While The Future of X Think Tank sessions know no designated panelists, we invite seasoned and fresh innovators, entrepreneurs who are currently monetizing the changing landscape, marketers and representatives from within the industry as well as investors who provide the capital that moves the needle to serve as featured lead participants. Find a growing list of our lead participants below, along with details on how to be a lead participant. (The event page and signup form for regular participants are at MITEF-NYC.org.)
- Ray Archie, CEO and co-Founder, MixLuv, Inc., a social platform designed for musicians, songwriters and engineers to easily collaborate, create and manage their world of music. As a technologist & Director of Streaming Operations for CBS Radio Corporate, I managed a team to build, from the ground up, one of the largest streaming networks in the world. I also personally handle reporting for Sound Exchange, ASCAP, BMI, etc. As a musician/engineer, I have performed with Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson-Thomas, London Symphony Orchestra, SF Symphony orchestra, and more — and have consistently spoken at both Audio Engineering Society and European Broadcasting Union international conventions for several years.
- Bob Barbiere is President of Dubset Media Holdings, a technology company specializing in licensing and rights management of derivative works. Dubset has created the music industry’s first identification, licensing, and distribution platform enabling the legal streaming of mix and remix music content. The new platform, powered by its proprietary MixSCAN® technology, has recently completed a two year industry trial and is now being utilized and endorsed by the world’s largest DJs. It has the potential to create over $1 billion in new streaming revenue annually to the music industry. Over the years, Bob’s passion for applying new technologies to marketplace challenges has led to break-through digital products including the first national fantasy sports games, the world’s largest communications routing and trading platforms, and multiple advertising and music registries.
- Rob Behnke is Co-Founder and Company Director of MicSwap, the first and only Studio, Mic Modeler + recorder for iOS. A Serial Entrepreneur who also produces/composes electronic music as The Blue and Red, Rob is CoFounder of The Brooklyn Salsa Company – carried at retailers such a Whole Foods Market and FreshDirect. Rob earned his BA and MBA from Rider University in Business Management, where he also holds an advisory board seat on the University’s Sustainability minor program.
- Jacqueline Bosnjak is CEO of Q Department Studios. A South African born American hyphenate, Bosnjak founded IDEALOGUE, an independent transmedia studio and is a partner in the award winning music studio Q Department Studios. Instagram @qdepartmentstudios www.qdepartment.com
Sairam Chilappagari is the founder & CEO of Jukebox.io. He runs day to day operations at Jukebox.io, which believes in giving people control over the music they listen to, in any social setting with a simple touch. Jukebox.io makes it easy for venues to host a jukebox and patrons to play their favorite music right from their smartphones. He loves to create and evolve services from ideas into something truly valuable to the end user. He is a technologist with demonstrated success designing and implementing services for more than ten years. Before Jukebox.io, he built/lead teams at Jetsetter and Disney interactive media group.
- Claire Cunningham, MIT 15’09, is CEO and Co-founder of Lessonface.com, an online marketplace for music educators looking to engage with a global student audience. Since its launch in 2013, Lessonface offers a new monetization path for musicians who delight in sharing their craft. Claire also had key roles in CleanEdison, an education company acquired by Kaplan in 2014, BiblioBazaar, a publishing company based in Charleston, SC, and Celedu, an educational mobile app for literacy developed out of the MIT Media Lab.
- Scott Freiman is the co-founder and CEO of Qwire Holdings (qwire.com), a technology company that develops software to integrate the work of everyone involved with music for picture. Qwire’s software has been used to streamline music tracking and rights management for television series, such as Parenthood, House, and Grey’s Anatomy, and for studios, such as ABC/Disney Television. Mr. Freiman is also the founder of Deconstructing The Beatles (beatleslectures.com). Mr. Freiman holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Music from Yale University and a Masters of Music Composition from New York University.
- Howard Homonoff, Principal/Managing Director, Homonoff Media Group, is a rare resource for leaders who need to keep abreast of the ever changing world of media; changes that are driven by new and emerging technologies, changing business models, and dynamic regulatory and social environments. Howard is a well-recognized thought leader, author and speaker, including as a Senior Fellow at the Columbia Business School’s Institute on Tele-Information, as executive producer and host of the New York City-based cable program “Media Reporter”, and as a weekly columnist for Forbes.com, where he has devoted considerable work to examining the dramatic changes in the music industry environment.
- David Hughes, SVP, Technology, Recording Industry Association of America, has over 18 years’ experience in online music distribution. He joined RIAA in 2006, where he represents the recording industry’s technology interests and coordinates technology efforts, including metadata standards, new technologies and formats, and outreach to the technology community. In 1996, he became responsible for formulating a digital music distribution strategy for Sony Corporation in Tokyo. In 1998 he moved to Sony Music in New York, as Vice President of Technology Strategies and Digital Policy, where he created the industry’s first digital business department and formulated digital policy for distribution and antipiracy. David has contributed to a number of formats and standards including MPEG, DVD-Audio, SACD, Blu-ray and UltraViolet and holds a number of patents in the music technology space.
- Laurie Jakobsen. President, Jaybird Communications. Laurie has 20 years of public relations and marketing communications experience, ranging from artist representation to start-up dot-coms to major multi-national music companies. She started Jaybird Communications in 2009 to provide a full range of strategic communications services for digital businesses, especially startups, B2B, and entertainment-related ventures. Jaybird’s current clients include Border City Media, 7digital, the Music Business Association, NY Tech Meetup, ole, and Paltalk, and previous clients include Audiokite, Bandsintown, CISAC’s World Creators Summit, Digital Entertainment Ventures, Fantrotter, authors Fred Goodman and Robert Levine, Indaba Music, MediaNet, OpenAura, and TV Entertainment. www.jaybirdcom.com
- Gary Levitt is a co-founder of Future Moments LLC, the company behind MicSwap, the first and only studio, mic modeler + recorder for IOS. He is a veteran of the music industry. Besides being a professional recording engineer and musician over the past 20 years. Gary earned a BA in Audio Production. He’s had the experience of recording with Grammy winning producer Nellee Hooper (Bjork, Smashing Pumpkins, etc.). He’s recorded Grammy winners and rock stars. As a musician he’s been signed to Virgin Records, started his own label Young Love Records and has toured the US and EU several times over.
- Mani Mahjouri, Co-Founder, Spit 16. A calculated risk taker, with an uncanny ability to forecast market trends, Mani combined his passion for music with his knowledge of technology and ability to grow successful investments to co-found Spit16, a new social media and technology platform designed to empower urban music artists striving to have their voices heard while maintaining their creative authenticity. Mani studied at MIT where he earned three simultaneous bachelors degrees in mathematics, physics and finance. For the past 15 years, he has built a successful career building and running major hedge funds and proprietary trading businesses. Mani now resides in Colts Neck, NJ with his wife and son.
- Larry Miller, founder of Musonomics and Clinical Associate Professor in the Music Business Program of the NYU Steinhardt School where he teaches courses in Entrepreneurship, Music Analytics and the Business Structure of the Music Industry. He founded Musonomics to work with industry leaders and growth-stage music/tech companies and their investors, providing strategic and operational counsel in areas including licensing, rights administration, pricing and acquisitions. Clients have included EMI, BMG, Rogers & Hammerstein, NPR, ABC, Arbitron, Bonneville Broadcasting and the Avedis Zildjian Company. Larry started his career in the radio industry and, in 1995, co-founded digital music startups a2b music at AT&T Labs Research and Reciprocal.
- Deborah Newman, Esq., Founder, MUSICSTRAT. Ms. Newman founded MusicStrat in 2008 to combine her deep experience in the music, television and video businesses with her interest in copyright and digital media. MusicStrat advises early stage music/tech start-ups on digital music copyright, content acquisition and licensing. Newman was an early pioneer in the digital distribution of music in the 1990s, serving as VP Marketing at online retailer Music Boulevard and early subscription services FullAudio and Pressplay. Prior to that she spent 20 years at CBS Records (Sony Music).
- JJ Rosen, CEO, Indaba Music. Indaba is a leading musician services company, connecting over 900,000 members with career development and marketing opportunities. Previously, JJ served as EVP of Sony Music’s Commercial Music Group. Rosen oversaw core strategic marketing and business development efforts, including synchronization licensing. He also supervised the Custom Marketing Group, including music product deals with major consumer brands, and overseeing the digital marketing activities for CMG. Rosen joined Sony in 2002 when the company he co-founded, Run Tones, was acquired by Sony Music as part of the launch of the company’s Mobile Products Group. Earlier, JJ was the co-founder and a President of N2K Inc., a publicly traded music company, acquired by CDNow. Rosen holds a BA in Political Economy from Tulane, and an MBA in Finance from Rutgers.
- Bill Rosenblatt, President and Founder, GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies. I’m a strategy consultant in digital media for the past 15 years, with a background that includes computer science as well as radio. Recent clients have included two of the three major record companies as well as various digital music startups. I have served as an expert witness in digital music royalty disputes and statutory rate setting proceedings. I’ve worked with public policy bodies regarding digital copyright in the US and Europe, and I’m a Forbes.com columnist on digital music and other areas of digital media. I also chair and co-produce the annual Copyright and Technology Conferences.
- Maurice Russell is the Senior Vice President of Client Services for the Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (HFA), the nation’s leading provider of rights management, licensing and royalty services for the music industry. Russell is responsible for all relationship management activities associated with publishers, music distributors and HFA’s Slingshot rights administration clients. During his tenure at HFA, Russell has been responsible for licensing and royalty collection and distribution services on behalf of HFA’s over 48,000 affiliate publishers. Before joining HFA, Russell was Vice President and General Manager of Razorfish Studios, and was also Senior Director, Business Development and Licensing, at Red Ant Entertainment. Russell began his career as a Senior Director, Contract Administration, at Polygram Records.
- Steve Savoca is Vice President, Content & Distribution at Spotify where he oversees the global rights holder relations teams. In this role Steve manages Spotify’s day-to-day relationships with rights holder partners, directs all music content across the service, and oversees artist marketing and promotional activities. Steve also spent several years on the Board of Directors of Merlin Network and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Music Business Association.
- Drew Silverstein is the co-founder and CEO of Amper Music, a technology company focused on the intersection of artificial intelligence and music creation. With a platform that allows anyone to create professional-quality music for their video content without needing to know anything about music, Amper is fast at work at democratizing music creation and unleashing the creativity in every content creator. Before founding Amper, Drew was an award-winning composer for film, television, and video games, based in Los Angeles. Drew has worked on projects including Horrible Bosses, The Wedding Ringer, Galavant, Supernatural, and Mass Effect 3.
- Daniel Susla, Vice President, Product Licensing and Music Operations at TouchTunes Interactive Networks. Touchtunes is the largest in-venue interactive music and entertainment platform, featured in over 71,000 bars and restaurants across North America and Europe. Susla is responsible for all global music licensing strategies as well as managing the digital music operations and International music programming for our multi-territory music catalogues. Before joining TouchTunes, Daniel was the Director of Digital Copyright, Royalties and Licensing at Sony Music and Manager of Business Affairs and Licensing Technology at HFA. Most importantly, Daniel was selected to Billboard’s 2011 Twitter 140 “Top Music-Industry Characters You Need To Follow” @dsusla
- Eric Sussman, Artist Manager/Label Head for Amanda Palmer/8ft. records. International performing artist and writer, Amanda Palmer has built a sustainable business through grassroots community building and hardcore direct-to-fan initiatives. From early days with her band the Dresden Dolls, to the formation of the independent 8 Ft. Records following their split from the majors, Amanda has never shied from emergent tech – whether early-adopter twitter sales, to a 2012 record-breaking Kickstarter project, to her current Patreon campaign. Eric joined the 8 ft. enterprises in 2008 as Amanda’s tour manager, before shifting to artist management in 2011. Prior to 8 ft. he toured internationally with Snoop Dogg, The Police, Black Kids, and the Slits; and produced regional shows for Pacific Northwest independent promoter Mike Thrasher Presents
- David Tockman – David Tockman Consulting. I have been consulting in the Digital space for about a year. Prior to that I ran Entertainment Business Development at AOL and Huff Post. I was involved in every sort of Music deal including the blanket agreements with the majors for AOL Sessions, the ASCAP and BMI rate court limitations, Internet radio negotiations with SoundExchange as member of DiMA, joint ventures, original content creation, and all manner of licensing. Prior to my stint with AOL I was a Music Lawyer for 12 years with time at EMI, Zomba, RED/Edel and a boutique music firm. Music is my passion and my expertise.
- Bill Wilson. Vice President of Digital Strategy and Business Development, Music Business Association. Bill leads the charge on all things digital at the trade organization, the Music Business Association, working to explore and resolve objectives related to enterprise-level digital music commerce. He has driven the creation of user-friendly resources to facilitate the adoption of industry standards, and resources such as the API Directory, the Music Startup Network, and the Music Startup Academy to help newcomers to the industry create healthy, sustainable music-based businesses. Bill’s two decades of experience includes varied roles within independent and major record labels, internet ventures, and mobile content, and he continues to manage the catalog of Blackout Records, the New York hardcore punk he started in 1989.
.More leads TBA — please check back for updates as we add leads during our signup process
This is no panel discussion but a unique Think Tank event format that asks all attendees to actively participate. Lead participants are not panelists, and do not give prepared remarks, but are “first among equals,” expected to be especially active in the give and take of our highly interactive dialog format.
Qualified attendees are invited to introduce themselves to the organizers so they can be considered as lead participants — Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Think Tank Participation,” and include(a) your name and title/company and (b) short blurb on your background as it relates to this topic (please keep it at 100 words), as well as any other comments to the organizers on your interests. (Regular participants please signup at MITEF-NYC.org.)
Session attendance is limited to facilitate a highly engaged discussion. If registration has been closed, some reserved places for highly qualified participants may still be available.
We will update this page as we add lead participants. Have a look at our lead participants from past events: The Future of Television, The Future of Advertising, The Future of Retail, The Future of Healthcare.