Learn from experienced #Digital CEO – Mark Dennis, Sony Music Sweden

Read more about inspiring leaders embracing the digital world and understand more of their personal journey and get access to some of their insights. Our next leader is Mark Dennis. Mark is the CEO of Sony Music Sweden. Mark believes passionate leadership and diversity is the key to the future.

The Swedish Academy of Board Directors is progressively inspiring their leaders and members on how to lead into the digital age.  I was fortunate to present to them and also to interview Mark Dennis on the stage this week. We got a chance to talk to Mark afterwards for our blog, and you can watch it here.

Mark’s journey to become a #Digital Leader

So how did Mark come into the CEO position he currently holds? Listen to Mark’s inspiring response (if the video does not open, you may watch it here);

Mark is the CEO of Sony Music since 2011 and he has been in the music business since 2000. He has worked with music licensing, he has worked in startups and he moved into the record industry 2007, where he started to work on the business digital issues. He believes he was really in the right place at the right time. He worked in the industry when it was going through huge change, with piracy and new entrants. He could see the music industry struggling with the business models and he wanted to contribute, but didn’t think he was going to be able to help the best from the startups side of the table. So he switched place to see if he could support the business and the industry moving quicker to bypass piracy. At the same time he saw the beta models of Spotify and Mark realized that it was going to be an opportunity for the music industry that was better than piracy.

Mark’s drive for being passionately curious and wanting to make a difference were keys to move forward in this new world.

Which #Digital Trends, Businesses and Leaders to monitor?

Which trends and examples of businesses and leaders does Mark believe we should keep our eyes on going forward? Listen to Mark insights here (if the video does not open, you may watch it here):

Mark shares that any industry with passionate engaged founders is interesting to look at. He gets inspired when leaders are passionate about what they are doing. Having been at a startup he recognizes the challenges it can be and believes that the entrepreneurial spirit is really important. He also thinks that it is important for established companies to become more entrepreneurial again. Mark believes that they learn every day from startups and small companies at Sony Music to monitor the disruptive trends that might come.

Mark likes to be inspired by different parts of what leaders do, rather than believing that they are good at everything. He mentions that he gets inspiration from Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, with engaged leadership and pure will to succeed. But they have not necessarily been the best leaders at leading people. So Mark rather believes that you can pull out good ideas from great leaders and try to integrate them with your own leadership style. Mark also mentions Elon Musk as inspiring, at not just transforming the car industry but also moving into transforming other industries.

Give and get inspiration and value through networks

What networks does Mark believe will bring value to both Mark as well as to his business? Don’t miss out on Marks response to our final question – which furniture he would be (if the video does not open, you may watch it here)…

There is no doubt that social networks, both digital and in real life, are increasingly important for us in both our business and private life.

Mark has over the years built up a business network that he trusts and respects. This includes both people within the music industry, but also people in industries with similar challenges as for example, broadcast media.

Mark also shares how Sony Music is involved in the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Sweden during the time of the interview. He believes that the Eurovision is an incredible event and organization. The Swedish contestant is a Sony artist and several of the other contestants are also Sony artists so they are very busy these days.

Finally, as furniture, Mark would be ……… an armchair! Mark chooses the armchair because he really believes that in the moment of relaxing in a nice armchair he really gets his best ideas!

How to become more #digitallyInvolved

To get more insight of what Mark knows and shares, we recommend you to try to explore and understand more about new business models which the highly digitalized music industry has adopted and to learn more about the sharing economy. There is an interesting report written by Anna Felländer, Claire Ingram and Robin Teigland about the Sharing Economy and how to embrace it with caution.  You can download the report here .

There are a number of disruptive business models coming increasingly with digital business progress, some examples are

  • The Free model (as Google, Facebook) where the base service is free for the consumer and the advertising and consumer data is paying for access.
  • There is the Freemium model (as LinkedIn, Dropbox and Spotify) where advertising is paying for a base offering and with a charge for a premium service.
  • The Subscription model (as Spotify and Netflix) which disrupts by locking in and charging a subscription fee to access the service.
  • The Marketplace model (as Uber and AirB&B) where buyers and sellers are brought together disrupting the middlemen.

There are many more business models and version of models arising and it is well worth keeping an eye on exploring the progress of business models. The disruptor threat to the incumbent is often not due to the technology in itself but the business model leveraging the technology.

To get music inspiration you can follow Marks business via Facebook on Sony Music Sweden or via twitter @SonyMusicSweden and follow their global accounts Sony Music Entertainment or via twitter @SonyMusicGlobal.  You can also follow Spotify via Facebook Spotify or twitter @spotify. The Eurovision event can be followed here Eurovision and on Twitter @eurovision.

To further expand your own network of inspiring digital leaders – you can follow some of the leaders on Twitter that Mark mentioned, such as Jeff Bezos @JeffBezos and Elon Musk @elonmusk .

We think it is important to share insights from inspiring #digital1st thought leaders, if you are one of them or know someone we should talk to, please send us a hint via https://digoshen.com/contact/ or via Twitter @digoshen .

These interviews are shared both on my own blog www.liselotteengstam.com as well as on the blog of Digoshen www.digoshen.com, where I am Chairman of the Board.

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