Music 3.0 – the future of the music industry


A fortnight ago I attended a series of talks called Music 3.0–a project to bring people together to imagine the future of the music industry and then to find ways to make it happen. I came across Music 3.0 on a tweet from a friend asking if anyone had heard about it. Information about the project was interesting but vague. You were coming to figure out the future of the music industry and see what could be done about it but there was nothing more specific than that. I was intrigued. The comparative lack of information only added to my interest in the week and I filled out the comprehensive application for and sent it off. I got a reply a week later. Success! I had been accepted.

The week centered around talks from loads of different speakers from a wide array of backgrounds talking about the three bywords of the week Innovation, Disruption and Technology. The energy for each of the speakers was immense. It was pretty much the hottest week in Ireland this year and we were all inside listening rapturously to these people as they poured out there stories. It was an amasing collection of people doing amasing things, most of them unconnected to the music industry but all embodying innovative disruption ideals.

Some of my favourite speakers for the week were Richard Seabrooke, Paddy Cosgrave and Michael Murphy. Richard is one of the coordinators of Offset and the creative director at Dynamo. The delivery of his presentation was very understated but I was completely blown away by his accomplishments including Offset and the Candy zine. I’d come across Paddy before in an Irish Times article about his involvement with the Founders conference–which brings together company founders from all over the world to network in Dublin. Seeing him in person I was really surprised how young he is. He was one of a few speakers throughout the week who didn’t have a presentation, who just stood up in front of us and told a load of stories about his experiences working on different projects and putting together the Dublin Web Summit and Founders.

Michael, a former artist manager in America and current Phd. candiate studying the Irish music industry, proclaimed himself as the ghost of Christmas past come forth to warn us about our horrible history and provide us with the impetus to do something, anything, else. He announced that he was one of the only managers to sign an artist to all five of the majors and told us about the trajectory that got him from working in a record shop to working as a manager. Like a lot the speakers throughout the week his talk was incredibly understated and discussed the critical state of the music industry at present, particularly the dangers inherent in there being only three major labels left.

The week was like a mini TED conference about innovating and disrupting the music industry in Ireland. We finished up on the last day by brainstorming ideas to promote the zeitgeist of the week. With a group idea emerging around the idea of social media sharing and recommendations to facilitate better communication within the industry. Thanks to Angela Dorgan, Jim Carroll and all of the First Music Contact team for putting the week together. It was pretty immense, intense and thoroughly worthwhile experience and here’s hoping we as participants can now bring some of the energy and ideas to bare on our own work.