Over the last year, many music industry pundits and observers have asked the question, “What exactly is Choruss?” Some of the speculation regarding the project — which involves the monetization of filesharing on college networks — has ranged from bizarre (Choruss is part of the zombie apocalypse) to the seemingly credible (it’s a way for artists and labels to make money from what the kids are already doing – trading files over college networks). This session will give you a chance to hear about Choruss straight from the horse’s mouth, in this case, digital music trailblazer Jim Griffin. Think of it like an episode of “Lost” but with actual answers. read more
What happens when the entire history of recorded music can be contained on a device the size of a guitar pick? And if that content is shared between users on private networks, where does that leave intellectual property? For some, this may sound like a sci-fi nightmare. But for legendary producer and McGill University professor Sandy Pearlman it’s both provocative conversation-starter and a soon-to-be reality. With the cost of storage quickly crashing to $0, what does this mean for the ongoing attempts to monetize digital music? Is the copyright industry’s loss part of a broader cultural gain? Can commerce and creativity be reconciled with rapid technological evolution in a way that makes sense for artists?
With so much focus on the national political agenda, it’s often easy to forget how state and local policies impact both artists and area economies. Though there are a multitude of issues on the road to recovery, any discussions about solutions must address concerns of the cultural sector, whose energy and expertise can help towns and cities across the country emerge from the current crisis (and be better prepared for the next). How can state and local policies better reflect the needs of specific groups, like working musicians, small businesses and arts presenters? What’s needed to achieve sustainable local cultural communities? What role should local government play in promoting a respect for the arts in American society?
As music moves from a physical sales model to online platforms, it’s increasingly important that we have systems for efficiently and accurately compensating artists. This means metadata — the “tags” associated with an audio file that enables proper tracking of how that music is used and that points back to who should get paid. Technology offers opportunities for more accurate tracking, reporting and royalty distribution, but a lack of standardization and accuracy — particularly in classical and jazz music — remains a significant barrier to a functional and comprehensive system.
Music has a proud history of being a vehicle for social change, with artists from across the spectrum taking leadership on issues ranging from civil rights to rebuilding hurricane-ravaged New Orleans. Yet there is too often a divide between artistry and advocacy, which can result in missed opportunities on important causes. How can today’s musicians become effective messengers? What are the most appropriate ways to cultivate fan engagement on the issues? This discussion will examine the key dynamics for informed artist activism while highlighting successful models for meaningful change. read more
The digital revolution hasn’t just impacted music creation, access and distribution — it’s also shaken up the world of reporting, criticism and publicity. This year alone has seen the shuttering of several music magazines, and newspapers continue to cut back on entertainment coverage. Online outlets are proliferating, but in terms of quality and influence, they’re hardly created equal. How can today’s artists win the attention of increasingly distracted observers? Who will employ critics and reporters amid cutbacks and closures? How is niche music coverage faring in the age of American Idol? What’s the value of music writing when listeners have instantaneous access to content? Here, prominent music critics and reporters will examine these questions and more. read more
MDespite the obvious disruptions, the digital revolution has been empowering for many musicians. Everywhere you look, companies are experimenting with new ways to help musicians finance their work, reach audiences and hopefully earn a paycheck. Yet navigating this rapidly evolving landscape can be daunting. What?s really working for musicians? Can buzzed-about success stories be replicated? How can technology and online services help the DIY rockers of the world? Representatives from some of the coolest new ideas in funding, promotion, asset management and data tracking will join us to demo their wares and talk about how musicians can effectively use these tools. read more