Micheal Fagien is a pioneer in the music media space and creator of the world’s first hybrid analog/digital media company.
An innovator in music technology, licensing and distribution, subscription service, freemium marketing, artist and label relationships, sponsorships in the non-endemic and luxury markets, and upscale live music venues, Fagien launched JAZZIZ Magazine in 1983 while in Medical School at the University of Florida, and was first to bundle a digital compact disc inside a print magazine.
The concept was supposed to be a one-time promotion with Sony, designed to introduce the then-new CD technology to a target audience of audiophile jazz fans, but his idea caught on, eventually becoming the model for magazines in other vertical markets and the blueprint for AOL’s incredibly successful campaign to insert their software in lifestyle magazines.
Known for its attitude, style and “stories behind the music” aimed at reaching a large audience beyond the jazz world, Fagien grew JAZZIZ to become one of the largest and most celebrated music magazines in the world before entering into a publishing deal with Time-Warner. Under his guidance, the magazine entered into sponsorships, new products and licensing agreements outside the music industry including fashion, financial services, food and beverage, music accessories, books, festivals, concerts and live music venues.
In 1995, Fagien launched a successful record label in the Verve Group with renowned jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour and label operator Mark Wexler in a joint venture with PolyGram. Its very first release generated a best-selling album (A Twist of Jobim), earning “Album of the Year” and leveraging innovative sponsorships to sign artists including Al Jarreau before the label was sold to Universal Music.
With that same energy, excitement and passion for innovation in the music and media space, Dr Fagien launched a JAZZIZ 3.0 initiative this year. The 35-year-old legacy magazine is now part of a much larger platform bringing together consumers and makers of music around the world, using proprietary technologies—from content management to streaming, gaming to blockchain—in a social network with an essential mission committed to transparency, diversity and social responsibility.
In addition to his music publishing career, Dr Fagien has been at the cutting edge of advanced hybrid anatomic and molecular diagnostic imaging at the University of Florida and as a member of GE’s Medical Advisory Board. He remains as publisher of JAZZIZ Magazine and sits on several Advisory Boards, including the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
With 35 years of publishing experience, Fagien brought his subscription, customer service and other magazine functions to Hearst so that he can invest in the future of the music and media businesses developing a responsible and sustainable models with analytics tools that foster customer engagement, data-driven marketing, advertising transparency and content monetization.
Meet Michael Fagien and other inspirational industry pros in the JAZZIZ Lounge at MTF Stockholm. JAZZIZ brings a business lounge experience to the festival, featuring high end audio and luxury lifestyle brands, performances by world class artists, book launches, a documentary film premiere, an awards event and exclusive ‘in conversation’ sessions with business leaders, music tech pioneers and influential thinkers.
Hear Michael’s story in a keynote that lays out a roadmap for the future of JAZZIZ - and the future of music media.