Sunday, September 14, 2014

Eddie Rodriguez >

Eddie Rodriguez, CEO, Latin Works Music

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Faith in God, passion, stick to it, preparation, a plan, contacts, opportunity and patience.

What inspired you to start your business?
I was working full time as VP Sales for Reed MIDEM involved in a new event called MIDEM Latin America & Caribbean. It is a Latin Music Industry Trade Show & Conference held at the Miami Beach Convention Center 1997, 1998 and the last event MIDEM Americas in 1999.  Since my position was eliminated due to budget cuts plus MIDEM decided to organize only one music industry trade show per year in Cannes, France at Le Palais du Festival as they have for the last 50 years I was on my way to being out of a job. A mentor, the late Jack Hooke (Tito’s manager with the late Ralph Mercado) passed away and I called Tito to express my condolences. He thanked me and asked if I was available to work for him. My answer was when did he want me to start and he said right away. I spoke to Ralph Mercado and Latin Work Music was contracted to manage the King of Latin Music The late Tito Puente.

Does being Hispanic/Latino have any influence on your business?
Yes, since being a bi-lingual Latino working as an entertainment marketing professional, I understand the diversity of the US Hispanic consumer being Hispanic has been key to my success with projects.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
Faith in God and keeping the momentum going on a project until it is completed or you come to the end of the road with it. Then I look to my right and start a new road on a project that inspires me.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Staying relevant with the fast paced evolution of the music industry globally in the last 15 years especially in the distribution of digital content, live concert streaming rights, downsizing of multinational recording companies and the continued growth of the smart phone / tablets / smart TV sectors.
If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
I would have more trade shows and conferences in New York, Miami and Los Angeles where the next generation of Latin music industry leaders can rendezvous annually to learn about the present and future state of affairs of the business.

What was your childhood ambition?
To be a doctor until I learned that studying chemistry and biology were too boring for me.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
Sir Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Jimmy Iovine.

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
All three work well for business meetings for me.  However, I must be disciplined about nutrition and diet.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
Traveling alone up to 70% of the year for out of town business meetings, concert tours, trade shows, conferences and conventions. You miss special occasions with family and friends.

What is your favorite quote?
Let The Games begin.

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Yes. It is difficult to find investors that have faith in the future of the music Industry. What generates revenues today is digital audio / video streaming (paid subscriptions) concert tours and music publishing. Being unconventional means thinking out of the box to be successful.

Biggest mistake made?
Wow, the biggest mistake was taking a break from the concert promotions business to focus on educating myself in the digital and technology side of the music Industry for the last 5 years. However I’m back with new ways to monetize content to generate revenues for investors and return on investment to our clients via traditional and new media outlets.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I was involved in a anti-piracy software and digital download technology companies early on and have promoted recorded digital music and video distribution via mobile since before the iPod and smart phones.

About the Company
Latin Works Music is a 100% minority owned Latin music concert organizer, marketing and promotions company. We produce events in venues such as Madison Square Garden NY, The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and nightclubs throughout the USA. We are experts in activations of experiential consumer engagement and experts in gathering data at live events to increase data base for brands messaging to the $1.2 Trillion dollar in annual spending (2013) US Hispanic consumer (population 56 M). 

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