Subscription streaming music and the opportunities and challenges it presents to the global music industry is the subject of an upcoming conference sponsored by the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts on November 7.


Led by Norwegian musician, entrepreneur, and educator Stein Bjelland, who joined the faculty of the Clive Davis Institute earlier this fall, conference is the culmination of a class also taught by Bjelland, both of which focus on the streaming music industry in Scandinavia, home to Tidal and Spotify and widely considered the leading region for innovation in recorded music streaming. The class, entitled “The Future of the Streaming Economy: Scandanavia as a Case Study,” is taking place this fall at the Clive Davis Institute; the conference, Stream-Tech, will be held at the NYU’s MAGNET Center in downtown Brooklyn.

“Whether or not the world is ready, subscription streaming is the future of recorded music, growing exponentially across the globe and already serving the dominant music delivery medium in countries like Norway, Sweden and Spain,” said Bjelland, now adjunct professor of recorded music at the Clive Davis Institute. “Our goal with this course and conference is to help build a better understanding of what a future sustainable market for recorded music will look like, so we can better prepare artists, producers and entrepreneurs to adapt and succeed.”

Revenues from subscription streaming are growing exponentially in the US, currently accounting for 21% of total revenues in 2013, up from just 3% in 2007, while the overall industry remained flat. Conversely, in Norway, where subscription streaming accounts for 77% of recorded music revenues, industry-wide revenues rose 11% last year, following an increase of 7% in 2012, according to IFPI.

“Subscription streaming in Scandanavia has been credited with turning around a long period of decline in the music industry, but the controversy surrounding artist exploitation remains,” said Jeff Rabhan, Chair of the Clive Davis Institute at NYU Tisch. “Bjelland is already an established authority on digital music delivery in Scandinavia, both in the industry and in academia, and he brings an artist’s sensibility to the debate. Our students will also benefit from the enhanced perspective of learning in tandem with their peers at the Hedmark University College, Campus Rena in Norway.”

In addition to teaching at Rena and the Clive Davis Institute, Bjelland is the owner of Nuproductions (Numusic and Nuart Festivals) and runs the music and arts consulting company Stein70000. From 2008 - 2013, Bjelland was the president of Great Moments and represented artists such as Kvelertak, Purified In Blood, Overthrow, Frk. Fryd, and Deathbed Reunion. In 2011, he was asked to establish and develop Norway's only music investment fund, Buzz As, which invests in companies, technologies and various projects within the music business. In the late 90s, Bjelland was a member of the band the Getaway People, which signed Columbia Records in 1997 and toured extensively throughout Europe and the United States.

The Future of the Streaming Economy” guides Recorded Music majors through the history of streaming, the controversies surrounding its business model, and the technology that made it possible. As part of the course, students practice techniques of releasing music online through a hands-on workshop, which will lead them through the beginning steps of registering, and releasing their own projects via Phonofile and Tidal / WiMP on all major platforms and services. A full course description can be found here.

Guest speakers attending the class include Jarle Savio, Head Of Strategic Marketing, Phonofile; Mona Fimreite, Digital Marketing Specialist, Phonofile; Trond Tornes, Marketing Manager, Phonofile; Sveinung Rindal, Head Of Editorial, Tidal, Wimp Music; Rune Johannesen, University College Hedmark; and Live McKey, Head Of Digital Sales, Universal Music.

Stream-Tech, the daylong conference, will feature keynote presentations, panels/Q&As, and case studies. Each of the major streaming platforms will be showcased (Tidal, Beats, Spotify, Pandora, Youtube), as will other major industry players. The conference will be presented in partnership with the Norwegian Consulate General NYC and Music Norway.

About the NYU Tisch Clive Davis Institute
The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music provides professional business and artistic training toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree for students who aspire to succeed as creative entrepreneurs in the music industry. The program bears the name of its chief patron and advisor, Clive Davis.

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