Meet Music Business lecturer Yannis Iliopoulos
This week we welcome Yannis Iliopoulos to Abbey Road Institute as our music business lecturer. Yannis brings with him years of experience in the music industry. He has a strong background in entertainment law, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship. He is the founder and director of The Sound Of Everything Records and its publishing arm Timespace Music Publishing, which has successfully built up a catalogue of more than 300 releases so far. Yannis first made a turn in the music business as a successful DJ. This was quite a change following his degrees in Physics and Mathematics at Imperial College and King’s College. Since DJ’ing Yannis hasn’t looked back and has moved full steam ahead in the music industry.
Welcome, Yannis! Tell us a bit about your experience in music education.
I have been involved with music business education as a full-time lecturer and a module leader since 2014. I have taught a wide range of business modules in different institutions in the UK, and I’m actively involved with mentoring music business students, alumni, and artists and also coaching creatives and scientists.
You’ll be teaching our Music Business module. How critical is understanding finances for a long-lasting career in music?
The first thing I say to my students is that I understand money is not a priority for a creative person but it is a priority for creativity. If your art is not monetised, life gets in the way and being creative can become an almost impossible mission. This is the essence of Copyright. Art should be protected so that artists can make a living from it and keep creating more art.
When did you decide to pursue a career in music?
I studied Physics at Imperial College and Mathematics at King’s College. During my studies, I became a DJ and record collector for fun. Then it got serious! I fell in love with music and the business side of it. That led me to launch my independent label ‘The Sound Of Everything’ in 2004. The name was inspired by the ‘Theory of Everything ‘ and reflected my eclectic and diverse orientation in my music taste.
What are your thoughts on streaming and the opportunities it’s giving to musicians in 2019?
Streaming is way more than technological innovation. The business models involved with streaming (freemium, subscription, access over ownership), brought a real revolution to the industry and is helping it regain its previous glory. Probably the biggest opportunity streaming is giving to artists today, is that it is a platform where monetisation, promotion and artist development can all happen simultaneously. Artists are not just distributing their music on streaming providers. They are taking advantage of powerful tools like playlists, algorithms, artist profiles, analytics, etc, to build their fanbase, engage with their audience and the industry, promote their music and ultimately monetise it. In other words, streaming is moving towards becoming an all-encompassing platform. The only thing missing is the live experience, but wait till AI hits the mainstream and brings holograms performing live to your living room through a VR version of your Alexa speaker and your Spotify playlist!
What does Abbey Road mean to you?
In a single word, legacy. Just walking around the studios, which have been the home to countless landmark recordings makes me feel that I’m breathing history. But what fascinates me, even more, is that Abbey Road doesn’t stop there. You can see the ongoing innovation in everything that happens in this place. I’m thrilled to join this legendary brand and I’m grateful to Ian Ramage, Carlos Lellis and Mike Sinnott for the opportunity.