Editorial February 2010

Greetings from the MBJ! It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to our first issue of 2010.

Many things have changed for the better since the beginning of this year–we now have our own room for meetings in 7 Haviland St. and a great new website. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is our interest in digesting the latest goings-on in the music industry, while thinking critically about the issues at hand.

MIDEM certainly is a place where many of the most pressing issues facing the music industry are discussed at length by our industry’s leaders. Kerry Fee writes a revealing update on MIDEM with insightful input from MB/M Berklee professor Allen Bargfrede, who attended the event this past January. In addition, Tim Woo gives a student’s look at the year’s biggest event in music products: the NAMM show.
Certainly, few narratives that emerged this past year were as potentially rich in implications as the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger. We include two perspectives on the duopoly, one by Amy Mantis, with comments from industry veteran Jeff Dorenfeld, and the other by Andrew Chandler.

We’re glad to have a new series dedicated to profiling key artists today and their business. Mia Verdoorn has us take a closer look at Lady Gaga’s career, whose over- the-top personality matches her entrepreneurial wit. Sarah Beatty, on the other hand, discusses managing a country artist. We’ll also get a complete analysis of Apple’s newly announced iPad, which debuts this March, by Jamie Anderson.

In many countries around the world, it seems copyright holders are gaining valuable allies in their fight against illegally downloaded media. Boem Hong writes for us about Sweden and South Korea, which serve as examples of how government-mandated programs can combine with private-sector market ingenuity to raise music revenues in what once were the file-sharing capitals of the world. I will try to shed some light on the issue in the United States, where ISPs seem to be warming to the idea of graduated response type programs to discourage illegal downloading. China, however, remains embedded in a market where illegal downloads make up the status-quo, and even Google can’t seem to find a footing there–as Minden Jones shows. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Silvina Moreno writes a vital piece on Haiti and the quick reaction of our entertainment industry. The power of music is spiritual and key to understand our common humanity, but its convocational appeal remains steadfast—and you can help.

If you haven’t yet, please check out our much-improved website @ thembj.org – where with our new search feature you’ll find a valuable resource tool for your research into the music industry.

Thanks for reading,

Michael L. Benson