Rob Light, Head of Music, Creative Artists Agency
It might be tempting to think that Rob Light, CAA’s longtime head of music, rests on his laurels while his agency puts its stamp on the live industry year in and year out simply as a matter of scale.
But Light, who really is the type of guy who says there is no “I” in “team,” knows that sheer volume isn’t enough to move the needle forward in an increasingly competitive environment.
“I think the changing landscape of how bands break is something we all have to get educated on,” Light tells Pollstar. “When we’re looking at artists like Maggie Rogers, Judah and the Lion, Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Head and the Heart, they’re breaking without a lot of airplay and breaking off the road.”
Light, who has led CAA’s music department since taking the reins from Tom Ross 21 years ago, says he and his team always think, “How can we do things a bit differently? How can we be more inventive in our deals, package better, be further out in terms of our thinking?”
And artists have more opportunities than ever, Light says. The trend toward experiential programming isn’t limited to Millennials, but also includes Boomers who have money to spend and are increasingly spending it to see heritage artists. Meanwhile, the Las Vegas market, where Light says CAA represents more than half of the artists performing, continues to grow.
“I think Latin music is going to continue to grow and be impactful and I think you’re going to see a huge uptick in rock ‘n’ roll.
We’ve never abandoned rock,” Light says. “You’re going to see a lot of people looking for that black T-shirt crowd and play to them. And I think you’re going to see hip-hop kind of merge into some of that as well and overlap on the rock side.”