About ajbenson

  • Industry EventsMusicDigitalMarketing
  • Sector AcquisitionsBusiness DevelopmentMusic MarketingMusic ProductionOperationsOriginal ContentStrategic PartnershipsTalent DevelopmentTalent Relations
  • Preferred Job Title Board DirectorBoard MemberCCO (Chief Content Officer)CSO (Chief Strategic Officer)ConsultantExecutive ProducerExecutive Vice PresidentGeneral ManagerManaging DirectorSenior Vice President


  • 2016 - 2019
    Endless Riff Entertainment, Inc.

    Co-Founder & Head of Music Content; Member, Board of Directors (part-time)

    - Led 10-employee music-tech start-up, a virtual music festival built on a VR platform that livestreams 2D, 360-degree, and volumetric music video content; 300+ livestreamed events since 2017 launch !Drove strategy, crafted pitches, and led presentations to book artists and acquire content from independent content producers, content owners, recording artists, and talent management !Managed the development and production of video and audio content - Created revenue strategy for advertising, sponsorship, merchandising, and ticket sales - Structured and negotiated licensing agreements with premier Manhattan venue Rockwood Music Hall; completed 350+ content agreements with artists, labels, publishers, venues, content producers, radio stations, and production companies; content partners include Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, WFUV, WFPK, TourGigs, Fantasy Footballers, and others; livestreamed artists included Sheryl Crow, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, AWOLNATION, and Belly - Led product launch team including publicity, marketing, production, and legal functions - Recruited key executives from media, music, and tech industries (Spotify, Apple Music, iHeartMedia, Venmo) to advisory board and for staff positions in legal, marketing, and community management

  • 2014 - 2019
    Hard Head Management & Productions / Evil Teen Records

    Head of Label & Artist Management

    - Lead operations, contract negotiations, revenue opportunities, A&R, product launches, branding, and content development for present and past clients Warren Haynes, Gov’t Mule, Maris, The Revivalists, The Marcus King Band, Tyler Ramsey (Band of Horses), Eric Krasno, and for live events properties !Manage 10+ employees and consultants across marketing, radio promotion, artist management, publicity, and office management team; serve as primary lead for growing management client base - Negotiated partnerships with Concord Music Group, Live Nation, William Morris Endeavor, CAA, BMG, Atlas Music Group, ATO Records/Red Light Management, Danny Clinch/TourGigs, and others - Re-launched Evil Teen Records, The Orchard-distributed music label owned by Grammy-winning artist/songwriter Warren Haynes by creating concepts for all audio, video, and digital products !Created highest-grossing 12-month revenue in Evil Teen’s 20+-year history by renegotiating label’s distribution deal and improving budgeting, scheduling, and campaign management

  • 2005 - 2020
    New York Guitar Festival

    General Manager / Co-Producer & Curator; Member, Board of Advisors (part-time)

    - Managed operations and booked artists for nonprofit music and arts festival founded by WNYC’s John Schaefer and David Spelman - Negotiated talent agreements and handled artist relations for Bon Iver, Daniel Lanois, Emmylou Harris, Mark Ribot, Taj Mahal, Andy Summers, Levon Helm, and others - Expanded partnerships, sponsorships, and range of venues to increase festival’s prestige, profitability, and accessibility including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Joe’s Pub - Secured brand partnerships with Apple, Brooklyn Brewery, and Guitar Center, among others; and media partnerships with outlets such as WNYC, WFUV, and Sirius XM - Provided creative direction to artists on repertoire, arrangements, and collaborative opportunities

  • 2019 - 2019
    I Float Down The Liffey, LLC

    Owner / President (part-time)

    - Created sole proprietorship to develop creative, operational, and revenue strategies for recording artists, songwriters, record labels, tech ventures, book publishers, festival promoters, and film/television production companies; advised investment bank media analysts; appeared on music industry panels - Programmed, selected performers, and booked artists for tribute concert series for Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and the Grateful Dead at Arts Brookfield in lower Manhattan; secured talent included Bruce Springsteen, The National, and Jason Isbell, among others; developed and drove event campaign plans with venue staff resulting in favorable press from The New Yorker, New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety, and oversaw marketing partnership with PBS’s POV division - Select projects/clients: Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor” (assistant producer/talent evaluator); Martin Scorsese’s “Vinyl” HBO Series (set consultant); Deutsche Bank (research department consultant); Emily Wolfe (artist manager)

  • 2010 - 2012
    A&M / Octone Records (Universal Music Group)

    Head of Label and A&R Operations / Production

    - Directed artist and repertoire operations, production, radio compliance, artist relations, music publishing, project scheduling/budgeting, capital expense budgeting, and cash flow - Collaborated with COO and lawyers in structuring multi-rights artist contracts and licensing agreements to better protect the integrity of the artists’ intellectual properties and improve return on investment - Developed and managed creative relationships and secured collaborations with multi-Platinum/Grammy-winning performing artists, producers, songwriters, including Maroon 5, K’NAAN, Ryan Tedder, Sam Hollander, Alex Da Kid, and Keith Stegall for multi-million-dollar recording projects

  • 2006 - 2010
    Island Def Jam Music Group (Universal Music Group)

    Director, A&R Administration / Operations

    - Directed artist and repertoire operations for audio and video recording projects; controlled costs and negotiated agreements to maximize return on $50 million+ in project budgets - Supervised 100+ recording projects (25+ concurrently) for numerous Grammy-winning and Platinum-selling artists, including Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, The Roots, Johnny Cash, and Melissa Etheridge

  • 1996 - 2005
    RCA Records / Arista Records (Sony Music)

    Senior Director, A&R Administration / Production

    - Promoted to roles of increased responsibilities under the leadership of Clive Davis and Antonio “LA” Reid - Organized and re-designed the pre-production and sample license clearance processes company-wide which increased licensing revenue by 10% annually and protected intellectual integrity of all properties - Worked on projects for and with Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Santana, Grateful Dead, Patti Smith, The Notorious B.I.G., Alicia Keys, OutKast, and Butch Walker

  • 1993 - 1996
    Cherry Lane Music Company

    Editor / Licensing Coordinator

    - Led initiative to acquire print publishing rights for Dave Matthews Band, among others, resulting in $2,000,000+ in revenue

  • 1990 - 1993

    Freelance Writer & Editor

    - Wrote creative and critical pieces on music, politics, and social issues - Published in New York Times Magazine, Hartford Courant, New Haven Advocate, and Guitar Magazine !Edited business manual Grammar for Smart People