The End Of Purgatory And Other Good News At #NMS15

AAnd then… the bus drove through the Lincoln Tunnel. Every time I go to New York City, I feel a bit like Will Ferrell’s character Buddy the Elf. This time was no different, and minus the outfit, I was ready to cover the 2015 New Music Seminar as I stepped off the bus into the bustle.

Industry professionals, artists, and media converged in midtown Manhattan at the illustrious New Yorker Hotel for a three-day conference on trends, opportunities, and ideas on how to grow the business. As I wandered the halls, listened to the workshops, and talked to attendees, the mood was hopeful. Seminar executive director Tom Silverman captured the sentiment with a candid remark during a press conference: “I feel like the 14 years of purgatory is over!”, referring to a glimmer of hope brought by emerging data after a long period of bad news. Catching up with NMS’s Natasha Lubczenko, I asked her about any themes and trends she noticed in the hallways and session rooms, as well as attendees’ feelings towards the challenges. She noticed that streaming seemed to be high on the list, and how people are being proactive and positive about it, working on finding ways to generate as much revenue as possible and support the artists.

Josh w/ a LexxiLoves representative

Josh w/ a LexxiLoves representative

Major developments during the seminar included Google announcing their streaming service, Apple reversing gears and saying it would pay artists during it’s free trial period, then changing their tune slightly by reverting to a miniscule payout, and major shakeups leaving Tidal without a CEO.

I sat down for interviews with James Adam Shelley (American Authors) and Jonnie Davis (Round Hill Music) to talk songwriting, and Jim Hodson from IQzic to hear about how his company turns listening into an experience users are actively invested in. I watched as advertising professionals outlined their process for placing songs in TV commercials (dynamics are everything), learned about video strategy (make a lyric video!), and talked to some visionary companies and players in the field. There was a plethora of information for both independent musicians and industry professionals, so stay tuned for further stories as the articles hit the Dotted Music page very soon!

And, in closing, to quote the words of Tom Silverman in the headline of the official program: Spread the word, music is back!

Josh Urban is a writer and artist based in Washington, DC. @DontJoshMe or