Continuing the thread of yesterday's panel discussions, the fifth and final day of the Rethink Music Conference at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston examined the more practical (and potentially lucrative) aspects of music production and performance: from collecting royalites when your music is performed or streamed to licensing databases, to creating a professional business model to attract investors.
Len Schlesinger, President of Babson College gave an informative and insightful presentation outlining the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship. Anita Elberse, Associate Professor of Harvard Business School headed up a panel on "artist branding": should artists enter into partnerships with product brands like Nike, HM, or Coty (for example) in order to enhance their own visibility in the marketplace, and if so, what are the most effective ways to accomplish it?
Panel member Joe Killian, SVP for Momentum (who have partnered with VEVO and Youtube to create the interactive concert series, Unstaged) stressed that while it might generate immediate financial rewards to immerse yourself in branding, the artist needs to have a sense of his own style and musical identity to avoid making poor choices that in the long run might actually hurt their careers. Now in its second season, Unstaged premieres this Friday with an appearance by former White Stripes frontman gone solo, Jack White.
The major highlight on the closing day of this event was a unique collaboration between jazz/trip-hop pioneers Thievery Corporation and Berklee music students. The project was months in the making, and indicative of the new musical paradigm - not only thinking outside of the proverbial box, but showcasing that, when all is said and done, its still comes down to the art. Kudos to the conference for getting both industry professionals and musical artists to "rethink different."