My Keynote At The (RIAA Sponsored) Leadership Music Digital Summit

from the fun-stuff dept

In mid-March, I had the pleasure of giving the second day keynote talk at the Leadership Music Digital Summit. It was a lot of fun, and generated some really fascinating discussions (as always). There was a lot of demand to get the video online, and I wanted to thank the team at Leadership Music (Kira and Abby) and Matt Houser who volunteered to put together the video with my slides, which you can see on the media page or embedded below:

Leadership Music Digital Summit 2009 - Mike Masnick keynote address, 3/25/09 from Leadership Music Digital Summit on Vimeo.


If you've seen my earlier Midemnet presentation, this is actually an extended and improved version of that, so part of it will already be quite familiar to you. However, the final 10 minutes of the presentation gives me an opportunity to respond to the biggest question that came after the original presentation: how does this work for less well known musicians. So, I went through five different musicians, who all come from different backgrounds and experiences, representing different "success levels" in the industry, to show that this basic concept of connecting with fans, giving them a reason to buy (and not freaking out about piracy) works quite well.

You'll note at the beginning of the presentation, I note that the RIAA was a major sponsor of the event, and there was a huge RIAA logo hanging over my head (not seen in the video). The RIAA also sponsored the lunch following my keynote. While I actually did end up talking to representatives from all four of the major record labels while in Nashville (with... um... very, very, very different reactions from reps from each label, from outright frosty, to curious, to very interested and engaging), no one from the RIAA itself actually said hello. Too bad.

In the meantime, there are a bunch of new events I'll be speaking at in the coming months (all doing very different presentations), and I'll be putting up a post detailing some of those in the near future as well -- and I hope to meet more readers and Techdirt/Insight Community participants at these events.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 10:13am

    Another example of "do it alone" success

    Of course there will be different reactions ranging from frosty cold to curious. If artists knew they could potentially triple their profits by looking outside of the label for help, they would leave the industry.

    I recently came across another success story about a 5-year old band called "Metric". They recently self-financed their 5th CD. This time, they did so without a label, and their music is doing pretty well, in fact it's placing in the upper #30s of pop/rock sales, according to Nielsen.

    The band manager had this to say:
    "Talking gross numbers that come directly to the band, we have made more money already than we have on the last record in four years," said Mathieu Drouin, the band's co-manager. "Without any intermediary, we're making 77 cents on the dollar for every record we sell" on iTunes. Under a label deal... Metric would have earned closer to 22 cents on the dollar

    Read the store at The LA Times

     

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  2.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 30th, 2009 @ 10:15am

    Re: Another example of "do it alone" success

    I recently came across another success story about a 5-year old band called "Metric". They recently self-financed their 5th CD. This time, they did so without a label, and their music is doing pretty well, in fact it's placing in the upper #30s of pop/rock sales, according to Nielsen.

    Yup, we wrote about them too:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090420/1108054566.shtml

     

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  3.  
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    Osno, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 10:24am

    Started countdown for the DMCA countdown notice on the video... ;)

     

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  4.  
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    Osno, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 10:24am

    I (obviously) meant "DMCA takedown". Sorry.

     

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    angry dude, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 10:25am

    Punks everywhere

    Looks like a punk, talks like a punk...

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Wow... great talk but I think some of those slides could have been consolidated...

     

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  7.  
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    Paul Reinheimer, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 11:45am

    Many Slide Technique

    I like your many slide technique, coming back to the same points with the same slides to drive the point home. Well done.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    On the fence on the presentation technique

    A number of slide and presentation techniques are usually useful to know depending on the audience. Understanding your audience can be helpful. It's not surprising that some people are offering suggestions, as often, different people process information in different ways. Surely this is already known. But overall, presenting data in a way which they are familiar with is often key to gaining buy in.

    I've spent a lot of time trying to understand this newer "Lessig-esque" technique, which may work well within academia where this audience is often "trained" for information overload. Thusly, the goal of a student is to better prioritize facts based on the contextual subject matter is easy and works especially well in an academic setting where students know the context going in (ala Course Syllabus).

    When speaking to left-brained people such as artists, a Steve Jobs-type technique where your engaging with the audience and sharing genuine holistic thought may be helpful. Expect to spend 2-3 minutes per slide, have narrative for each slide, and use flashy transitions, but keep colors to a minimum. Let your presentation complement, but not overtake the speech. This audience often wants to leave a talk seeking something different than the academic, more holistic in a way.

    When speaking with right-brained business types, a technique with many charts and very data driven with facts, bullet points and citations is extremely helpful. In this case, consider allowing 5-7 minutes per slide, and allow your narrative describe the data. Also, try to leave 10% of the presentation time for a question-and-answer session for any clarification.

    In any situation, slide titles that begin with questions, and can engage something of a Socratic method, can also be helpful.

     

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  9.  
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    Luci, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Punks everywhere

    Your preconceived notions do not match up with my preconceived notions, therefore you MUST be wrong!

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 1:07pm

    Re: On the fence on the presentation technique

    True. As a member of the audience you generally expect to learn two things: A little about the presenter, the subject matter which would include conclusions found from the studies.

    But the surprise addition of a third thing: the Takahashi Presentation Method, throws a monkey wrench in being able to understand the presenter and subject matter.

    I understand the creativity, but it may be too complex and foreign for those in the industry, who come to learn about you and the findings of your studies. Unless, of course, your a brilliant person (which I believe you are) and desire to not speak to the business-as-usual crowd. :-)

     

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  11.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Apr 30th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    Re: On the fence on the presentation technique

    You've got your brain sides messed up. Left is analytical, right is holistic and artsy.

    Moreover, you are advocating Mike do the classic kind of ppt presentation that is associated with "Death by Powerpoint". You are wrong if you think that is better than what he does.

    Mike is moving slides quickly, to keep people engaged, awake, and seeing visual reinforcement for the same things he is saying orally. He uses repetition strategically to drive home the key points. People learn from seeing, hearing, and above all, repetition.

    It slays me to hear you suggest this is an "Academic" style just because Lessig uses it and he's a prof. I don't know what awesome school you went to, but when I went to the best school in Canada, and the Ivy league, very few profs delivered as dynamic and interesting presentation as this. The "Academic style" that actually is the standard is more reminiscent of Ben Stein's character in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

    I suppose we're free to disagree on this, but I think this style is refreshing and engaging. You like flashy transitions and 2-7 minutes per slide. To each their own.

     

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  12.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Apr 30th, 2009 @ 1:42pm

    Do You Like NIN

    Mike, because of you, I now know a lot about NIN and Reznor, and I'm very impressed by them. However, I have not yet, AFAIK, ever heard a NIN or Reznor song!!

    But that brings me to a question that I'm not sure if you have addressed: Do you like Reznor's music? I know it's not relevant to the discussion, and I appreciated the fact that you deal with the business, not the subjective art. But aside from the model debate, do you like the tunes?

     

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  13.  
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    Roem Baur, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 2:12pm

    Inspiring.

    Mike,

    I've always believed in giving away music free for a variety of reasons.

    Thanks for giving some great examples about the value of CwF and RtB for unknown musicians like myself.

    This is very inspiring and confirming.

    Thank you!

    Now it's back to work.

    Roem

     

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  14.  
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    Headbhang, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 3:16pm

    Nice presentation

    Nice presentation, Mike!

    Keep it up. Hope you make a difference! :)

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Re: On the fence on the presentation technique

    You've got your brain sides messed up. Left is analytical, right is holistic and artsy.

    Oops. Sorry. You’re correct! I think I have dyslexia!

    Moreover, you are advocating Mike do the classic kind of ppt presentation that is associated with "Death by PowerPoint".

    I am merely sharing an observation that Mike has a lot of subject matter to cover in any 30-minute span of time. Instead of trying to sell the whole pie using a technique that facilitates it, the technique may be viewed as foreign and with a foreign idea may have an exponential effect on the entire presentation.

    You are wrong if you think that is better than what he does.

    Derek, I'm real apathetic to what happens. It's nice that he has you on his team! But, I think your reading too much into it. It's intent but to be more constructive in nature. That said, the intent was never meant that way. If I didn't want to see Mike succeed, I wouldn't have offered anything at all.

    Foreign Presentation Technique multiplied by Foreign Subject Matter may have an exponential effect on hurdles to adoption. Knowing this, I've had to rebuild presentations from 20 or 30 slides to 3 or 4 many, many, many times during the 11th hour based on new information about who I'm presenting to and own in-house style. My goal is often adoption of a concept, not how creative I can get. Because of this, I've learned to be quite cognizant of who the audience is well ahead of presenting, and any presentation formats they are already used to.

    You mention death by PowerPoint, I mention paralysis by analysis.

     

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  16.  
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    Mike's groupie, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 3:38pm

    Oh Mike

    I want to have your babies!!!

     

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  17.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 30th, 2009 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: On the fence on the presentation technique

    Foreign Presentation Technique multiplied by Foreign Subject Matter may have an exponential effect on hurdles to adoption. Knowing this, I've had to rebuild presentations from 20 or 30 slides to 3 or 4 many, many, many times during the 11th hour based on new information about who I'm presenting to and own in-house style. My goal is often adoption of a concept, not how creative I can get. Because of this, I've learned to be quite cognizant of who the audience is well ahead of presenting, and any presentation formats they are already used to.

    I have to say, my experience has been the exact opposite. The presentation itself garners attention in part because of the style, and it's designed quite carefully to drive home certain points.

    And it's worked. The response to these presentations has been phenomenal, in finding people who actually got the concept. If I had done a boring typical presentation, that never would have happened. This method of presenting does two things that what you're advocating does not do, in my experience. (1) Get people to pay attention and (2) make the point quite clear and easy to understand.

    I can say, quite certainly, that this method has been exponentially more effective than traditional styles of presentations.

     

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  18.  
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    Zaven (profile), Apr 30th, 2009 @ 5:10pm

    Well Done

    Great presentation Mike, never been a NIN or Trent Reznor fan but just watched that presentation and had to download the music. Good stuff. They just got themselves another fan the next time they are in DC.

     

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  19.  
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    cram, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 5:25pm

    Will this be available on Youtube?

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 6:33pm

    Wonderful

    I'm pleased to say that none of the examples you used in your talk were new to me. I've read all your posts about them, or discovered them myself, and have cited them before in other discussions. I found the speech tremendously enjoyable as well as educational. I hope your audience was capable of appreciating the wisdom of your words. Well done. I can only hope that you produce and share more high quality talks such as this one.

     

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  21.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 1st, 2009 @ 1:26am

    Re: Do You Like NIN

    "However, I have not yet, AFAIK, ever heard a NIN or Reznor song!!"

    At this point, with several of their albums and EPs being legally available for exactly $0, that's more your choice than anything else.

    I'd also say that whether you personally like NIN's music is neither here nor there when discussing business models. Perhaps if the models had failed and the music was significantly and objectively worse than their major label releases, we could inject a little "well the music was pretty bad so of course it failed". But given largely favourable reviews of the "free" releases compared to the previous label releases, the discussion can be made surrounding the models themselves without thinking about the quality of the music.

    I hate modern American Idol-style pop music, but that wouldn't prevent me from appreciating the business tactics if such an "artist" were to try something different.

     

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  22.  
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    Justyn, May 1st, 2009 @ 2:02am

    Gives me hope

    Mike - That you're out there giving such excellent talks to people really gives me hope that a deeper understanding will spread throughout the industry and wider population.

     

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  23.  
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    Morten Blaabjerg, May 2nd, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    Am I the only one or do the video embed simply get stuck at about 19:19 even though the complete video has been cached?

     

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  24.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), May 4th, 2009 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re: Do You Like NIN

    Paul,

    Congratulations, and welcome to the "didn't get the obvious point club".

    I make no subjective assesment of the art, since it is irrelevant. I am fully aware that not having heard NIN music is entirely my choice, and am neither happy or sad about that. I'm just surprised that I haven't come across it. Especially given that NIN is a fairly big act, judging by the numbers, and the bumper stickers I often see.

    That fact, as you say, that it's "neither here nor there when you discuss business models" is....um...kinda covered by my mention of "I know it's not relevant to the discussion, and I appreciate the fact that you [Masnick] deal with the business, not the sujective art."

    By correcting me using exactly the point that I clearly stated, you have brought exactly $0.00 value with your comment.

    My question, thus, was merely an idle curiousity that I put to Mike. I think I made it abundantly clear that it is irrelevant to his frequent studies of Reznor. But I am curious, does Mike enjoy the music?

     

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  25.  
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    Franssu, May 4th, 2009 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Punks everywhere

    Are you upset you can't find any fault in his logic except that it does against your preconceived ideas that more Copyright and IP laws is good for you (after all, why not admit it, as all the other IP hawks you don't care a bit about the others, just about your selfish little bottom line) ?
    Because your attack on his looks really sounds like that.

     

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  26.  
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    Michael, May 6th, 2009 @ 6:45am

    thanks

    Thanks for posting the key note. I loved it!

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2009 @ 9:03am

    Re: Another example of "do it alone" success

    hey im a young artist i'd like to know if theres any possibility for some one to help me get sponsors for my music video ive worked with several artists in the industry and im indi

     

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  28.  
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    Jonathan Bonner, Jun 4th, 2009 @ 7:11am

    Presentation

    great work on the presentation, very professional and well spoken. Would have appreciated an influence like that back at my college days when I had to give presentations. Thanks for posting.

     

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