Panel recap: What the State of Music Tech Says About the State of Our Industry

| January 28, 2016 | 0 Comments

On January 27, 2016, the Copyright Society of the South hosted a panel discussion on music tech and its role in the future of the music industry.

The panel was led and moderated by Shawn Yeager (@shawnyeager), Partner at Back Porch Group and co-founder of Endorsee. The panelists included Mike Fabio (@revrev), Director of Digital Marketing at New West Records and Partner at Back Porch GroupJohn Pisciotta (@JohnPisciotta), Founder and Managing Partner of LoudLab and Co-Founder and VP of Strategy at MusicSynkWayne Leeloy (@fmgnow)Head of Brand Partnerships & Digital Strategy at G7 Entertainment Marketing; and Heather McBee (@heathermcbee), VP of Accelerator Programming at The Entreprenural Center.

Pictured (top row, L-R): Kele Currier (ASCAP), Shawn Yeager, Mike Fabio, Heather McBee, Wayne Leeloy, John Pisciotta, Karl Braun (Hall, Booth, Smith). Pictured (bottom row, L-R): Kent Draughon (Capitol CMG), Ted Goldthorpe (Sony/ATV), Jill Napier (Music Pub Works)

Pictured (top row, L-R): Kele Currier (ASCAP), Shawn Yeager, Mike Fabio, Heather McBee, Wayne Leeloy, John Pisciotta, Karl Braun (Hall, Booth, Smith). Pictured (bottom row, L-R): Kent Draughon (Capitol CMG), Ted Goldthorpe (Sony/ATV), Tara Aaron (Aaron | Sanders PLLC), Jill Napier (Music Pub Works)

Much of the discussion focused on the panelists’ outlook on the future of the music industry through the lenses of technology, entrepreneurship, and digital strategy. Shawn Yeager urged the panelists to offer up some of the challenges of the new music industry: John Pisciotta voiced what he sees as a need for the music industry to identify and tackle problems head-on rather than “shaking our fists” at them, while Heather McBee communicated the importance for entrepreneurs to “speak the language” of the music industry. Wayne Leeloy observed the difficulty of establishing trust and synergistic relationships between entrepreneurs, brands, and rights holders.

When asked what they were most excited about, a number of the panelists raised the issue of music metadata, which launched the panel into a short but insightful discussion on the blockchain, a distributed database that functions as a public ledger for digital events, known through its association with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. (For a great high-level description of what the blockchain is and what it can do, check out this article on Re/code). The blockchain’s ability to ensure verifiable and immutable record-keeping makes it an intriguing opportunity for music tech entrepreneurs, albeit a nebulous one. However, the blockchain may be a non-starter without widely-available and reliable music metadata as a foundation, as pointed out by Mike Fabio and Heather McBee.

Ultimately, the music industry must reinvent itself if it’s going to have any hope of being the prime mover of business model and technological change in an environment filled with entrepreneurs eager to move forward without its blessing.

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Category: Core Content, Event Pics, News, Uncategorized

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