Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Music Seminar Day II: What A Mad Rush

As the New Music Seminar fired up Sunday, what a rush it was to see months of work (and a year-plus from the organizers) at last come to life. I tell you, the conference felt significant... with major ideas discussed that truly have potential to impact an industry that is in the eye of a tornado of evolution.

You can literally see the new model's framework edging its way rung by rung to the sky, with online radio services like Pandora, Spotfiy, LastFM, iHeartRadio and now Songza threatening the tried-and-true the traditional radio model.

But AM-FM super-powers are hardly waving the white flag, as they work like hell to reinvent themselves and thrive amid such robust competition... Meanwhile, the new services are fretting and furiously trying to figure out how to monetize their new platforms. The age-old adage applies: Only the strong will survive.

It's also thrilling time for the consumer, as more choices become available month after month, most of them free at this point, as they strive for penetration. And the era of "personalized radio" is truly upon us, where you choose what you want to hear—not from your weary iTunes playlist or been-there-heard-that iPod—but from a portal like Pandora, which actually "gets to know you" based on your likes and various other metrics that you share. Over time, your "station" is customized to the point that it's frighteningly YOU, while also introducing you to new songs you're apt to like, based on your profile. It's genius.

NMS Executive Director Tom Silverman cautioned at the beginning of the conference: "No whining, no complaining." The intent of the gathering was to bring unity to the music business and work as one—artists, record labels, radio companies and all in between—toward a spanking new thriving model for an industry that has been ailing for more than decade. But more so... for consumers, so that they will continue to fall in love with music and support the new regime with their ears, their social networking and ultimately, their $$.

Man, what a great experience this has been. Imagine: a "trade show" that's actually fun, positive and charged with good will. I'm jazzed, man. More photos Tuesday! *

Sunday morning's prep...
2 p.m.: Doors open! Let the madness ensue...
Executive Director & NMS C-Founder Tom Silverman offers nearly 1,000 delegates an empowering WELCOME.Among the opening panels: the Songwriter's Circle with Demond Child, Jodi Marr, Claude Kelly and Eric Bazilian.More from the NMS Opening Night Party...