Concord Plots new Future

Concord Music Group

(from Billboard Magazine, October 19, 2013) While preparing for Paul McCartney’s new album, Concord Music Group does not look like it has changed much since its purchase six months ago by an investment group conducted by Wood Creek Capital Management. Although it looks the same externally, the company has changed quite a bit. The company has centralized back-room operations internally, bought a children’s music label, and is currently seeking office space in Nashville for Rounder Records which has been located in Boston for the past forty years.

“After we closed the acquisition, our next most important investment was to take two or three months to get to know everybody and talk to management  to see how to best position for the future,” says Steve Smith, Concord’s new Chairman of the Board. Smith is also the one who coordinated the purchase of Concord.  Contrary to what most companies would do in Smith’s situation, Smith says they are “going to ramp up even more development and acquisition” instead of condensing the company.

The first purchase the company made was Music for Little People which will now be under Rounder’s direction. Concord President/CEO Glenn Barros has said that children’s music and country music are the two crucial areas of growth for Concord Music Group, and the move to Nashville will be vital for the growth of both genres. The move to Nashville is set for early next year. The label will be staffed by twelve to fifteen people and plans to put out ten albums a year.

Rounder will be led by strong leaders when it is moved to Nashville such as VP of A&R Scott Billington, Senior Director of Promotion Howard Frank, and Project Manager Eliza Levy. As part of the restructuring, Rounder, along with two other music groups, will be supported by consolidated teams in many different departments.

For Barros and Smith, the next step for Concord requires entering into subscription services, enhancing curatorial efforts, and creating products with a music element.  Smith says, “We see a rapidly accelerating earnings opportunity from subscription and premium services while we’re still selling physical goods and our digital business is growing.”