Billboard: IMS Day Two: Driving Sales By Recommendation

May 29, 2009
By Gary Smith, Ibiza

Day two of the Ibiza International Music Summit once again provided a wealth of business and artist-related topics across a well-attended and generally lively series of conferences.

The Presidential Debate featured Rudy Tambala, Ministry Of Sound’s head of Internet and innovation, and Ted Cohen, partner at TAG Strategic, both of whom agreed that the future of the biz lies firmly in music recommendation.

“Quality feedback when it’s done right is an amazingly powerful thing, but it’s so important to integrate that facility into social networks,” Tambala said. “And when you then add a reward system into that, where people get points towards free music for recommending tracks, you are creating a powerful sales engine.”

The May 28 program kicked off with ‘A&R International Rescue Patchworking the World,’ a panel which looked at exactly what drives sales of recorded music in the modern marketplace – and what fails. Panelists agreed that while radio remains an effective promotion medium, previously respected charts such as Buzz and Cool Cuts are not relevant to today’s young music fans.

“Radio has undeniable and enduring reach but these days blogs are also a vital link in the chain,” said panel moderator Steve Hulme, export manager at Pacha Recordings.

The ‘Anatomy of a Brand Deal’ conference touched on many aspects of sponsorship and brand and music-related relationships, but was at its most interesting when examining the many things that can go wrong. “Transparency from all interested parties is hugely important,” said Alex Vlassopulos, head of business development, Digital, Sony Music Entertainment. “And although publishers are key to any deal of this kind, publishing practises remain a veritable minefield and they often end up being a hindrance rather than helping to get the deal done.”

As is often the case, the panel also ended up touching on what is perceived as the cold bloodedness of major labels by elements of the independent sector, a discussion that produced an airport analogy from independent consultant Peter Koepke. “Running a major label is a like running Heathrow Airport,” he said, suggesting that “the records are queued up on the runway and if the one at the head of the queue fails to take off, it gets pushed into a ditch so that the next one can have a clear run.”

The evening program started with a triple label showcase featuring Mark Knight of Toolroom, Sarah main of Pacha Recordings and Mark Brown with Nick Correlli from Cr2.

Posted by Ted • Friday, May 29, 2009 .