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  • Writer's pictureEric Doades

Pulse Check with Portia Sabin

Join Dr. Portia Sabin, President of the Music Business Association, and Dmitri in a candid discussion about how technology is propelling the industry forward. Their conversation touches on how tech helps to mitigate issues like fraud, and how it is reshaping the way we experience live events. Portia and Dmitri discuss the interplay between innovation and the need for unity amongst the industry's various sectors 

Links to events and apps that are talked about in this week's episode:

Songfinch Personalized custom songs

The Elvis Act Tennessee law protecting artists’ voices from AI impersonation 

Music Biz 2024 Conference Nashville TN, May 13-16

Swichcord Tools for songwriters to document ownership, and get paid! 

Cosynd Establish legal ownership of your content

Sound Royalties Use your sound royalties to get funding for other projects

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Episode Transcript

Machine transcribed

0:00:10 - Dmitri

Welcome back to Music Tectonics, where we go beneath the surface of music and tech. I'm your host, Dmitri Vietze. I'm also the founder and CEO of Rock Paper Scissors, the PR firm that specializes in music innovation and music tech, and I have an old friend that I'm bringing on to talk about big ideas and to get into what she's up to. Let me tell you about her. 

Dr Portia Sabin is president of the Music Business Association, which exists to connect, educate and empower the global music business community. While working on her PhD at Columbia University, portia played drums, recorded and toured with the New York City band, the Hissy Fitz. She founded Shot Clock Management in 2004 and ran the legendary independent label Kill Rock Stars for 13 years. She's the host of a podcast about the music business called the Future of what, which has been going on longer than Tectonics and has been an inspiration for me to get into this as well. Portia is a former board member of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Recording Academy, the RIAA and the American Association of Independent Music, a2im, and is currently on the advisory boards of Neva and Viva Collect. And, of course, the Music Business Conference is coming up May 13th to 16th in Nashville, so I wanted to have Portia on. Hey, Portia, how you doing. 

0:01:27 - Portia

Hey, Dmitri, how are you? 

0:01:29 - Dmitri

I'm doing great it's good to have you here on the podcast. 

0:01:33 - Portia

I know I love it. It's fun. 

0:01:36 - Dmitri

So I'm going to jump right in. You've got a bird's eye view into this entire field, the types of stuff that we talk about on Music Tectonics. How would you describe the current era of the music industry compared to past moments? 

0:01:48 - Portia

Well, that's, I mean, that's always a good question. I think the music industry is tough to pin down a little bit. It's, it's always changing and you know, you guys at Music Tectonics, you know, you, you, you get the whole picture, which is, you know, we are like an industry that plays constant catch up. You know, technology changes and then everybody's like oh my God, and has to rush and try to figure out what to do. And so, you know, one of the things that I've really liked about this moment, this current era in the music industry, is that so many more people, kind of like I don't know, within the last five to 10 years started to take the music business a little bit more seriously and started coming to us with real solutions to problems you know technological solutions to problems, rather than. 

I mean, I don't know if you remember this, but like I remember, when I was running Kill Rockstars in the early days of the Internet, there were, like you know, all these people or, like you know, real internet. You know who wrote me emails that were like if you text this number during a show, then you get a hat. 

It's like what Like why Nobody wants that. That's like so useless, like I just I was always just like what? And then there was that moment where, like, blockchain was going to happen and completely transform the whole industry. That went away. I feel like people see what they want to see in the music industry and the people who last are the ones who take it seriously and understand it. And so what I love about the current era is there's so much great new tech that people are coming up with to solve genuine problems that we have in the industry. So I really love that about the current, the current era. I also see from my position. 

There's been like a little bit more togetherness. 

Like you know, when I started in the music business, like 25 years ago, I felt like everything was really siloed right, like every. 

These people were over here and these people were over here and nobody wanted to play nice and everybody was like trying to hang on to their little piece of the pie, and I almost think it's the pandemic that upended that, because, you know, the most obvious example of that is the live industry. You know, it's like the live industry has always, for whatever reason, sort of kept themselves off to one side. You know they're like we're the live industry, we are, you know, booking and all this stuff. But we're over here and all of a sudden it was like, oh my God, now nobody can tour and guess what? Everybody's losing. You know when that happens. So I think that brought everybody together a little bit more and just started making everyone realize like, hey, the money that is out there, you know, rising tide lifts all boats, like everybody's got to kind of play a little bit more nicely to to capture what's out there. And so I definitely see, you know, the industry coming together in certain ways around like, for example, fraud. 

That's been a thing I've been working on for the past year and a half a lot with a whole bunch of folks who've come together. Music fights, fraud alliance, um, is something that we've worked on. We had a spin fraud task force. We started that last year, just like people are more willing to talk about problems and more willing to work together, I think so. I mean, I could go on and on, but you have more than one question. 

0:05:05 - Dmitri

Well, no, this is great To kind of get a pulse check from your perspective. Your vantage point is actually super helpful and I appreciate you sort of thinking through the lens of a music tectonics listener as well. On the technology side, it does feel like more and more of the music industry is, I mean, I say it a little bit on a hypey scale of like it's all tech now. It's not all tech now. You know there's still other things that are happening, but it sure feels like there's a lot of considerations around what technology is being used for, not just, you know, distribution and streaming, but for marketing and promotion and for collaboration and a lot of you know an artist or record labels. Day-to-day life is very tech-centric, like a lot of us in society today. 

So, anyway, I appreciate you kind of looking through with that lens as well. I mean, you know another piece of that, I guess, is you know what happens between the quote traditional music industry and other technology platforms that emerge social media and I'd love to get your perspective on the universal music TikTok standoff, I guess we could call it. Why is this happening and what do you see as the path forward for music licensing in what I might call the great exposure versus monetization debate? 

0:06:19 - Portia

Well, that is as old as the music industry the exposure versus monetization debate, for sure and I think I mean this moment is a lot like other moments and I think one of the ways that we can think about it is it's kind of it's kind of back to like the quantity over quality argument, in that, you know, one viral video does not a career make, right? 

So it's like when you're talking to artists, when you're thinking about, you know, educating artists about what they need to understand, about the music industry. You know TikTok is a lot of fun. A lot of the new social media stuff. Platforms are cool and exciting but at the end of the day, the people who are able to monetize them do really hard work Like they work really hard and I think you know Universal being the largest of the three majors, you know they are in a unique position and people can have their problems with. You know a company that's in a unique position like that. But at the end of the day, what labels seek to do is help their artists have careers over time and if you're an artist and you're not, you don't have the body of work. It doesn't matter. Do you know what I mean? It's like any kind of. You know I think what this moment has highlighted is that you can have a great viral moment, but every single person who loves that video or whatever is going to say what next? And if you don't have anything next, then you're gone. Right, it's the next cool cat video. You know that just takes people's eyeballs. So you know there's there's a fickle, a fickleness to to popularity. Right, that has always been true. That's just always been true in the music industry. You have to have something else to back it up, you have to have a place to go, you have to be an artist. 

And being an artist means having a body of work, having you know shows, having you know plans, like just it's a whole nine yards. And so you know, I think when we, when we think about Universal and TikTok, it's like they're doing what makes perfect sense from a label perspective, which is they're just trying to protect their artists income streams. They're trying to make sure that they get paid for what they actually are. You know should get paid and you know it's. It's just the latest in a long line of those types of deals that people make. But I think you know the bigger picture is what I've been saying. It's like you have to be, as an artist, cognizant of. You know what the work is that goes into being an artist and how. You know TikTok is not. You know somebody said to me playlisting is not a, like, career plan. 

It was like and there cause that was like before TikTok, right. It was like, oh, if we just get on this one cool playlist and Spotify, then we're going to be huge, and it's like, no, that's not how that works. 

0:09:23 - Dmitri

Right, yeah, yeah, I mean it is a dynamic that's ongoing between these social and tech platforms and the music industry, but also other industries that have copyright or intellectual property or creative works, and I guess one way to look at it is it's if you are a pure capitalist, it's. It is a free market negotiation that's happening right it's absolutely. 

It's like within umgs and um and their publishers right to say, hey, no, you, you know, if you're not willing to negotiate on this licensing, then we, you know, we have to pull our stuff. Um, but it it interesting because, you know, running a music tech podcast myself in a conference and PR firm, people think that I might side on the side of the tech platforms, but I, like, I really want to walk right in the middle, right in that line of sort of like, no, this makes sense. What Porsche is saying makes sense. Like there's a whole team of people behind this and you know the artists themselves, they know they're, they've they've created this legally, this, this work is protected and uh, you, you gotta pay, pay to use it, especially if you're growing profit off of it. 

You know, like tiktok's not some uh, fly by night operation at this point it's, it's a significant media enterprise, um, and and building building something like that. You know we talk about it in our how to startup series that we're doing on the podcast as well about. You know, licensing is a significant challenge for a lot of smaller music tech startups, but you got to do it. It's part of you know, like, if you're building something off of music. That's part of the deal there. 

0:10:57 - Portia

Right, and if you don't want to do it, then just look at the MLC, because that is the result. Congress will step in, and then not only are you paying artists, but you're also funding an entire organization to collect the royalties that you didn't want to pay. So think about it. 

0:11:14 - Dmitri

There's other ways to do things with music without having to use people's music, without licensing it. If you're interested in music and you want to do innovation, you don't have to be a social media or social video or streaming platform. There's other things you can do that are super cool. Portia 2020 was the year of live streaming. You talked a little bit about the pandemic and I think that emerged there. 2021 was the year of the metaverse. 2022 was the year of NFTs Uh-huh, Uh-huh. 2023 and 2024 seem to be the years of AI artificial intelligence and the initial industry response seemed to be oh shit, here come the deep fakes. Oh no, not another tool to flood the DSPs with music. But one person said to me that AI is a dream scenario for record labels and, with the ability to extend IP to new formats, more music and new forms of fan engagement, how do you think record labels should be thinking about AI? 

0:12:10 - Portia

I mean, you know, the funny thing about AI is, of course, it is the year of AI and music biz. The conference that we put on every year is kind of a great barometer of what the industry is concerned with, because 2022, we got something like 30 proposals that were all about NFTs, and then last year we got one and this year we got zero on NFTs but we got like 38 proposals about AI. So you know, you can really tell what the industry wants to talk about. So for sure, ai is a big deal right now. 

The funny part about it is that I find the conversation about AI very. It's almost like it's so in the nitty gritty that it's a little bit uninteresting because really there's two ways to look at AI. There's the tech side and the legal side. Right, those are the two conversations that are currently going on, and the legal side is just, it's just really basic. It's like what's Congress going to do? You know what laws are going to be enacted to make sure that certain people are protected was just enacted here in Tennessee, which was the first major piece of copyright legislation in the state of Tennessee for a very long time concerning the music industry, to protect name, image likeness, I can't remember what all the letters stand for. 

You've got it yeah something like that and you know that's really important, but that is like that is. You know, if you're a lawyer, you can go crazy on that, but that's not really my wheelhouse. I'm not. I'm not like Ooh, let's go talk about that for six hours, um. And then the other side is the tech side is like how can, how can AI be used? I think it's also bringing out the conversation of like how is AI already being used? 

Right, bringing out the conversation of like how is AI already being used right, which a lot of artists are already using it in a lot of different types of programs. I have a friend who makes the bulk of her living doing songs on Songfinch, which is the you know, order your own song, personalized. 

I love you, baby, because you wore that white dress on Thursday and got the wiggly wiggly or whatever you know, and you can get your own song and she uses a lot of AI in that and that's great. You know that's working for her, it's helping her have an income and a career. So, you know, I think the whole thing with AI is it's just a little bit less exciting than people are thinking it is, you know, because it is just same stuff different day, right, Like it's. Oh yeah, it's another piece of technology that's come along that can challenge copyright right and challenge artists' ability to control copyright, and that is something that we've been dealing with as long as there have been artists, as long as there have been labels and as long as there's been technology and it's like that. 

Challenging copyright is sort of a tough part of the music industry, Totally true. You know, if you have AI and you have an artist who is deceased, for example, you know, maybe how can AI help with that, how can you create new pieces of music or use old pieces of music in new ways? You know, it's definitely, I think, something that labels are going to be interested in. So it's definitely, I think, something that labels are going to be interested in. 

0:15:45 - Dmitri

Right, yeah, I guess I bring it up because I think on the one hand, you've got this, you know this challenge to copyright. If AI companies are training on data, that is, somebody else's music, intellectual property, and not attributing it, not monetizing it, not licensing it, it. That's one aspect. But the other aspect is, you know, can ai help record labels, not only with deceased, uh artists, to extend ip into a modern era and with relevant recording, but also there may be other extensions you know, for record labels to you know work with an artist that they already have, to allow fans to create content that the label and the artists still own or partially own or something, but create, like another level of interactivity and engagement with fans in a way that doesn't make sense in the old music industry but could still be within the, you know, provide incentives to record labels and artists to do as well. So I don't know, I just put it out there because it could be interesting to see where it goes. 

0:16:46 - Portia

Yeah, no, I definitely think it'll be interesting to see where it goes. I think it's really hard to tell right now what direction that's going to go in, but it definitely there's a lot of potential. 

0:16:56 - Dmitri

Awesome. All right, we need to take a quick break for a message, but when we come back, I'm really curious to talk to you about the explosion of creator tools. We'll be right back. 

0:17:21 - interstitial

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0:17:45 - Dmitri

Okay, we're back and, Portia, this has been super awesome to get your kind of bird's eye view. Here. There's an explosion of tools for new types of musical creators. Social music creation at BandLab recently announced 100 million users. I'm curious what do you think will be the lasting impact of this creator explosion on the record industry? 

0:18:06 - Portia

Well, unfortunately, I have the depressing answer, dimitri. That regulation will be the result of the creator explosion on the record industry. That's what I actually think is true. 

0:18:18 - Dmitri

What do you mean? What do you mean? 

0:18:19 - Portia

Well, I mean it's you know. You're seeing it with Spotify already, right? You're seeing that now you have to have a thousand plays a week, or whatever, to get paid, or I can't remember what the time period is, do you remember? 

0:18:32 - Dmitri

Maybe a year, I'm not sure. 

0:18:33 - Portia

A thousand plays a year, I don't remember Whatever, but you know it's like now there's a floor for getting paid, because the explosion of creators has created this problem where there's so much content that it can't properly all be handled, and a lot of it is. You know there's I don't remember what the statistic is it's like 90 percent of the stuff that's on Spotify is actually listened to once or zero times Like. So you know, at some point the that is going to have to start getting. You know that's going to create some changes and I think we're going to get regulation. I think we're going to get gatekeeping, which I think is hilarious and ironic. It makes me want to like roll on the floor laughing, because the whole promise of the Internet was to get rid of gatekeepers and it just makes me want to like roll on the floor laughing, because the whole promise of the internet was to get rid of gatekeepers and it just makes me die laughing. I think it's so funny. It was like oh, the internet couldn't handle itself. Now we have to have gatekeepers back, because it's like that's what record labels were. 

You know, it's like record labels were gatekeepers. They were the people who, you know, somebody at a record label had the ability to say I like this band and not this band. I'm going to put my money and time and energy into this band, you know, supporting them and promoting them. And if you didn't have that, you didn't have access to the marketplace, if you didn't have a label, you know. So this new, you know it was a big, exciting revolution. And listen, my band was one of the first bands on the orchard. Literally Like, if you go back, our little CD was like one of the very first CDs that was distributed via the Internet, via the orchard. And that was just because my bass player was dating the office manager of the orchard when it was on Orchard Street in 1999 or whatever that was. And now I'm on it. 

0:20:16 - Dmitri

I remember that I've been in that office. I was in that office. I remember that. Isn't that funny, and now I'm. I remember that I've been in that office. 

0:20:20 - Portia

I was in that office. I remember that. I think I saw your CD there on the shelf, probably exactly a million copies that nobody ever bought. Um, which is fine, but you know, it's like that's what I think is going to happen. I think we're going to get regulation, we're going to get gatekeeping and then, you know, something new will happen. I mean the the thrill of the music industry is that it all changes all the time. You know, and that's what's, that's what happens. 

0:20:40 - Dmitri

Yeah, the media associations put out an article late last year about the bifurcation of the music industry and that the streaming services might be one type of music, the more commercially viable music, and then there'll be other places, kind of like the way soundcloud was in its early days or the way youtube can still be, but also these band lab and these other platforms where there's these emerging, these experiments, there's these draft songs and there's this, what used to be called fan created music or something you know, something like that. It's like who's the artist, who's the audience? That stuff's starting to get blurred. So that might be another thing I could see happening too, where there's like two different channels. And then on the gatekeeping front, I'm curious to see if, um, you know, there's uh sort of scalable automated anr tools, that where this, you know, top of funnel of all these music creators are starting to um, get surfaced by record labels and distributors and professionals that start to take something from that sort of like amateur start into a kind of professionalized and commercialized way as well. 

But it will be interesting to see. I mean, yeah, it'll be interesting to see. I don't know what's going to happen. 

0:21:57 - Portia

No, I know Me neither. 

0:21:59 - Dmitri

You know, on the other side, that's the creation side. On the other side is the fan side. There seems to be this continued enthusiasm in the traditional industry, or the whatever, the formal industry, the record industry, for thinking about fandom as a new business line. Why do you think it's becoming so important and where do you think that aspect will go? 

0:22:18 - Portia

I don't know that that question really makes me like go back to my Columbia university days when I was getting my PhD in anthropology, because, honestly, the behavior of fans is fascinating and there's like a whole line of um. You know social science research on fandom and like what it is that people get out of being a fan. You know fan behavior or stuff like that. So I mean I think it's really really interesting, but I don't think it is fully fleshed out yet. I don't. I don't think people have a really good take on it because, you know, the music industry hasn't been the best necessarily at capitalizing. I mean, you know certain companies are great at capitalizing on fandom but some companies are not as great at it and a lot of times artists left on to their own devices are not great at capitalizing on it. If you think about it, you know the the one of the big innovations of the internet that I think is really true is you know what people say now about. You know if you have 10,000 fans, you don't need anything else They'll. You know, if you have 10,000 diehard fans, they'll buy everything that you put out and you can make a living by just super serving those super fans, right, and I think that's absolutely true. And I don't even know if the number is as high as 10,000, you might be able to do with less. I don't even know if the number is as high as 10,000. You might be able to do it with less, and that is something that the internet has changed, that the technology has created. That's new from 25 years ago, when I started, because, you know, once upon a time that was not possible. You had to have a very different superstructure in order to have a career, even as, like a middle income sort of journeyman artist. So, but you know, I don't know if people are going to be good at capitalizing on fans. 

I think there's a lot of technology coming into the industry that is thinking about that question and trying to connect artists and fans in new ways, and I love that. I think that would be. You know, it's like the the more success we see there, the better, um. But you know, like everything else, uh, in the music industry it's not necessarily evenly distributed, because not every artist is as good at it. You know, I mean, social media is a great example, right, not every artist is great at social media. You know, I mean, social media is a great example. Right, not every artist is great at social media. 

The ones that are really great at it sometimes do better than the ones that you know are like oh yeah, I forgot to post anything to my socials for six weeks, like, oh, everybody forgot about me and moved on. It's just. 

0:24:56 - Dmitri

Yeah, and then translating those online interactions into something that you can sell. You know that you can actually commercialize. That's where I think the interest is. I think you know because you know, yes, the record industry is back as a result of subscriptions and streaming services and the live side. You know, depending on where you are, which class of venue you are in terms of you know size, because the fans will do what fans will do. 

0:25:23 - Speaker 1

You know what I mean. 

0:25:24 - Dmitri

Like the question is can can labels, managers, artists and platforms figure out what is an engaging fan activity that then is also monetizable? Um, because fans are already on Reddit and nobody's making money off of Reddit. You know what I mean. Or is a tough one for artists to actually make money off. The licensing there is not very high, I don't think I don't know the numbers. 

They're all covered by shrouds of NDAs and secrecy. As far as I'm concerned, I'm sure you've heard them, but yeah, I think that's where it is. It's like can you actually both get the engagement of fans and then figure out what are they willing to pay for beyond just listening to music? 

0:26:02 - Portia

Well, and also the cultural, like the, the sociological or anthropological part of it is, is when you look at a fan, it's like this fan just liked this piece of music and then they liked this cat rolling on a pile of you know bricks, Like what did. Are those two things the same? Do you know what I mean? Like what makes a fan a fan, or rather than someone who just liked something because they noticed they saw it for one second, or whatever. 

0:26:32 - Dmitri

Yeah, true, true, you know, and I feel like that is the you know. 

0:26:35 - Portia

It's like there's a lot of behavior involved in this that we just don't understand very well as a culture. 

0:26:42 - Dmitri

Right, yeah, yeah. Well, we've talked about TikTok, we've talked about AI, We've talked about music creation tools and the explosion there, and now we've talked about fandom. What else, portia, do you think record labels, artist managers, dsps, other industry execs, the music biz, membership and potential membership should be thinking about in 2024? 

0:27:04 - Portia

Well, one of the things I think they are thinking about, just based on the proposals that we got for music biz this year, is something that sounds really mundane and I can't even like quite figure out how to express it, but it's kind of like workflow or just like how people work together in the industry, and I think that's also a holdover from the pandemic, because a lot of people still work from home, at least partially, but people are starting to think about productivity and not productivity Like I'm an ant that carries a grain of salt, you know, really in a boring way, but like literally. 

Like you know how do we, for example, take an artist's song and try to make that song a hit in the US and South America and Europe and Asia and do you know what I mean it's like? And then you get different teams of people across in, like let's say, you're a universal or a you know one of the majors that has that's domiciled in a lot of different territories. Well, you've got all these different personalities and all these different people and all these different offices, but you're trying to use the same piece of music and make it popular. Like that is a really interesting challenge of just like how do people work together on that? And I think that's something that suddenly people are starting to think and talk about, which I really think is interesting from maybe just like a cultural perspective, like, wow, how do you make something a global hit? Can you make something a global hit? Is it possible? 

0:28:32 - Dmitri

That's really interesting. We had Christine Osazua from Measure of Music and Shubes on the podcast a few episodes back and she talked about something the top hit song was in an individual country was not on any other country's top 10 list. Yeah, exactly, and she pointed to the idea that it means that you know artists are going to need to collaborate with artists from other countries to break globally, whereas before you try to take a song and, like you said, like turn it into a global hit Now, in order to do that, you actually have to do these cross-national border collaborations intentionally in order to get any audience in a second country, let alone 20 or 50 or 100 countries. 

0:29:28 - Portia

Exactly, and I think the fact that there have been so many global hits lately from countries that are not the US, the languages that are not necessarily English, is really interesting. 

You know that is a different kind of situation. I mean, someone told me that the number one seller in his vinyl seller, in his record store, was K-pop. Which is like who would have thought that? I mean, and that was, this was like two years ago, right, but like 10 years ago, and that was unheard of, like that, you couldn't imagine that being true, like that a Korean band would be the number one vinyl seller amongst you know kids age, you know 13 to 18 or something. I just so, anyway it's. I think that's an interesting thing to think about. 

0:30:14 - Dmitri

Yeah, you got to kind of open. Now that we're all digital, there's this connection across the entire planet and it's kind of getting matured. You got to open your lens up wider and see what's coming and going. All right, um, we got to take one more quick break and when we come back we should talk about the music biz conference which is coming up in May in Nashville. 

0:30:32 - Portia

We'll be right back. 

0:30:35 - Dmitri

The news cycle of the music industry, and innovation in particular, is accelerating at such a fast pace it can be hard to keep up. That's why I launched Rock Paper Scanner, a free newsletter you can get in your inbox every Friday morning. Check out bitly slash rpscanner. That's bitly slash rpscanner. I scan hundreds of outlets for you, from the music trades to the tech blogs, from the music gear mags to lifestyle outlets. So that you don't have to, I handpick everything music tech, including industry revenue numbers, ai, cool new user tools, the live music and recording landscapes, partnerships and acquisitions and everything else a Music Tectonics podcast listener would want to know. Open a browser right now and punch in bitly slash rp scanner to sign up right now. 

go ahead, hit pause and go to bitly slash rp scanner or find the episode's blog post on music tectonicscom and find that link. Happy, Happy scanning, but for now happy listening. Okay, we are back, Portia. The Music Biz Conference is coming up May 13th to 16th in Nashville, the city where I was born. What are a few highlights of the event that those in music tech and music innovation should know about? 

0:31:52 - Portia

Well, dimitri, we are doing some exciting startup stuff. We're going to do a startup boot camp. That's one series of programming. We're also going to do startup round robins where your company can sign up to do, you know, like five minute speed dating with investors and other companies. I think that is going to be really exciting. This is actually the first year we've done these ourselves, so we're very excited about those. We have Mengru Kwok from BandLab. He's going to give the AI keynote, which is exciting. I think that's going to be something that people are going to be into. 

0:32:35 - Dmitri

Oh, yeah, absolutely. It's going to be the real Meng, not the AI Meng, right Correct. 

0:32:40 - Portia

Yes, in the flesh. If he has a hotel room, he's not AI, I assume. And then we also have for those of you who are just total nerds we have like seven hours of metadata programming and the keynote for the Metadata Summit is really not sexy, but it's ISWC and ISRC linking at conception, which is a very big topic for right now, which is a very big topic for right now. So that is something that I think people are going to really enjoy as well. If, if that's your bag, if metadata gets you excited, then that is. 

0:33:25 - Dmitri

It goes back to the workflow comment you made. 

0:33:27 - Portia

It sort of does right. It's everybody's really interested in that, and I think that's great. I think that's what we need to do, that is, talk about a problem that needs to be solved. 

0:33:35 - Dmitri

Yeah, cool, awesome. Is it too late to get a badge? 

0:33:42 - Portia

Absolutely not. You can get a badge, you can. I think you can get a badge all the way through the whole conference, but you probably want to get one on Monday, no later than Monday, or else it's not worth it. Yeah, awesome, yeah, Musicbizorg. 

0:33:52 - Dmitri

Perfect, great. Okay, so before we let you go, we love our network to grow and we ask all our guests to shout out a few names of people in music innovation who you think are doing great work. Who would you like to shout out, and why? 

0:34:04 - Portia

few that I have as members and but I would love them even if they weren't members. I just they just happen to also be members. One is a fairly new company called switch cord Cole Davis is the is the main guy. I don't know if you know about them. That is fascinating. You guys should totally check that out. I mean his. His ultimate goal is the identification of songs and the ability to you know I mean, we were talking about sync earlier you know, the ability to you know could really change things for a lot of people, like truly identify the usage of a song and the ownership of a song wherever that song is used all over the globe. 

Very exciting, um, the company co-signed c-o-s-y-n-d. Jessica sobrage, is the ceo. Um, they have been around for few years. Their thing has been copywriting songs and beats, but they recently just figured out a way with the copyright office to have to allow, like, a person who makes beats to register like a huge number of beats all at once, which is a big big deal because those of you who've ever tried to do that which is a big big deal, because those of you who've ever tried to do that it's expensive and time consuming and you know if you have 100 beats that you're trying to register and it takes, you know, a couple of years to do it. Well, you know it takes two seconds for someone to grab that beat off the Internet and use it in a song somewhere, and then you don't get paid. So I love, love, technology that helps artists get paid. 

And then the last one is just a company that has been around for a few years as well, called Sound Royalties. Alex Heike is the CEO. I love them because you know I've said it to me a few times I've been in this industry a long time and I ran a label for a long time. And for a long time getting funding in the music industry was really difficult, like I remember when I had to go to Chase Bank to get a loan because we were going to put out we're going to press a new Elliot Smith pressing Same album, different. Like we just needed some money to press the album and they were like um, so this is what a vinyl record I mean it was. It was ridiculous, right, like it was just like this is not. 

Now things have changed. There are now banks that specialize in entertainment and specialize in music industry and, like you can get a banker who knows what you're talking about. But one of the most amazing things is this company, sound Royalties, sprang up doing micro loans to artists so that they could do like a specific project Like I want to put out a video, I want to, you know, make record a new song or whatever and it's been so successful that now they've extended it to. They give loans to labels, distributors, you know, artists, management, whatever. Like everyone in the industry has this as an option, and I love that, because I think any way to get money flowing in this industry just fuels creativity and helps people keep everything moving, and so I love what they do and so I wanted to shout them out. 

0:37:32 - Dmitri

Awesome. Yeah, those are three great companies doing and I love the diversity of what you brought there. Yeah, it's all seems a little bit workflow, which is super cool. 

0:37:41 - Portia

I mean, I'm all about the workflow organization. 

0:37:43 - Dmitri

So it makes sense of your busy schedule to join us share your thoughts at the top level and share some upcoming news about the Music Business Conference coming up May 13th through 16th in Nashville. Find out about the Music Business Association and the conference at musicbizorg. We'll also put links to the companies that Portia shouted out in the show notes, so check those out too, portia, thanks again, really appreciate having you here. 

0:38:16 - Portia

Thanks, dimitri, take care. 

0:38:19 - Dmitri

Thanks for listening to Music Tectonics. If you like what you hear, please subscribe on your favorite podcast app. We have new episodes for you every week. Did you know? We do free monthly online events that you, our lovely podcast listeners, can join? Find out more at and, while you're there, look for the latest about our annual conference and sign up for our newsletter to get updates. Everything we do explores the seismic shifts that shake up music and technology the way the earth's tectonic plates cause quakes and make mountains. Connect with music tectonics on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. That's my favorite platform. Connect with me, Dmitri Vietze. If you can spell it, We'll be back again next week, if not sooner.

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Let us know what you think! Tweet @MusicTectonics, find us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, or connect with podcast host Dmitri Vietze on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

The Music Tectonics podcast goes beneath the surface of the music industry to explore how technology is changing the way business gets done. Weekly episodes include interviews with music tech movers & shakers, deep dives into seismic shifts, and more.


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