The music industry made a big mistake when it didn't partner with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and fought Napster instead of buying it, rapper Armando Christian Perez, otherwise known as Pitbull, said Monday.
"The thing about the music business is that it's a business that makes every other business money except itself, to a certain extent. Now it's starting to find ways on how to monetize things that they weren't looking at before," he said in an interview with "Closing Bell. "
In fact, people are just starting to figure out what an asset music is to technology, as evidenced by names like Spotify, Pandora and Jay Z's new company Tidal, he said.
Music execs may worry about free-streaming music, however Perez said that's not a concern to him. He said he can keep producing his music and still make money.
"You can't make my product. They can't code it. They can't patent it," Perez said. "No matter if it goes for free or if it is monetized one way or another, it is going to lead us to some amazing business."
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While Perez may be famous for his music, he's also a businessman who is always looking to expand his brand and help others along the way.
Among other things, he's hooked up with Voli Vodka, is an equity partner with Miami Grill, and has a fragrance line and sponsorships from various companies.
"What we try to do is create our own portfolio within our own business, or I would say our own platform," he said. "The great thing is that people don't know it, and that's what allows us to fly under the radar and make educated decisions on any deal that we're involved with."
However, Perez said his business opportunities have never been about the money.
"It's about the journey because what you learn on the way, it's priceless," he said. "When we leave here, none of it can come with us ... so it's what we take on the way, who we can help on the way up and enjoy the journey."
On Monday, Perez rang the Nasdaq closing bell, along with Florida entrepreneur Manny Medina and others from the eMerge Americas conference in Miami. The event, organized by Medina, is meant to bring investors and leaders in the tech start-up industry across the Americas together. NBCUniversal, CNBC's parent company, is the exclusive media partner.
Perez said he was honored to take part in the event.
"I just love to see growth," he said.
He also enjoys seeing people who have knocked on so many doors and been told "no, won't work" be given a platform to interact with others who have survived similar experiences.