Music Business

Austin Tech Talk At SXSW: Interviews With Tom Silverman And X5’s Scott Reilly

image from The following excerpts are from 2 days of interviews conducted by Helsinki based streaming company LiveMusicStage at SXSW 2013.

These interviews were filmed and streamed live on Austin Tech Talk from the LiveMusicStage booth at's lounge.

LiveMusicStage is an online venue where fans can participate in interactive live-streamed concerts, broadcast by venues, festivals and studios from around the world.

Tom Silverman from New Music Seminar (Interviewed by Ted Cohen)

"The music business used to be like many other businesses, where it’s about controlling the demand by controlling supply. Steve Jobs was the first one to realize that this has changed. Once we decoupled music from the medium with MP3, everything changed. A person who spends $40 per year on records can spend $120 per year on Spotify subscription."

"The price of CDs has not gone up in 15 years…. At the same time, the price of a movie ticket has gone from $3 to $14. In effect, value of music has gone down while value of movies, books, and tv have gone up. Also, I think there is a wrong ratio on single to album pricing. It used to be 1 to 5, now it is 1 to 10. At 1 to 5, buying albums would be more interesting. Taking inflation in account, we’re at 1967 levels in record sales revenues."

"The music business today is no longer unit based; we’re done with the unit. Today, 30% of music revenues come from SoundExchange. You should not look at this as the record business, this is the music business. If we could put a $3 price tag on each mobile phone for music, not to mention cars, we’d be a much larger industry. Record industry can never be more than a $23 million industry. We need to throw away our record industry hats, and build music into every device."

Scott Reilly, CEO X5 (Interviewed by Bill Wilson, NARM)

"How do we scale the business? The problem is that people don’t know where to start. I’m worried that digital leaves casual users cold. Those interested in Susan Boyle are daunted that you need to install apps and download tracks. Where are those people going to go without making a big commitment? You don’t have to be that big of a fan of music to walk into Tower Records."

"The big question really is not how to sell more music to those already buying music, but selling music to those who are not currently buying. That is the challenge digital music sales is facing and needs to address."

"There is too much discussion on how much artists make on Rhapsody, Spotify, iTunes. Nobody used to be interested how much the artist makes on Tower Records or Walmart. Actually, I think the artist makes about the same on Spotify than he used to make on Tower Record."


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