Azoff Doesn't Pull Any Punches

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Live Nation Executive Chairman Irving Azoff didn't mince words over his feelings about the Pandora Digital Music service during a recent appearance at a media conference.

"It’s horseshit. The market cap for Pandora is like $1.8 billion. That’s roughly the market cap of Live Nation, and they are whining about wanting to pay artists less," Azoff told moderator Judd Apatow during a Q&A at TheGrill, TheWrap’s annual media conference. Azoff then went on to describe Pandora's quality as "shitty" when compared to other services such as Spotify.

Pandora has been advocating for Congress to drop mechanical royalty rates for digital music.

Azoff also offered a sharp criticism of television talent shows such as "American Idol" and "The Voice." According to Azoff, the chance of success in the music industry that these shows purport to offer is largely hype.

"There are 64 contestants on ‘The Voice. There have been 10 or 11 years of ‘Idol’ and 100 or 110 Top 10 people," Azoff was quoted by TheWrap as saying. "I can count on one hand the number of people who’ve sustained off of that. It shows that even with the massive exposure of network TV how hard it is to make it in music."

According to Azoff, these companies are making the music industry an increasingly challenging venture.

"It's way different now. It’s way more difficult," Azoff said. "The odds are stacked against you."

Despite his strident opinions on Pandora and television talent shows, Azoff seemed ambivilent when the subject turned to Steve Jobs and iTunes. Moderator Judd Apatow lobbed a slow pitch when he said that "Steve Jobs ruined music," but Azoff didn't swing, and instead noted he felt that Jobs had "changed music forever." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers