Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Disintermediation 2.0: how technologies are flipping the music business on its head

Representatives from cutting edge technology companies and musicians will discuss the new wave of digital DIY technologies and services that are empowering musicians, removing the middle man, and bringing artists and fans closer together.

Paul Anthony CEO, Rumblefish
Brian Dear Founder & Chairman, Eventful, Inc.
Pinky Gonzales Director of Business Development, Echomusic
David Harrell musician / blogger, The Layaways / Digital Audio Insider
Tim Westergren Founder, Pandora
Brian Zisk Technologies Director and Founding Board Member, Future of Music Coalition

02:20 PM EST - BZ: How have things changed over the past 7/8 yrs?

TW: We've been doing this for about 7 years, and have seen things really hit the fan. For streaming audio, it has made a tremendous difference.

PA: I feel that we exist in the new music commodity. It has been more of a service business now.

BD: I want to bring in a different perspective on the idea of digital distribution of music, since we don't do that. We're trying to address the digital distribution of events. In the past, we were told that we wouldn't be making money with technology changes, yet we are seeing all these issues coming up with how to pay artists.

02:26 PM EST - BZ: Where do you draw the sample music line so that you make your fans happy
but still end up making the money?

PG: When you manage one of those communities, you really need to know your community in order to who to sell. There is a need to understand how many touch points exist before the consumer vote with their dollar.

DH: There is a line where the promotional value exceeds the value of "money lost".

TW: We're moving more towards the importance of an artist's relationship with their fans. If they don't have a loyalty to you, they'll steal it. This idea lends itself to that evolution.

02:32 PM EST - BZ: How do you feel about the physical CD?

DH: It can be seen as the lowest level of acceptance. You still need that physical disk to be taken seriously. From a promotional standpoint, it's not going away anytime soon.

02:46 PM EST - BZ: Targeting and segmentation. On the high end to be really easy to implement. How would you go about getting the information targeting to have success?

TW: I think every band should include themselves as an online person. Their job should be to help exploit their band online. Musicians don't tend to be business people. There are tons of enthusiatic fans to help you. Find an online savy person and make them a part of the band.

PG: Use a system like surveymonkey.com and have targeted questions and email fans. Figure out what the fans want. Know your fans and communicate with them as specficially as you can. It's hard to do it free but there's tons of services online you can do with a little.

02:52 PM EST - BZ: With all the growing websites to help musicians, disintermediation services also increase which can get complicated. How do you go about this?

PA: You have a choice now. Rights are more to the advantage to the creaters now. Maybe it's less about disintermediation and more about choice.

TW: I wouldn't sweat the percentages you're giving up from intermediaries. In the future, those figures will be more streamlined. If I was a musician, I would be more worried with building a fanbase. It's hard to say to avoid them when we don't understand fully what is out there ourselves.

03:02PM EST - BZ: With music recommendations, how is that going to come about? Is it what
your friends like? How does it shake out?

PA: Music supervisors don't search for genres, they look for emotions and characteristics. We tag all of our work, so yes it is personal as well.

TW: I don't think there is a right way for recommendations. People like to get music recommendations in different ways. In our case, we're trying to instantly create a radio station they will like.

DH: I think music recommendations are harder than anything else because it is so emotional.

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