Announcement: Speaking at SXSW 2015 Interactive and Music Conferences

December 10th, 2014

I’m so pleased that I will be speaking at both SXSW Interactive and SXSW Music Conferences in 2015.  This will be my first year participating in the Interactive conference and my second year participating in a panel at SXSW Music.  Below are descriptions of both panels.

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.

Questions Answered

  1. What are the biggest challenges in building community marketplaces? What are some of the greatest benefits and rewards to building share economy communities?
  2. What are specific examples of ways to build and maintain trust and safety in online communities? How can you integrate features into the platform to develop trust and safety? When and how should you use media integration to encourage trust and safety within these communities? What is the role of customer service in user trust and safety?
  3. What to do when things go wrong – how to salvage and make the best of bad user experiences? What are the best strategies for handling and resolving user disputes?
  4. What role does insurance play in building communities in share economy companies? How often do you need to actually tap the insurance company to cover a claim and are they really necessary?
  5. A lot of companies are clashing with state, city and federal regulations and laws. How can companies work with the government to increase the reliability and safety of their communities? What are some approaches for dealing with governmental or organized efforts against the community?


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.

Questions Answered

  1. What are the current trends in licensing? How can I leverage these trends to get my music placed? What strategies can I deploy to close the deal? What are the common pitfalls and how do I avoid them?
  2. What new technologies and practices can I use to monetize my content further?
  3. What is content ID and how to start collecting? What is a multi channel network and how do I join one? What are the benefits to joining a MCN? How are advertisers using MCNs to boost brand awareness?
  4. What are the best YouTube monetization strategies? How can I use content id and an MCN to make the most revenue from youtube views?
  5. What are ad agencies looking for in a music partner? How do I get my music in advertisements? What are ways to partner with brands outside of traditional sync licensing?


October’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

October 31st, 2014

Sony/ATV formed a new music publishing company, Selector Songs, with Adam Alpert.

VH1 named Sandy Alouete its new SVP of Talent and Music Programming.

Downtown Music Publishing has hired Andrew Sparkler as its VP of Business Affairs and Operations.

CueSongs hired Dave Williams as its new CTO.  Williams was previously Director of Content Operations at Nokia Music.

SoundHound has hired Bryce Weitzel as its new Director of Ad Solutions & Integrated Marketing, Gabrielle Mayer as Director of Client Services, and Mary Ellen McKenna as Senior Account Executive.

Canadian Music Week named Justin Kwan its Festival Manager.

Music Canada Live hired Erin Benjamin as its new Executive Director.

Ron Fair left his position as Chief Creative Officer and EVP of Virgin Records.

Jim Mahoney was hired by Merlin to be GM of their new U.S. office.  Mahoney comes from the Association of Independent Music (A2IM).

Chris Phillips is now Chief Product Officer of Pandora.

Event: Speakeasy – Music + Tech Mixer – Tues, Sept 23rd @ The DL

September 19th, 2014

For those of you who don’t yet know, I am a co-founder and COO/General Counsel of Sparkplug, the first community marketplace where musicians can rent out their instruments, gear, and space to each other.

Sparkplug is co-hosting Sneak Attack Media‘s next Speakeasy Music+Tech Mixer with EDMXDJ resource site DJ Tech Toolsmusic website building company Section 101dance music pub DJ Mag, and Bandsintown.

Please join us next Tuesday, September 23 at The DL on Delancey & Ludlow in the Red Room, one flight up. More details and RSVP below. We hope to see you there!


Tuesday, September 23

The DL
95 Delancey St (@ Ludlow)
Please RSVP at:




June’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

June 30th, 2014

Maker Studios will be laying off 10 percent of their employees, possibly this week, following its recent acquisition by Disney.

SoundCloud has opened an office in New York and plans to expand from 20 to 40 employees based at the NYC location this year.

Dualtone Music Group named Angie Ruis its new Director of Film & TV Licensing.

John Janick has been named Interscope Geffen A&M‘s new Chairman and CEO, replacing Jimmy Iovine who is moving to an executive position at Apple.

Moves at Sony CorporationNicole Seligman has been promoted to President of U.S. based Sony Entertainment and Senior Legal Counsel of Sony Group; Alex Sancaya has been promoted to Managing Director of Sony Music Entertainment Indonesia.

TuneCore has promoted current President Scott Ackerman to CEO.

Interscope Geffen A&M has promoted John Ehmann from Director of A&R to Vice President of A&R.

Universal Music Australia promoted Michael Taylor and Darren Aboud to Managing Directors of Universal Music Labels Australia.

Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers and Chief Creative Officer Trent Reznor will both be moving to Apple with Beats.

Streamsound Records hired Teddi Bonadies as VP of National Promotion and Strategic Marketing, Tyler Waugh as National Director of Promotion, and Denise Roberts as West Coast Manager of Promotion

Some new hires at SESAC: Sam Kling was named SVP of Creative Operations; Jessica Sobhraj was hired as Manager, Digital Content Licensing.

Sony/RED named Jennifer Liss its Senior Director of Radio Promotion, moving her over from Sony/ATV.

Shazam hired Patricia Parra as CMO.

Republic Records promoted Rob Stevenson to Executive Vice President of the label from his position as Executive Vice President of A&R.

Talent Manager and producer Eric Ortner has signed a deal with Live Nation’s Vector Management. The two parties are forming Vector OMG to represent journalists and other public figures.

Sony Music Entertainment has named Jennifer Fowler SVP of U.S. Marketing and Revenue Generation.

Artist Group International (AGI) has named Lisa Bashi VP of Operations.

Katy Perry started her own record label, Metamorphosis Music as a joint venture with Capitol Records.

At Triple 8 Management, Jesse Atwell was promoted from VP of Digital Marketing and Tour Marketing to SVP of Marketing and Ricky Brown to VP of Marketing.

Def Jam Recordings promoted Nicki Farag to Vice President of Promotion.

SPIN has named Craig Marks its Editor-in-Chief.

March’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

March 31st, 2014

Pandora is losing Tom Conrad, its Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Product.

Mark Adams has been promoted to Music Director by Box TV.

Downtown Music Publishing  hired Tom Graham to establish a London office. Graham’s official title is A&R Manager.

Nicola Tuer was promoted from Executive Vice President to Chief Operating Officer at Sony Music U.K.

Troy Carter‘s management company Atom Factory Management named two Co-Presidents, Julius “J” Erving and Ty Stiklorius.

Michelle Lorge has been named Publicity Manager at Sweet Talk Publicity.

Kobalt Music Group hired Jeannette Perez as its SVP of Synch & Brand Partnerships – North America.

Jon Bahr has been promoted to Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at ASCAP.

Peter OppenheimerApple‘s SVP and CFO, will be retiring with Luca Maestri, current VP of Finance and Corporate Controller, stepping in his CFO shoes start June 2014.

February’s Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

February 28th, 2014

Tribune Company, owner of WGN America, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and The Baltimore Sun, has expanded into streaming music services and mobile devices through its recent $170M acquisition of Gracenote from Sony.

BMG Chrysalis has hired Mark Robinson as their new SVP and General Counsel.

Warner/Chappell Music UK has made Jo Smith Director of Legal and Business Affairs, starting in April.

Steven Markland is now VP of A&R at Downtown Music Publishing and will be opening the company’s Nashville office.

Richard Nash has been named SVP of Urban Promotion at RED Distribution and RED Associated Labels.

Saheli Datta is now Head of Global Compliance at Universal Music Group.

A couple moves at ADA: Brandon Square has been promoted to SVP of Digital Strategy and Revenue at ADA Worldwide; and Tatia Adams Fox is now SVP of Marketing.

Rose Slanic has been promoted from Vice President to North American General Manager at Eleven Seven Music Group.

The Music Business Association has added Fred Beteille to their Board of Directors. Beteille is Product Manager at YouTube.

Warner Music Nashville has made some changes: Kevin Herring has been promoted to SVP of Promotion with Kristen Williams moving into his former position of Vice President of Promotion.

Capitol Music Group hired Geoff Harris as CFO.

Crush Music brought on Lyssa Thompson as head of PR.

Music video streaming service ZUUS has named Greg Reiss as VP of National Sales.

Associate Editors Mike Ayers and Blaine McEvoy and Director of Industry Relations Mike Spinella have left Rolling Stone.

Rachael Spangler left her position as VP of Rhythm Promotion at Epic Records.

Heavy metal label Spinefarm Records named Maria Ouellette as its new Senior Director of International and Darren Dalessio as Director of A & R.

Spotify has added Barry McCarthy to its Board of Directors. Previously, he was Netflix’s CFO and worked at Music Choice and Pandora.

AirPlay Direct promoted Lynda Weingartz to CEO.

BMG Chrysalis name Michael Kachko its new Senior Director of Catalog Marketing.

Mötley Crüe’s 10th Street Entertainment has appointed the band’s manager Chris Nilsson as President.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion!

Eleni Psaltis has been named West Coast Regional Promotions Manager at Beggars Group.

BMG announced they are moving their Writer Services operation to Los Angeles, with Thomas Scherer to oversee the department as Executive Vice President of Writer Services.

Paul Graham is no longer President at Y Combinator. He will be replaced by Sam Altman.

Event: The Raise – Fundraising Tips from Investors & Entrepreneurs

February 25th, 2014

The Raise: Fundraising Tips from Investors and Entrepreneurs

Women In Music and The 85-Percent are proud to present an in-depth discussion about navigating the world of investment. Whether you own your own business, are thinking about launching a startup, or want to learn strategies for raising capital as an entrepreneur, this is the panel for you.


Learn directly from our expert panel of investors and successful entrepreneurs, including topics such as:

  • Timing your raise
  • Designing an outreach plan to potential investors
  • Qualities investors look for in startups
  • Creating and delivering your pitch
  • Overcoming hurdles when raising capital
  • What happens after the investment

250 Greenwich Street
7 World Trade Center, 30th Floor
New York, NY 10007


February 27th, 2014
6:30pm – 8:45pm


Patrick Sullivan is the former CEO/Founder of RightsFlow, a licensing technology that powers YouTube & Google Play. RightsFlow was founded in 2007 and sold to Google/YouTube in 2011.  He is currently employed at Google and also manages a private investment company, VanHam Ventures.

Brittany Laughlin is the General Manager at Union Square Ventures, the venture capital firm behind Soundcloud, Turntable, Splice, Zynga, Twitter, Kickstarter, Etsy, and Tumblr. Prior to USV, Brittany founded Incline, transitioning military veterans into technology jobs, and co-founded gtrot, a venture-backed social travel company that sold to Groupon in 2013.  Previously, she worked at American Express.  Brittany has a Bachelors degree in Marketing and International Business from New York University.

Ilana Grossman heads up all marketing and communication efforts for Gust.  For years, Gust has been helping angel groups and venture capital funds collaborate with promising startups. Over the last 12 months 1800+ startups have been funded through Gust.  Prior to joining Gust, Ilana held senior positions at leading digital marketing agencies, most notably Digitas and Organic, where she led the development and implementation of several CRM and digital campaigns for clients such as Bank of America, Sanofi-Aventis, Johnson & Johnson, and Astra Zeneca.  She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Fundacao Getulio Vargas and an MBA in Finance and Strategic Management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.


Kelly Hoey is a connection-maker, networking strategist and expert community manager.  She builds valuable professional networks, creates engaged communities and raises professional online profiles. Kelly is a founder of Women Innovate Mobile, LLC (WIM), the first startup accelerator focused exclusively on fast-tracking the growth of early-stage mobile technology ventures with gender-diverse founding teams.  Additionally, Kelly is a member of the Board of Directors of Glimpse Labs, the ephemeral photosharing app with state-of-the-art encryption technology.

MANY THANKS to media partners
Sonic Scoop & The Fetch!


*FREE for WIM Members and $15 for Non-Members.  To become a WIM member please  click here and we will send you the panel promo code to attend the event for FREE!

**Please note that RSVP is required for entry and space is limited.  Please plan to arrive EARLY.  Please do not RSVP unless you plan to attend.  If you RSVP and cannot attend, please notify us immediately by sending an email to

December’s Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

December 31st, 2013

 Peter Luukko has resigned from his position as President and COO of Comcast Spectator.  Also, Gary Rostick has been named the new CFO.

Anthony Bay is Rdio‘s new CEO.

Kris Ahrend has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Recorded Music Rights Administration at Warner Music Group.

Warner Bros. Records has named Ryan Barkan VP of Creative Synch Licensing and Lila Gerson Senior Director of Brand Partnerships.

Julia Willinger joins Mom+Pop in a senior A&R position. She will also launch Mom+Pop’s new publishing business. Willinger previously worked at XL and Columbia.

Sarah McGrady is now Senior Manager, Partnership Marketing at Big Machine Label Group.

TuneTribe has made Marcel Swagers Business Development Manager.

Beatport has shutdown its San Francisco office and laid off more than 20 people in its Denver headquarters.

BMG has named Fred Casimir Executive Vice President of International Repertoire. He will be responsible for recordings released through BMG Artist Services and BMG’s catalog recordings, which includes Mute Records and Sanctuary Records.

Rights management company ole has named Jim Selby as their first SVP of Digital.  Selby was formerly CEO of Naxos.

Dave Shack is now Managing Director of Phantom Music Management Limited; this is a newly created position. Phantom Music is Iron Maiden’s management company.

Jørn Haanæs recently became CEO of Soundrop; Haanæs was formerly chief revenue officer and an executive at Warner Music. He replaces co-founder Inge Sandvik, the previous CEO.

Seattle-based Lively, a freshly-financed startup that distributes live performances, made six new hires:Lee Marshall is the new COO; Pete Moran is VP of Global Sponsorships; Brad David is VP of Channel Development; Zach Varnell is VP of Audio Engineering and Production; Dan Horton is Senior VP of Product and Technical Operations; and Joshua Batchelder is now VP of Video Production.

Dan McCarroll has been named president of Warner Bros. Records, moving from his last position as president of Capitol Records.

Laura Bender is now the national director of promotion for ADA.

Ed Brennan has been promoted to alternative national/west coast regional director of promotion at Wind-Up Records.

Christophe Muller is YouTube‘s new director of global music partnerships.

James Fischler has been named VP of sales for the Americas for Beats Electronics.

William Morris Endeavor has hired Peter Klein, former Microsoft CFO, as its new CFO, which will also make him CFO of IMG Worldwide when WME finishes acquiring them.

November’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

November 30th, 2013

Michael Koch, founder of Koch Entertainment (now eOne Music), will retire at the end of 2013.

Panos Panay, founder and CEO of Sonicbids, is leaving the company, but will continue to be a senior adviser to both Sonicbids and Billboard.  Sonicbids was acquired 10 months ago by Backstage LLC for $15 million; the deal was backed by Guggenheim Partners.
Naoshi Fujikura was promoted to President and CEO of Universal Music Japan.
Lots of moves at AEG Live
The Company fired Randy Phillips, its president and CEO.  John Meglen was named president of global touring,
Shawn Trell is now COO, and Rick Mueller is now president of AEG Live North America.
Paul Tollett is the new president and CEO of Goldenvoice, the company behind Coachella.

4 Tips on Raising Capital from the Women in Music & Women Innovate Mobile Private Equity Panel

October 2nd, 2013

Last week I attended a panel event presented by Women in Music and Women Innovate Mobile called “Private Equity & Raising Capital: What You Need to Know.”

There was a packed room at BMI and the four panelists presented both inspirational and practical advice for entrepreneurs, attorneys, and investors.  Holly Lynch, from The 85 Percent, moderated and speaking on the panel were Jeanne Sullivan, founding principal of StarVest Partners, serial entrepreneur and CMO of Stagedom Cecilia Pagkalinawan, and Julia Pimsleur, founder & CEO of Little Pim and founder of Double Digit Academy.

 Photo by Becky Yee | Courtesy of Women in Music

All of our panelists agreed early on that there is gender bias in start-ups and raising capital.  Only 5% of funding goes to women-run companies. Out of all companies earning over $1 million in revenue, only 1.8% are run by women.  Yet women own over 30% of businesses in America.  As Jeanne Sullivan described the issue, both in our panel and the next day in her Times Square TED Talk: “It’s not about equality. It’s an economics issue.”

Julia Pimsleur outlined four P’s that are required to run a successful business: (1)  Passion. (2) Product. (3) People. (4) Petrol.  The petrol is the gas to help the business go further faster; the petrol in running a business is capital.

So how can women (or anyone for that matter) succeed in raising capital for start-ups?  The panel revealed some very practical tips.  Below are my top 4 take-aways from the night.

Photo by Becky Yee | Courtesy of Women in Music

1.  Be Passionate & Dream Big.

Especially when pitching to angels, you want to get them excited about your company and vision and show them why you want them at the table with you.

Dreaming big is not just about passion but also about the money.  Dream big financial dreams for your company.  Know your worth and show the growth potential for your company.

2.  Don’t Be Afraid to Bootstrap.

Bootstrapping is starting your company and running it on your own, without bringing in external resources.  The longer you can bootstrap and not take in outside financing the more value you will give to your company early on.  By showing how far you can get without funding, potential investors will see the value in your company concept and your team.

The panelists consistently stressed the importance of a great team.  It is crucial to bring in team members that also share the passion for the product and can bring unique and vital skill sets to the table.

3.  Know Who You’re Pitching to & Be Prepared.

Tailor your approach based on to whom you’re pitching.  Angel investors and venture capitalists will expect and want to receive different types of information.

I’ll first quickly sum up a few of the differences between angel investors and venture capitalists.  It’s easier to raise money from angel investors.  It takes less time, you can be less far along in your company development, fewer materials are required for the pitch, and there’s more flexibility in who you can approach because it is not generally industry-specific like venture capitalists.  On the other hand, venture capitalists generally take a portfolio approach and invest in specific industries.

Cecilia discussed some key tips about pitching to angel investors.  First, she stressed the importance of approaching each angel individually and doing your research.  Be sure to know their bios, understand what they’re looking for, and follow their social media activity.  When initially meeting with an angel (coffee or lunch meetings are very appropriate and common), don’t ask for money, ask for advice.  Julia also pointed out that getting a “no”  isn’t necessarily a “no forever,” but is sometimes a “not now.”

Jeanne gave an overview of some of the questions you should be prepared to answer about your business:

  •  Are you representing a big enough marketplace?  In other words, make sure you can describe and position your company to have a broad enough reach.
  • How much capital will it take to drive this forward?  Never say that this is your last round of financing; instead, show that you will scale your business.
  • What is the product or service?  Be prepared with a one minute pitch to get their attention.  Don’t start off with demos or videos, just explain the business in a compelling way that will make the listener want to hear more.

Julia gave practical information about what materials you’ll need for the different pitches.  With angels, start with an informal email but be prepared with a short (5-10 page) business plan and financial projections. For VCs, prepare a power point slideshow to sell your company in 10-12 slides.  There is a very specific format so do plenty of research and make sure to present it the right way.  Learn how to discuss the numbers.  If you’re not a numbers person, bring a CFO (even if its a temporary position) into the presentation with you who can field those questions.  Don’t act like you know everything.  If you’re unsure of an answer, say that you’ll look into it and get back to them about it.

Photo by 
Becky Yee | Courtesy of Women in Music

4.  Use Your Resources. 

Effectively use all of your resources when raising capital, including:

  • Your Personal Network.  Start with who you know. Reach out to friends and family that might be interested in investing.
  • Similar Companies.  Talk with the CEO’s of companies already funded that are in a similar area of your industry and get advice on who to approach.  Investor information is also accessible online, so look for angels or VCs that have given money to other companies within your industry.
  • Online.  Use the internet to your advantage.  Sites like AngelList and LinkedIn can be valuable tools for raising capital.  Julia’s website is a resource in itself.  It includes a list of some of the top sources of capital for entrepreneurs, specifically for women entrepreneurs, from Incubators to Angels to VCs.
  • Networking.  Let people know that you’re fundraising and don’t be afraid to talk about the money.  Everyone is (or should be) passionate about their underlying mission and objectives, but investors also want to hear how they’re going to make money from the project.