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Iron Mountain Expands Music Archiving Services

The team at Iron Mountain Entertainment Services explores the value in seeing the value of not only archives but other assets as well.

Rory Kaplan (left) and Lance Podell of IMES

Hollywood, CA (March 15, 2021)—Iron Mountain Entertainment Services (IMES) has recently made a number of hires that are intended to expand its business opportunities, particularly into the music industry. To that end, the company, which offers physical and digital asset preservation and archiving services for the wider entertainment industry and beyond, has appointed Rory Kaplan as senior business development executive, Music Industry.

Kaplan is well known to the pro audio community. Co-founder and former president of META (now the METAlliance), he’s held key positions at Auro Technologies, Microsoft, AMD and Intel, and was part of the DTS Inc. team that pioneered 5.1 music releases. Kaplan has cred beyond the boardroom, too, as he began in the business as a musician and has worked on more than 100 albums and 18 world tours.

IMES approached Kaplan to help the company connect with the untapped pool of people and companies in the music industry that have never considered, or not yet committed to, an asset management strategy. “I’m hoping to get a lot of engineers, studios and artists to look at saving their content and assets, whether it’s a ’57 Strat or the first tape they ever recorded,” says Kaplan. “Everything they have is equally important.”

He’s never considered himself a “sales guy,” he says. “Even though it falls under sales, I’m not selling people anything. But I can call my artist friends and say, ‘Here’s a solution.’”

IMES also recently hired Hillary Howell, an archivist formerly with Lionsgate. “We’re often asked to talk archivist-to-archivist, and are asked some really strategic questions about the best path forward, so we needed somebody who could be a partner with our clients,” explains Lance Podell, SVP and GM, of Howell’s appointment as director, Premium Archival Services.

“Similarly, we hired Beth Greve as head of Sales,” says Podell, noting that they previously worked together at YouTube. “Beth has a background in digital media, so she really understands the digital landscape and has a background in sports, including serving as global chief commercial officer at World Surf League. That’s a really good combination of skills for us.”

There’s a long list of reasons to consider preservation and archiving services. For one, storing assets in an attic or in public storage exposes them to myriad potential hazards. Old audio assets, from neglected tapes to hard drives that haven’t been spun up for years, are also in danger of becoming unplayable as they deteriorate. And it’s not just assets; artists age, too, and should think about estate planning to ensure their legacies and future revenue streams for their families.

IMES offers solutions for the preservation and archival process, from digitizing assets—and remediating problems affecting playback—to cataloging them and enabling search and retrieval. “We are in asset lifecycle management,” says Podell, ensuring that assets enjoy an extended lifecycle through digitizing physical assets, for instance, or migrating digital assets from one format to a newer format.

It’s not just about old audio tapes either. “It can be everything, from notes to lyrics written on a napkin to old concert tickets or posters. Think about doing a retrospective or a documentary,” says Podell. If everything is being held by IMES, “It’s all in one place, all digitized, all searchable.”

Few might take the time to rummage through boxes of unmarked tapes to find a bonus track for an upcoming release or that one early demo for a retrospective project. But once an asset is ingested into the IMES system, whether it’s a demo song or a photograph of an artist shaking hands with a U.S. President, it can be quickly found. Iron Mountain’s Digital Content Repository (DCR) provides a dashboard that enables an artist or team member to enter keywords and quickly surface an asset from the archive and direct it securely to its destination.

Indeed, IMES remains focused on security, maintaining an end-to-end “chain of custody” from the asset’s current location to one of the company’s many media storage and digitization facilities. As Kaplan explains, “An Iron Mountain-bonded guy picks this stuff up, notes the assets and transports them in an Iron Mountain truck. They’re checked in, logged and cataloged. It’s like a bank; it’s secure, and there’s never a third party involved.”

Iron Mountain Entertainment Services •