CMJ Blog: I Don’t Know, Ask Ted @ Kimmel Center, October 21

October 21, 2010

Ted Cohen, Tag Strategic
Kami Knake, Bands In The Radar (BTR) Management
Kevin Kiernan, Sony Music Entertainment
Gerrit Meier, Clear Channel Radio
David Tockman, AOL Inc.

The dominance of digital music is not even a debate topic today. But the future of music business may be at stake. The state of music commerce under new technologies was discussed by a lively group of music pioneers yesterday, including Ted Cohen, Kami Knake, Kevin Kiernan, Gerrit Meier and David Tockman. Brightened by Ted Cohen’s lively energy and witty remarks, passionate questions and smart answers, the survival of music business under changing standards and conditions and the effects of these changes on artists and audiences were under the radar of the discussion.

The panel started by an attempt to define the current situation of music commerce, which is attempting to adapt to the rapidly developing technologies and create/increase its revenue. New technologies may be decreasing the importance of old ways of consumption, but the main idea was seeing the glass half-full: New advancements also mean new opportunities, and a visionary approach is a must to come up with brand new creative ideas: new products, new ways to sell music and stay alive.

The future of CD’s, downloading, streaming, legal issues around digital music commerce and offering free music were among the hot topic debates. Nobody was pessimistic about the future of their business, but it is also impossible to tell that all the panelists were willing to give up their companies/networks and celebrate free and total downloading. One recurring question was about the ‘death of the CD’, but most the panelists disagreed with this statement, of course accepting the decrease in sales. But such situations result in the opening of new opportunities and markets, such as the attempt to sell a less expensive merchandise such as a t-shirt or a key chain, in greater quantities.

One other result of the changing times discussed was its effect on artists and how they now have to tour a lot than a decade before, not being able to see their families and friends for a whole year, in order to compensate for the lost revenues of record labels rising from decreased CD sales. Well, artists, audiences, and music business people all agree on this same thing: While times are changing this fast and nearly everything is downloadable now, each of us have to
adapt and be even more creative than before.

-Zeynep Oguz

This entry was posted on Friday, October 22nd, 2010 at 2:07 pm and is filed under CMJ Music Marathon, Posts.

Posted by Ted • Friday, October 22, 2010 .