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Tom Silverman: New Music Seminar Founder Proves to Music Times That Industry Won't Die Anytime Soon

By Ryan Book, The Music Times | May 23, 2014 10:43 AM EDT

Read anything recently regarding the next big thing in the music industry? Tom Silverman heard about it before you. Heck, he may have written the article you read. The founder of Tommy Boy Records has always been one step ahead when it comes to trends (including hip-hop and electronic music) and that's why his other project, the New Music Seminar, has always been a must for the industry's biggest names.

The New Music Seminar began as a relatively modest affair (compared to today's event) during 1980, bringing together 200 music professionals to discuss ongoing changes in the field. The event collected more interest and higher crowds, eventually adding musical showcases (Nirvana and Madonna are among acts who appeared) and by the time the first run of New Music Seminars ended during 1995, it had laid the groundwork for other conference festivals, such as the now massive SXSW and CMJ Music Marathon.

Silverman relaunched the seminar for 2009 and it didn't take long for the industry to come running back. This year's event will continue the idea of "building the $100 billion business," which was introduced at 2013's seminar. Panels will focus on the growing trend of streaming and how to channel it into new levels of profitability. Speakers include Chic guitarist/producer Nile Rodgers and Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman among others.

Silverman joined Music Times to discuss the going-ons of this year's New Music Seminar, with special focus on the globalization of music. His explanations for how to spread music to new audiences (via streaming and the smartphone revolution) and how that method can inspire growth in the industry will allow pessimists (like us) to take a sigh of relief.

Check out our Music Times Meets with Tom Silverman, and like us, you might learn something.

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