Industry publication Billboard has published its annual ‘Power List’, having refocused it on ‘core music-industry companies’ (which means booting out executives from companies like Citi, American Express as well as TV-show bookers).
UMG boss Lucian Grainge takes top spot, followed by Live Nation’s Michael Rapino in second; Spotify’s senior management in third; Irving and Jeffrey Azoff in fourth; Sony Music’s Rob Stringer in fifth; WMG’s Steve Cooper and Max Lousada in sixth; and Apple Music’s senior team in seventh. You can imagine the politics involved.
As in previous years, the diversity of the list will be examined closely outside Billboard. By our calculations, just under 21% of the people named in this year’s Power List are women, while the remaining 79% are men. The usual arguments will rage: is Billboard simply reflecting the industry’s male-skewed power dynamics, or should it be doing more to rethink its definition of ‘power’ to build a more diverse list?
It’s interesting that a separate list of 25 ‘disrupters’ has been published alongside the main Power List: the ‘New Power Generation’ list. Surely a chance to highlight a more-diverse range of industry innovators? Yet even here, only five of the 25 picks are women: 20%.