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SOUTH BEACH IN REVOLT
Biz Players Gather in Miami for Team Diddy's Revolt Music Conference
South Beach was even blingier than usual over the weekend.

REVOLT TV’s inaugural Revolt Music Conference in Miami featured keynote speakers iHeartMedia ruler Bob Pittman, Apple/Beats exec and label legend Jimmy Iovine, U2/Madonna manager Guy Oseary, record-biz icon Russell Simmons and Revolt founder/music tycoon Sean Combs, as well as panels and presentations with such players as iHeart prexy John Sykes, Epic chief  L.A. Reid, Glassnote founder/head Daniel Glass and super-producer/publisher Rodney Jerkins, among many others. The event took place on the one-year anniversary of the new-media outlet’s launch.

Revolt execs Andy Schuon and Keith Clinkscales oversaw the two-day fest addressing the new media landscape, social, mobile, A&R, publishing, broadcasting, brand tie-ins and much more.


Pittman: Alpha Disruptor.

Day One

Oseary and Clinkscales kicked off the proceedings with a Q&A; the veteran manager/entrepreneur emphasized that collaboration in the tech sector pointed the way for the music biz, as it makes risk scalable. “Don’t fail,” he said, “just pivot.” This was followed by “Today’s Front Page,” a social-media panel designed to school attendees in building and maintaining a social fan base (who does Instagram best? Madonna).

Reid piloted the A&R panel, featuring Glass, Apple’s Larry Jackson and YMCMB/Republic artist/producer DJ Khaled, among others. The  group grappled with questions about the value of a label brand, the status of black music in the marketplace and the rising power of music from the U.K.


Jackson, Khaled, Clinkscales, Reid and Glass
get their A&R on.

Pittman, a veteran of the sort of media disruption that was the event’s theme, spoke about the process of building a media brand for the future. Ultimately, though, Pittman emphasized, one thing hasn’t changed: “What always matters is great music.”

Execs from Vevo, Spotify, Pandora and Soundcloud exchanged thoughts on streaming and its revenue possibilities in a panel that was sufficiently vague to prompt Combs to walk onstage and chide the panellists. “You’re not giving us the answer,” he said. “You have to give the artists who are the future of your business, no matter how bad it is, an answer to know how much money an artist can make if signed to your services.”

Day Two

Opening keynoter Simmons, who received a standing O upon striding onstage, reflected the growing influence of mindfulness meditation practices on business innovation in his “Success Through Stillness” presentation. He led the crowd in a brief meditation and enjoined them to stay hungry.

Jerkins, producer Dallas Austin and UMPG SVP Jessica Rivera, meanwhile, were among the participants in the music-publishing panel.

Combs worked his magic in a freewheeling audience Q&A titled #AskDiddy. The key to his success? “Surrounding myself with people smarter than me.”


Jimmy and Diddy ponder applications of the SFTB Award.

Following a set by Ne-Yo, Iovine hit the stage during the evening to receive the SFTB (Started From the Bottom) Award. After detailing his adventures in the biz, he advised attendees to learn the language of technology in pursuit of their musical goals.

“These are times that call upon us to be visionary and to be daring,” Iovine declared. “These days, the meek are not inheriting the Earth.” (See the complete text of his remarks here.)

Attendees then adjourned for another night of spicy South Beach festivity, during which a mojito was offered a three-album deal and an online reality series.

Photo credits: Marc Serota and Jeff Daily/Invision for REVOLT.

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