Ted Cohen WithTAG Strategic Tom Silverman,
Tim Westegren, Pandora, And, Terry McBride, Nettwerk

Tuesday, we went to the inaugural start-up of The New Music Seminar 2, at the delightful Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU. I had never been there previously and was nearly brought to my knees with the beautiful facility. Definitely designed with acoustics in mind, the sound was immaculate. Every seat had a decent sight line and the stage itself was awash in beautiful lighting and precision design. As far as I am concerned, this is one of the best venues right now in NYC. The opening keynote was delivered by Tom Silverman and Courtney Holt, from MySpace Music. Silverman posed the question … 'How Does A New Artist Break Into The Music Business Now?' Holt immediately launched into a somewhat specific speech of everything that’s now available on MySpace for a new artist and Silverman gamely kept up with him, voicing the possible options, and again asking what would be available down the road. Both opinions were terrifically insightful; however, as a creative person first … I found that point somewhat missing from their dialogue. That old stage adage rang true: IF IT AIN’T ON THE PAGE … IT AIN’T ON THE STAGE. Too much hardware … not enough software! Holt, who had been and bands and worked at MTV, said at one point, it was more important to be play listed … than played. Again, as a 100% creative individual … I take exception to that. I think that good music will find its audience. Look at The Beatles … they’re still finding new listeners every day. In a panel on marketing, Mathieu Drouin, from Crystal Math Management (gotta’ love the name!) made some terrific points: That iTunes is now the #1 retailer in the country; that, in this business, it’s all about the relationships; and, that his current deal with an indie distribution out of the south, nets him 71% of the profits off the top. He also said, that some really good music is coming from individuals who don’t have a lot of money, and that he feels the #1 most significant thing for a new artist to do is to ‘hold onto his rights.’ Other words, no ‘fractured rights.’ Own it all! I think any dialogue is good, and The New Music Seminar faded out of fashion because they had done such a good job. There was really no need for it ... now, there just may be. Seen in the crowd, were; Former PR-guru Howard Bloom with RockAmerica-founder Ed Steinberg, David Salidor, who helped found the whole shebang back in 1980, and Karen Mason from Honor Music group in Atlanta. Welcome NMS!