New York Music Month: Innovation at the Intersection of Music + Tech
On June 4, as a part of New York Music Month, join us to hear from innovators and companies at the intersection of music and tech. New York City’s music ecosystem supports 60,000 jobs, $5 billion in wages, and $21 billion in economic output. More music related digital services companies have gotten their start in New York City than in any other city in the world. Come learn from those making NYC an international music tech capital.
Featuring a program of speed talks, keynotes, and interviews from leading voices in New York’s music tech scene, this annual one-day conference is a key component of NYMM — the official New York City celebration of the most diverse music scene in the world. Lunch is provided and a reception will immediately follow.
Presented by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, NY is Music, and the NYU Steinhardt Music Business Program, the New York Music Month: Innovation at the Intersection of Music + Tech conference, an event sponsored by royalty solutions provider SoundExchange and media partner Billboard.
RSVP required to attend.
2019 Speakers include:
Senior Director, Artist and Industry Relations
Linda Bloss-Baum is the Senior Director for Artist and Industry Relations at SoundExchange. In that role, Linda drives awareness and visibility for SoundExchange across multiple channels related to performance and music entertainment. Previously, Linda ran Warner Music Group’s office in Washington, D.C. for six years. She also served as Vice President, Public Policy/Government Relations at Universal Music Group/NBC Universal and Time Warner, Inc. Linda graduated from Catholic University Law School. She is an adjunct professor at the KOGOD School of Business at her undergrad alma mater, American University, where she teaches a class on “Protecting the Creative Class in the Digital Age.” Linda proudly serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership Music and the Gospel Music Association.
Interim Chief Technology Officer
City of New York
Alby Bocanegra currently serves the people of New York as Interim Chief Technology Officer in the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (MOCTO), after having served as chief of staff for the previous CTO. He has dedicated his career to building expertise in talent architecture, business strategy and performance management with a passion for civic tech. The office of the CTO is committed to make NYC the world’s leading city for tech development, and is the central point of contact for technology companies, startups, entrepreneurs, nonprofits and academia who want to engage with government to promote tech development.
Immersive Director, Founder
Jessica Brillhart is an immersive director, writer, and theorist who is widely known for her pioneering work in virtual reality. She is the founder of the mixed reality studio, Vrai Pictures. Previously, Brillhart was the Principal Filmmaker for VR at Google where she worked with engineers to develop Google Jump, a virtual reality live-action ecosystem. She was recognized as a pioneer in the field of immersive technology and entertainment by MIT and was part of their TR35 list in 2017. Most recently, Brillhart delivered the Convergence Keynote at SXSW 2019 and launched a spatial audio platform, Traverse, which won SXSW’s Special Jury Prize for The Future of Experience.
Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment
Anne del Castillo is the acting commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), which supports the economic development of the city’s creative sectors and nightlife industry. Anne has over 25 years of experience in film production, public media, and arts and nonprofit administration. Prior to joining city government, she was vice president of development and business affairs at American Documentary, producer of the award-winning PBS documentary series POV. As associate director of the Austin Film Society, she oversaw the Texas Filmmakers Production Fund and was part of the initial task force that led the development of Austin Studios. She has served as a panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts, Center for Asian American Media, and New York State Council on the Arts, among others, and presented at industry events, including South by Southwest and the Sithengi Film and TV Market in South Africa. Anne received her BA in English literature and BS in mass communications with honors from Boston University and earned her JD at Brooklyn Law School. She was honored with a Rising Star Award in 2017 and currently serves on the board of women.nyc.
Director of Entrepreneurship Programs
NYC Media Lab
Amy Chen is Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at NYC Media Lab where she leads the Combine, NYC Media Lab’s venture platform to advance entrepreneurship in emerging media technology. Amy funds and supports early-stage founders who are building scalable ventures that leverage technologies like virtual and augmented reality or applications of AI, machine learning and blockchain. Amy graduated from Barnard College with a BA in Economics and from NYU Stern School of Business with an MBA.
Danica Daniel is the Senior Editor at Billboard. Brooklyn-bred, Danica grew up with pen marks on her clothes and ink on her fingers. By 15 she was working as a consultant and freelance writer for several local magazines and serving as a “Trendspotter” and tastemaker for Teen People. In 2004 she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and became one of the youngest Editor-In-Chief’s in magazine history becoming the Editor-In-Chief of Black Beat & Right On! Magazines. Her work has appeared in BMI MusicWorld, Music Times, Teen People, Juicy Magazine, CentricTV, Dr. Jays Live!, Mogul and Broadway.com
Director of Record Label Business Development
Waleed currently leads Record Label Business Development for North America at YouTube. In this role, he is responsible for negotiating YouTube’s licensing agreements with the three global major record labels as well as Vevo and all independent and non-standard recorded music distributors. Waleed’s work has enabled YouTube to launch the YouTube Music subscription service in 43 countries globally, adding a paid music option to YouTube’s existing ad-supported business. Prior to his current role, Waleed spent 5 years on the legal team at Google where he was most recently Senior Counsel for music across Google products and services, including YouTube and Google Play Music. Before joining Google in 2011, Waleed spent 6 years at Viacom, Inc. in the Business & Legal Affairs department.
Consumer Editorial Director
Ian Drew is the Consumer Editorial Director at Billboard group, overseeing all consumer content across platforms. Before joining Billboard, he led global editorial teams at Apple Music and Wenner Media, publisher of Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, and Men’s Journal.
SVP, Digital Strategy & Business Development
Universal Music Group
Jonathan Dworkin is Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy and Business Development at Universal Music Group, the world leader in music-based entertainment. Dworkin works closely with the company’s senior management team to develop digital strategy, cultivate key partnerships and advance business development globally. He is responsible for overseeing the integration of the company’s digital strategy throughout its international organization. Dworkin has more than two decades of experience in the music industry, having previously held roles as an artist manager to Grammy-winning producers and executive roles at Lagardere, Nokia, MixRadio and Warner Music Group. He holds a BA from Colgate University and an MBA from Columbia University.
Senior Executive Director, Policy + Programs
NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment
Shira Gans is the Senior Executive Director of Policy and Programs at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Shira is the architect and director of the City’s music industry economic development portfolio; directs all workforce and education programming; produces policy reports; and was responsible for setting-up New York City’s first-ever new Office of Nightlife. Before joining the Mayor’s Office, Shira was the Senior Policy Director at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, the City’s consumer protection agency. Previously, Shira has held positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Office of Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer; the New York City Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget; the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and a San Francisco based legal firm monitoring mental health care in California prisons.
Shira holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in public policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at University of California, Berkeley.
CEO, Downtown Music Holdings
Co-founder, NY is Music
Justin Kalifowitz is founder and CEO of Downtown Music Holdings, a global music company that owns and operates Downtown Music Publishing, Songtrust®, AVL Digital Group, and Downtown Music Studios. Through its portfolio companies, Downtown is the world’s leading provider of end-to-end services to artists, songwriters, labels, music publishers and other rights holders. Managing millions of music copyrights across its various companies, representing more than one million artists, labels, and other rights holder companies, Downtown’s catalog spans more than 100 years of popular music, including music for film and television, and the single largest independent sound recording catalogs in the industry.
Born and raised in New York, Kalifowitz is a graduate of the City University of New York—Baruch College and is co-founder of NY is Music, a non-profit coalition dedicated to advancing the importance of music in economic development, culture, and education in New York State.
President and Chief Mastering Engineer
Emily Lazar Founder & Chief Mastering Engineer The Lodge Emily Lazar is a GRAMMY-winning mastering/mix engineer. In 1997 Lazar founded The Lodge, a world-renowned recording facility. Equipped with state-of-the art equipment and out-of-the-box ideology, it attracts the industry’s most esteemed artists as well as its’ most prominent newcomers. Credits: David Bowie, Foo Fighters, Beck, Coldplay, Sia, Vampire Weekend, Panic! At The Disco, Lou Reed, The Killers, Dolly Parton, Haim, Little Big Town, Destiny’s Child etc. Lazar made history as the first woman mastering engineer to win the GRAMMY for Best Engineered Album Non-Classical for Beck’s Colors. Although garnering many “ceiling-breaking” “first ever” nominations, her 2019 win coincided the Annenberg Inclusion study which revealed that women comprise only 3% of the industry’s engineers. Her acceptance speech noted the historic moment and elevated the conversation globally. Lazar serves on The Recording Academy’s P&E Wing Steering Committee, Advisory Council, Board of Governors, is P&E Wing NY Co-Chair and is a Trustee-elect. Lazar holds a BA in Creative Writing/Music, Skidmore College, and a MUMT master’s in Music Technology, NYU.
Alan Light is the author of numerous books about music and is the co-host of the daily music talk show “Debatable” on SiriusXM. The former Editor-in-Chief of Vibe and Spin magazines and a former Senior Writer at Rolling Stone, he is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and various other publications. His most recent book is “Johnny Cash: The Life and Legacy of the Man in Black.
Vice President, Digital Strategy & Investments
Sony Music Entertainment
As VP of Digital Strategy & Investments for Sony Music Entertainment’s Global Digital Business group, Angela Lopes is responsible for evaluating, recommending and executing investment opportunities across the digital music landscape, and leading a team that supports the identification and development of new strategic digital priorities around the world. Lopes previously was focused on Business Development at Sony Music where she was responsible for finding new potential partnerships and negotiating digital music distribution deals with global partners. Earlier in her career she worked as a strategy consultant for clients across the retail, manufacturing, logistics, and energy industries in roles for McKinsey & Company in London and Port Jackson Partners in Sydney.
Founder & CEO
Ronnie Madra is a seasoned entrepreneur in the nightlife, hospitality, and entertainment world. He is Co-Founder and Partner of The Butter Group and its leading global nightclub brand, 1 OAK, with locations across New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Dubai and The Maldives. More recently, after suffering from Tinnitus and Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), Madra founded EAROS, which offers a revolutionary high-fidelity hearing protection product called EAROS ONE for the nightlife, hospitality, sports, and fitness sectors. EAROS ONE allows you to protect your ears in loud environments while still enjoying music, communicating clearly with those around you, and staying immersed in your environment.
Head of Product
Noam has a decade of digital Product Management experience. She has led digital solutions for companies in healthcare, sports, e-commerce, beverage and now music. Her specialty is building teams which can deliver delightful customer experiences while developing effective internal tools with a focus on data integrity.
CUNY Creative Arts Team
Ah-Keisha is an award-winning writer, director and creative arts facilitator. She began working professionally as a songwriter and playwright as a teen, and has led workshops for students across many demographics including K-12, college, non-profit organizations, and mental health and rehabilitation centers in NYC and Philadelphia. She is a faculty member and thesis advisor for the Masters of Arts in Applied Theatre program at the City University of New York’s School of Professional Studies, and is Project Director for Sound Thinking NYC, a program of the Creative Arts Team (CAT). Ah-Keisha holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, and an M.S.Ed in Reading, Writing and Literacy from the University of Pennsylvania.
Head of Business Development & Co-Founder
Sean McKenzie is Head of Business Development and Co-Founder at Steereo. An award-winning entrepreneur and 3-time founder, Sean McKenzie has a proven track record of delivering results in fiercely competitive markets by deftly translating cultural trends and consumer insights into high-impact, integrated marketing campaigns. With over 15 years of experience in brand development and strategy, Sean has contributed creative insights working with companies like Nielsen, Nike, P&G, LVMH, and Universal Music Group.
Clinical Associate Professor & Director, Music Business
Professor Larry Miller is Director of the Music Business program at NYU Steinhardt. He is a music and technology entrepreneur, advisor and host of the Musonomics podcast. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses Music Entrepreneurship, Music Analytics, Strategic Marketing, Global Music Management and the Business Structure of the Music Industry. He advises music creators and rights holders on public policy and litigation, and provided expert testimony before the Copyright Royalty Board and in arbitration, and supports media and technology companies and their financial sponsors on capital formation and growth strategy, digital product/service development, acquisitions and restructuring. Previously, Larry was a Partner at L.E.K. Consulting and a senior member of the firm’s media and entertainment practice.
Larry has commented on CBS, ABC, CNBC, CNN, Fox News and NPR; in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Time, Business Week, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times and Billboard.
Pamela Morris is a Professor of Applied Psychology, the Vice Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs, and incoming Interim Dean at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Having spent a decade in policy research at MDRC before joining the faculty at NYU, Dr. Morris has spent two decades working at the intersection of social policy, practice, developmental psychology, and education. In her Vice Dean role at NYU Steinhardt, Morris oversees 300 faculty across 11 Departments and $39 million in annual research expenditures across 8 Interdisciplinary Research Centers. Morris also continues to engage in research activity alongside her academic leadership role; her current research activity includes an IES-funded partnership with NYC’s Department of Education to support their historic Universal Pre-k expansion, and an NIH-funded randomized trial of a tiered primary/secondary parenting intervention within pediatric primary care. A former William T. Grant scholar, Morris currently serves as a lead editor of the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness and has served on a number of boards and review groups, including the National Academy of Science’s Board on Children, Youth, and Families, and the Institute of Education Sciences’ Early Intervention and Early Childhood Education Panel.
CEO & Founder
SONGS Music Publishing
Matt Pincus is currently an Executive in Residence at LionTree. Most recently, he was the Founder & CEO of SONGS Music Publishing until the company’s exit to Kobalt Capital, Ltd. in December 2017. At the time of its sale, SONGS was the leading independent music publisher of contemporary music in the U.S.
Matt founded SONGS in 2004. Under his leadership, SONGS made itself a contender by pursuing an innovative strategy for a music publishing startup: signing songwriting deals with young contemporary hitmakers like The Weeknd, Lorde, Diplo, & DJ Mustard rather than buying old catalogs of existing songs. During that time, SONGS held the largest market share by copyright outside of the 3 major publishers.
SONGS became one of the highest-returning investments in a startup music pub company.
Jessica Sobhraj is the CEO of Cosynd, an essential toolkit for creators that allows them to register their content with the U.S. Copyright Office and to easily create copyright ownership agreements with their collaborators. With Cosynd, collaborators can reach a consensus about who owns their content, how it can be used, and more through a simple, guided process. Jessica also serves as Chair of Women in Music – the longest running and largest non-profit for women in the music industry that provides resources to thousands of professionals, worldwide. Previously, Jessica led strategic traditional licensing opportunities for music micro-licensing pioneers Rumblefish, where she structured global distribution networks. Jessica also served as the Manager of Digital Content Licensing for SESAC.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Music Business
Judy Tint is a native New Yorker and lifelong music lover, with over 25 years of experience as an attorney, consultant and producer in the entertainment industry. She represents a variety of artists, songwriters, producers, labels, and other creators, from newcomers to legends. A graduate of Rutgers College and Columbia Law School, she has been a member of the faculty of the NYU Music Business Program since 2008. She serves on the Board of Governors of The Recording Academy’s New York Chapter, has made numerous trips to Capitol Hill as an advocate for artists’ rights, and has lectured extensively at music conferences nationwide. Judy serves on the Boards of both WhyHunger and The Rhythm & Blues Foundation, and is Chair of the Music Division of the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries.
While she has no intention of quitting her day job, Judy is also a songwriter and musician, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Apollo Theater, Radio City Music Hall, The Ryman Auditorium, and many other venues; her television appearances include NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and multiple PBS specials. She is a firm believer in the power of music to change the world.
Officer Dot Blockchain Media, Inc.
Ken is the CEO and co-founder of Dot Blockchain Media, a company that has introduced a new music file technology architecture to modernize copyright management and media supply chains fit for the digital media age. Ken acts as an experienced independent investor and business advisor for music startups and artists, through his company Digital Daruma, with a specific focus on artist facing music and media service companies. He has invested in numerous promising music startups and music artists over the past decade. His past experience includes 25 years in financial services trading, asset management and senior management positions. He is involved as a board member or advisor in a number of music foundations and academic programs, including the music education charity Little Kids Rock.
Elomida is the co-founder and CEO of Weav Music. She worked for seven years in banking, eight years in advertising (selling her ad agency to Leo Burnett), four years in business consulting, and a decade in health-related NGOs. She has considerable expertise in health, cosmetics, food, finance, and technology. She’s also volunteered at major patients’ organizations, like EFA and EAACI, and in 2015 co-founded Weav Music with Lars Rasmussen.
Commercial Label Partnerships
Megan West is a member of the Commercial Label Partnerships team at Facebook, Inc. The team works with Facebook’s record label partners to help them maximize the capabilities of Facebook’s family of apps (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Oculus, and What’sApp) to help their artists connect with fans across the globe. Prior to Facebook, West spent much of her career bridging the gap between music and tech, most recently as the VP of Content and Community at SoundCloud, overseeing relationships with major labels and artists, audio partners and emerging creators. Earlier in her career West helped companies including Amazon Music and Microsoft engage with and effectively partner with the music industry. She began her career in artist management.
Music Data Consultant
I’ve worked in the music industry for over 20 years. Started at Arista Records in the late 90’s. Joined Universal Music Group/Island Def Jam in 2000. Specialized in strategic research and data analysis for active artists, along with finding unsigned talent. Transitioned into the tech world at Shazam, where I was the Head of Music Data Services for 2 1/2 years. Currently working at SoundCloud evaluating revenue potential utilizing their data, along with advising in the creation of data products.
VP, Content & Programming
Alex White co-founded Next Big Sound in 2008, while in his last semester at Northwestern University. Next Big Sound raised $7.4M.
On July 1, 2015 Pandora Media (NYSE: P) acquired Next Big Sound, Inc and White is now VP, Content and Programming at Pandora reporting to Scott Greenstein, Chief Content Officer of SiriusXM.
White and his co-founders were featured in Fast Company (#1 most innovative company in the music industry, 2015), Forbes (30 under 30) in the music category three times, Billboard (10 best music companies), Bloomberg BusinessWeek (25 under 25), Entrepreneur Magazine’s 30 under 30 list and many other publications. White is an adjunct professor at NYU, sits on the NY Board of Little Kids Rock and enjoys playing soccer, reading, skiing, and traveling for work and pleasure.
Vice President of Integrated Marketing
Keisha Wright is VP of Integrated Marketing at Genius, the music media company and world’s biggest music encyclopedia. In her 15+ years as a marketing executive, expert brand strategist, and former youth trend analyst, she has contributed to trade publications, presented at industry conferences on the topic of youth culture, and generated millions of dollars in revenue for Fortune 500 companies through strategic partnerships with consumer brands. Before Genius, Keisha held positions at Vox Media, InStyle, the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, Macy’s and MTV Networks, creating integrated marketing campaigns comprised of cause-marketing, branded content, and experiential strategies. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a Master’s degree from Pepperdine University.
Innovation at the Intersection of Music + Tech
Date: June 4, 2019
Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Location: NYU’s Kimmel Center 60 Washington Square South 4th Floor – Eisner & Lubin auditorium New York, NY 10012
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