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IHEARTMEDIA MUSIC SUMMIT: DAY ONE

Poleman Hosts a Series of Presentations From Indie Labels, Managers and Artists

The iHeartMedia Music Summit made its debut at the iHeartRadio Theater in Burbank on Tuesday. Tom Poleman acted as emcee of the afternoon/evening gathering of nearly 100 iHeart programmers from around the country, as well as select members of corporate brands, while the labels presented sizzle reels and artist performances for the attendees. This first day’s session was dedicated to independents, managers and in some cases artists themselves, all of whom were on hand to display their upcoming priorities. These ranged from simple videos to performances and general overviews from companies including S-Curve, In2une, Kobalt, Surburban Noize and eOne.

A last-minute cancellation by one label allowed Wyclef Jean to perform not only his latest song, a collab with Avicii, but three others, including the Fugees’ “Ready or Not,” to a highly enthused room.  On the rock side, Mike Jacobs and manager Jim Guerinot premiered the latest offering from Offspring, “Coming for You.”

“When we act as one company, we have the opportunity to change pop culture.” - John Sykes

At the end of the presentations, the room was cleared except for iHeart employees, as John Sykes joined Poleman on stage, along with format captains John Ivey, Doc Wynter, Brad Hardin, Chris Conley, Dylan Sprague and Rob Miller, for a brainstorming session, with the programmers in attendance. The goal was to garner input from the station PDs about ideas on partnering with artists—not only for events like the iHeartRadio Music Festival and various awards shows, but also initiatives such as On the Verge and Artist Integration, on both the terrestrial and digital platforms. “We have to constantly reinvent,” Sykes said of iHeart’s major events. “It’s more than just one station,” he then noted. “When we act as one company, we have the opportunity to change pop culture.”

Following a brief “cocktail break,” Poleman pointed out what the company had done after partnering with U2 to give the project new life beyond the Apple launch, and was then joined on stage  by Maverick’s Guy Oseary and Ron Laffitte. Guy gave a brief overview of the Maverick “opt-in” venture with managers and Michael Rapino’s Live Nation, while noting that “Growing up, radio was my only friend.” He then passed the mic to Laffitte, who pointed out that the relationship between the two companies was “not about leverage but relationships,” and that the direct line of communication between the media conglomerate and Maverick was “the shortest distance between two points of a mutually beneficial relationship between radio and the artists and their songs.”

The group was then joined on stage by The Edge, who was very humble in his appreciation for what the company had done for him and the band. During a brief Q+&A with the programmers, the U2 guitarist was asked, “How’s your partner in crime?” His answer: Bono has taken on his physical therapy as a fulltime job, and will be ready to get back on stage when the tour is scheduled to kick off in May.

Today’s session comprises the major-label presentations, with UMG starting things off bright and early, followed by WMG and then Sony Music.    

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