For this month’s Job Envy feature, we spoke to the Robb McDaniels, CEO of the world’s largest online dance music retail platform: Beatport.
Place of work?
How long have you had the job?
I’ve been working with the great folks at Beatport for about three years.
What does a typical day involve?
One of the great things about my role is that typical days don’t really exist, especially these days when we are all operating in such uncharted territory. I spend as much of my time as possible working with our management group and their teams on all the exciting initiatives we have going on, as well as their most challenging issues. I’m based on the west coast of the US so I have to wake up a bit on the early side to connect with our team in Berlin, then end the day with more US business. It all works out pretty seamlessly, even from home.
Highs of the job?
When customers, partners, employees and investors are happy.
Lows of the job?
Currently, not being able to go to a show.
How did you get the job?
LiveStyle was the entity that emerged from the SFX bankruptcy in late 2016 and Beatport was dragged through that most unpleasant process. But the leadership team at LiveStyle knew me from my prior experience and knew I was brought up in the electronic/DJ world, so they gave me a call.
What did you do before this job?
I was the founder and CEO of Ingrooves Music Group until the end of 2014 and then dabbled in a bit of artist management, which I learned is not for the dabbling type.
How can we get your job?
Just come work at Beatport – we’re all in it together, doing the same job!
Who are the people who’ve had the biggest influence on your career and why?
My father was a deal maker so I have to give him some credit. I was lucky enough to become very close to Al Teller during my 13 years at Ingrooves and he was very much a mentor to me. Al had been Chairman and CEO of MCA and President of Columbia and CBS Records, so he had seen it all. But I also make a point of learning from all the talented people I have had an opportunity to work with over the years. I’d rather not be the smartest person in the room and come away with some new knowledge.
What’s the one bit of advice you wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?
Stop worrying so much, especially about being right.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career to date?
That’s a tough one because I have made plenty of mistakes, but I think the one I regret the most was moving Ingrooves into eBooks in 2012 instead of online video distribution. Missed that one big time!
How do you see your role developing?
I definitely need to become a better DJ.
How would you like to see your industry develop over the next five years?
Dance music and DJ culture are core to the happiness of people around the world, perhaps more than any other genre of music. However, most of the artists, producers, creators and other participants in our part of the music industry are not properly or fairly compensated for their work. Beatport would like to help change that and we believe that our integrated streaming product, Beatport LINK, is instrumental to the next generation of DJing. It will be a huge leap forward when DJs of all types are using Beatport LINK for their DJ sets because we can track, administer and ensure proper payment on all songs that are played.