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MUSIC BIZ GAZES INTO THE FUTURE

Jim Donio gets Mike Dungan and the members of Little Big Town to hold still before starting a conga line during Music Biz’s breakfast session Wednesday.

Music Biz attendees in Nashville Wednesday heard Little Big Town perform in honor of Mike Dungan, Troy Carter discuss the 10-year plan for Spotify and Jim Donio threaten to spend next year’s conference on a beach sipping rum.

Carter, Spotify’s Global Head of Creator Services, said the next decade at the streaming service will be spent focused on artists. He used Republic’s Julia Michaels as an example, noting the company’s role in picking her single, scheduling a release date and the rollout plan.

In its first 10 years, Carter said Spotify was better at breaking songs than artists. “Now we’re trying to wrap this engine around artists and help develop the next generation of superstars. So it’s not about songs, it’s going to be about how do we help you build out bodies of work, how do we help you plan out your tour, how do we help you know who the fans are. So we’re investing in careers at this point.”

Carter added, “I think we’re just scratching the surface of what Spotify for Artists is going to be, but my guess is it becomes a tool that essentially you almost won’t be able to operate without.”

The Carter Q&A followed the presentation of the Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement to UMG Nashville chief Dungan and the Independent Spirit Award to Terry Currier of Portland, Ore.’s Music Millennium. They also announced the creation of a Music Business Hall of Fame—the first induction ceremony will be at next year’s convention. Attendance of more than 2,000 made it the largest Music Biz confab since 2001.

As for that Donio hologram?

In his opening remarks, the Music Biz head said, “As the year continues to unfold, I am sure the conversations will heat up about what’s next for the industry. There are exciting new developments in voice-activated discovery, artificial intelligence, and augmented and virtual reality. While I am sipping mai tais on a beach in Tahiti, maybe my hologram will deliver next year’s speech.”

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