Music Sets the Tone for the Holiday Season, but Who Does it Truly Benefit?

Holiday specials, films, public concerts, religious gatherings, shopping malls, and a generous serving of commercials: it’s that time of year again. As soon as Thanksgiving wraps up, the ubiquitous sound of Christmas music penetrates nearly every aspect of our lives. Though the holiday season looks significantly different this year, many opportunities still exist for artists to connect with their audience while generating value for themselves. To do so, however, they must first consider who owns the rights to perform and reproduce these classic holiday hits.

In this brief article, I explore the nature of Christmas music copyright and the public…


A Conversation with Warner Music Group’s Chief Innovation Officer, Scott Cohen

A Bit of Context

This past July, in the middle of 2020’s pandemic, I sat down with Scott Cohen, Warner’s Chief Innovation Officer of Recorded Music, to discuss innovation and emerging trends in the music industry. Scott’s storied career began in artist management before he co-founded The Orchard, the world’s first digital distributor. As a futurist and self-proclaimed human cyborg, Scott went on to co-found Cyborg Nest, a startup centered on the intersection of technology and human consciousness. He also serves on the board of Sound Diplomacy, a music policy consulting firm which supports the development of music cities across the world. …


One Unique Case Sheds Light on the Pitfalls of Doing Business as a Songwriter

To say it’s been a tumultuous six months for the music industry would be a gross understatement. The live sector has ground to a halt in the wake of global lockdowns, with the UK providing a grim example of the problems faced by independent venues everywhere. In recent weeks, the recording sector has come under fire as Kanye West sparked a new round of criticism, blasting major labels over masters ownership and unfair or unclear contract terms. With many facets of the industry under the microscope as of late, it felt like a perfect opportunity to shine some light on…


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“I take pride in owning the sound of my city and honoring those… who opened sonic doors for me as a musician.” — Abdu Ali

Background

Since January, my classmates in Berklee’s Global Entertainment & Music Business program and I have explored the impact of native cultures on music creation and consumption. Through this course on Global Distribution & Emerging Markets, we were treated to a visit from Sound Diplomacy Founder and CEO Shain Shapiro, who spoke to us about smart state music policy and the value of art and culture as an economic driver and force multiplier. With these thoughts in mind, we began our final project, a music city analysis of our respective hometowns. …


Reflections on a three month deep dive into the music industry’s costliest dilemma and greatest opportunity for innovation.

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“Metadata is a love note to the future” — Jason Scott

First, a Bit of Context

This past semester, as part of my coursework for Berklee’s Global Entertainment & Music Business Program, I took part in a project focused on Entrepreneurship and Disruptive Business Models. The objective was, in teams of five people from different countries, to employ design thinking and explore a specific issue within the music industry. In the problem identification phase, our team bounced between a variety of topics, ranging from decentralized ticketing and monetizing fan engagement to unforeseen applications of smart speakers. …

Jacob Lapidus

Label Manager | Peer Mentor | Cultural Pathfinder

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