James G. Zafris Distinguished Lecture for Music Business/Management
The 2011 Zafris Lecture: A&R and Artist Development Strategy for a Changing Music Industry
Featuring James Diener, CEO/President of A&M/Octone Records
Following a successful nine-year stint at Columbia Records, where he rose to become vice president of A&R and marketing, James Diener founded the independent label Octone Records. His vision was to give artists the best of both worlds—majors and independents—building success over time with less emphasis on immediate sales. Octone's holistic approach to artist development became the subject of two case studies published by Harvard Business School, and the label is now home to both platinum-selling bands such as Maroon 5 and Flyleaf, and developing bands such as K'Naan and Hollywood Undead. The label was spotlighted at the recent MIDEM conference for the branding deal it secured for K'Naan with Coca-Cola that brought the band into Coke's massively successful World Cup 2010 campaign. As the man behind Octone/A&M, Diener is clearly on the cutting edge among music industry leaders.
The Zafris Lecture is sponsored by the Music Business/Management Department.