Santa Monica, CA (October 25, 2005)–The Producers & Engineers Wing of The Recording Academy participated in the Grammy SoundTable panel “Death Of The Record Business? Rebirth Of The Music Business: Part II” at the AES Convention in NYC earlier this month. Part I of the panel discussion took place during a Nashville Chapter event earlier this year.
Shown at the Grammy SoundTable panel on October 7 during AES NYC are (l-r): moderator Dave Adelson and panelists Michael Caplan, Susan Butler, Jonathan Daniel, Robert Hurwitz and George Massenburg. Photo Courtesy of The Recording Academy. Photograph by Stephen Lovekin/WireImage (c)2005The summit brought together a panel of award-winning experts from diverse music business disciplines to offer insight into the far-reaching digital revolution currently transforming the global music industry. Panelists included: Billboard Legal & Music Publishing Editor Susan Butler, Or Music president and co-founder Michael Caplan, Crush Music media management president Jonathan Daniel, Nonesuch Records pPresident Robert Hurwitz, and self-described “compassionate technologist” and Grammy-winning engineer George Massenburg,
The discussion was led by Dave Adelson, senior producer/music correspondent for “E! News Live” and executive producer of WireImage Video, who opened the proceedings with an assessment of how the old-school music industry continues to decline and the urgent need for new business models to replace it and reinvigorate the industry.
The next two hours covered a wide range of topics, including digital downloading, digital rights management (DRM), the iPod, file-sharing via P2P networks, and innovative models for distribution and management of music. Caplan pointed out the fact that not every element in the industry is necessarily moving toward the same goal. “The major labels are still trying to stamp out [downloading] but the genie is way out of the bottle,” he told a standing-room-only crowd. Butler tackled some of the thornier legal issues that this shift has brought to the forefront, including the fact that, as she explained it, “under copyright law, if you put a copy on your iTunes and you get rid of the disc you no longer have the legal right to the copy on iTunes. You only have a right to make a copy and keep it as long as you have the physical disc. So my iTunes [are] illegal now.”
There was also substantial give-and-take between the audience and the panel. When one attendee commented that DRM acts as a roadblock to accessing music, Hurwitz responded by saying, “Artists and composers…work really hard. Without them there are no record labels. They [artists and composers] are our first responsibility.”
At The Recording Academy’s booth on the Convention floor, key members of the industry’s technical infrastructure were present throughout the conference to continue these types of discussions and to explore how technology can be harnessed to move the business forward for everyone involved. Among those at the booth over the four days of the show were Elliot Scheiner, Ed Cherney, Al Schmitt, Chuck Ainlay, Jimmy Douglass, Tony Maserati, Eric Schilling, John Alagia and Bob Ludwig. A good example of how the Producers &Engineers Wing members advanced the cause of the music industry at AES was Ludwig’s participation in two days of panel discussions, sponsored by Dolby Labs, that examined the roles that next-generation media formats Blu-ray and HD DVD will play in music.
“Producers & Engineer Wing members bring an enormous amount of practical experience and wisdom to the table, and they do so at a critical point in the history of the music business,” observed P&E Wing executive director Maureen Droney. “Whether on formal panels or just talking informally at our booth, the P&E Wing worked to advance the evolution of the music business at AES.”
The Recording Academy
Producers & Engineers Wing