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Irving Azoff Calls Pandora “Horseshit”, Sees Difficult Future For Music Industry [VIDEO]

image from Live Nation Executive Chairman Irving Azoff didn't mince words over his feelings about the Pandora Digital Music service during a recent appearance at a media conference. "It’s horseshit. The market cap for Pandora is like $1.8 billion. That’s roughly the market cap of Live Nation, and they are whining about wanting to pay artists less," Azoff told moderator Judd Apatow during a Q&A at TheGrill, TheWrap’s annual media conference.

Azoff then went on to describe Pandora's quality as "shitty" when compared to other services such as Spotify. Pandora has been advocating for Congress to drop mechanical royalty rates for digital music.

Azoff also offered a sharp criticism of television talent shows such as "American Idol" and "The Voice." According to Azoff, the chance of success in the music industry that these shows purport to offer is largely hype.

"There are 64 contestants on ‘The Voice. There have been 10 or 11 years of ‘Idol’ and 100 or 110 Top 10 people," Azoff was quoted by TheWrap as saying. "I can count on one hand the number of people who’ve sustained off of that. It shows that even with the massive exposure of network TV how hard it is to make it in music."

According to Azoff, these companies are making the music industry an increasingly challenging venture.
"It's way different now. It’s way more difficult," Azoff said. "The odds are stacked against you."

Despite his strident opinions on Pandora and television talent shows, Azoff seemed ambivilent when the subject turned to Steve Jobs and iTunes. Moderator Judd Apatow lobbed a slow pitch when he said that "Steve Jobs ruined music," but Azoff didn't swing, and instead noted he felt that Jobs had "changed music forever."

– via Celebrity Access

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  1. from a marketing perspective, i can’t see much value in having a pandora channel other than being able to say that you have a pandora channel. if my band sounds like green day and they let their songs play on my channel, but they don’t let my songs play on the green day channel, then you’re left with a player for your band that’s cluttered by the songs of others. no thanks. i’ll direct people to the players on my band’s web and fb pages and green day can market themselves.

  2. Azoff should check out for a fresh new take on music. Ok, its not fresh at all, but about as old as can be. StreetJelly is online busking: street musicians performing online via webcam for tips. It won’t make every musician a super star – but it’s raw and a whole lot of fun. That’s the real magic in music.

  3. The funniest part of this interview is when the moderator tried his best to get Irving Azoff into ANY kind of discussion about ROCK music. Apatow kept going back to rock like it was the 70’s all over again….the days of the rock genre dominating the music industry are OVER! Kids have many more choices and finally we can have a discussion about OTHER genres of music that have surpassed rock in both interest and sales! Finally!

  4. H Gordon: What are you talking about? He said “It used to be that when you came to LA and listened to KISS FM you heard the 40 top records and they’d be all different generes. Now every station is a targeted, kind of narrowcasted program thing….” I’m not sure how old you are, but I don’t care if you’re a rock musician, or a country musician, or a hip hop artist, or a celtic yodeler, it is harder for you to make a living and be heard by masses who enjoy your genre than it was when Rock supposedly dominated the music industry. Try to be a classical composer and make a dime these days. The only way… get into film, tv, commercial, and video game scoring. You’re certainly not going to get a commission that you can live a whole year off of from the royal family of Vienna today. When MTV was at its height, you would see a Madonna video followed by a Metallica video followed by a Run DMC video followed by a Def Leppard video followed by a Stevie Wonder video followed by an A Ha video followed by a Fleetwood Mac video. That is a lot of genre that isn’t mixed in to any “mix” station today. Today “Mix” means dance pop with a softer Evanescence song being the most out there thing they play. When I was a kid, “Mix” radio was like MTV and you’d even hear country on it. Look at how a totally unsegregated MTV introduced bands like REM, The Cure, and.. um.. Nirvana to the masses. These bands would have remained underground bands forever without the MTV mentality they once had. They championed diversity within the POP realm. Even some country made it onto MTV when it was mass appealing enough. If MTV were what it was then today, there would be several dozen country artists mixed in with all the above. Oh, and Rock is second ONLY to country in sales. Times for an artist to get in the game may be great, but for getting heard out of the millions of worthless, irrelevant, and great stuff to boot… terrible. That is Azoff’s point, not that rock is dead, or anything else is dead.

  5. I found this to be very insightful. Thank you! I’ve also been getting a lot out of drummer Brian Doherty’s website as well. He has some interesting views on music and the music industry at

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