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#CMJ 2012 Wrap-Up: Event Overview, Barriers to Entry, Leveraging Digital & More

131312_448379225208292_1417058617_oToday marked the final day of panel discussions during CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. Most rooms were packed with primarily young, fledgling musicians and music business professionals looking to soak in all they can from industry insiders. For those who have never attended a CMJ before, the experience is a lot to take in; with multiple panels occurring simultaneously throughout day and an overwhelming number of shows to attend in the evening.

The bright side is that panel speakers come from far and wide representing many prevalent companies within today’s music space like SoundCloud, SoundExchange, Pandora, ReverbNation, Musicmetric, Warner Bros. Records, Spotify and many more. At night, the event transforms into an international music festival featuring several top-tiered bands & artists from all over the world performing around NYC.

Is CMJ Worth It? 

Well, it depends. For those younger artists and aspiring music professionals looking to get a crash course on the current landscape of the music business, then it is certainly worth the trip. The event provides attendees great opportunities to not only learn from industry insiders, but also allows for networking with some key decision makers and influencers. But for those already heavily ingrained into the inner-workings music business, or if you've been to more than few reputable music industry conferences lately, you're likely not missing much. 

However, if you’re actively seeking out the hottest new bands to potentially work with from an industry perspective, the artist showcases are certainly worth checking out. The only problem is that these events are all scattered across New York City, so one has to really pick and choose what events they’d like to see. These bands, however, have been selected among a pool of thousands of applicants to be showcased, so those scouting out fresh talent are certainly in for a nice selection to choose from.

CMJ Week continues in New York City tonight and tomorrow evening with more artist showcases throughout the city.

Below are some key quotes from the final day of panel discussions:

Barriers to Entry

"Terrestrial radio is usually the last piece of the puzzle when breaking major artists; synchs, developed fan bases, etc. come first." – Adam Herzog, Warner Bros Records

"I listen to more unsigned than signed music - and I work at a major label! We see a bunch of copycats." - Amanda McIntyre-Chavis, EMI

Discovering new acts: "You don't really know what you're looking for until you hear it." -Adam Herzog, Warner Bros

The iTunes Top 100 will give you a good threshold [more or less] of what kind of songs will hit." - Ron Perry, SONGS Music Publishing

Leveraging Digital

"You don't need to be on every social site. Just be continuous on a few, and give us your complete story." -Amanda McIntyre-Chavis, EMI

"Someone that draws 300 people in a local market is more important to me than a 1-hitter on YouTube." -Adam Herzog, Warner Bros Records #CMJ

Or have a team that is --> "An artist nowadays needs to be - more a less - a great digital marketer." -Dean Crammer, Kings of A&R

“We're looking for organic growth. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter mean nothing if you cheated." -Corey Roberts, A&R Epic Records

"Release globally, market locally." -Richard Gottehrer, The Orchard

Innovation & Financing Music Tech

“Startups can get into public beta on relatively little capital with available tech that you can rent." -Larry Miller, Miller & Company

"Investors once wanted mass adoption first and monetization later. Now, they want to see viable business models." -Tyler Lenane, MOG

"Demonstrating that millions of people can't live without your product is key to Series B funding." -Larry Miller, Miller & Company

"10 years ago, the industry was doing everything to keep the online world from developing. Things are different now." -Mark Pibe, EMI

"Licensing negotiations are getting more difficult because of a broader range of deals and services coming to market." -Mark Pibe, EMI

Emerging Chinese Market

"1/6 of the mobile users in the world are in China; will overtake the U.S. in smartphone users this year." -Eric de Fontenay, MusicDish

"Over 400 million mobile users in China are under 30." -Eric de Fontenay, MusicDish

"Taiwan is the interim step for U.S. companies into the Chinese music market." -Ed Yen, a-Peer Holding Group


Hisham Dahud is a Senior Analyst for Additionally, he is the head of Business Development for Fame House and an independent musician. Follow him on Twitter: @HishamDahud