Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Life After iPod: The Future of Digital Music

Digital distribution of music is here to stay and not a day goes by that someone, somewhere isn't creating new ways to deliver music to the people. I've been priviliged to be part of a team working on behalf of the MIT Enterprise Forum, Seattle Chapter to bring together a group of music industry, technology and artist thought-leaders who will discuss their respective views beginning 5:30PM, Wed, May 18th at the Bellevue Hyatt in Bellevue, WA. Our panel includes:

Presenting Musical Artist:
Dave Dederer, guitarist, singer and songwriter, The Presidents of the United States of America

Expert Panelists:
David Ring, Universal Music , Senior V.P. Business Affairs & Business Development
Bill Valenti, Melodeo, CEO
Robert Acker, RealNetworks, Vice President, Music Services

Michael Malone, Founder of AEI Music Network, board member DMX Music

Our program will explore opportunities and challenges in the emerging world of digital music. This program will explore the impact of digital distribution on the artists and how they are likely to respond to the changing environment. Specific questions that will be addressed in the program include:

1. How do musicians/artists take advantage of new technology and new platforms to get music to their fansand while maximizing revenue and protecting their creative property?

2. When will digital music sales comprise a significant percentage of total music sales?

3. Where will the growth in digital music sales come from? Is mobile the answer?

4. Between artists and listeners, what opportunities exist for digital music entrepreneurs?

For those friends and colleagues working in the digital content industry this is an event not to be missed. If you will be in Seattle on May 18th, I urge you to attend and be part of this stimulating conversation. Register online at http://www.mitwa.org. See you there.


John Grant said...

Not sure whether I'll make the program, but it seems to me there are significant opportunities in digital distribution of non-traditional recordings by artists as a way to suppliment record sales. Phish is on the leading edge with their http://www.livephish.com/ offering, and I know many other bands have done similar things through the iTunes system. I'm curious whether folks think there is an opportunity here for smaller artists as well - could they release live shows, studio outtakes, alternate mixes, etc. online in a forum where fans don't expect the polish of a studio release? Would the costs of encoding and distribution be prohibitively expensive? Is there an opportunity for an alternative to iTunes for artists who aren't as big as Phish, or is the gravity of iTunes essential to reaching potential fans? All thoughts are welcome. -JG

Mark Ippolito said...

John-- Good questions all. There are several companies knocking at the doors of artists who've developed distruptive technologies and innovative distribution strategies that have the potential to drive a greater percentage of digital distribution dollars directly back to the artists. For starters take a look at Weedshare.com and CDBaby.com. I'm particularly attracted to Weedshare's legit P2P "pyramid" or "paid pass along" model that both motivates and incentivizes users to pay for downloads while also making sure that artists get their due.

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