Summit 2016
April 1-2, Washington DC

Session 4: Friday 3:30
Moderator: Robert Garfrerick

Richard Strasser
Associate Professor
Northeastern University

Music Crowdsourcing: Redefining the Relationship between Organization, Artist, and Audience

Crowdsourcing has transformed art audiences from passive consumers to empowered co-creators. Given the current state of the performing arts sector, many institutions are showing increased interest in developing participatory projects to meet financial, programmatic, and audience demands. Even with this goal in mind relatively few organizations are able to integrate crowdsourcing projects into sustainable business models. This article analyzes numerous crowdsourcing activities to identify specific criteria required to integrate the processes into successful operational business models. The results will provide guidance for managers who need to create new or transformative art organizations to meet current and future internal and external demands.

George Howard
Associate Professor, Music Business/Management
Berklee College of Music

Blockchain Technology and The Arts

In the past year, Blockchain Technology has moved from something that – if spoken of at all – was relegated to conversations about bitcoin. Now, Blockchain is a dominant conversation topic, not only around finance, but as it relates to the arts, generally, and the music business, specifically. The reasons for this increased level of discourse are many, but relate to three key components of Blockchain Technology:

It is a distributed ledger
Because of the distributed nature of the ledger, it is immutable, and accessible to all
A core component of Blockchain technology is the concept of Smart Contracts, which allow for transactions to occur at scale and without intermediaries

Still, confusion around the plausibility and relevance of Blockchain Technology remain; with some viewing it as a panacea to all things that plague the 2016 music industry, and others viewing it as without merit. Over the past year, I have authored dozens of articles on Blockchain Technology and the Arts, conducted dozens of interviews with key thought leaders in the Blockchain Tech space, spoken at dozens of events on Blockchain Tech, and consulted with numerous companies and entrepreneurs in this space. Additionally, I have introduced Blockchain Technology into many of my classes at Berklee – from Copyright Law to Emerging Business Models – and have found widespread interest from students. This paper will consolidate my findings and offer recommendations with respect to:

How best to understand Blockchain Technology, generally
How best to reconcile Blockchain Technology with artistic endeavors
How best to integrate the concepts of Blockchain Technology in the classroom