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Agenda

Tuesday, June 15
12:00PM - 1:00P ET
Annual General Meeting
Join Dr. Richard James Burgess, President, and CEO of A2IM, Team A2IM and Special Guests for Indie Week 2020’s Annual General Meeting. Meet the newly elected A2IM Board of Directors, learn about A2IM’s current and future initiatves, and hear from featured speakers Helen Smtih (IMPALA), Jeremy Sirota (Merlin), Charlie Philips (WIN), and Rosie Lopez (Tommy Boy Entertainment and A2IM’s Executive Commmitte President).
1:00PM - 2:00PM ET
Voice + Metadata Optimization on Amazon Music
An introduction on Voice + Metadata basics to utilize Alexa on Amazon Music. Included topics: Catalog Optimization, Alexa Features, Social Recommendations, Engagement, and Metadata Delivery.
Speakers:
Frankie Yaptinchay (Amazon)
1:20PM - 2:00PM ET
Spotlight On Finance: What's Your Business Worth?
Featured Speaker, Glen Barros, leads a conversation on the financial structure of a business. Where does value come from? How do you determine it? Learn the financial tools to assess your company’s worth, to keep it strong, and to set up your future so that, if you decide to expand or exit, you can.
Speakers:
Glen Barros (Exceleration Music)
2:10PM - 2:50PM ET
Streaming's New Frontier: Master Hybrid Platforms
How do you influence success, monetize, and succeed on hybrid platforms, which are part social media and part streaming, such as Tik Tok, Facebook/Instagram.
Speakers:
Heather Johnson (Ninety9lives), Jamie Sampson (Facebook), Tracy Gardner (TikTok)
2:20PM - 2:40PM ET
Lightning Talk: Fresh Takes - YouTooCanWoo
Lightning Talk | Indie⚡️is a format where experts in our community speak for 5-10 information-driven, dynamic minutes on a specific topic related to the Independent sector. Lightning Talks, designed to give attendees the maximum amount of information in the minimum amount of time. Our “Fresh Takes” series highlights A2IM Members who have “fresh” and/or innovative business models.
Speakers:
Robert Perlick-Molinari (Toucan sounds / YouTooCanWoo)
2:40PM - 2:50PM ET
Lightning Talk: Fresh Takes - ChillHop
“Lightning Talk | Indie⚡️is a format where experts in our community speak for 5-10 information-driven, dynamic minutes on a specific topic related to the Independent sector. Lightning Talks, designed to give attendees the maximum amount of information in the minimum amount of time. Our “Fresh Takes” series highlights A2IM Members who have “”fresh”” and/or innovative business models.
Speakers:
Bas van Leeuwen (Chillhop)
3:00PM - 3:30PM ET
Keynote Speaker: Kris Ahrend in Conversation w/ Dr. Richard James Burgess
Kris Ahrend, Chief Executive Officer of the MLC in conversation with Dr. Richard James Burgess, A2IM’s President and CEO to discuss the MLC
Speakers:
Kris Ahrend (The MLC), Richard James Burgess (A2IM)
3:30PM - 4:05PM ET
WINCON: DDEX for Dummies
DDEX is an organisation focused on setting standards to make the exchange of data and information across the music industry more efficient. We will give a brief introduction to DDEX standards of special interest to indie labels: the Recording Information Notification Standard (RIN); the Media Enrichment and Description Standard (MEAD); and the Recording Data and Rights Standards (RDR).
Speakers:
Charlie Phillips (Worldwide Independent Network), Mark Isherwood (DDEX)
3:30PM - 4:10PM ET
Drowning in Data? How to Cope with The Volume
Data is essential for survival. This panel will discuss the most effective methods to cut through the noise and make technology work for you.
Speakers:
Evan Plake (A2IM), Lindsay Schapiro (Mom + Pop Music), Mariah Czap (Yep Roc Records), Matt Brinkworth (Omnian Music Group), Rasty Turek (PEX)
3:40PM - 4:10PM ET
New Trends in Commercially Viable Placements
What music are companies looking for? What are the music licensing trends for the new decade.
Speakers:
Evelin Garcia (Ignition Creative), Kathryn Matt (Epidemic Sound), Toddrick Spalding (Mob Scene), Zeli Berusch (Point Records)
4:10PM - 4:45PM ET
WINCON: RDx Implementation
IFPI and WIN came together in 2019 to create the first ever centralised industry data exchange system. The Repertoire Data Exchange (RDx) platform aims to make it easier for record labels to register their repertoire and rights data with all participating collective licensing companies, which in turn makes the payment of royalties more efficient. Join us to understand its functioning and how can the independent music community make the most out of this service. Note that this session will draw on some of the content presented in the “DDEX for Dummies” presentation. We therefore recommend attending both sessions.
Speakers:
Charlie Phillips (Worldwide Independent Network), Matt Phipps-Taylor (PPL), Richard Gooch (IFPI)
4:30PM - 5:00PM ET
Are We Moving Towards a Genre-Less Industry?
Do labels, who are no longer beholden to narrow radio formats, but must please the algorithmic gods, have wider latitude to categorize their artist’s music? What does genre mean in 2020?
Speakers:
Brandon Hixon (Symphonic Distribution), Harrison Green (Soundcloud), Jacqueline Schneider (Forbes), John Stein (Spotify)
4:50PM - 5:30PM ET
The Value of Working Together
Independent music trade associations exist to develop and share knowledge, best practice, and to strengthen community for their members. We will discuss some of the benefits and services that they provide to draw in new companies and improve engagement and membership value.
Speakers:
Jude McArdle (AIM), Noemí Planas (Worldwide Independent Network), Oliver Knust (Chilemusica), Sheryl Cohen (A2IM), Stuart Johnston (CIMA)
5:00PM - 5:30PM ET
You're Losing Money, Why Bad Metadata is to Blame
The music industry’s metadata problems are preventing rights’ holders from earning revenue. Why is this process so fragmented? How can our systems be improved?
Speakers:
Ali Lieberman (SoundExchange), Bill Wilson (Entertainment One), Dae Bogan (The MLC), Rob Weitzner (Consolidated Independent; CI)
5:30PM - 6:00PM ET
Happy Half Hour!
Team A2IM!
David Stuart (Amazon)
Frankie Yaptinchay (Amazon)
Glen Barros (Exceleration Music)
Glen Barros (Exceleration Music)
Managing Partner
Glen Barros launched Exceleration Music at the beginning of 2020 after spending 25 years at Concord. While at Concord, he presided over the company’s growth from a small but respected jazz label into one of the world’s leading independent music companies, with substantial interests in recorded music, music publishing and theatrical rights. Glen was CEO of Concord Music Group through 2017, at which time Concord Music Group, Bicycle Music and Imagem Music Group were merged into a new organization that utilized the Concord name. With this merger, Glen became the COO of the overall entity. Glen has also provided many years of service to the music industry’s trade associations and currently serves on the boards of A2IM, the RIAA, the IFPI. Via these prominent organizations, Glen has worked to protect and promote independent music and intellectual property rights by representing the industry in meetings or hearings at the White House, the U.S. Senate, The Library of Congress, the California Senate and other governmental forums. With his new company, Exceleration Music, he plans to utilize private investment funds to provide capital, strategic and operating solutions to the independent music world. His first investment was the venerable jazz label, Candid Records.
Heather Johnson (Ninety9lives)
CEO
I grew up with music, playing the Violin and Viola since I was 8 yrs old. As an adult, I found myself in the tech and gaming space working for companies such as Apple and Mixer. Even writing a little code on the side. Now, I run the label side of Pretzel Tech, LLC known as Ninety9Lives. I'm incredibly lucky to get to cross my passion for music with my love of games working for a label that provides music for content creators in the content creator industry.
Jamie Sampson (Facebook)
Jamie Sampson (Facebook)
Independent Label Partnerships Manager
Jamie Sampson manages Facebook and Instagram's Independent label partnerships in North America. Prior to Facebook he led the Label Partnerships team at Pandora, and has enjoyed a 15+ year career in the music & tech industries, including 10 years as an artist manager. He lives with his family in Berkeley, CA.
Tracy Gardner (TikTok)
Robert Perlick-Molinari (Toucan sounds / YouTooCanWoo)
Head of Label and A&R
Robert Perlick-Molinari is the founder of the electro-dance group French Horn Rebellion, and head of Label and A&R operations at Brooklyn-based music studio, YouTooCanWoo, which includes heading their indie disco & house label, toucan sounds. As an artist, he has massed over thirty million streams across Spotify, Youtube, and Soundcloud, appeared on iTunes digital charts in France, Japan, UK, and US, and performed and collaborated with some of the most culturally influential artists in the world, including Beyoncé, Sia, and MGMT. Building off these successes, and enabled by the infrastructure of YouTooCanWoo’s state-of-the-art studio, toucan sounds, was created in 2019. In that time it’s already been called “a label heavyweight,” by Traxsource’s Editorial, turning heads in the independent dance community with a combination of grassroots collaborations, and big name releases, leading to regular plays on BBC Radio 1 and 6, Spotify ‘New Music Fridays,’ and sold out parties in Brooklyn.
Bas van Leeuwen (Chillhop)
CEO
Chillhop Music is one of the leading labels in lofi hip hop and instrumental hip hop beats. It's hybrid in a way where next to running as a label, it was built off of a YouTube promo channel, and also operates as a publisher. Chillhop started in late 2012 as a channel to promote music that wasn't getting a lot of attention, and added label services from 2015 on. It was one of the first channels to start a 24/7 livestream on YouTube, and the first in its corner of music. In 2020, Chillhop continues to innovate, expanding to fields outside of the music industry.
Kris Ahrend (The MLC)
Kris Ahrend (The MLC)
CEO
Kris Ahrend serves as Chief Executive Officer for The MLC, where he leads the organization’s mission to ensure songwriters, composers, lyricists, and music publishers receive their mechanical royalties from streaming and download services in the U.S. accurately and on time. Most recently, Ahrend led the development and launch of Warner Music Group’s Center of Excellence for Shared Services in Nashville, where he oversaw the operations of fifteen different functional teams providing a variety of administrative, financial, and legal services to Warner Music’s U.S.-based publishing teams, record labels, and corporate divisions. Prior to launching the Center of Excellence, Ahrend held a senior executive role within Warner Music, where he led a large legal, financial, and administrative shared services organization that he helped to create.
Richard James Burgess (A2IM)
Richard James Burgess (A2IM)
President & CEO
President and CEO of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), Richard James Burgess has produced, recorded, and performed on many gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums. He was previously head of business at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings where he produced Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology, chronicling the history of jazz. His career path includes studio musician, recording artist, producer, manager, and label owner. He is known for his pioneering work with synthesizers, computers, sampling, EDM, New Romantics, early house music, as the inventor of the SDSV drum synthesizer and for coining the music genre terms EDM and New Romantic. His current books are The Art of Music Production: The Theory and Practice, 4th Edition and The History of Music Production (Oxford University Press). Burgess has received awards as a producer and musician from Music Week, the British Arts Council, the Greater London Arts Association, the Park Lane Group, and most recently he won the 2016 British Council’s Education UK Alumni Award for Professional Achievement.
Charlie Phillips (Worldwide Independent Network)
Charlie Phillips (Worldwide Independent Network)
Chief Operating Officer
Charlie Phillips is the Chief Operating Officer of WIN. He is a qualified solicitor specialising in international music rights and licensing, and his work has a focus on the intersection of creative content and technology. Charlie has a particular interest in the relationships between IP rights and data in the digital media supply chain, and represents WIN member record companies within IFPI, ISO and other industry groups, most particularly with respect to developments over collective licensing and data management, including ISRC and DDEX. Charlie’s work in this area has recently culminated in the launch of RDx, a repertoire data exchange system for labels and collecting societies around the world. RDx is a joint initiative between WIN and IFPI.
Mark Isherwood (DDEX)
Mark Isherwood (DDEX)
DDEX Secretariat
Mark Isherwood spent 18 years working for the MCPS-PRS Alliance (now PRS for Music), the UK music rights collecting society and one of the biggest in the world, in senior management positions. Since then Mark has undertaken rights acquisition negotiations for a major pan-European broadcaster, led a project for the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) examining the IPR consequences of using Creative Commons licences in the HE and FE sectors and led a multi-party project for the European Commission assessing the value of the public domain in the digital ecosystem. He was the non-voting Chair of the Global Repertoire Database Working Group from 2010. Mark was involved in the early industry discussions on the creation and development of DDEX and has led the secretariat since DDEX’s incorporation in 2006.
Evan Plake (A2IM)
Evan Plake (A2IM)
Manager, Membership
Evan is the Membership Manager at A2IM, where he helps to grow and serve the organization's member base of independent labels, distributors, music tech companies, and more. Prior to joining A2IM in September of 2019, he was a freelance music journalist for XLR8R, Forbes, and more.
Lindsay Schapiro (Mom + Pop Music)
VP, Digital Strategy
Lindsay is a California native, settling in on the West Coast after spending 8 years "back east." During her time in Brooklyn, she got her start in music working in the Sales/Streaming department at Razor & Tie. After admiring Mom + Pop's roster and work for some time, she eventually made her way over the label where she is now VP of Digital. Over the past four years, she's worked campaigns for GRAMMY-winning/nominated artists like Flume, Courtney Barnett, and Tycho, and rising talent like Ashe, Alina Baraz, Tash Sultana and many more. Her work was recognized by HITS magazine, who included her in their Rumor Mill "Noisemakers" feature. These days, she floats between San Francisco and LA, handling all things digital for Mom + Pop on the West Coast. Outside of work, Lindsay is a proud member of both WIM's Diversity/Inclusion Council and the TJ Martell Young Professionals Advisory Council, where she helps raise funds for innovative early-stage cancer research. Outside of music, Lindsay enjoys travel, theatre, and a competitive game of pick-up basketball - a passion she's kept since her time as a shooting guard at Wesleyan University, where she graduated with honors in English and Music.
Mariah Czap (Yep Roc Records)
Mariah Czap (Yep Roc Records)
Digital Marketing Manager
Mariah Czap is the Digital Marketing Manager at Yep Roc Records. Along with managing and executing the digital strategy for the label and its artists, she also handles A&R. Over her 7 years at Yep Roc, Mariah has led album release campaigns for Mandolin Orange, Robyn Hitchcock, Born Ruffians and Blitzen Trapper, among others. She also works closely with The Bluegrass Situation, helping coordinate content creation, and has produced the Late Night Jam at MerleFest for the last 7 years.
Matt Brinkworth (Omnian Music Group)
Matt Brinkworth (Omnian Music Group)
Head Of Digital
"Matt Brinkworth is Head of Digital at Omnian Music Group – home to a record label family including Captured Tracks, Sinderlyn and 2MR. Omnian’s labels are, or have been, home to the likes of Wild Nothing, HOMESHAKE, DIIV, Juan Wauters, Drahla, CULTS, Chris Cohen, Molly Burch, Beach Fossils, Mac DeMarco and more.
Rasty Turek (PEX)
Rasty Turek (PEX)
CEO
Founder and CEO of Pex
Evelin Garcia (Ignition Creative)
Evelin Garcia (Ignition Creative)
Director of Music
Evelin got her start in the music industry writing album reviews while also working at the Sunset’s Strip world famous Viper Room. After a short stint as an audio engineer, Evelin realized that her real love in the music industry was music supervision and joined the team at Sony ATV’s production library, Extreme Music. While there, she learned about how the sync and licensing world worked and a few years worth of Extreme Music searches later + a very deep love for trailer music, Evelin joined the team at Mob Scene as a music coordinator. From there she became the Associate Music Supervisor at Ignition Creative and has quickly risen through the ranks to become their current Director of Music. While at Ignition Creative, Evelin has music supervised a number of theatrical advertising campaigns incl. Never Grow Old, Villains, and Peter Rabbit 2 amongst others + streaming campaigns incl. Future, Man S2/S3, Four Weddings & A Funeral, and Rhythm & Flow amongst many others.
Kathryn Matt (Epidemic Sound)
Kathryn Matt (Epidemic Sound)
Senior Creative Licensing Manager, North America
Katt Matt oversees Creative Licensing for Epidemic Sound in North America. Prior to Epidemic Sound, Katt worked with Steve Gordon, ESQ. clearing music for The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; she worked in the licensing department for legacy label and publisher ABKCO Music & Records where she mastered her craft of synch pitching and licensing. Katt has landed Epidemic Sound synch placements with Netflix, HBO, Showtime, and many others. Katt has also landed commercial placements for Lexus, LG and Target.
Toddrick Spalding (Mob Scene)
VP, Music
Toddrick Spalding is Vice President, Music at Mob Scene and fifteen year veteran music supervisor.
Zeli Berusch (Point Records)
Zeli Berusch (Point Records)
A&R
From Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic via NY. Zeli is the A&R for LA-based record label Point Records.
Matt Phipps-Taylor (PPL)
Richard Gooch (IFPI)
Ali Lieberman (SoundExchange)
Ali Lieberman (SoundExchange)
Director, Business Process & Product Management
Ali Lieberman is Director of Business Process and Product Management at SoundExchange. In this role, she serves as the product manager of Music Data Exchange (MDX), which is used by all major record labels and music publishers to exchange sound recording and musical work data. She has helped lead the organization through a major platform transition and is currently working on executing new royalty and data solutions for sound recordings and music publishing. Prior to joining SoundExchange in 2011, Ali managed the US ISRC Agency within the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Ali is an MBA graduate of the Georgetown McDonough School of Business and has over 10 years of experience in the music industry.
Bill Wilson (Entertainment One)
Dae Bogan (The MLC)
Dae Bogan (The MLC)
Head of Third-Party Partnerships
Dae Bogan is a music rights expert, serial entrepreneur, author, and music creators' rights advocate with over fifteen years of experience in the music industry. A Billboard ""2019 Digital Power Players"" honoree, Dae currently serves as Head of Third-Party Partnerships at The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) where he lead's The MLC’s strategy of engaging third-party entities that provide support to creators and publishers in the areas of rights administration, data management, operations, and education. Concurrently, he is an adjunct lecturer at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music where he develops and teaches the music industry entrepreneurship course for which he was recognized in Billboard's ""The 15 Best Music Business Schools In 2017."" Prior to his roles at The MLC and UCLA, Dae founded music rights administration technology company TuneRegistry (acquired by Jammber in 2019); unclaimed music royalties and licenses search engine RoyaltyClaim (acquired by HAAWK Inc. in 2017); and in-store music video network Maven Promo (acquired by EMPIRE Distribution in 2017). Dae has also owned and operated an independent record label (Loft24 Records), a music publishing company (Loft24 Publishing), and a boutique artist management firm (Renaissance Artist Management) until 2012 when he pivoted to music tech.
Rob Weitzner (Consolidated Independent; CI)
Rob Weitzner (Consolidated Independent; CI)
Head of North America
Accomplished music industry executive with 20 years of global business development experience at the nexus of digital entertainment, entrepreneurship & technology. Served in senior roles at forward-thinking companies with a mission to source, structure and implement cutting-edge partnerships that deliver bottom-line results. Brings a proactive, entrepreneurial approach and a strong portfolio of transactional and “get-it-done” operational skills. MBA (Harvard); BA, Economics (Stanford).
Brandon Hixon (Symphonic Distribution)
Brandon Hixon (Symphonic Distribution)
We Make Music (Founder) & Head of Black Music (Symphonic)
With more than 20 years of experience in Global hip-hop business and black music coming out of domestic and overseas regions, Brandon Hixon is an award winning music and marketing executive who has employed a mix of gut instinct and sheer will to win and become one of the most respected managers in the music and entertainment industry. Currently, Brandon is Head of Black Music at Symphonic Distribution, while also continuing his work in management. Hixon created We Make Music management company (also lead by his wife, Tirinda Hixon and Khufu Reign) and managed critical brand campaigns within the careers of a rich cross-section of artists including the legendary De La Soul, Queens NY rapper and actor Awkwafina, and African standout artist Sho Madjozi. Hixon also founded the Code & Beats Hackathon, an experiential created to spawn technology ideation relating to Hip-Hop. Recently, We Make Music’s client Awkwafina won a ""Libera Award"" for Best Hip-Hop Album, and Sho Madjozi won a ""BET Award"" for Best New International Act.
Harrison Green (Soundcloud)
Harrison Green (Soundcloud)
Indie Label Relations, East Coast US & AU/NZ
Harrison Green manages East Coast US, Australia and New Zealand independent and Merlin partner relations out of SoundCloud's New York office. Prior to joining SoundCloud, Harrison held various positions in the artist management, label, aggregator and distribution space of independent artists and labels, proudly serving the independent community over the past 10+ years of his career.
Jacqueline Schneider (Common Mood)
Jacqueline Schneider (Common Mood)
Journalist
John Stein (Spotify)
Team Lead North America - Music Culture & Editorial
John Stein is the North American Team Lead of Music Culture & Editorial at Spotify. In this role, he is responsible for playlist strategy and curation, operating as a cultural tastemaker for some of Spotify’s top playlists. He identifies content needs and helps meet audience demand by staying on top of music trends and identifying what listeners want next. During his time at Spotify, John has also played a critical role in developing the Indie/Alternative space on the platform. He has been a champion for independent artists and created opportunities to help them connect with new fans. In 2018, he launched Pollen, a genreless playlist that has had as much of a cultural impact as it has music. Now, he shares his expertise in the indie sphere with On Our Radar, a new and influential genre-agnostic playlist that incorporates insights from all North American editors. In 2012, John started his career as a Music Manager for non-comm radio station WFUV, where he contributed to playlist creation, screened new music, created content and managed the music library. After college, John became a Contributor at Tunigo where he focused on playlist curation and content creation for their blog. Tunigo was later acquired by Spotify and he began his Spotify career as a Music Editor. John attended Fordham University where he studied Communications and Media Studies, Film/Cinema/ Video Studies.
Jude McArdle (AIM)
Noemí Planas (Worldwide Independent Network)
Noemí Planas (Worldwide Independent Network)
Network Development
Noemí Planas is in charge of Network Development at WIN. She was a founder member of the Spanish Independent Phonographic Union (UFI) and was the association's general manager until September 2019. Previously she worked in a record label, coordinated several editions of a music festival, did booking and tour managing, and set up her own music publishing company.
Oliver Knust (Chilemusica)
Oliver Knust (Chilemusica)
Director
Director of “Chilemúsica”, export brand for chilean music industry, and co-director festival and conference “Fluvial". Founder of the IMICHILE trade association and member of the WIN board. Director and founder of the record label Discos Río Bueno and booking and communications agency La Unión. He has worked with more than twenty bands from the Chilean independent sector during the last 15 years.
Sheryl Cohen (A2IM)
Sheryl Cohen (A2IM)
Senior Director, Culture & Oversight
As Senior Director, Culture and Oversight for A2IM, Sheryl Cohen oversees A2IM Indie Week, A2IM Artist, multiple committees and the organization's budget. She is in her ninth year as an A2IM staff member. An independent topline songwriter and recording artist, Sheryl Cohen releases disco/pop music under the pseudonym Olivia Brown.
Stuart Johnston (CIMA)
President
Stuart Johnston is President of CIMA (Canadian Independent Music Association), made up of over 300 companies (which employ more than 2400 people and represent more than 6,000 artists) belonging to Canada’s music business. He is also a member of three agencies which process copyrights and licenses, and of the advisory council of the Canadian Conference of the Arts. CIMA’s mandate is to develop and advocate policies and services that support a strong, economically stable Canadian independent music and recording industry, ensuring the long-term development of the sector and raising the profile of Canadian independent music both in Canada and internationally.
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