CMJ 2012:
A Panel Preview

One aspect often overlooked, or at least not often written about, during the CMJ Music Marathon is the multitude of panel discussions that start at 11am each day. Most people I know are inclined to talk this portion of the conference down, claiming these panels are not generally helpful and tend to be a waste of time. I couldn’t disagree with this attitude more.

Sure, just as in college we end up liking one professor over another. Some are boring and uninspired, while others light a fire under our ass. In the end college was what you made of it. I have made my own schedule for you to peruse, and hey, if you happen to bump into me, come say, “Hi!” I don’t bite.

Here are my featured panels for CMJ 2012:


12:30 PM –  Galleries are Venues, too! The Future of a Hybrid Audio-Visual Music Culture
I have been to my fair share of events where there was an unsuccessful attempt to combine a live performance with some sort of interactive installation. At this panel, ideas will be shared on how to perfect the marriage of music and art, and how this will augment the future of music culture.

2:00 PM – Advanced PR Techniques For the Digital World
As a publicist on most days, and a contributor for TVD on others, I feel fortunate to live behind both sides of the modern pitch. Some angles work better than others, but you can bet you’ll see me at this panel to hear about the perfect campaign execution moving forward.

3:30 PM – The Pedal to the Metal
What’s interesting about this discussion will be an analysis of how the metal genre has been so successful despite the new music climate we still navigate, and figuring out ways to expand that to other styles and cultures. I am all for stepping outside of my comfort zone.

3:30 PM –  Modern Merch: Beyond the Tour T-Shirt



11:00 AM – Non-Traditional Catalysts of Breaking an Artist
Unorthodox touring, radio, and marketing campaigns? Hear what’s working, what has potential, and what has potential to fail.

12:30 PM –  CMJ Fireside Chat: Tim Westergren and Matt Pinfield on the Future of Radio
The founder of Pandora and the walking music encyclopedia, Matt Pinfield. There are no words.

3:30 PM – Fan-durance
Case-studies of recent “Direct-To-Fan” campaigns, hurdles to overcome, pitfalls to be aware of.

3:30 PM – The Pipe Leading to the Sync
“How are artists with successful placements making it through the clutter and the noise? What “3rd Party” placement companies are credible and what piece of the pie are they taking? Great advice from experienced executives on getting your music placed into media.” – CMJ


2:00 PM – Replacing the Record Label
How to DIY (or DEY, for you New Orleanians!) Learn when to hire a radio promoter and publicist, how to design your own online marketing campaign, and the financials of doing it the right way.

3:30 PM –  International Hop-Scotch: Touring Outside the U.S.
“From opportunities to obstacles, find out what is and isn’t working on the international touring circuit. Preparation, financials, international agents, taxes, promoters and marketing to international fans will all be covered by people who have succeeded in the foreign touring game.” – CMJ


11:00 PM – The Impact and Traction of College Radio
I mean, we are at the CMJ Music Marathon, the Billboard for college radio. I’m curious about how my peers see this ending (or continuing if you’re an optimist like myself). What are the trends, what do studies show, what’s the advice?

11:20 AM –  To 1099 or Not to 1099, That Is the Question
From first-hand experience, I know all about the points the IRS uses as guidelines when deciding if employees are basically free agents (independent contractors) or if you legally control how they do their work. I’m also a small business owner myself, and taxes can get particularly annoying. Let’s hear what the experts have to say.

3:30 PM – Hitting the Digital Jackpot; China’s Trillion-Dollar Music Platform
Last year the focus was on Australia, but with digital revenue reported as the highest value (71%) in the world, China has found an innovative business model that may be the game changer this decade.

If my taste in knowledge seeking turned you on to attending the panels this year, you could do me a solid by attending Tuesday night’s showcase at Arlene’s Grocery – presented by Easy Apple, Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records, and The Vinyl District.

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