Event: NY Music Tech Meet Up

October 27th, 2014

I’m very please to announce that Sparkplug will be giving a demo of our site at the NY Music Tech Meet Up on November 5th.

Details and tickets available here.

Vote for my panels to be at SXSW 2015!

August 23rd, 2014

I am part of two different panels proposed for SXSW Interactive and Music.  Your support is very very appreciated! Please click the links below to vote.

Building Trust in Community Marketplaces


Trust is one of the most important elements in building any online community, particularly in the ‘share’ economy as possessions, homes, resources, and skills are traded, rented, and sold.

This panel explores different strategies and approaches to building a responsible and secure community marketplace. Experts from within the industry will share successes and failures, risks and rewards of community marketplaces.

We will discuss features to integrate into your platform to develop trust and safety within your community marketplace, as well as when and how to incorporate social media to strengthen community ties. The panel will also present different approaches to user disputes and complaints, insurance policies and liability, and customer service.



Sync in 2015: Newest Trends, Tools and Techniques


Sync licensing is a primary revenue stream for many artists. With the advent of new business models and technologies, artists can continue to generate revenue opportunities beyond just the original placement. During this panel we’ll examine the latest developments in synchronization licensing strategy and monetization. Panelists will delve into the details of content ID, micro syncs and multi channel networks, while focusing on the best ways to monetize content on YouTube and other online platforms. We will discuss innovative approaches to brand partnerships and strategic syncs as well as outline major deal terms, negotiation tactics, and potential red flags.


July’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

August 1st, 2014

Warner Bros. Pictures promoted Niki Sherrod from VP to SVP of Music.

Def Jam promoted Rodney Shealey to EVP of Urban Promotion from his previous position of SVP of Promotion at Island Def Jam Music GRoup.

Some changes at Clear Channel: Maynard Cohen was named SVP of Programming; Brian Lakamp was promoted to President of Technology and Digital Ventures; Liz Sarachek Blacker was hired as EVP of of Hispanic Strategy and Sales; and Mike Scott has been promoted to Regional Market Manager of Mobile/Pensacola, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Biloxi and Laurel/Hattiesburg.

Music Sales has brought on Bree Winwood as its new Head of Synchronization and Annie Roseberry as an A&R consultant.

Proper Music Distribution made a number of promotions: Carol Zuma has been promoted to Head of Finance, Erica Day to Head of Inventory and Logistics, Esther Tewkesbury to Head of Product and Marketing, and Gray Warner to Label Manager.

Music Managers Forum Chair Brian Message has stepped down after four years, with Diane Wagg and Stephen Budd replacing him as Co-Chairs.

The Agency Group is opening a Miami office, focusing on the Latin and Hispanic market. Jeremy Norkin, the new Director of Latin Operations, will oversee the office.

Kobalt Label Services named Tom Smith VP of Sales and Marketing.

INgrooves named Jesse Flores its Senior Director of Product Management.

Warner Music Group promoted Tim Fraser-Harding to President of Global Catalog, Recorded Music and Mark Pinkus to President of US Catalogue and Rhino Entertainment, replacing Kevin Gore who is leaving the company.

Michael Cerda is leaving his position as SVP of Product and Technology at VEVO.

Beatport‘s CEO,Matthew Adell, is stepping down.

Traci Adams is now Senior VP of Promotion at Epic Records.

Andrew Gould has been promoted from VP to SVP of Creative at BMG Chrysalis.

Global Radio named Ian Hanson as COO.

The Hollywood Reporter  has added Jon Frosch and Bryan Bishop to its senior editorial team.

Downtown Records added three members to its synch licensing team - Jennifer Pearce, will be based out of Downtown’s NYC office, and Céleigh Chapman and Tarik Bradford will work from Downtown Records’ newly opened LA office.

AWAL North America named Sarah Landy General Manager.

Baboom, Kim Dotcom’s music service, hired Tony Smith as CFO.

Def Jam Recordings has promoted Mundo Garcia to West Coast Regional Manager.

Streamsound Records hired Jennifer Shaffer as its Northeast Manager of Promotion.

Columbia Records named Darice Lee its Associate Director of Rock and Alternative Promotion

Atlantic Records hired Evan Lipschutz as Vice President of A&R.

Ben Lambert, CFO of U.K. performance rights organization PPL, is stepping down for “personal reasons”.  Christian Barton is being promoted to Finance Director.

Disciple Media has hired Leanne Sharman as COO.

Google‘s Product Manager of YouTube Music, Chris LaRosa, is leaving his position to join an unnamed startup.

SF Music Tech Summit: Panel Streams

May 29th, 2014

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make SF Music Tech Summit this year.  Last year I thought the panels were excellent, and I met some great people.  Lucky for those of us who didn’t make it this year, the panels are online and available for streaming via Soundcloud.  I’m just starting to get through them so let me know which ones are your favorites!


October’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

October 31st, 2013

A glimpse into the movements of the music industry…

As a result of Nielsen acquiring Arbitron, Arbitron CEO Sean Creamer and CFO Debra Delman have been let go from the company.  Also, Susan Whiting will be leaving from her position of Vice Chair at the end of 2013 following 35 years with the company.

Cox Media Group has hired Keith Hastings as its new Rock Format Leader.

BMI added Albert ChengDave Lougee, and Michael O’Neill to its Board of Directors.

At Clear Channel Media and EntertainmentNancy Abramson has been named as the Director of Digital Affiliates for National Media Groups, and Steven Macri also joined Clear Channel Media as CFO.

Ira Sallen is now COO of the new label BMG/Primary Wave Label Services.

The Broadcasters Foundation of America appointed Peter Doyle as Vice President.

Vanessa Thompson is the new Managing Director of Songza Canada.

Lauren McGuire was promoted to Senior Vice President, Client Services and Brand Development at Man Made Music.
Kobalt Music Group named Tomas Ericsson its new President, Society Relations.
Bryan Switzer has resigned as VP/Affiliate Sales of Cumulus Media.
Larry Hughes left his position as Head of Promotion at Sidewalk Records.

Sylvia Strobel was named Interim CEO for the Alliance For Women In Media and will be responsible for day-to-day operations as well as the Board’s strategic planning until an official CEO is named.

After five years as the joint venture A&M/Octone, Octone Records has now been fully acquired by Universal Music Group’s label Interscope Geffen A&M.  Most if not all of the staff were laid off with very little notice, including VP/Promotion Cat Collins.

Tim Spengler has been named President of Content Marketing and Revenue Strategy at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. 
Nederlander Concerts hired  LA publicist Vanessa Kromer as its new President of Communications.

September’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

September 30th, 2013

Another busy month, especially with acquisitions and investments!

Bertelsmann’s BMG Rights Management purchased a $150 million stake in Primary Wave Music, which includes publishing catalogs includes tunes from Earth Wind & Fire, Hall & Oates, John Lennon, and Marvin Gaye.
Michael O’Neill has been appointed the new CEO of BMI, succeeding Del Bryant.

John Lenac is now Head of Business Development at PledgeMusic.

Vincent Clery-Melin has joined Kobalt Label Services (KLS) as global MD of AWAL, the digital distribution and marketing services company that was acquired by Kobalt at the end of 2011.

Clear Channel named Greg Strassell its new SVP of Programming.

Seattle-based music startup Lively appointed Brian Hirsh as its first chief music officer, Abe Claiborne as vice president of Artist and Label Relations, and Geoff Walker as chief marketing officer.

AdsWizz hired former Skype executive Don Albert as its North American President.

Mitchel Wolk is the new CFO at SONGS Music Publishing. Wolk previously was president and CEO of Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA).

Paul Robinson is the new CEO of the Radio Academy.

Kobalt Music Group named Sue Drew GM of creative acquisitions in the US and Diarmuid Quinn as President of Kobalt Label Services for North America.

Shazam has hired Kevin McGurn as its Chief Revenue Officer.  McGurn was a top advertising executive at Hulu.
Beatport has appointed Terry Weerasinghe as Vice President of Music Services.

Matt Rennie is the new Managing Director at Box Television, replacing  Gidon Katz, who recently moved to Sky as its director of the Now TV platform.

Shuffler.fm named Stephen O’Reilly its CMO.

A big move at Warner Music Group UK, where Christian Tattersfield is stepping down as CEO of Warner Music UK and co-chairman of Warner Bros. Records UK effective February 2014.  Max Lousada will be co-CEO of Warner Music UK until February when he will becomes CEO.    Miles Leonard will oversee the Warner Bros. label after Tattersfield’s exit.

Michel Allain is now Managing Director of FastTrack, a company that manages the largest database of music copyrights.

Warner Chappell Production Music appointed Tom English as VP/Business Development.

Event: SheTek Conference – June 1st NYC

May 2nd, 2013

On June 1, I’ll be speaking at the first SheTek Conference.  The conference is in New York City at 151 w. 26th street between 6th and 7th aves from 11 am to 6 pm.

Panel topics are:

-  Wendy Day Keynote Address

-  The Business of Music**

-  Music Streams - Distribution and Synchronization

-  Marketing, Branding & Social Media

-  Music Videos, Independent Films & Multi-Media

** I’m a panelist on “The Business of Music” panel

Tickets are available here.  Each panel is $25 or pay $100 for the entire conference.

Event: Noteworking Meetup Thursday Oct 25 @ Idle Hands

October 22nd, 2012

Join fellow Noteworking musicians and friends at Idle Hands on Thursday, October 25 from 7-9pm.

We will hear brief presentations from the Harry Fox Agency and Songtrust.

Happy hour will be extended to 9 pm for us – $5 draught craft beers, $5 well drinks, $2 off all other drinks.

RSVP and get more info here:
If you aren’t yet a member… Noteworking is a group of over 200 New York musicians and music-industry professionals who use digital tools for promotion, marketing, sales and collaboration. http://www.meetup.com/noteworking/

September’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

September 30th, 2012

Lyor Cohen is leaving Warner Music Group after eight years at the company.  The WMG executive’s most recent title was Recorded Music Chairman and CEO.  Cohen released the following statement: ”To all the artists and employees who live and die for the music every day, and who personally sacrifice for the good of the creative process: ‘keep on keepin’ on’ in the tradition of a company that respects and honors the artistic community.”

Big Jon Platt, formerly at EMI Music Publishing,  is now the President of North American Creative at  Warner/Chappell.

Richard Strasser has been named an interim judge for the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB).

Massive entertainment company AEG is now for sale, its assets including Coachella, a partial stake in the Lakers, AEG Live, and over 100 venues.  Offers are starting to come in but no specific price tags have been published.

Dangerbird Records co-founder Jeff Castelaz may be moving to WMG-owned Elektra.

Matt Pincus, founder and CEO of  Songs Music Publishing, has just been added to the ASCAP Board of Directors.

Fox Music president Robert Kraft has stepped down after 18 years with the company.

The Obama Administration Speaks Out Against SOPA

January 17th, 2012

The White House has released an official statement by Victoria Espinel, Aneesh Chopra, and Howard Schmid in response to petitions again SOPA and the E-Parasite Act.

Full text below:

Official White House Response to Stop the E-PARASITE Act. and 1 other petition

Combating Online Piracy while Protecting an Open and Innovative Internet

By Victoria Espinel, Aneesh Chopra, and Howard Schmidt

Thanks for taking the time to sign this petition. Both your words and actions illustrate the importance of maintaining an open and democratic Internet.

Right now, Congress is debating a few pieces of legislation concerning the very real issue of online piracy, including the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the PROTECT IP Act and the Online Protection and Digital ENforcement Act (OPEN). We want to take this opportunity to tell you what the Administration will support—and what we will not support. Any effective legislation should reflect a wide range of stakeholders, including everyone from content creators to the engineers that build and maintain the infrastructure of the Internet.

While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.

Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small. Across the globe, the openness of the Internet is increasingly central to innovation in business, government, and society and it must be protected. To minimize this risk, new legislation must be narrowly targeted only at sites beyond the reach of current U.S. law, cover activity clearly prohibited under existing U.S. laws, and be effectively tailored, with strong due process and focused on criminal activity. Any provision covering Internet intermediaries such as online advertising networks, payment processors, or search engines must be transparent and designed to prevent overly broad private rights of action that could encourage unjustified litigation that could discourage startup businesses and innovative firms from growing.

We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet. Proposed laws must not tamper with the technical architecture of the Internet through manipulation of the Domain Name System (DNS), a foundation of Internet security. Our analysis of the DNS filtering provisions in some proposed legislation suggests that they pose a real risk to cybersecurity and yet leave contraband goods and services accessible online. We must avoid legislation that drives users to dangerous, unreliable DNS servers and puts next-generation security policies, such as the deployment of DNSSEC, at risk.

Let us be clear—online piracy is a real problem that harms the American economy, and threatens jobs for significant numbers of middle class workers and hurts some of our nation’s most creative and innovative companies and entrepreneurs.  It harms everyone from struggling artists to production crews, and from startup social media companies to large movie studios. While we are strongly committed to the vigorous enforcement of intellectual property rights, existing tools are not strong enough to root out the worst online pirates beyond our borders. That is why the Administration calls on all sides to work together to pass sound legislation this year that provides prosecutors and rights holders new legal tools to combat online piracy originating beyond U.S. borders while staying true to the principles outlined above in this response.  We should never let criminals hide behind a hollow embrace of legitimate American values.

This is not just a matter for legislation. We expect and encourage all private parties, including both content creators and Internet platform providers working together, to adopt voluntary measures and best practices to reduce online piracy.

So, rather than just look at how legislation can be stopped, ask yourself: Where do we go from here? Don’t limit your opinion to what’s the wrong thing to do, ask yourself what’s right. Already, many of members of Congress are asking for public input around the issue. We are paying close attention to those opportunities, as well as to public input to the Administration. The organizer of this petition and a random sample of the signers will be invited to a conference call to discuss this issue further with Administration officials and soon after that, we will host an online event to get more input and answer your questions. Details on that will follow in the coming days.

Washington needs to hear your best ideas about how to clamp down on rogue websites and other criminals who make money off the creative efforts of American artists and rights holders. We should all be committed to working with all interested constituencies to develop new legal tools to protect global intellectual property rights without jeopardizing the openness of the Internet. Our hope is that you will bring enthusiasm and know-how to this important challenge.

Moving forward, we will continue to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis on legislation that provides new tools needed in the global fight against piracy and counterfeiting, while vigorously defending an open Internet based on the values of free expression, privacy, security and innovation. Again, thank you for taking the time to participate in this important process. We hope you’ll continue to be part of it.

Victoria Espinel is Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator at Office of Management and Budget

Aneesh Chopra is the U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President and Associate Director for Technology at the Office of Science and Technology Policy

Howard Schmidt is Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator for National Security Staff