Barry Benson is a true renaissance music man whose music career has spanned over 20 years. Barry began his career as the Director of Radio Promotions for Walt Disney’s Hollywood Records where he was instrumental in driving promotional campaigns for cutting-edge hip-hop luminaries Organized Konfusion, DJ Shadow, Peanut Butter Wolf, and the Digital Underground spin off, Raw Fusion. Later, he segued to A&M Records where he oversaw radio promotion for the likes of Mint Condition and Barry White.
Barry went on to become Director of Rhino Records Urban Division where he created, produced, and marketed over 47 CD releases, over a nine year span. The platinum selling, “Smooth Groove” series, “Best of Keith Sweat”, and “The Best of Anita Baker”, are a few of the highlights of his career at Rhino Records. During his tenure with Rhino, Barry’s projects sold of over 5 million units. The label was nominated for several Grammy Awards, NAARM Awards, and was one of the premiere catalog music labels of the 1990’s.
Making the transition from the traditional record business to digital music was seamless for Barry, given his extensive experience. In 2003, he was at the ground floor of ringtone/mobile phone entertainment technology, working as a Director of Merchandising for InfoSpace Mobile which lead to the opportunity to head Digital Marketing for Universal Music Group/Interscope/Geffen/A&M and was instrumental in creating and executing digital campaigns with iTunes, AT&T, Verizon, and Yahoo, for 50 Cent, Common, Pussycat Dolls, and Nine Inch Nails.
In 2008, Barry launched his own Stratus Digital Music Marketing company focusing on implementing online campaigns with recording artists. Stratus’ clientele includes Hidden Beach Recordings, SMC Recordings, CodeBlack Entertainment, and iTunes.
Mr. Benson also oversees the Urban, Electronic, Jazz, and World Music, content and marketing strategy for the iTunes Essentials Store. He hosts a weekly podcast, along with the iTunes music team, entitled “iTunes Weekly Rewind”.
Some of Barry’s clients include Da Baby, India Arie, Johnny Gill, Leslie Odom Jr., Leela James, and Paul Anthony of Full Force.
Barry believes that, “There is so much compelling entertainment content that has yet to be monetized and marketed in the Web 2.0 environment”, he continues to say, “I feel that it is our goal is to connect the dots between the traditional music marketing platforms and the digital musical marketing platforms, in the coming years”.