We talked to Dylan Berry of Smashhaus about his entrepreneurial journey in the entertainment industry.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Dylan Berry: Doing well, all virtual, all daaaaay. 🙂
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded SmashHaus.
Dylan Berry: I am a career music producer, talk show host and an entertainment industry professional.
I access a large and diverse community of industry leaders, media companies and content creators (music, visual media). By matchmaking all of the above I built a large scale content production platform called SmashHaus in 2008 to scale my own music production output, then it kind of exploded into a company that drove millions in revenue to indie music makers around the globe and services many of the top TV shows and media productions from the Oscars to American Idol and beyond.
How does SmashHaus innovate?
Dylan Berry: We used to be a middle-man company controlling all content and client relationships.
I no longer believe in that anymore, and so I am now allowing sellers, our content creators of music and eventually visual media to directly connect with buyers, vetted media companies all over the world.
We are pivoting to a SAAS model and passing through 100% of the value in the deal and direct relationship to the creators and companies, not us as middlemen.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Dylan Berry: In one way our event business suffered but in another our community is rallying to adapt providing a huge opportunity for SmashHaus to employ music makers all over the world that are at home, not touring and seeking alternative revenue and exposure points for their music biz.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Dylan Berry: I had to close a lot of offices and let our event producer staff go to my company NordicLA which was really hard and sad. The only lesson really learned was that I am so fortunate to have an amazing family and amazing clients who have been supportive even when they too, were stressed to do so. It takes a village to weather this, and I am proud to be a part of this creative village!
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and SmashHaus in the future?
Dylan Berry: I surf, I try to sleep, I hug my kids. This too shall pass, it’s what we all do with it that will matter. I think SmashHaus will remove the need for middle-men in the content industry and provide more value, income and career mobility for creative people in music, visual media and beyond and for that, I think I am doing my part to support industry re-habilitation, not be part of the industries decline.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dylan Berry: I see our competitors as anyone that is standing between the content creators (recording artists, producers, talent) and those who ACTUALLY pay to use the client who in fact are also creatives. Middle-man control the clients, the content, and the creatives and basically hold the whole process hostage claiming they are the “tastemakers” and this is a very foggy way to operate if you are a creator. I think by removing the middle-men in the music licensing, production and sales business, the industry will rebound and fees will return to a healthy rate and this will allow us all to support those great makers of art that fulfil our lives with real heart. If they all go back to a day job, we will suffer, and this world would suck. Staying in the game is not the question; modifying the rules of engagement for the betterment of artists is what I am hell-bent on doing. 😉
Your final thoughts?
Dylan Berry: A big nod of respect to Kristian Riis and Nordic.LA, a company I am a partner in that, is building bridges and tearing down walls so creatives in the Nordics and the rest of the world can open a dialog and make great art together. We will be rolling out SmashHaus in the Nordic regions of Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Norway in exclusive partnership with NordicLA. Very excited about that and what we can do for the amazing talent base in these countries.
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