Ian C. Rogers’ Keynote at the GRAMMY Northwest MusicTech Summit

Topspin Media’s CEO, Ian C. Rogers, delivered the keynote speech at the GRAMMY Northwest MusicTech Summit this week.  The keynote makes powerful, factual, and honest points about the present state of the music industry and offers insights into the future.  The Topspin model is becoming more clear, and during the keynote, Mr. Rogers offers some stats of the success of Topspin in its nascent times as a music marketing agency (we like to think of them as “future major record label” but perhaps this title is far from accurate in their eyes).  We see Topspin as being about empowering the artists and the fans, and in his keynote, Mr. Rogers made it clear that these two parties, the artists and the fans, are the only things that really matter in the larger scheme of things and that everyone else is just along for the ride.  

Please read the entire keynote (linked above) and decide for yourself. In short, he points out that the music industry is a growing industry and should not be measured by the P&L of WMG or the latest balance sheet of UMG, but rather by the increase in consumption.  Music is being consumed in greater volumes that ever before, leaving room for a new “middle class” or artists with the tools and ability to empower themselves, take full ownership of their work, fully produce and master their recordings, and market the material without the need to sign with a record label at all.  He points to three great success stories that have come out of Topspin in recent months, including campaigns for launch of David Byrne and Brian Eno, Joe Purdy, and Jubilee.  Stats surrounding the decline of CD sales year over year do not tell the entire picture, and there has been no better time to be an independent musician than now.   

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