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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

RECORD EXEC MAKING MONEY IN MUSIC

It takes a lot to faze music industry veteran Harve Pierre. The newly-anointed president of Bad Boy Records once endured a week days without sleep while interning for Sean Combs at Uptown Records. More than a decade and a half later, Mr. Pierre still has stamina, often putting in 17-hour days.

“Our hard work and perseverance keeps us viable and visible,” Mr. Pierre says. “We are constantly putting out the music.”

It will take sustained energy to stay in the game. Last year marked the industry’s sixth annual slide in the past seven years, with overall music sales down 15%, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Bad Boy Records, the music division and cornerstone of Mr. Combs’ retail and branding empire, now accounts for only about a fifth of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group’s total revenue of $500 million, according to industry estimates.

But being a label affiliated with fashion, vodka and television businesses gives Mr. Pierre a much-needed edge in a crowded music market. Bad Boy can use other company products to help promote its music. For example, TV show Making the Band, on MTV, will provide a launchpad for three new Bad Boy albums in March.

“We are one of those brands that will just last forever, like Kellogg’s Corn Flakes,” Mr. Pierre says.

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