Paper Session 5 (Friday 3:15-4:15) Salon A
Moderator: Timothy Channell

Developing Information Literacy Skills for Music Industry Leaders

Keith Hatschek
Director, Music Management Program
University of the Pacific

Veronica A. Wells
Information Services Coordinator/Music Librarian
University of the Pacific

What research skills should an undergraduate music industry studies major develop over the course of their studies? With the non-stop proliferation of news and information sources available, how are students being trained to do research appropriate to their field to make informed decisions? Some employers now screen for information literacy skills as a preferred qualification, due to the perception that recent graduates lack advanced research skills. This presentation will discuss one model of developing research skills a future music industry leader will need. The presenters will show the collaboration between faculty and librarians that progressively teach students to find, access, evaluate, and use a variety of credible sources. Assignments embedded in various courses in the major allow students to scaffold and advance their confidence and skills to conduct meaningful research. These skills have been identified as a vital 21st-century core competency by faculty, administrators and accrediting agencies.

Beats Music: A New Subscription Streaming Service Business Model Takes the Stage

Courtney C. Blankenship
Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Music Business
Western Illinois University

Over the last several years the monetization of a revenue source through streaming for recording artists and labels has been in a state of flux. The growth of download sales is slowing down and the growth of streaming is ramping up. Gross distributions of statutory royalties to artists and labels in 2012 was $462 million, which represents a 35% increase over distributions of $372.2 million in 2011, as reported by SoundExchange.

Yet, subscription services are still trying to educate their listeners and increase their share of the market through paid subscribers. Services such as Spotify and Pandora currently pay SoundExchange fees to stream music and must offset their fees with paying subscribers. Transferring listeners from “free” listeners to “paying” listeners is the battlefield that currently holds several competitors (Spotify, Pandora, iTunes Radio, Rhapsody). The latest subscription streaming service to throw its hat into the ring is Beats Music, launched on January 21, 2014. Beats Music was founded by legendary music producer and chairman of the Universal label group Interscope Geffen A&M, Jimmy Iovine (John Lennon, Lady Gaga, Eminem, Gwen Stefani) and producer, rapper, entrepreneur and founder of Beats Electronics, LLC, Dr. Dre. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is chief creative officer, Ian Rogers of Yahoo is chief executive officer and Julie Pilat, former head of content at Clear Channel Communications, is head of curation and artist development.

This paper will examine how much recording artists/labels are really being paid, how profitable current streaming services are, and how Beats Music with its team of music business veterans, intends to differentiate itself through its version of the paid streaming subscription service, backed by savvy branding, keen marketing and collaboration, and replacing the current algorithm model with a humanistic approach. Will they succeed with their new business model and could it be the answer the music industry has been waiting for?