Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Let's Get Physical: the state of retail in the digital age

Despite all the focus on digital distribution, physical CDs and LPs are still the dominant form of music sales. But that doesn't mean that the retail sector isn't experiencing tremendous change of its own. Join us for a panel that covers topics such as wholesale price points, to the impact of "digital only" releases on the terrestrial retail sector, to new bundling packages like CD with coupon for digital download, to the deals that are cutting traditional music stores out of the equation altogether. What does the music store of the future look like?

Mike Dreese
Co-Founder and CEO, Newbury Comics Inc.
Josh Madell
Co-owner, Other Music
Franz Nicolay
Musician, The Hold Steady, Anti-Social Music
Sean O'Connell
President, Music Allies, Inc
Tim Quirk
Vice President of Music Programming, Rhapsody
Michael Selverne
Managing Partner, Selverne Mandelbaum & Mintz, LLP

10:07AM EST
- TQ: What does the music store of the future look like?

JM: It's not going to look that much different. We focus on music that we love, and supporting bands that we love. Our music is based on our taste. We focus on mail-order, and hopefully our new downloads store will continue to improve, but for us its just about finding get new music and getting it into as many hands as possible. We have a strong brand name and people come to us because of our selection. We are selling less CDs for sure than we did five years ago, but we still have excited music fans coming in every day.

SO: I think the music store of 2020 will really be a curator, a trusted brand and a forward-thinker. If you're not on the web, you need to start being honest with yourself as a retailer about the future of the physical medium.

MD: I don't think there will be a music store in 2020. I think we have five to seven years left for the CD. Maybe niche music specialty stores will be around, selling collectibles, but the music store won't exist. Realistically, four to five years from now you'll see the end of the record store as we know it, besides a hundred or so examples of people clinging on. That model is running out of gas pretty quick.

10:17AM EST - TQ: As a musician, does this matter to you? Do sales even matter to your band?

FN: We've never expected to see money from retail sales, besides sitting at the merch table and getting hard cash in hand. It's nice to do in-stores and have another way to access your fans, but the royalty checks are pretty limited in the grand scheme of things.

TQ: In recognition of this fact, you all are getting online in various ways. Can you talk about this?

JM: We've been online for almost seven years with our mail-order service, because we have a lot of music that's hard to find. We just launched our download store, which is built around our weekly new releases email list. We write short record reviews and have about 25,000 people on the list. We have an independent mp3 download store, which is very curated, catering to the real music collector.

MD: We're acquiring a lot of legacy work and building a lot of exclusive collectibles, as far as movie merchandising and comics. We've got a pint glass series of notable artists, Marilyn Manson, Elvis Presley. Building merch is a very strong aspiration. We're in a good position for first arrival of such products, as we are helping creators decide what to make.

FN: As a band, a very small business, we can't handle merchandising ourselves. Though it might be profitable, we let our label, or services like MerchDirect.

10:26AM EST - TQ: Let's talk about other entities like Starbucks getting into music.

SO: I don't think that Starbucks is competitive at all. There are so few titles.

MD: It's certainly true that that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. The best thing that happened to Newbury was when Tower Records came to Back Bay, MA. Starbucks really knows their customers. We're going to learn a lot from them, and their branding.

FN: I don't have a preference for my CDs being sold in a coffee shop or a record store.

TQ: What do exclusives mean for you?

JM: Exclusives are huge, especially with the glut of material out there these days. Customers are more knowledgeable about music than ever. Even just one bonus track, in the download world there is a lot of competition for those. If you can have a release a week or two early, or a couple exclusive live tracks, customers are really aware of that. If you have those, it can really drive business. We had the new Beirut record a month before it came out, because the label realized that people were going to get it for free if it wasn't readily available.

SO: We've had artists cut a couple of live songs just to stop the bleeding, to provide that exclusive material and ensure an album sale. We don't traditionally do retail marketing, but its become much bigger with these smaller labels.

MD: If we can get exclusives, we like them. But I think a lot of these are a classic record label bait-and-switch, repackaging the same product and selling it twice. The industry is reaping the harvest of exactly what it sowed when it started giving marketing rebates to big box music stores. The pricing environment that Wal-Mart and Target have created significantly diminishes the retailer's ability to set price.

10:38AM EST - FN: Exclusives are a troublesome topic from a musician's point of view. We're not a factory pushing out widgets. The label asks for two covers and six acoustic version so we can have an eMusic exclusive, and an iTunes exclusive, and something for Australia, and it upsets people because they have to keep buying the record. It's trying to make up for declining sales by scavenging the true fans, and it leads to a mindset on our part of: "how important are these songs?"

MD: Artists can't really control their image or their sound the way they used to.

SO: A huge part of an artist's profit now has to be catering to their unique fans, the people who want the bootlegs, the people who are visiting your site. A lot of the value of the music itself is filtering away.

10:48AM EST - MD: Songs are worth a lot, not perhaps through a typical record deal, but you've got to find another way to monetize the songs. My friend just got a song on Guitar Hero, and that's the biggest check he gets.

JM: There's a big opportunity today for smaller bands. The real small indie bands that were never able to make any money...they have an opportunity today.

11:00AM EST - Questions from the audience

Q: What do you think about labels packaging music with extra content like Rringles and web content?
FN: I think it's fighting a lost battle.

MD: These are without a doubt going to fail the first time around, but they're beginning to learn what it means to create account status out of a fan.

Music Meets Media: Social Networking & Blogging

Social networking websites abound, but how do you use them to market your music? What are some new ways to use blogs more creatively? How do you make sure the time you spend is a money-maker and not a time-waster?

Corey Denis Vice President, reapandsow
Rachel Masters Director of Strategic Relationships, Ning
Charlie McEnerney Host + Producer, Well-Rounded Radio
Lou Plaia Co-Founder / VP Artist Development, ReverbNation.com
Brian Zisk Technologies Director and Founding Board Member, Future of Music Coaltion

09:25 AM EST - BZ: How do you decide where it's worthwhile to spend your energy?

RM: I think it depends on what kind of artist you are. There are two thoughts being debated. For example, if you are an artist, should you keep your videos exclusive to a few sites or open to all sites? If you're just starting, you need to be everywhere. You also need a home base for all your fans, where other fans can meet. This is also a way they can feel close to the artist.

LP: You have to be everywhere. Our company helps you syndicate it all to one site. You can also track where your fans are by gender and age group. You need that data in order to promote yourself.

CM: There are so many choices now. You have to think about what the end goal is. Whatever it might be, there are so many choices, artists tend to lose focus on what you are trying to sell.

09:35 AM EST - BZ: Any suggestions on how artists can stand out?

RM: You need to create a great experience for your fans. For example, a tour diary, or blogs of the artist, showcasing themselves on an artist to fan level. They need to be careful making and using a brand for the artist. Your logo should be your watermark online.

LP: Make good music. So many artists are just putting up what they just made. If users listen to your "garbage", they're not going to come back.

CD: I want to bring blogging into this now. What the RSS feed and blogs do, is they can eventually get rid of email lists. With an RSS feed, the fan is making the choice to read whereas in an email list, you're hoping they will read it. In the beginning, keep your email lists, but slowly start to make the transition; with RSS, the greatest thing is they provide information on fans and it's mobile.

09:42 AM EST - BZ: How do you decide what is going to be worthwhile before you do it?

RM: You have to look at it as a venture capitalist. Who is behind the website, and how are people utilizing it? If their management team is looking to give you great promotion, go for it. If it bombs, in the end, no one will know about it.

CD: Be an early adopter, especially if you want to be a promoter or publicist. You can't do your job unless you know how to use the outlets.

CM: I think you have to measure it a little bit, and think about your end goals because of the vast amount of choices.

LP: Also, really evaluate what the site is going to give you. They are making tons of money with advertisement, in the end, what are they giving you?

09:52 AM EST - BZ: Once you have used some social networking sites, some of them aren't as effective anymore. Once you try something, are you committed to it forever?

LP: There are companies out there so you don't have to keep updating them. There are groups that will syndicate information for you. There are still some things artists will have to keep up with such as myspace friend requests.

RM: Just like in the past as you would have a team to write fan mail for you, it's a good idea to have a team for online services eventually.

10:00 AM EST - BZ: how important is it for folks to create their own shows?

CM: Although social networking sites are a good idea, it's just another idea of email. I don't think it's about creating new platforms but more of finding others out there who are doing what you are doing. I've been working with people who are happy to have cross promotion.

BZ: How important is it to promote things your fans will also like?

RM: I think it's important to cross promote, because it also shows what you like and who you are.

CD: Its more effective to link information. If you join a group in Facebook, they keep track of what groups are linked and which the popular groups are. Really pay attention to the groups that are a part of each other.

10:07 AM EST - BZ: Does anyone want to explain tagging?

RM: It is very important. It is taking keywords so people can find your content. It's used in search engines. It allows your content to be easily be found.

CD: One way you can use a tag is to make a contest online. Lets say you do a contest and you want the fans to feel exclusive to the artist. You give them a password, you have given them an exclusive code even though it's on the web. You can make your own tag and do a search online and find out more about the fans. Remember when you tag anything , it's up there forever. Also make sure you use the word music in your tag or else you will miss a lot of posts.

Music Meets Media: Podcasting

In the age of the ipod, podcasts have replaced radio for many listeners. In this session we'll discuss how to reach the growing legions who are bypassing the airwaves. How can you increase your visibility using your podcast? How do you use the medium creatively to connect with your fans?

Jennifer Buzzell VP for Marketing and Communications, Strathmore
Corey Denis Vice President, reapandsow
Chris MacDonald Founder/President, Indiefeed Networks
Steve Savoca International Director, Digital, Domino Recording Co.

panelists from left to right: CM (moderator), CD, JB, SS

11:08 AM EST - CM: Differences for uses for full songs vs. snippets in podcasts. You are giving up your right to a small portion of your music for an opportunity to share your music.

CD: Podcasters have an obligation to give the full credit to who the music belongs to. There are many rights issues, and podcasting is very murky right now. You are forfilling a roll for the artist in which they are sharing their music with you.

CM: Keep in mind, rights owners of songs have full right to their content. You want to be careful on how you choose your policies.

11:26 AM EST - SS: How can musicians get their music into podcasts?

CM: Indiefeed gives a song and then a back story on the band in short podcasts. It seems to have had a positive reaction with listeners. There is a submission form on the website.

11:33 AM EST - CM: How can you stand out with so many podcasts to choose from?
For me, thinking creatively from a marketing perspective is important. Getting your medadata straight is also key, so when people are searching, they can find you.

SS: Another good tip is to use "like artists" in your key words.

CD: Treat your podcast like its an album. You can promote it like any piece of media because it is. Updating information and follow up also important.

SS: Table of contents is important as well. That way listeners can go straight to the media content they want to listen to.

11:46 AM EST - CM: When looking at making podcasts, there are three aspects you need to look at. Will it be utilized as entertainment, is it educational, and/or communal? Does your podcast provide enough information to the listener under any of these aspects?

11:57 AM EST - CM: On issues with rights and clearance with podcasting, you will see with new technology, laws aren't always in sync with laws that already exist. The definition of a podcast also effects this issue as well. If it is seen as a download, there are publishing issues. If it is seen as internet radio, you have to deal with performance rights.

CD: There is no issue yet about a podcast being a public performance. Right now there aren't any clear rules. The best thing to do is give credit to the music you're playing. At least then you have the argument that it is a promotional tool.

Exploding Niches: how is technology increasing niche music discovery?

As the internet increases the potential to connect emerging artists with potential fans, some niches of music that have been largely relegated to specialty stores or only available via mailorder have achieved new and unexpected levels of commerce and popularity. Musicians from a range of genres will discuss how new technologies have helped them develop their fan bases and build legitimate new musical communities.

Jean Cook
Outreach Director, Future of Music Coalition
Henry Harris
President , Spirit Enterprise Inc, Spiritco1.com
Ariel Hyatt
President, Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR
Rachel Segal
Artist Relations/Marketing Manager, MusicIP
Molly Sheridan
Managing Editor, NewMusicBox.org/Producer, Counterstreamradio.org, American Music Center
Billy Zero
Program Director, XMU, XM Satellite Radio

11:34AM EST
- JC: What inspired you to start your radio station?

HH: I decided in 2003 to start my station after meeting with a number of independent gospel artists who were having a hard time getting terrestrial radio play.

AH: Ariel Publicity is a purely digital, social networking PR website. We work with a ton of bloggers, podcasts, internet radio stations, fanzines. It's been fun going fully digital, because we can pinpoint exactly who likes our fans.

MS: We started as a monthly publication with a handful of articles. We had interviews that get deep into the art in ways that other publications cannot. The magazine now works on a daily publishing schedule, and we've launched a radio station.

BZ: When I started at XM, I was playing CDs from my personal collection. Nobody sent us anything. Now we get about 500 packages a week.

RS: MusicIP started as a recommendation engine, but we've developed identification and reporting services in more recent years. We can give an artist a snapshot of where their music is being heard, and give them an idea of what the typical users music collection looks like. This helps artists to figure out who else they can target.

11:34AM EST - JC: Do you consider yourselves gatekeepers?

RS: Quite the opposite. I think we open music up to more and more people.

BZ: We call ourselves filters to find that good music and put it on the air. We have now an ease to enter the marketplace that simply wasn't there before.

HH: We think the internet has opened the gates for everyone. We used to take everything that was sent to us, put it on our playlist, and let the audience decide. We don't do a lot of filtering.

AH: I gave up on traditional media, on behalf of my clients, because the results were constantly diminishing. As broadband becomes more ubiquitous and people get unhappier with radio, they will turn to the net.

11:50AM EST - Questions from the audience

Q: Billy, if you are playing a hundred new tracks a week, what kind of familiarity are you really getting with these new artists?
BZ: At XM we have 170 channels. We are like internet radio stations in that we are people who care about music. We're not taking limo rides to steak dinners with major labels. We are opening packages and listening to music. Granted, we're not going to play music that isn't ready for the radio, and a large majority of what I receive is not. But I came to radio because of a fire in my belly to expose unsigned, unknown bands.

Q: Ariel, what baseline budget would you recommend to an artist for publicity?
AH: Our campaigns are flat-fee, there's a $500 package, a mid-level, and a $2500 package. There are no other PR firms that I know that are doing exclusively internet PR like we are. Put yourselves out there as a human, and you'd be surprised how many people become interested in you as an artist.

Q: How can we grow a niche community for our artists?
AH: Get on Eventful, JamBase, Upcoming.org. Brand yourself across these sites with a single username. Myspace and Facebook of course. Conquer these one at a time because its easy to get overwhelmed with all this stuff.

RS: And get a track on where your fans are. Target to their local markets.

BZ: Make sure you have your own domain. Even if it just directs to your myspace page until you get something up, you need to have a homebase as well as being spread across all these social networking sites.

AH: Get people on a mailing list, have your own personal database. Get a bribe on your homepage that will convince people to give you their email address. Create an interesting, engaging and fun newsletter. Update it regularly.

Music Meets Media: DIY Licensing

A well-placed song in an ad, videogame, film or on a popular television show can bring an artist an enormous amount of attention and income. But how does the music get from your hands to prime time? How do the songs get chosen? What resources are available to you?

Jonathan Eaton Musician, The Spinto Band (not present)
Michael Hausman President, Michael Hausman Artist Management Inc.
Dick Huey CEO, Toolshed
Richard Jankovich Director of A&R and Licensing, Rumblefish
Nick Krill Musician, The Spinto Band
Chuck Walker Director of Licensing, Muzak

12:30 PM EST - DH: Lets start with the rights involved with licensing.

CW: If you look at copyright law section 1-6, those are your rights as artists/composers. You need to be familiar with those rules. Rights include parts of the original composition, making copies of those works, and those for the public, and the new right to performance rights. The copy and distribution is the mechanical right. My best advice to an artist is you need to know what rights you are giving up.

MH: Also, licensing to film, tv, commercials, is a separate issue to think about.

12:33 PM EST - DH: What kinds of licensing rights are available?

RJ: There are tons of ways for music to be used. Syncronization, a service we provide (Rumblefish) makes it easier for the licensee to use the song. Usually it's separate, and you have to negotiate them separately. We are taking your songs and getting them licensed, more as an agent. We don't own the licenses to the songs.

CW: Advice is to get a plan together and figure out how you want to get your work out there because there are so many choices. Music Choice for example have promotions on cable all the time. Licensing on that is simple, it's a public performance. Musak will license the sound recording and the reproduction and the composition.

12:45 PM EST - Q: If an artist has a cowriter, how can she/he make decisions on ownership?

RJ: For Rumblefish, we require permission from all parties.

NK: In our situation, it depends on the song. It's understood that the person who wrote most of the song should have the final say but it is still discussed with the group as a whole. There is a common understanding question asked whether or not the license with help or hurt the band.

12:55 PM EST - DH: what are the different considerations for bands as the individuals or under the label?

MH: With licensing in general and as also discussed in one of yesterday's panel, artists are having to do more work. It's not a new model or but an old one, seen more as a straight licensing deal.
With Aimee Mann it has been a success because she owns a lot of her songs. I also work with artists who don't own their own masters (label owns it), and the money just doesn't trickle through.

01:07 PM EST - DH: Are the compensation models for this part of the industry all the same?

MH: The price people are paying for music is going down. TV has also been using a lot of music. Now everyone wants everything forever and has put people in a difficult position. Before it used to be a small part of the song for a certain media. At this point it has gotten to a take-it-or-leave-it attitude.

NK: The more finite, the better the terms will be. A lot of the stuff we do is weird and low key, where film makers will talk to us directly. Things are sometimes agreed on a handshake. It may not be smart business wise, but for band promotion, it has been great. It has also helped our friend's bands as well.

01:25 PM EST - Q: What is the value of licensing in adds?

RJ: ASCAP/BMI value adds more than actual programming. You'll make more money when it's on a tv show esp. when it comes into syndication.

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.

Finding Music: dealing with out of print and orphan works

Out of print and orphan works -- copyrighted works whose owners may be impossible to identify and locate -- present a big challenge to archivists, librarians, and creators. How much due diligence do archivists and creators need to do seeking out the correct owners? How can copyright owners protect their rights? Is there a better way to identify ownership to increase both the circulation of musical works and compensation for creators?

Mario Bouchard
General Counsel, Copyright Board Canada
Peter Gutmann
Member, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC
Walter McDonough
General Counsel, Future of Music Coaltion
Oliver Metzger
Policy Planning Advisor, U.S. Copyright Office
Michael Taft Head of the Archive, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

03:26PM EST - MB: Orphaned works are becoming a greater issue daily. In Canada we call them "unlocatable copyright works." Very few countries deal with this issue directly.

OM: In 2005, Congress asked us to do a study on orphaned works. We identified four categories of potential use: large scale access users (museums, archives, etc.), enthusiast uses, subsequent creators, and personal uses.

WM: I see this issue as being on a spectrum. The copyright office proposal is in the middle, the Canadian copyright board is on one end, and people like Peter are on the other end. Could you explain the Canadian system?

MB: In order to use an orphaned work, you have to get a license from the Canadian Copyright Board. We sometimes require that licensees pay a collecting society, who will pay the copyright owner if they show up within five years of the period designated in the license.

PG: I'd like to suggest a very simple approach. Copyright just lasts way too long; it's become virtually perpetual. Under the current law, an unpublished work gets 120 years of protection. The blame lies on Congress. When works are about to pass into the public domain, Congress slaps another 20 years on them. As many orphaned works are so old, limiting copyright to a reasonable degree would solve the problem by relegating these works to the public domain.

03:48PM EST - MB: Such a solution would not make the orphaned works problem disappear. We issue a large number of licenses for works that are less than 30 years old.

MT: One common misconception is that any folk recording is public domain. Almost all the material in our archive was recorded by anthropologists and journalists. It was meant as documentation. Until very recently, we didn't secure release forms from artists.

WD: And there's a whole cottage industry of people releasing compilation recordings of these orphaned works.

MT: The Oh Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack is a famous example.

04:00PM EST - Q: Who is prosecuting the people making these types of compilations?
WM: Usually some nephew who didn't get along with the rest of the family (laughter).

Finding Music: discovering, cataloging, and increasing access to culture

How can we use digital technology to not only preserve music, but also catalog them in a way that facilitates discovery? Panelists will discuss the new ways that institutions are using technologies -- meta-tagging, MP3 stores, streaming radio -- to increase access to our cultural heritage.

David Beal
President, National Geographic Music & Radio
David Freedman
General Manager, WWOZ New Orleans
Robert Kaye
Mayhem & Chaos Coordinator, MusicBrainz
Jon Kertzer
Senior Music Producer, Zune/Microsoft
Atesh Sonneborn Associate Director, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

04:55PM EST - AS: We mediate content at Smithsonian Global Sound in a way that the commercial market does not want to. Our genre and language list is enormous, and localized from the place where the music originates. Our fundamental promise is to make everything available always and forever.

DB: We feel that music is a great way to inspire people to care not just about the environment of this planet but also the people that live on it. We're launched the new division that I'm heading up to do just that.

[about 20 mins of technical difficulties in showing the NG promotional dvd]

05:20PM EST - RK: MusicBrainz is essentially Wikipedia for music. We have about half a million releases logged...we don't have the music itself, just the metadata concerning the music. We keep track of title, artist, label, release, barcodes if we have them. We try to get music from all time periods and walks of life. We archive everything, even if we don't like it. For example: skinhead music.

Audience poses a question regarding the expansion of metadata.

DF: The issue with metadata is being able to standardize it on an industry-wide basis.

JK: There are efforts on the part of all the major label software departments to standardize metadata; who knows how far these discussions will go.

RK: MusicBrainz is hoping to become the baseline standard, because we're out there using it.

05:42PM EST - AS: What worries me is back-up of the information. When the equivalent of the Hiroshima bomb is dropped inside the internet, what will happen to this data?

RK: We back up regularly, but more importantly, our data lives on a lot of developers' machines all around the globe. When an update is made here, its on a computer in London seventy-five minutes later. The more people are using our data, the more valuable it becomes, and allows us to supplant people like Gracenote and AMG.

Wireless Media and Super-Portability: what will ubiquitous wifi mean for the music industry?

iPods revolutionized the music industry, making it possible to carry hundreds or thousands of songs in your pocket, but emerging technologies are now promising to serve up your complete personal music library, wirelessly. What will this new level of portability -- or place-shifting -- mean for the consumption of music, and how will it affect artist compensation?

Whitney Broussard Owner, Whitney Broussard Consulting
Bryan Calhoun Owner and Founder, Label Management Systems
Jim Griffin CEO, Onehouse
Skip Pizzi Manager, Technical Policy, Microsoft Corp.
Patrick Sullivan Principal, RightsFlow

04:30 PM EST - BC: What do you think are some of the bold new initiatives going on now?

JG: Discussion of the application of the carter phone principle. It was applied to the telephone networks at one time. Essentially said, if the network did no harm, you can get it from anywhere. If wireless networks can be open networks is an exciting concept.

SP: The ymac's deployment, we'll start seeing more ubiquitous network connections on a wider scale. This will effect internet radio. When you can make internet radio portable, it then serves like terrestrial radio. Another area is mobile multimedia, devices are being developed that also have digital receivers. "Media flow" devices actually receives digital TV and radio, but not through phone network, but will be through a separate receiver. Moving music directly to an handheld device, has a lot of untapped potential. Could be an impulse buy or people who don't have computers a way for them to access music. In the next generation, you will be able to dl straight to the handheld. That is a big inflection point that reflects this industry.

WB: What is really interesting to me is how cell phones are used to interact in real time. For example, I've worked with Verizon with their tours and have seen how cell phones can interact with shows. People videotaping parts of the show and send it to their friends and help spread the word about the band--this is something that has just been touched.

04:40 PM EST - BC: With this new technological world, is there even a place for terrestrial radio?

SP: It's definitely changing. It's really in their game to lose if they don't adapt to the changes.

JG: If we change the way we use radio, we will listen to what we want without changing the station at all. On a technical matter, there is no need to allocate spectrum at all.