Event Report: Music 4.5 The Power of Audiences


10am Leicester square in the decadent venue, Café de Paris.

Organizers Petra and Rassami of 2Pears start proceedings with a quick introduction of what the day will entail.

The host Jeremy Silver, CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition, begins with an overview on how the industry must evolve to stay strong.

Interesting concepts raised –

-Copyright should be shifted to Moral rights
-Record companies allowing bands to sell their CDs off their own website.
-Stopping the sending out of CDs as pre release Demos to cut piracy.
-Getting the new streaming companies ie Spotify and We7 to share knowledge on the market to help the industry progress.
– Gamification(creating music based games) will help develop monetise music.

Quote of the Day – “The internet throws up more data than an essex girl on a Friday night.

Mark Meharry, CEO of Music Glue was then invited to the stage to talk about how the Power of Hieracy will alter in the next five years due to the change in culture, a great hypothetical future was then mapped out including the iPhone 10, Swedish designed offline networks and mini terabyte drives being sold on the beach packed with media for £10.

Next up was Kemal Mermutlu an inspiring mind from BBC 1 and 1xtra talking about the connection with young audiences and how they can indicate the next mainstream acts. He mentioned the importance of statistics research at the BBC in relation to playing the right music. Two interesting statements included; Mobile? was the most important thing in a youngster’s life and YouTube is the number one place to find new music.

He also presented two case studies of teenagers from totally different backgrounds talking about how they engage with music, both using Myspace as a discovery tool, and Spotify to explore more content helping with the decision to purchase. One statement that I found hard to believe was that FaceBook is dropping in popularity and MySpace will return, this surely will be purely in a music discovery sense.

Following was an interestingly titled panel discussion: ‘Milking Your Fans’, covering ideas about successfully building and monetizing a fan base. Moderated by Tim Burrows, digital media correspondent of the Financial Times, the panel included:

Atan Burrows – Mflow
Maire Alicia Chang – Music Metric
Clive Gardener – We7
Steve Jelley – Videojucer and Plush Music TV
Simon Scott – Push entertainment

Interesting points raised included:

– The restriction of windowing, only allowing releases to be sold or accessed for an X amount of time after their first radio play, thus resulting in fans looking for the material and downloading it illegally due to its limited availability.

– The importance of live performances to encourage fans to purchase merchandise after the show.

– The current user demographic for subscription services was middle aged men.

After a coffee and networking the presentations continued with a talk by Gary McLarlan, deputy chairman, Music Managers Forum and Grant Murgatroyd, editor, Corporate Financier Magazine looking at where the money is coming from as the role of labels change.

Next was a great debate with a panel of labels representatives and artists on whether the labels are redundant, and the deals fair. Moderated by Music Week’s digital editor Eamonn Forde the panel consisted of:

Ana Free, an independent artist who launched a career off YouTube
Kirsty Hawkshaw, female vocalist and solo artist
Marat Korenkov, of Indie label Decon Records
Rhiannon Price, Monotwin Recording and digital consultant
Sandie Shaw, artist and active membner of the FAC
Ulrich Schnauss, german artist
Paul Smernicki, Polydor digital manager

Fueled by the vibrant and opinionated Sandie Shaw, encouraging all artists to join the FAC to get the artists voice heard, the panel discussed how the Label and Artist should ideally work as a partnership and that the negative view of the major labels being money hungry suits is deluded.

After lunch the conference began with a ‘Jam Session’ hosted by Sean Blair of Audio Fuel.  This consisted of the audience grouping up and discussing various successful methods of audience participation they had encountered in the past.

Next Hessel van Oorschot, founder of Tribe of Noise, presented a case study on his company. Tribe of Noise is an online platform connecting creative minds. The site allows artists to easily find creative’s for artwork and video, and vice versa allows film makers to source music for their projects.

Tribe of Noise also allows artists to submit music for retail radio by licensing their music under creative commons, previous competitions run by the company have also seen the winners posted on one of the main billboards at Time Square NY for a day.

Paul Pod, VP User Experience & Design, artfinder, and User Experience Design for Product Development at EMI Music, then presented the future of added album content with a demo version of what artists could offer fans as a digital experience to create value in digital sales. This essentially took shape as an interactive information hub about the artist and album including photos history and videos along with the streaming music.

The presentations then closed with a pitch competition hosted by Charlotta Hedman, Music 4.5 blog editor, with Judges:

Leon Alexander, Hope Music Group
Alasdair George, Edge Group and Edge Performance VCT Investment Committee
Grant Murgatroyd, Corporate Financier Magazine
Rick Riccobono, NewMediaLaw
Hugh Stanley Clark, Gigaboxx
Milo Yiannopoulos, Telegraph.co.uk

The services pitched were –

Voisse – Podcasting a library of personal podcasts looking to connect budding singers who use Voisse as a recording tool for bedroom performances to industry professionals for feedback.

Audiobox.fm – Essentially a Dropbox for music, this threw up a few licensing questions from the floor.

GigzWiz – A ticketing merchant that awards sales and gives the band a cut of the booking fee.

MusixMatch – a legal lyrics site with lots of cool features.

Oopus – developed from a social experiment oopus builds the user a play list based on their mood and/or surroundings.

Radar Music Video – a website dedicated to introducing directors to musicians for the creation of music videos at all budgets. This idea was praised by the judges and took first place.

Jeremy then returned for a debriefing and drinks were served.

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Event Report: Future Music Forum (Barcelona)

We7 Repositions, Saying Users Prefer Radio to On-Demand

Event Report: Musexpo Europe 2010

Views on UK Youth and Music Survey 2009

Event Report: Bigsound 2010 – Entrepreneurialism and Music

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Rob is a Digital Marketing Consultant at The Music Void. Recently graduating from the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford UK, Rob is a multi instrumentalist with keen interests in composing and performing, as well as Digital Marking and PR. Alongside working at TMV Rob manages and performs in melodic punk band ‘Darko’, Jazz fusion band 'The Justice Quartet' and soul band ‘The Mosos’, he also co-runs a promotion company ‘BTN Guildford’ and his own music tuition company ‘Kustom Kreativity’.

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