The music industry is dead? Today’s panelists do not think so. Coming from different branches of the music industry, they see new technologies as a chance rather than a threat. The best example is rapper Ryan Leslie who recently made his peace with „Spotify“: „I realized it is a great platform to be discovered on. So my next album will definitely be on there“, he says. Philipp Ginthör von Sony Music GSA also has a positive take on things: „The story that major labels like Sony are dying is very 2000. We all found our place in a very productive coexistence with new media“.
Ralph Simon CEO of Mobilium introduces the audience to the new term of the „Screenager“ as opposed to the teenager: Screenagers are all those people who consume music over a screen-device, be it a lap top, tablet or mobile phone: „Video is becoming the central medium of how people consume music.“ Ginthör adds that in his opinion the revolution from analogue music to download is not half as big as the revolution that takes place right now: from download to stream. So again: It’s only the beginning.
For Ryan Leslie new media bear the great possibility of directly getting in touch with the audience. He built an app to thank every fan personally who purchased his last record legally: „The exchange is not just about generating more traffic, earning money but also getting contacts and finding out who likes my music“.
What about “Youtube”, host Troy Carter from the „Atom Factory“, asks the panel. Leslie is completely positive about it: „Back in the days, “Youtube” was the only outlet which would release my music and let me build a fan base. If it wasn’t for that platform, I would not be here“, he says. Ginthör has a more ambiguous approach: „Yes, “Youtube” is great for discovering new talent but I would also like to see a better monetization system.There should at least be an option for artists“.
The last issue discussed is if the close interaction with the fans somehow steals the mystique of the artists. Tom Lovett from “Sofar Sounds” does not believe that to be true. His company hosts little concerts in living rooms all over the world: „The closer people see their stars, the more amazed they are by their talents. In my experience, some people don’t even want to talk to the musicians after the concert because they are so impressed“. Leslie agrees. He increasingly tries to sell the experience of interacting with him personally to his fans: „An experience is something people cannot download. It’s about a priceless moment“.