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And although, as one retailer told me, it’s like herding cats trying to get the wide array of indie retailers to keep to the same agenda, the take-away seemed to please most everyone.
NARM GETS UNDERWAY
Our Man Mark Pearson Reports from the Retailers' Annual Shmoozathon
The official opening of NARM is usually the cocktail event that takes place tonight on the eve of the opening session tomorrow.

But some preliminary crash courses on the music business are being very well-attended. Yesterday, boasted a town hall meeting set up by Music Millennium’s Terry Currier with an eye to keeping physical product as a vital part of the consumer experience. This roundtable discussion was in response to last year’s NARM event that many felt turned into a presentation dog-and-pony show rather than a give-and-take between suppliers and retailers. From all accounts (members of the press were not invited), it was a lively debate with all of the major and independent distributors in attendance along with a plethora of indie retailers. And although, as one retailer told me, it’s like herding cats trying to get the wide array of indie retailers to keep to the same agenda, the take-away seemed to please most everyone. Topics discussed ranged from supporting vinyl (and the possibility of some returnable product in that mix going forward) and promo product being more widely available for in-store use to fine-tuning the interaction with credit departments.  Look for this to be, at the very least, an annual get together.

Google’s announcement of their new cloud model has the convention buzzing, certainly on the supplier side, as the tech giant followed Amazon’s lead in proceeding without licensing from the copyright holders, ie. the major labels. Amazon is here in force with a “business as usual” attitude, but Google is conspicuously absent. Tomorrow’s seminar on the cloud should prove to be extremely well-attended. Stay tuned on that one.

Preceding tonight’s kick-off cocktail party will be a highly anticipated meet-and-greet with Jeff Bridges and producer T Bone Burnett as they unveil some of the music from Bridges’ upcoming Blue Note release. Later in the evening, J/RMG will host a listening party with Pitbull.

From the looks of it, the attendance seems fairly flat compared to last year. But the results of actual registrations have yet to be released and the confab has yet to actually convene. More after tomorrow’s opening session, starting with a keynote address by BMG/ChrysalisBilly Mann.


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