Legendary Music Business Executive Talks Industry’s Tech Future

KENNESAW, Ga. | Sep 16, 2019

While technology once threatened the music industry’s very existence, today technology is driving its growth and creating new opportunities for young professionals entering the business, says legendary music business executive and entrepreneur Charles Goldstuck.

Speaking to students in the Kennesaw State University Michael J. Coles College of Business, Goldstuck discussed how streaming services and online videos have helped the industry rebound from the hit caused by piracy and filesharing in the 2000s.

Charles Goldstuck, Founder of Hitco

“The predictions me and my partners made thanks to Spotify, YouTube, and Apple started happening as people were willing to pay for subscription services,” he said. “That has been responsible for the rebirth of the music industry in terms of its commercial health. Creatively, the music industry has never wanted.”

Goldstuck is founder and co-chairman of music and entertainment company Hitco. He previously was president – and later executive chairman – of TouchTunes, which operates 190,000 internet-enabled jukeboxes worldwide. His career also includes five years as president and chief operating officer of Sony Music Entertainment’s BMG music labels, where he worked with popular artists like Usher, Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews Band, and Foo Fighters.

Hosted by the Coles College’s Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business (MEBUS) Program, Goldstuck’s presentation, called “The Future of Music and Entertainment,” focused on how technology is helping grow the industry, and how aspiring professionals can use it to launch their careers.

He described multiple avenues into the music industry that never existed 20 years ago, many related to social media.

“When I look at the industry today, the whole digital media environment and digital market is so in need of talent,” he said. “And experience isn’t what’s required, it’s a creative sense around digital media. That’s one of the biggest growth areas not just for music, but for all content-driven businesses.”

Goldstuck also recommended that students interested in breaking into the entertainment industry consider working for one of the major social media platforms, which have recently become players in the space. Music-adjacent jobs exist in the areas of content curation, editorial, and technology and product development.

“It used to be that if you wanted to be in music, you had to work for an artist and go on the road, go to a label, or go to a music publisher,” he said. “Today, when you look at hiring practices at companies like Google and Facebook/Instagram, those companies will hire 1,000 people in the next year in and around content. Intake of entry level players in the music industry and affiliated companies in music is at an all-time high.”

Rounding out his presentation to the group of aspiring entertainment industry professionals, Goldstuck partially debunked the popular adage that people should always do what they love. Instead amending it to say, “do some of what you love, but add to that what can practically move your career forward.”

He referenced his own love of music and desire to work in the industry. Once he realized his skills were in talent development and promotion – not musical composition or performance – he nurtured those into a successful career.

While professionals should have a passion for their field, he said, it is equally important that they gain experience in the areas where their talents lay.

Goldstuck’s visit was made possible thanks to the MEBUS program’s relationship to its namesake Joel A. Katz, one of the most prolific working entertainment industry attorneys, who represents a variety of high-profile artists such as Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Buffett, the Jackson family, Kenny Chesney, and many others.

 “Our program is able to attract entertainment business experts like Charles Goldstuck thanks to our remarkable benefactor Joel Katz,” says MEBUS Program Director Keith Perissi. “Our students benefitted from Charles’s vast knowledge and experience on important industry practices that will help prepare them to get hired.”

MEBUS is a 24-credit certificate program offering three capstone courses in music & entertainment business as well as marketing, management, production, communication, and entrepreneurship courses that prepare students for successful careers in the entertainment industry. MEBUS is open to all KSU undergraduate majors with a desire to work in the entertainment industry in areas such as film and television production, audio and video technology, venue and artist management, and concert and event production.

-Patrick Harbin

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