My 4-Alarm NYU Class Discussion on the Future of the Music business

The college classroom in NYC.  I’m not sure there’s a better place to get insight into what a group of influential people are thinking, doing, jonesing for, worried about and scintillated by than engaging in a dialog with co-eds.

I had the great privledge of speaking to three different college classes this week.  Today was at NYU’s Clive Davis School of Music. My friend and  former music industry colleague, Errol Kolosine, invited me to talk to his senior level seminar on the future of the music business.  Errol is a creative, intense, passionate and super knowledgeable exec who has worked with some of the most amazing, enduring music artists, including Hot Chip, Daft Punk, Fat Boy Slim, Chemical Brothers, Beth Orton and so many more.  He is waaaaay cooler than me, and for that matter, most people.

Just as I enter the School of Arts & Science building on Waverly, the building gets evacuated and four NYFD trucks show up.  A thousand or so 18-20-somethings spill into the streets.  The gadgets come out, the cameras snap, the thumbs tweet out the updates.  Five minutes later, we’re all stuffing back inside.

Errol’s thirty or so students were super smart, attentive and asked great questions.   A few stumped me:  “What was the most difficult decision you’ve ever made?”  Um….you wanna try to answer that?

We talked “freemium.”  “Cloud.”  “Brand-supported.”  The fact that certain parts of the population in certain parts of the world still want cassettes.  And vinyl.

They were all amazing:  budding producers, engineers, marketers, performers.   I want to hire them all.

Same was true of Heidi Diamond’s classes at LIM College — one of the only fashion business programs at the university level.    Engaged.  Creative.  Smart.

Oh, and none of them watch TVs or have cable.  A handful listen to radio.  And that’s the streaming kind.

Watch and listen to them, everyone.

That they’re all interested in making music (or fashion or consumer goods or insert industry here) their life bodes well for the future of indeed.

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