Label name: TVT Records
Founders: Steve Gottlieb
Backstory (What’s the story behind the launch of the label? How was it launched? Why was it launched?):
TVT began when President and founder Steve Gottlieb, launched the label out of his
The label’s eclectic roster runs the gamut of today’s popular music — from Platinum crunk masters Lil Jon and Grammy-nominated Ying Yang Twins, indie rock royalty Ambulance LTD, Latin hip-hop star Pitbull, hard rockers Default and R&B songstress Teedra Moses. New artists making noise include rock bands The Cinematics, The Holloways, controversial UK punks Towers of
Greatest Achievements (What are the label’s proudest moments? Going platinum? Releasing a classic? Signing a legend?):
Ending 2006 TVT Records is recognized for a remarkable fifth year straight as the nation’s #1 independent label by industry authorities Billboard Magazine and SoundScan. And entering 2007 the label is on the eve of another massive release with Crunk Rock from Lil Jon. His preceding 2005 album Crunk Juice was the #1 independent album of that year, which made history upon its release when it had the biggest first week sales ever for an independent album. “That an album so massive was financed, produced, marketed and distributed 100% independently makes a point bigger than the sales mark it set,” said Steve Gottlieb. “It shows the sea change in the music industry which has given a level of power to independent labels never before seen.”
Current and Future projects (What current projects are you pushing and what’s planned for the next year?):
TVT looks forward to releasing ‘Crunk Rock’ from Lil Jon, as well as the follow-up to Pibull’s ‘El Mariel,’ released in 2006. Additionally, albums from The A’z, Keke Wyatt, Lumidee, Twisted Black, O-Solo, Teedra Moses, New Years Day, Ambulance, The Cinematics, The Holloways and more.
Goals and Purpose (What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the industry? What goals do you have for the label?):
TVT’s goals are to continue to provide the credibility and focus of an indie label, and the marketing and distribution power of a major label. Priding itself on grass roots artist development and innovative promotion and marketing techniques, the label’s breakthough rate is astounding. Handling its own international affairs with offices in
TVT Records also looks forward to strengthening its role as a pioneer in digital music distribution, as TVT was the first label to make its entire catalog available for download when it launched its digital store in November 1999 from TVTrecords.com. The company was also the first to make its entire repertoire of music videos available for streaming. The label has been at the forefront of the evolving music market online through strategic partnerships with Microsoft, Yahoo!, Real Networks, Napster and others. Recent digital licensing deals include partnerships with Qtrax, MusicMatch, PressPlay and Zingy. And in the massive Ringtones market, TVT often tops the charts. Two of last year’s top 10 Mastertones were TVT recordings, and the current smash from Lil Jon, “Snap Yo Fingers” is a Platinum-certified Ringtone.
TVT Music Publishing, the label’s publishing division retains some of the most prolific and successful songwriters of the day including Grammy winner Scott Storch. Storch, one of the top pop and urban songwriters of the last decade has penned hits for Dr. Dre, Christina Aquilera, Busta Rhymes, Beyoncé, The Game, Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake and Lil’ Kim. TVT Music Publishing holds copyrights for some of the biggest singles in recent memory, including smashes from Usher, Ciara and Mario. In each quarter of 2006, TVT Music Publishing has been in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Publisher Airplay Chart.
It is not a surprise that TVT Records has taken a leading role in the newly formed American Association of Independent Music (A2IM.org), a coalition formed to represent the interests of independent labels. This crucial organization will act as a counter-balance to preferential treatment toward major labels in the areas of digital music distribution, copyright law, radio regulation, piracy, CD manufacturing and even health insurance.
Within the Game (How does the label fit within the current climate of hip-hop? Or does it even fit in at all? What’s the label’s personality in relation to the rest of hip-hop?):
TVT fits into the current climate of hip-hop by seeking out and supporting distinct hip-hop artists. As the world of hip-hop expands and evolves, TVT looks to sign artists representative of this progression. As an independent label, TVT understands the value of perseverance, which is in the spirit of great hip-hop and great hip-hop artists.