Adam Kidron is a British-born ex-music producer, serial entrepreneur, and the ex-Chief Executive Officer of Urban Box Office (UBO), a reggaeton and urban Latino record label based in New York City. He is also the founder of Yonder Music.
Kidron's father was Marxist economist Michael Kidron, best known for his book Western Capitalism Since the War. Adam Kidron is the brother of film director Beeban Kidron. Adam was previously married to Karen Alexander, with whom he has two daughters.
Urban Box Office Network
The urban Internet portal UBO, the predecessor of the current Urban Box Office, Inc., was co-founded by Kidron, along with the late film director/producer George Jackson and lawyer Frank Cooper, in a parking garage in New York City in 1999. The company aggregated websites such as Latinflava.com, Soul Purpose, Support Online, Hiphop.com, Urban Music Matrix, UBO Sports and Womanhood. Latinflava, previously a Spanglish e-magazine, became UBO's own in-house label. In less than two years, Kidron, Jackson and Cooper raised over $40 million of venture capital for Urban Box Office Networks, Inc. Kidron became the CEO of the company.
Urban Box Office
Urban Box Office was later founded as a different company to salvage the music component of Urban Box Office Network. It released its first album in 2004, and in 2005 it had several successful Latin music releases, including Bachata musician Andy Andy, and some reggaeton compilation albums, three reaching the top five of Billboard music’s charts. The focus of UBO was to sell low-priced CDs at five to ten dollars each through non-traditional stores, such as bodegas and hair salons—a strategy they launched in 2002. Kidron is also the founder of Yonder Music, a streaming music service. In 2006, Kidron produced "Nuestro Himno" — the controversial Spanish-language version of "The Star-Spangled Banner". Kidron presented the song at a concert at the former immigration processing centre, Ellis Island, in May 2006.
Kidron was CEO of the music startup Beyond Oblivion, which bundled music for mobile phone devices. Kidron came under scrutiny for his business tactics when Beyond Oblivion went bankrupt, costing $33 million. It had spent heavily on marketing, but filed for bankruptcy in December 2011 before it had been able to launch. Kidron explained he had faced difficulties in "co-ordinating the diversity of the ecosystem" and persuading mobile phone and computer manufacturers to collect revenue from purchasers. BOINC is the company’s successor firm. After being replaced by Michael Tatelman, Boinc was able to successfully release their product.
Kidron introduced the tech-savvy restaurant, 4Food, to New York in 2010. Food can be ordered using IPads attached to the tables. The initial investment made into 4Food was for three restaurant locations. Only one of which was launched. Hamburgers are special ordered by customers and can be saved and named for later ordering, or posted to social media so that other customers can order the combination. Discounts were given to the creator of the hamburger for every time that combination is ordered by additional customers by name. Ten million types of hamburgers had been named by 2011.
Yonder Music was founded in May 2014 by Kidron, who serves as the company’s CEO. The company was developed as a mobile-only digital music service, by providing specially licensed mobile devices with unlimited downloading privileges. Seed money was contributed by Cliff Burnstein.
Adam Plus Company
Kidron is the Managing Partner and founder of Adam Plus Company.
Adam Kidron began his career in the record industry in 1978, He worked in record production for the label Rough Trade, as well as Stiff Records, where he worked with artists including Davey Payne and The Blockheads. In 1984, Adam Kidron and his then-girlfriend, Lizzy Mercier Descloux recorded the album Gazelles, with a band made up of leading Sowetan musicians.
In 1984, while recording Nina Hagen In Ekstasy (1985) Kidron had a near-fatal motorbike accident. He went on to produce Mercier Descloux's masterpiece One for the Soul — a collaboration with legendary jazz trumpeter Chet Baker, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1985. In 1994 Kidron was the music supervisor of the movie and executive producer of the soundtrack for "Jason's Lyric" with George Jackson, Doug McHenry and Sam Sapp. In 1995 Kidron co-executive produced the soundtrack for Mario Van Peebles, "Panther" In 1996 Kidron, along with Sam Sapp, Kenneth Edmonds ["Babyface"], and Antonio Reid ["LA"] executive produced "The Rhythm of The Games", the official soundtrack of the Atlanta Olympic Games.
TV producer/Catwalk (1986-1997)
In the mid-1980s Adam Kidron became partner in Crossbow Films Ltd., a groundbreaking UK-based independent producer of syndicated television. At Crossbow, Kidron developed innovative television formats with Henry Winkler and Ben Elton, George Jackson and Doug McHenry, Clarence Avant and Quincy Jones. In 1990 Kidron left Crossbow to form his own production company, Marvellous Pictures, Inc.
In 1991, Kidron and partners Steve Waterman and Jeff Franklin, begun production of Catwalk in Toronto, Canada. Catwalk was a syndicated television series based around the struggles of an urban band trying to hit the big time. The series is best known for launching the career of Neve Campbell (Daisy), discovered by Kidron while she was a performer in the Canadian production of The Phantom of the Opera. Catwalk also featured Lisa Butler (Sierra), Christopher Lee Clements (Atlas), Paul Popowich (Jesse), Kelli Taylor (Mary), and Keram Malicki-Sánchez (Johnny). The show was based on a six-minute mini-movie Adam had produced in London's docklands, which had featured Kate Moss.
- Andrew Orlowski (27 January 2012) "Startup goes titsup: Beyond Oblivion's crash is beyond belief", The Register.co.uk.
- "Archive - Karen Alexander". People Magazine. People Magazine. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- Cobo, Leila (February 26, 2005). "Chayanne Gets Romantic". Billboard: 33. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- "Latino US anthem stirs controversy", China Daily, 29 May 2006.
- Matt Rosoff (2 March 2012) "The Amazing Story Of How This 'Insane' CEO Blew $33 Million And Never Released A Product", Business Insider.
- Harry Wallop (3 January 2012) "Music service Beyond Oblivion collapses into oblivion", The Telegraph (London).
- Daniel Maurer (18 August 2010) "4Food Introduces the Viral Restaurant" Grub Street (NYMag.com).
- Novak, Ralph and Hiltbrand, David. "Picks and Pans Review: Nina Hagen in Ekstasy", People, July 8, 1985.