Ah, music conferences! Lots of supply, some demand, and lots of repetition. And with that, here's what the early-October circuit looks like...
Digital Music Forum West (DMFW) wrapped up on Thursday in Hollywood, with a collection of mostly-familiar debates and themes. An extremely candid Chuck D was one highlight (more on that ahead), as was the ever-energized Jeff Price (more on that ahead, as well). Others we happily bumped into: Vince Bannon (Getty Images), Ian Rogers (Topspin), Brandon Martinez (Indmusic), Celia Hirschman (Downtown Marketing), Ted Cohen (TAG), Evan Lowenstein (StageIt), John Boyle (Insomniac), Andy Young (merchluv), J. Sider (BandPage), Michael Kauffman (Google), and Kyle Bylin (Live Nation Labs).
But did you know about this one? Right across the street, Scion is hosting its closed-door, rather quiet 'Music(less)' get-together, which enters its second day today at Hollywood's Loews Hotel. If last year was any indicator, this is a fairly higher-end, lower-tier affair with a number of notable names (and good food).
And, next week, SF MusicTech Summit kicks off in Japantown in San Francisco. There's considerable attention ahead of this one, with the usual tech-focused energy and at least one interesting announcement on tap (stay tuned). And, the charismatic Brian Zisk welcoming the weathered startup masses with elevator pitch sessions and plenty of floppy business card-swapping opportunities. The action begins Tuesday; we'll have full coverage.
Oh, and if you're across the pond, Deezer UK is throwing a bash in London next week to celebrate its first birthday. The action is happening October 10th, with performances from the Villagers, Slow Club and the Staves. The venue? Good question...
And, the hyper-attention continues to surround Mumford & Sons, whose stunning first-week sales performance was complemented by enormous Spotify streams. That doesn't seem to be solving the cannibalization debate, however, and execs at DMFW seemed conflicted and uncertain about the exact effects going on here. Jason Feinberg of Epitaph Records was willing to look at this on a 'case-by-case' basis; others seems to lack clarity on the broader forces at play.
Alright boys, let's go screw some artists! Over in major label land, a few announcements to catch up on. Dangerbird escapee Jeff Castalaz has now been named president of Elektra (WMG), while John Janick has been named president and COO of Interscope Geffen A&M.
Hate secondary ticketing? There's plenty of argument for allowing aftermarket markups, or at least embracing the markups in the primary markup. But this is an emotional, opaque debate of conflicting interests, and just this week, the UK-based Independent Association of Festivals issued an anti-secondary ticketing manifesto. The Fair Ticketing Charter features signatures from Radiohead and Gotye, among others.
And, there's more spillover from an FTC-mandated fine of over $1 million for Artist Arena. Turns out the operator of sites for teen-tsunamis like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and Demi Lovato is actually owned by Warner Music Group. The group has been accused of impropertly collecting private information from visitors under 13, a violation of long-established COPPA statutes.
ASU Preparatory Academy is teaming up with The Phoenix Symphony to introduce a new education initiative, called Mind Over Music, aimed at “integrating music into the science, technology, engineering and math curriculum, known as STEM” reports azcentral.com. Jim Ward, the president of Phoenix symphony, told parents and students he hoped that ASU Prep will emerge as a model site for music integration.” Read more about the new program at AZ Central.
Also, Adele has teamed up with her “Rolling in the Deep” collaborator Paul Epworth to compose the theme of the new James Bond flick, ‘Skyfall’. Adele’s version marks a return the lush orchestration of classic Bond, and Adele's soaring vocals complement the music perfectly. Check it out if you haven’t already heard it.