection when he was young, he worked as a label assistant for I Can Count Music after studying mathematics at the University of Leeds. He soon progressed to the independent music and film producer, Eagle Rock Entertainment. In his current position at YouTube, Cator holds an influential role in the industry as the position of YouTube looks set to expand further and become even more at the heart of the consumers music experience.
Kevin Brown. Head of European label relations Spotify.
Kevin Brown is head of European label relations at Spotify. Spotify summarises the feel and flavour of what so many industry insiders feel to be the most effective and most palatable platform to cultivate and nurture the streaming model. With previous roles at EMI, 3D Artist Management, BMG and Polygram, Brown’s background ensures that he is suitably connected and understanding of all sides of the relationship and is well positioned to navigate what may at times be choppy waters. In this capacity, he develops and maintains relationships with key major and indie label partners across Europe and creates new artist-focused initiatives.
Gary Barlow, OBE. Singer-songwriter.
Gary Barlow’s love of music began at an early age. He reminisces that he “was one of those kids that’s forever dancing in front of the TV”. Today, Barlow is a 360 degree musical operator. Proven as a successful songwriter from the earliest days of his career with Take That, he has continued to deliver hits for his band as well as for his own solo career, whilst simultaneously delivering songs with a range of artists including Sir Elton John and bringing Agnetha of Abba out of retirement. As a judge on UK’s X Factor and organiser of the Queen’s Jubilee Concert in 2012 he’s proven his skills extend to being a motivator and ambassador for the UK music industry.
Emily Eavis. Co-organiser Glastonbury Festival.
Emily Eavis is the youngest daughter of Michael Eavis, the founder of the Glastonbury Festival. Beginning her working life as a teacher, Eavis returned home when her mother became ill with cancer to look after her and to help run the festival. In the increasingly commercial landscape of the music industry, where endorsements and sponsorship are forming a larger part of the pie chart, the Glastonbury Festival manages to maintain a distance and remains a rite of passage for so many artists who organise their plans around this music festival. Now at the helm of this event, Eavis is responsible for curating and programming the line-up of the festival which remains at the heart of the creative music community both here and around the world.
Jools Holland, OBE. Musician and television presenter.
Across twenty years, programmes have launched, flourished, crumbled and departed, new technologies for music consumption have exploded, faded and grown, and yet through it all an appearance on Jools Holland has remained an ultimate accolade for those artists from around the world seeking confirmation of their talent. Having exhibited an aptitude for piano from an early age, Holland was playing in various clubs around London by the time he was in his teens. His television career began in the 1980s and today his BBC programme, whilst never delivering the audience figures of the mainstream music entertainment shows, rests as a flagship of taste and musical integrity that remains as attractive to the new range of musicians as it does to the rock aristocracy.