MIN: Content, Copyright and Commerce

by Scott G
November 10, 2010

Music Industry Newswire Column

When BMI announced they were teaming with Digital Hollywood to present a day-long conference entitled “Content, Copyright & Commerce,” a few thoughts popped into my head. First, it seemed that the title was a brilliant and concise description of where we stand in the evolution of the music industry.

Second, while the business side of me understands the idea of “content,” the songwriter side of me rebels at the use of that term. Hey people, here at Golosio, we make music, not content.

As Ted Cohen has observed, content is something that is consumed. You listen to music, react to music, move to music, and make love to music. Music enters your ears and affects your head, hips and heart. If something is merely content, then it goes in, gets processed, and comes out the other end.

Still, I get the point of the conference, as long as we keep reminding ourselves that music is far more that just “content.”

Third, I worried about attending a Digital Hollywood (DH) event, which traditionally over-books its programs in hopes of extending its reach into the creative community. I think the idea of multiple mini-conferences going on at the same time can be confusing.

Here and There
For example, on Wednesday morning of the conference, four panels were taking place at 9 a.m., and another began at 9:30, right in the middle of the other four. At 10:45, five panels were scheduled, with two more starting up before the end of any of them. Between 2:00 and 2:15 p.m., seven events were scheduled and two more began before any of them concluded.

Perhaps the DH idea is to have firms send multiple attendees so everything can be covered, but I am not about to hire people to attend panels and take notes for me, nor do I want them to attempt to ask questions in my place.

Symposia on Digital Media
Fortunately, the BMI portion of the day was not splintered. Described as “a symposium on the evolution of media in the digital world,” all the BMI panel presentations stood on their own, beginning with a “Keynote Q & A” in which Bob Lefsetz, industry commentator and author of the influential Lefsetz Letter, interviewed Evan Lowenstein, CEO of StageIt. Lowenstein is also a songwriter and performer (Evan and Jaron scored a number of hits, including “Crazy for This Girl.”)

A portion of the presentation was a bit of a commercial for StageIt.com, but that was forgivable since the idea seems cool. Basically, StageIt offers performers a virtual stage where artists can make money from live interactive experiences for fans who are seeking a “front row seat to a backstage experience.” While the hotel hosting the conference was so lame that they couldn’t figure out how to provide Internet service, a quick demo of StageIt reveals a nifty idea that is already well-realized while also offering a multitude of options for the future.

Read the rest of this column at: http://musicindustrynewswire.com/2010/11/01/min3409_234628.php

Posted by Ted • Monday, November 1, 2010 .