The Musonomics Podcast

10/24/2018: How Music Got Modernized

 
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The most sweeping update of American music copyright in a generation is now law. In this episode of Musonomics, Larry Miller talks to three people that shaped or closely followed this bill from draft to signing: Jacqueline Charlesworth, Mitch Glazier, and Robert Levine on why the Music Modernization Act was so urgently needed, how it came to be, and what happens next.
 

08/28/2018: Spin Cycle

 
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Music is all around us, all the time – as we shop in a store, eat in a restaurant – or work off those calories in a spin class. In this episode of Musonomics, Prof. Larry Miller from the NYU Music Business Program explores the evolution and licensing issues of background and foreground music used in businesses, from the birth of Muzak in the wartime factory — and then we shift into overdrive with Soul Cycle’s rawk gawd Sean Linehan on how he sculpts the playlists for each of his sold out spin classes.
 

04/30/2018: Home Is Where the Smart Is

 


For millions of us, artificial Intelligence got real when we added smart speakers to our homes. Our AI assistants are standing by, ready to play music, turn on the news, start the oven, or see who’s at the front door. But as they make life easier, they’re also creating new challenges for the music and entertainment industries. And then there’s the matter of security…just how smart do we want our AI devices to be?

Amazon, Google, and Apple are all now competing to be the smart speaker in our homes — and cars. As their underlying voice assistants become more integrated in our homes, the entertainment industry must rethink how to reach these consumers. How will Alexa, Google Home or Siri travel beyond our households and into the connected car? In this episode of Musonomics, we’ll hear from industry reporter Cherie Hue and Larry Rosin of Edison Research.
 

12/21/2017: Is Radio Headed For a Digital Cliff?

 


Digital music services continue to drive recovery of the music industry after a long period of decline, and the AM/FM music radio business is starting to feel it. Young people born after Millennials don’t use radio the same as previous generations. Can commercial AM/FM radio compete with pure play digital music services? Russ Crupnick of MusicWatch and Steve Goldstein of Amplifi Media join us to discuss what’s happening to radio listenership, and how radio needs to respond to the threat posed by unlimited, commercial-free music.
 

6/1/2017: It’s (Still) a Long Way to the Top: The present and future of the concert and festival business

 


Rock is headed towards a demographic crisis. Fifty percent of last year’s top 100 grossing acts are over 50 years old. So what will happen to the live music industry when Mick Jagger is no longer filling stadiums charging hundreds of dollars per ticket? On this episode of Musonomics, Larry Miller talks to Neil Shah from The Wall Street Journal and Cherie Hu from Forbes about the future of the live music industry and rock’s demographic crisis.
 

4/21/2017: How China’s Music Market is Going Legit

 


In this episode of Musonomics: how China’s music market is going legit. Larry Miller of NYU Steinhardt talks to music executive Ed Peto who moved to China ten years ago to try and build a bridge between China and the western music industry. Now he runs Outdustry, a Beijing based music industry service company. Billy Koh, a popular judge on the TV talent shows and the founder and former CEO of the record label Ocean Butterflies, talks about how the financial crises in 2008 made China turn its eyes towards intellectual property.
 

3/2/2017: Lyrics, Lyricists & Licenses

 


In this episode of Musonomics: how does lyrics licensing work and who benefits from it? Larry Miller of NYU Steinhardt talks to Daryl Ballantyne, CEO of Lyricfind, about what it was like to try and start a lyrics licensing business before the music publishers understood lyrics licensing was a thing. Songwriter Phil Galdston talks about how the changes in the music industry have affected the songwriters. And we also hear from New Yorkers about how they learn lyrics.
 

11/14/2016: Who Cares About Quality?

 


In the first episode of our third season of Musonomics, Larry Miller takes a look at the future of high quality music streaming services. To investigate whether or not there’s enough room for a profitable niche market supporting multiple competitors in the high-resolution music market, we talk to MQA CEO Mike Jbara, 7 Digital Deputy CEO Pete Downton, and HDTracks CEO David Chesky.
 

08/3/2016: Bright Lights, Music Cities (and States)

 


In this episode of Musonomics: what does it mean to be a Music City?
The term “Music City” is becoming widely used in cultural communities and has penetrated the political vernacular in many cities around the world. But just because a city has lots of live music venues, doesn’t make it a Music City. There needs to be a formal strategy in place to optimize the music industry present in a city. Larry Miller of NYU Steinhardt and producer Carmen Cuesta Roca speak to Shain Shapiro, Manager of the Nighttime Commission; Mirik Milan, the Night Mayor of Amsterdam; music publisher Justin Kalifowitz, the cofounder of New York is Music, which has raised awareness around the cultural and commercial impact of music on the region; and Julie Menin, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment on what New York City is doing to support a robust music economy.
 

07/1/2016: Music, Data and the Blockchain: A Digital Utopia?

 


In this episode of Musonomics: why are more and more music industry insiders looking to Blockchain technology as a solution to the metadata problem? What really is the Blockchain? And why is it so important? These are just some of the questions host Larry Miller of NYU Steinhardt, and co-host Carmen Cuesta Roca will unpack. The episode features PledgeMusic founder Benji Rogers, who is evangelizing a comprehensive database of music metadata on the Blockchain. Singer-songwriter Imogen Heap sheds light on the potential for accurate and intricate metadata. And Bill Rosenblatt of Giant Steps Media Technology Strategies explains that industry-wide standards are key to the metadata problem, but the complexity of the music industry and its vast number of stakeholders will make those standards difficult to achieve.
 

06/2/2016: The Headwinds Facing Music Startups

 


In this episode of Musonomics: why are music startups struggling to thrive, or even simply survive? Larry Miller of NYU Steinhardt heeds several perspectives to understand why the space for music startups is so unforgiving, and what music startups can do to be successful. Cortney Harding discusses the recent slowdown in the music startup space. Edward Ginis and his business partner Brady Brim-DeForest, share of their success with their own startup, OpenPlay — one of the lucky ones able to spin out of a major independent label. David Pakman of Venrock explains why his firm has never invested in a digital media company. Jon Vanhala, formerly of Universal Music and now at Crossfade Partners, offers insight into who can be blamed for the fact that music startups are finding it so hard to make money. Finally, we hear from Michael Dorf, who turned away from the internet business and is now generating more profit than ever through live music experiences at his City Wineries across the country.
 

04/22/2016: The Vinyl Resurrection

 


In this episode of Musonomics: what’s driving the resurgence of vinyl. Larry Miller of NYU Steinhardt looks up the production line to see how the format is maturing, and what’s holding it back from even faster growth. Josh Friedlander, the RIAA’s data guy, talks about the continued growth of vinyl in the age of streaming. Billy Fields, the vinyl guy at Warner Music Group, chats with us about whether vinyl is heading for a plateau. And Eric Astor of Furnace Manufacturing takes us into the factory and through the manufacturing process from finished audio file to a pristine, pressed, perfect vinyl record.
 

03/31/2016: Songwriting, Consent and the Age of Discontent

 


In this episode of Musonomics, Larry Miller takes a look at how the copyright and royalty payment system is failing a new generation of songwriters. Ari Leff, a developing songwriter/producer who records as LAUV, and Nashville songwriter Brett James, who has written huge hits for Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney and Martina McBride, share the struggles of modern songwriters. We take a look back at how the collective licensing system was put in place — and how the Consent Decrees that govern ASCAP and BMI fail to protect the economic interests of songwriters in the modern music-consumption landscape. With ASCAP’s Clara Kim, music attorney Chris Castle and The New Yorker’s John Seabrook, this episode is packed with expert analysis and insight into how our antiquated music copyright system is breaking down — and how we might start to mold a better future for American songwriters.
 

03/02/2016: Music in the time of Politics

 


Presidential politics is in the air! Hot on the heels of Super Tuesday we delve into the world of presidential campaign music. We take a trip back in time to look at how music has been used in American presidential campaigns from Washington to Obama and beyond, with lessons from the current election cycle and interviews with Ben Sisario of the New York Times on the impact that music can have on a presidential campaign, and entertainment lawyer Joel Schoenfeld and NYU Law School Professor Christopher Sprigman on what happens when music is used without the artist’s and songwriter’s permission.
 

02/04/2016: Music, Money and the Super Bowl

 


It’s big! But just how big is the Super Bowl Halftime Show for the artists that perform in it, and what does it cost to clear a song for use in a Super Bowl ad?

Super Bowl 50 is this weekend, and on this episode of Musonomics, NYU Steinhardt Professor Larry Miller examines music’s relationship to the NFL’s biggest day. We’ll take a look back at some classic ads to see how and why the Super Bowl became so important to advertisers, and Josh Rabinowitz of Grey Advertising sheds light on how music works in Super Bowl ads. Then it’s on to the halftime show and a chat with Ed Christman of Billboard about the show’s marketing power — and how a half time show performance drives the sale of records, downloads and streams.
 

01/01/2016: The 3 Most Important Stories of 2015

 


2015 was a year of change and unexpected record breaking. In our final episode of the year Larry Miller of NYU Steinhardt talks with Neil Shah of the Wall Street Journal about the three biggest and most important music industry stories of 2015: Adele and the unbelievable success of 25; the multitude of streaming services that launched this year, and a call for revision of arcane music licensing laws from the U.S. Copyright Office.
 

11/30/2015: That Weird Thing That Happened To Recording Studios

 


Recording studios used to be the place where music was written and produced, but since the ’90s their role in the production has seen a dramatic decrease. In this episode of Musonomics, we take a look at the state of the modern recording studio. We talk to producers and studio veterans from both coasts about the technological advances, changes in production methods, and ever-shifting musical styles that have made for tough times at recording studios. Dave Amlen of MSR Studios tells us how facilities in New York survived and how hip hop helped. Finally, we chat with John Seabrook, author of The Song Machine, about the new way hits are made and the small group of producers from Stockholm making them happen.
 

10/27/2015: YouTube’s Big Red Elephant is Loose in the Music Industry’s Room

 


Season 2 of The Musonomics Podcast kicks off with episode 8, “YouTube is the Big Red Elephant in the Music Industry’s Room.” We’ve talked on previous shows about the streaming wars; Spotify vs Tidal vs Apple Music vs Deezer vs an ever-growing list of new faces — but there’s one streaming service with user numbers that dwarf the competition, and it isn’t any of those names. In just 10 years, YouTube has become not only the biggest video streaming service in the world, but the biggest music streaming service in the world.

But how did YouTube become so huge, and what’s next for the streaming giant? How how will YouTube continue to impact the music industry? To find out, we look back to 2005 and trace YouTube’s explosive growth over the past 10 years. Then we chat with media analyst Rich Greenfield about what all that growth and power means for the music industry, and what to expect from YouTube in the coming years. Then finally, we take a quick look at YouTubeRed, the streaming giant’s new subscription service.
 

9/2/2015: The Transparency Moment

 


In this episode of Musonomics, Larry Miller looks at the lack of information transparency in the music industry. Why do artists still get indecipherable paper reports from labels and music services in the digital age, and how do we know those reports are accurate? Why is it so hard to get easy answers to simple questions about royalty rates and royalty payments? Grammy Award-winning composer and big band leader Maria Schneider shares how the lack of transparency drove her to take her music off the internet and Jeff Price of Audiam and Revelator’s Bruno Guez outline the byzantine complexity of the music industry’s royalty payment systems.
 

8/3/2015: Summer Festival Fever Spreads from Newport to Tennessee: The Summer Music Festival Part 2. 

 


Bonnaroo and EDM are the focus of the second half of our two-part series on the state of the summer music festival. In this episode, Larry Miller talks with Jonathan Mayers of Superfly Productions and Jonathan Azu of Red Light Management about the inception and astounding growth of Bonnaroo. Billboard’s Ray Waddell gives us some analysis on opportunities for growth in the saturated festival space, and EDM expert Robby Towns tells us what sets EDM festivals apart.
 

7/23/2015: George Wein and the Newport Legacy:
The Summer Music Festival Part 1. 

 


In part one of our two-part series on the business evolution of summer music festivals, Larry Miller interviews George Wein, founder of the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. On the 50th anniversary of when Bob Dylan “went electric” and the 60th anniversary of Miles Davis’ debut, 90-year old impresario George Wein shares vivid memories and important insights on the people, musical moments and the business influence of his summer music festivals.
 

6/28/2015: Apple, Music and the Launch of Apple Music.  

 


In preparation and celebration of the launch of Apple Music, we take a look back at Apple’s prosperous relationship with music from the first iPod ad through to last month’s WWDC keynote and launch announcement. We’ve got a ton of great guests. Josh Friedlander of the RIAA chats with us about the emergence of the streaming industry, and artist manager Emily White gives us insight into Apple’s relationship with artists. Dick Huey of the Toolshed marketing agency sheds light on what stats to watch, and David Pakman, a partner at Venrock, sits down for a chat about what success will look like for Apple Music.
 

6/6/2015: What’s a Mixtape Anyway? 

 


What even is a mixtape anymore? To figure it out, we take a look back at how the mixtape was born and what it has evolved into. Then, Alyse Howard of The Urban Coin brings us a special report about Nipsey Hussle, the Wu-Tang Clan and artificial scarcity. And Billboard Senior Editor Gail Mitchell, chats with Larry Miller about what it means to make and distribute a mixtape in the current hip-hop landscape and the mixtape’s economic role in the music industry.
 

5/7/2015: Larry Miller chats with Larry Rosin, Alex Jacobs and Tom Silverman about Tidal and the streaming industry. 

 


In our second episode we take a look at Tidal, Jay-Z’s newest headline grabber, and the state of the industry segment that Tidal is trying to conquer. Tom Silverman of Tommy Boy talks about how we’ll get to a $100 billion music business. Larry Rosin of Edison Research explains how music streaming consumption is actually evolving. And we learn about the music licensing value gap with YouTube from Alex Jacobs of the IFPI.
 

4/15/2015: Record Store Day, the Vinyl Resurgence and The State of Physical Music Retail 

 


This week we’ll take a close look at the vinyl resurgence and music’s newest quasi-holiday, Record Store Day, which falls this year on Saturday, April 18. You’ll hear from James Donio of the Music Business Association about how the vinyl resurgence came about. Michael Kurtz, the founder of Record Store Day, will talk with us about how Record Store Day got started, how it affects the vinyl pressing industry, and how Record Store Day became an international phenomenon. Finally, you’ll hear from entertainment industry analyst Russ Crupnick of MusicWatch about the future of vinyl, its role in the music ecosystem and the willingness of consumers to pay for music.
 

 

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Great podcast! Loved hearing from the diversity of experts interspersed with humor and good music. High quality sound too!
– Alex White, CEO, Next Big Sound, NYC

 
Just wanted to write this to you from Singapore, to say well done and hats off to Larry for creating the Musonomics podcast and programming. A great way for you and your voice and your thinking to be spread around the world. Bravo, Larry !
– Ralph Simon, Chairman, Mobilium Global, London

 
Outstanding!
– Erica Gruen, Principal, Quantum Media, NYC

 
Loved hearing you coming out of my car speakers — we’re excited to follow you on your Musonomics journey. Rock on!
– Karen T, Ft. Lee, NJ

 
You rock, really. So impressive.
– Wendy W, Marblehead, MA

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