The Future of Music Rocks

The Future of Music Rocks written by 9/20/2007

Maybe you’ve seen my tweets – i’m flying all over the country witnessing the northern hemisphere’s foray into autumn and doing a ton of business. Wearing my business socks. It sounds fun, and it is, but it is all with purpose and I am thankful that at this point in my life purpose and pleasure have joined forces to become a career.

Just 1.5 days ago i was in DC … for the Future of Music Coalition Summit in Washington, DC. As usual, had the chance to pow wow with friends old and new in the music industry. Day one was focused mostly on copyright, and many of the Staff Counsels who i lobbied with Soma FM & BAGeL Radio in july were sitting on panels. It was fascinating to fall witness to the changes, or lack thereof, in their opinions since our visit. In addition i met the attorneys for Sound Exchange who had a good laugh with me and said “Oh so YOU’RE the reason that press release went out…”

i nodded. smiled. we exchanged cards.

At the summit, I sat on two panels, back to back. Social Networking & Blogging and Podcasting.

The Social Networking panel was standing room only, which was a surprise as it was up against the keynote of the morning (which was a bummer, although all the panels are available via webcast and podcast on the future of music website). I was thrilled to teach a packed room of labels about RSS, and the value of releasing themselves from risk aversion and trusting their fans. When asked what to do with “psycho fans” i had a simple answer. Hire them. It was a successful panel, and i enjoyed letting musicians and label folk alike know that iLike is NOT the only music app on facebook. I rattled off about 50 more and encouraged them all to utilize the longtail of social networks to compliment their embrace of the longtail in a digital retail marketplace. I’m considering putting together a 2 hour seminar on the matter. It was an incredibly successful panel. Perhaps the most successful panel i’ve been involved with….ever. And yes, i did teach them what RSS stands for. We are in a bubble on our interweb, and i feel the call of duty to bring my music industry cohorts into the fold. Education is the name of the game. some marketing companies will take the money before they teach you. I just can’t bring myself to do that at this time. If we want to affect the Future of Music, we will have to rethink our strategy of education of artists and managers (and labels) and stop treating them as if they are just clueless internet neanderthals who just don’t “get it.” we can still help them “get it” without expecting them to know it as well as we Geek Marketers know it….If i give away my tricks, well, then more artists make more money. And i’ve lived a good life. Passion, Purpose, Pleasure – what more could i ask for in a career. I hope to dodge working for the big 4 labels (soon big 3…) and remain with the independent culture of which i’ve been a part for 10 yrs, and the independent new media culture that i hold so dear.

Which is why it’s just really freaking cool to go straight from the Future of Music Summit in DC straight to Boulder, CO for the innovative “RockMe” thanks to me.dium. yes, i have been consulting with Me.dium about their interest in music since late June, and yes i’m excited about it. but don’t accuse me of spam. because Me.dium stepped up to the plate and took a risk, and connected me to one of the most willing risk takers i’ve yet to meet in terms of bands i’ve worked with: Rose Hill Drive’s Jake Sproul, who has been involved since Week 1, back in July. Jake is tirelessly promoting the event to his fans (new and old), using the Me.dium browser plugin daily, released World Premier Rose Hill Drive content on monday (video of the band opening for The Who in Pompeii), and is set to do an extremely innovative 4 camera stream of the Rose Hill Drive show on Saturday 9/22 at the Fox Theatre, which will broadcast on the RockMe website.

You can surf the web with Jake in Me.dium by clicking right here.

And thanks to Jake, i am, for the first time, a Technical Producer – I have been acting as the Technical Producer for the 4 camera stream (powered by ustream of course, thanks ustream!!!!) and am now armed with an entirely new arsenal of information that i can use to help, teach and greatly enhance the discoverability of independent bands around the world. The Future of Music is vast because it caters to those who are willing to take risks, who know that when a fan ingests content on the web, and has a chance to connect with a band they like (or just discovered) their entire experience changes from tangible to meaningful. While buy clicks may not always be the result, the exposure and chance to connect is more valuable than any click through rate quoted by an overpriced online ad agency.

Dear Jake, thanks for your hard work and leading the way for others. This is just the start. The interweb, the google, the maps…it’s all very new for the music industry and those of us who are hybrids of music business and technology nuance are longing for more musicians like you to embrace the concept of future and move beyond the past. xo, corey

If you are learning about me.dium’s event RockMe for the fist time, there is more information on the RockMe website as well as at

If you’d like to be my friend in me.dium (i like friends) just click here.

when i get back to SF on sunday, i’m definately getting a massage, and Jake – you should get one too – as should all the participants including the entire Me.dium community team who is ordering chinese food as i type this, and popping nodoz as if i don’t notice (i see you guys…)

Other Risk Takers involved in RockMe include:

Fiery Furnaces
The Willowz
Jeffrey Lewis

as well as: Stanton Moore from Galactic, Halou, New Monsoon, Tom Conrad (CTO at Pandora), Rhapsody, Jambase & many others….

cheers to you all. a toast and adieu!

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