Remarks from President James Donio & Chairman Fred Beteille 5.13.15
Music Biz 2015 hosted a jam-packed Breakfast & Business Session on May 13 featuring appearances from LaunchTN’s Charlie Brock and Mayor Karl Dean and awards presentations to Waterloo’s John Kunz and Jack White.
Check out photos from the event here!
Thank you, Charlie.
You’ve heard how Launch Tennessee is fostering economic growth at the state level. Now, we have the honor of hearing first-hand what’s making this city so successful. Mayor Karl Dean’s approach to economic development has been anchored by investing and building upon what the city already does well — music and tourism.
Just consider a few major accomplishments…
And, by the way, Billboard just reported that 25% of the top earning artists in the business are based here.
Mayor Dean has helped heighten the awareness and development of Nashville as THE global Music City, and he and his team have been incredible partners in bringing us here.
Ladies and gentlemen… Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.
Now I get to introduce your featured performers for this morning. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, this band traveled far and wide before settling and achieving success, you guessed it, right here in Nashville. Their new album, Story of an Immigrant, will be released on June 2 on Wind-Up Records. Let’s give it up for…Civil Twilight.
What a great way to start off the day! Thank you, Mayor Dean, and let’s have another round of applause for Civil Twilight.
It took 57 years, but I can finally –and proudly– say we have brought Music Biz home to Music City. What could be a more perfect destination for our annual flagship event?
You wanted the convention here, and when Mayor Dean and his Music City Music Council, as well as the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, joined the chorus to encourage us to come, the momentum certainly grew. How could we go anywhere else?
Once our decision was made, everyone involved in the planning, promotion and production of this event truly rolled out the red carpet and rolled up their sleeves to help put it all together — our members, affiliates, partners, and more.
And how about our headquarters! The hotel has just completed a nearly $30 million top-to-bottom renovation that is a stunning eye-opener.
Bringing the event here infused everyone with a special energy I don’t think we’ve felt in quite a while.
The move invigorated the event because I am excited to tell you this is our biggest get-together in the past 8 years.
Nashville is unquestionably one of the hottest locales in the country. It is a music city for so many reasons — the heritage, the diversity and the role of music in its cultural and commercial past, present and future.
Music Row is an evolving tapestry of Americana, Celtic, Christian, Classical Country, Folk, Gospel, Pop, Rock and more. Few cities in the world have such a high concentration of the full range of music businesses and professionals, and so many of them have decided to join us here this week. We’re elated for them be part of our community.
Songwriting is the foundation of the Nashville music industry, which attracts songwriters from around the world, like the guys in Civil Twilight for example, to work with the more than 200 publishers based here.
We all know none of us would be doing what we’re doing if it were not for the miracle and magic of the song, and we appreciate their contributions. The ethics and integrity of the music industry in Nashville are at the heart of what makes it so respected.
It’s a network of artists and businesspeople who have built something together. And let’s not forget the entrepreneurial mindset that has always personified Nashville’s music industry. It is alive and well and growing every day.
Now that we’re here, it’s time to make the most of everything that our program and this terrific destination have to offer.
As always, Music Biz has provided a myriad of choices to fill your days and nights. Meetings, networking, education, music and much, much more. I want to thank WEA for last night’s Welcome Reception and UMG for their showcase.
We could not come to Nashville without giving you the chance to take a tour of the amazing United Record Pressing plant. Or last night’s live-to-acetate show at Third Man Records with an amazing concert by Warner Music Group’s Ashley Monroe. And there’s tonight’s showcase hosted by YouTube at the Wildhorse, which you’ll hear more about later.
There are an eclectic range of specialized Town Halls and Meetups for Artists, Management and Touring; Songwriters and Publishers; Metrics and Sales Analysis; and Music Educators; as well as opportunities to hear the latest about what’s going on in Americana, Country, EDM and Gospel music. There’s even a session specifically crafted for our program about doing deals in Nashville.
Special thanks to the more than 200 speakers, advertisers, sponsors, and promotional allies that are helping make our debut on the Nashville stage a smashing success.
They are sharing their experience, identifying new business opportunities and supporting our Association in so many ways. We are extremely grateful.
During our planning, I learned a lot about what’s going on in the Nashville area to foster the future of the music business. That’s important to all of us because Music Biz’s mission is building the future of music commerce together. The most obvious way we approach that goal is by working with our members and affiliates who are on the front lines of the business day in and day out. But there’s another important way we can ensure we deliver on that mission.
It’s by helping to prepare the young people who are attending the colleges and universities across the country to become the professionals who will soon join us, and ultimately, succeed us on this mission.
Last year, the Music Biz Board approved a special membership classification, the Music Educator Partnership. This is designed specifically for colleges and universities with Music Business Programs.
Participating so far are Nashville’s Belmont University, Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Michigan’s Ferris State University, New Jersey City University, the University of Miami, and William Paterson University, also in New Jersey.
When these institutions join up, their students automatically become Music Biz members. In just the past 12 months, this has translated into almost 400 students becoming an active part of our community.
You’ll hear more about how they’ve benefited from these partnerships during the Scholarship Foundation report later this morning.
It’s important to note that Belmont and Middle Tennessee State are well-represented here this week with professors and students, some of whom are volunteering to help the Music Biz staff.
I really believe we should all be committed to preparing the next generation of leaders. Each of us has knowledge and insights we can share.
Since we were last together, I am pleased to say that I have joined the academic community as an Adjunct Professor at Monmouth University in Long Branch, New Jersey.
I am working alongside my longtime friend and colleague, Joe Rapolla, who is bringing new ideas and energy to broaden and grow Monmouth’s already esteemed music industry program.
I re-developed an “Introduction to the Music Business Ecosystem” class for a group of wide-eyed young people with a somewhat limited, but not completely unexpected, world view of what our business is today. I wanted to present all facets of our evolving business, and highlight the skills they’d need for a variety of possible career paths. As I prepared to begin classes, I wondered if I would actually learn new things about myself from the experience.
These fresh and malleable minds are preparing to take the reins of a music business that we’re all watching unfold ourselves. So, I found there are often more difficult questions without simple answers. To be perfectly honest, I went in to do the inspiring. But I left inspired myself because I was encouraged by what I saw. Talented kids eager to make a difference and realize a dream. I cannot wait to set my next class of hopefuls on their journey.
Speaking of journeys, in addition to mapping our path to Nashville, Music Biz had another busy year on many fronts.
Our six Sectors and their individual Workgroups stayed active with agendas focused on information and education. The Legal and Business Affairs Sector helped steer our most successful Entertainment and Technology Law Conference in five years last September.
The Business Development Workgroup added a Shark Tank component for enterprising entrepreneurs last fall to the already well-received Music Startup Academy, which took place again here yesterday.
From the Knowledge Sector, we offered a diverse slate of webinars, with presentations from Mobidia, Next Big Sound, MusicWatch, Royalty Solutions, GeoRiot, Nielsen & Billboard, MIDiA Research, and Triton Digital.
Our Physical Sector laid the groundwork for a lively roundtable with representatives from the independent retail community.
In addition to advising on the program for yesterday’s Town Hall and Digital Marketing Mixer, the Artists, Management and Touring Sector teamed with MusicWatch to collect detailed data about money spent at concerts versus festivals, and what consumers want from VIP ticketing.
My colleagues Bill Wilson, Robby Towns and I have kept Music Biz visible by speaking at events from Music Matters in Asia, to CTIA’s “What Next For Mobile Music” in Las Vegas, to the Americana Music Conference and CoderFaire in Nashville, to CMJ Music Marathon and the Jazz Connects Conferences in New York, to Drexel University’s preparatory workshop for soon-to-be music business graduates in Philadelphia, to South By Southwest in Austin.
Our promotional efforts have also kept Music Biz in the media, with a host of interviews, blogs, commentaries, and podcasts.
One of the biggest and brightest occasions in the music business year continues to be the celebration of Record Store Day.
Music Biz is a proud sponsor, and, since I’m still somewhat in professor mode, I’ll just say that this year’s event gets an “A”… Accomplished, Astounding, Amazing!
Eight years in and once again the stats speak for themselves. Many retailers logged their best sales day in their history, with vinyl continuing its headline-making rise year-over-year.
According to Border City Media, compared with 2014, overall album sales were up 24%, all titles by 39% and vinyl titles by a whopping 45%.
Here are the top vinyl albums from Record Store Day, with White Stripes Get Behind Me Satan leading the way.
Nielsen Music heralded Record Store Day’s achievement, noting that indie stores experienced their highest share of physical albums ever.
Not to mention the biggest share of overall album sales in 12 years.
What’s more, Nielsen reports that vinyl sales have increased 260% since 2009, due in no small way to Record Store Day and its halo effect throughout the year.
I’ll have a bit more to say about record-breaking vinyl sales later on in this morning’s program.
One of the past year’s highest-profile industry initiatives was the IFPI-led move to a Global Release Date. I participated on the International Steering Committee. It was certainly a lively and thought-provoking process.
Once the IFPI announced its decision to switch to Fridays beginning July 10, Music Biz has been committed to working with our members and industry partners to make a smooth and successful transition. At this juncture, more than 30 countries around the world are engaged in the transition process.
The IFPI has also developed a comprehensive Communications Plan intended to be a global guideline around which individual country and company plans will be geared.
A US National Working Group includes representation from A2IM, Music Biz and RIAA.
The Working Group has been addressing various transition issues relating to the changes in the timing and publishing of the charts, as well as branding and marketing of what has been dubbed New Music Fridays.
Stay tuned for further announcements in the coming weeks.
So what is the relative state of the overall industry as we reflect on the past year? I see more cause for optimism about the improving health of the business than we’ve seen in a while. Thanks to the IFPI and the RIAA, Border City Media and Nielsen Music, as well as Billboard, for sharing their insightful data and analysis to provide us with some context.
In its “Recording Industry In Numbers,” IFPI notes that the top 10 markets were fairly stable, including the US. Digital and physical are now evenly split worldwide for the first time.
The download and physical businesses are still holding on to a significant, albeit declining, share of the pie.
On the other hand, subscription streaming rose nearly 40% to $1.6 billion globally.
But, it is important to note that IFPI is now counting SoundExchange revenue as digital sales instead of performance rights revenue.
The Frozen soundtrack was the top album globally, followed by Taylor Swift’s 1989, after just 11 weeks of sales. The top digital single was Pharrell Williams’ Happy, followed closely by Katy Perry’s Dark Horse featuring Juicy J.
RIAA’s Josh Friedlander put his organization’s 2014 US market data into context at yesterday’s Metrics and Sales Analysis Town Hall.
Wholesale revenue rose a bit, with retail value staying close to flat for the fifth consecutive year.
Digital music revenue is actually now about two-thirds of the country’s nearly $5 billion total from wholesale.
In the US, streaming growth more than offset the decline in downloads.
In the midst of Q2, Nielsen reports the percentage of album, track and TEA declines are lower than they were last year at this point. Digital albums have even reversed course and are up 1.3%. Vinyl albums are up nearly 44%, contributing to independent store sales being up 3.5%.
And non-traditional retail sales are up 9.3%.
On-demand streaming is up a staggering 91.5%, with total streaming volume at 93.7 billion streams so far this year.
These charts from Border City Media further underscore the positive impact of access-based consumption on the business right now. Both charts definitely illuminate the fact that total consumption is on the rise, mostly due to streaming. While other trends are flat, the story is still positive.
Music Biz is providing a real-time forum for healthy dialogue and debate about the changing streaming and subscription models this week.
There are some significant differences of opinion about the next phase for the access model. There will be new players and new approaches, and the landscape will adjust.
Sessions presented by MiDia’s Mark Mulligan, Billboard’s Glenn Peoples, Triton Digital’s John Rosso, and Spotify’s Les Hollander will provide a framework for examining and understanding what’s next.
I’ve been giving speeches at the convention for more than a decade. And I have to say that, for all of the reasons I’ve touched on this morning, Nashville’s energy, the inspiration of educating our future professionals, the growth of new business models and changing consumer behavior, I’m as encouraged as I’ve ever been that there’s a healthy, vibrant and eventful future within our reach. I hope you agree.
Plato said, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”
Just think about that for a moment. How lucky are we that each of us, in our own way, is committed to such a powerful force for good.
Sadly, every year we lose colleagues who have helped bring this music to the world. Let’s have a moment of silence for those who have left us, but not been forgotten, particularly a most recent loss for the Universal Music Group of Michael Deputato.
I must acknowledge the amazing team of professionals that work together in New Jersey every day. They don’t just build and deliver this event, but all of the other programs and services that Music Biz provides to its members.
Not surprisingly, moving to Nashville for the first time brought some unique and unprecedented challenges and, as always, the team pulled together and pulled it off seamlessly.
Please join me in a round of applause for the Music Biz staff.
When you look back on these few days, my wish is that your time with us in Music City is among the most memorable, productive and enjoyable of your year. Thanks for being here and thanks for supporting Music Biz!
The Independent Spirit Award is being presented this morning for just the seventh time in Association history.
Previous recipients have included Don Van Cleave, Tom Silverman, Rachelle and Joe Friedman, Brett Gurewitz, Record Store Day, and Jonathan Poneman.
Today, we add another trailblazing supporter of the independent music culture to this esteemed list, Austin and Waterloo Records’ own… John Kunz.
John Kunz certainly embodies the spirit of new thinking, entrepreneurship, and success
in our industry. A six-time winner of our Association’s Retailer of the Year Award, along with countless other honors in his beloved Austin, we are so very proud to celebrate John’s 40 years of accomplishments and add yet another well-deserved trophy to his collection.
Without further ado, please join me in congratulating Music Biz’s 2015 Independent Spirit Award recipient…John Kunz.
(Walk-Up Music “Peaches En Ragalia” and Acceptance Remarks)
Thanks John. Now it is my pleasure to introduce our Chairman of the Board, from YouTube…Fred Beteille.
Good morning. I am happy to stand here today and acknowledge the good work of the Association’s Scholarship Foundation.
Over the past six decades, the Foundation has awarded almost seven million dollars in financial assistance to deserving students.
All of the recipients have been employees or children of employees from our Association’s member companies. This year alone, the Foundation awarded about $50,000 in scholarships.
We are proud to announce that eleven of the students recognized this year are currently enrolled at the universities Jim mentioned earlier when speaking about the Association’s educational partnerships.
And they are students studying music business. This is investing in the future of our industry at its best.
Top winners from Scholarship Foundation’s Class of 2015 include:
In addition to the top winners, the Foundation was able to recognize 15 additional candidates with smaller monetary awards.
A special thanks to iTunes for graciously donating gift cards to all of this year’s winners.
It is only because of the continued support of its donors that the Foundation is able to continue this valuable member benefit. Thank you Atlantic Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Spotify, Universal Music Group, and WEA for your support.
I would like to take a moment to also thank those members that serve on the Scholarship Committee, and year-after-year devote their time to the selection process:
And of course, the Committee’s academic advisor, Jim Progris, retired professor from the University Of Miami’s School of Music.
Let’s give another hand to the class of 2015, the Foundation’s donors and the Scholarship Committee.
Now, please join me in recognizing Music Biz’s Board of Directors. Please stand when your name is called.
Serving with me on the Executive Committee are:
How about another round of applause for the entire Board.
I would like to personally thank all of the Board members for the gift of their time, their candor and especially their experience during my first year as Chairman. It has been invaluable.
I would also like you to join me in expressing our deep appreciation to three directors who have concluded their service on the Board — Len Cosimano, Mike Fratt, and Brad Navin.
How about a final round of applause to thank the Board.
(Additional unscripted remarks)
Thank you, Fred.
Few would question that Jack White is one of our industry’s most brilliantly original artists and visionary business minds. His passion and creativity have yielded groundbreaking new approaches to musical expression and marketing.
From award-winning box sets, to subscription programs, to an Android-based 3D virtual reality app, Jack and his Third Man Records are essentially a boundless idea factory whose successes many could only hope to emulate.
Who else could lay claim to making the world’s fastest record?
For Record Store Day in 2014, Jack recorded two tracks at Third Man, took the masters to United Record Pressing, got the 45s pressed, and then sold them that same day from the TMR storefront.
He brought his 1940’s era Voice-o-Graph recording booth to The Tonight Show and Neil Young recorded a cover of Willie Nelson’s “Crazy.”
By the time the show was over, the song was played on a 6” phonograph disc.
On June 10, 2014, Jack’s album Lazaretto debuted at #1 on the US albums chart.
It broke the record for biggest selling first-week vinyl album sales with more than 40,000 copies sold in the US.
The Lazaretto vinyl ULTRA LP was the biggest selling vinyl album of 2014 — and any year of the SoundScan era for that matter — selling nearly 90,000 copies.
To date, the Lazaretto ULTRA LP has sold more than 185,000 copies worldwide.
The ULTRA LP features a hand-etched hologram by Tristan Duke of Infinity Light Science. Two tracks are hidden beneath the center labels. One track plays at 79 RPM, while the second runs at 45 RPM. With the rest of the album running at 33 RPM, this officially became a three-speed record. Add to that some surprising needle drops, locked grooves, a matte finish on Side B, and more.
Jack is committed to expanding his craft, and not letting any barriers stand in his way. Isn’t that what true innovators do?
For his exceptional work that uniquely marries classic art and current technology, I am extremely pleased to present the inaugural
Music Biz Innovator Award to Nashville’s own, the incomparable…Jack White.
(Walk-Up Music “Lazaretto” and Acceptance Remarks)
And thanks again to Charlie, Mayor Dean and Civil Twilight for joining us this morning.
Before we leave, it’s time to give away four framed, limited edition Hatch print posters of the Music Biz 2015 logo. Reach under your chair and if you’re one of the lucky ones to find an envelope there, please come up to the stage before you leave. We’ll see you all tonight at The Wildhorse for our show hosted by YouTube and featuring performances by Jackie Greene, Casey James, Jana Kramer, and Mike Posner.
Have an enjoyable and productive rest of your day.