Last October, the annual Scion Music(less) Music Conference returned to Los Angeles. Created as a resource to help develop evolving careers in the music industry, the conference features interviews, panels and workshops on topics ranging from music festivals, to the state of record stores, to monetizing your YouTube presence, to merchandising advancements. To judge the overall climate, we asked some of this year’s participants what the important issue facing the music industry is and what should be done the first to address it. This is what they said:
Domenic Romeo, A389 Recordings
The most important issue is getting people’s attention and holding on to it for the long haul. In this digital “fast food” era of music, even the most passionate and creative works are quickly disposed of/forgotten for the next hot thing. This is a hard thing to swallow as a dude who still owns all my KISS albums from my youth. Unfortunately there is no cure for this unless the entire internet collapses and we go back to the pre-digital age. But if you know you’ve created something great that fizzles out, there is no stopping it from being rediscovered again (and again) down the road. I guess the first step is to realize what’s going on and that the key to survival in this “industry” and the real world is to work relentlessly to stay on the radar, and always strive to create something sincere and magical. “Real” will always stand the test of time. Adapt and overcome.
Eliot Van Buskirk, Evolver.fm
While music fans have better discovery tools than ever before, our mechanisms for collecting are broken. We need cross-industry cooperation between all stakeholders to enable what I call “truly portable music” where if I buy a song once, I own it forever, and can grab it from any store, whenever I want. Likewise, if I create an artist station, upload a song to a locker, or collect it within a subscription, that should come with me too. Digital music is already dangerously ephemeral; a system like this would give it much needed permanence, and make it worth paying for.
Philip Kaplan, Distrokid
I’ve been playing the drums for over 20 years. I recently switched from playing a regular kit to an electronic kit, then to an electronic multipad (Roland SPD-SX). Now I’m considering just bringing my iPhone to gigs and using an app like Noisepad to tap out beats. The sounds are perfect—they sound “real.” And the electronics are way more convenient for me than lugging around a whole kit. And playing either well uses the same skills. But I feel I’ll look like an idiot on stage playing an iPhone, rather than an old fashioned acoustic kit. There’s the problem.
Part 2 of The Most Important Issue Facing The Music Industry from the Scion Music(less) Music Conference will continue on 6/26.