A Recap of Nashville Highlights, Written Between Shots

The BBQ is cookin' and the retail/digital/distribution weasels are geekin', as this year's Music Biz continues. Turns out, 2015 is the association's biggest convention in eight years, it was announced today.

Music Biz also announced that Amazon's Jill Chapman will become the new Co-Chair of Music Biz’s Digital Supply Chain Workgroup.

In celebration of their 50th anniversary and accompanying tour, The Who was honored with the Outstanding Achievement Award.

L-R: YouTube's Fred Beteille (Music Biz Chairman); Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Music Biz prexy Jim Donio and Music Biz Vice Chairman Steve Harkins of Baker & Taylor

Speaking of RAWK, Jack White received the convention's inaugural Innovator Award for Lazaretto, which Music Biz President Jim Donio called an “exceptional work that uniquely marries classic art and current technology.” Lazaretto features dual groove technology that offers the listener two different album intros. There are also two hidden tracks that play at various speeds, one at 45 RPMs and the other at 78 RPMs. White’s critically acclaimed, Grammy-winning LP has sold nearly 100k.

The preceding day, attendees filled Third Man RecordsBlue Room venue
for a stand-out performance from Ashley Monroe (pictured right).

Also during today's Breakfast & Business Session, Waterloo Records' John Kunz received the Independent Spirit Award. President Jim Donio also delivered a speech.

Donio (pictured below) acknowledged Nashville’s contribution as Music City by saying the move “invigorated the event.” This is the first time in its 57-year history that Music Biz has held its annual convention in Nashville. L.A. has hosted the event for the past four years. During his address, he lauded the creation of the Music Educator Partnership, a program “designed specifically for colleges and universities with Music Business Programs,” and stated “I really believe we should all be committed to preparing the next generation of leaders. Each of us has knowledge and insights we can share.”

The RIAA’s Josh Friedlander offered up some numbers that confirm the music industry is still alive and kicking. On-demand streaming has nearly doubled vs. the same period last year, up 91.5%. Revenue from paid subscriptions has increased 25% to almost $800 million, while ad-supported subscriptions are up 34% to $773 million.
On the retail side, independent store sales are up 3.5% largely due to a staggering 44% increase in vinyl sales.

The third annual Metadata Summit was a success, featuring a keynote from WMG's Mike Jbara (pictured below) and presentations from a variety of industry experts from the UMG, The Recording Academy, BMI, RIAA, Pandora, Getty Images, SONOS and more.

The Music Startup Academy sessions included a keynote address from Back Porch Group and Endorsee's Shawn Yeager, along with panels on music licensing, selecting APIs and securing business development deals.

The first-ever Artists, Management & Touring Town Hall stirred conversation over the artist’s role in creating a development and marketing plan for their music and live shows, how to capitalize on fan clubs and VIP packages and how new digital services can assist with increasing sales, fan engagement, tour promotion and more.

Speakers included New Artist Model/Digital Cowboys' Dave Kusek, Entertainment One's Gerald Moss, Lippman Entertainment's Nick Lippman (pictured left), CID Entertainment's Dan Berkowitz, McGhee Entertainment's James Blades, Wonderful Union's Eddie Meehan, Ticketmaster's Zeeshan Zaidi, Outside the Box's Charles Alexander, Vector Management's Jon Romero and C3 Management's Alec Steinfeld.

With presentations from MusicWatch, Border City Media, Spotify and Nielsen, the Metrics & Sales Analysis Town Hall kicked off the week’s events focused on the future of sales measurement.

At the Country Music Meet-Up, Shazam's Director Music Partnerships Nick Fishbaugh and CMA research department reps Brandi Simms and Karen Stump answered a variety of genre-related questions. Who is this Country music consumer and how do they discover music? How much do they purchase? What is their preferred music format?

Today is scheduled to wrap with the YouTube-sponsored Live @ The Wildhorse event at 9pm at The Wildhorse Saloon, featuring performances from Jackie Green, Jana Kramer, Casey James and Mike Posner. Be there or be subject to square dance.

Meanwhile, HITS' own Jamie Mitchell can be found trying on blue suede cowboy boots at local spot Betty Boots before hitting the Johnny Cash Museum and having our calls sent to voicemail.