Leadership Music Digital Summit: Q&A with Jay Frank

This upcoming Wed., Apr. 25 at TPAC’s Polk Theater, the 2012 Leadership Music Digital Summit will dedicate its full agenda to social media and its impact on the music space. MusicRow recently sat down with DigSin Founder/CEO Jay Frank, Co-Chair of this year’s event, for a discussion about the upcoming one-day seminar. Full schedule is available here.

Unlike prior years, this year’s Summit has one focused theme, “Social Media”. Why the decision to focus on one theme?

We wanted to have a summit that was extremely productive. We wanted a conference where someone could come for the day, receive a lot of valuable information, and then go apply it to their music business. Right now, social media is the one element in the digital world that everybody has to be working effectively. This agenda allows the Nashville community to really learn how to better improve their businesses with proper knowledge on the subject.

What can someone expect to take away from the Summit after attending?

Somebody is going to come and fill up a notepad or in their phone with many, many ideas that they can easily apply to their daily interactions on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other places. This conference was designed to bring the smartest and best minds in the social media sphere and really give actionable usable ideas and tips.

What was your ultimate goal in setting the agenda for the Summit?

The ultimate goal for me would be to have someone attend the Digital Summit and a week later email me and say, “I already made more than what it cost to go to the conference in less than a week.” That would be the greatest compliment.

Livenation.com General Manager and former BigChampagne CEO Eric Garland will keynote the event. What excites you about having him at the Summit?

Eric Garland is going to deliver an amazing keynote speech. In a very short period of time in this position, he has made waves and created several products that integrate with all aspects of the music business in a very social capacity. What he is doing within Live Nation is extraordinarily aggressive and exciting because it allows artists, big and small, to have a much stronger presence. It will be not only be something that will grow the Live Nation business but all the artists which touch that world.

Another topic, “Subscription & Social” looks to be a very interesting panel. Can you expand on what we can expect to see?

We have one of the senior artist relations execs at Spotify, Steve Sovoka. He will actively discuss how their relationship with Facebook is important for the artist. I think it’s a relationship that everybody in Nashville sees daily on their Facebook page but still doesn’t understand how that may help their careers. Having a Spotify executive on hand to explain how that works is a real treat.

People are going to be very interested in the panel about monetizing social media. Will you be covering how to profit from it?

It was very important to bring this to the program. A lot of people look at social media and see it as a necessary component to their lives but fail to see the profitability in it. In truth, there are many artists that are profiting greatly from it. The panel includes Paul Steele, who manages an artist who debuted in the top 100 of the Billboard chart. I asked him, “How did you get such a large debut from a self release artist?” He said they do two things: live touring and social media. Obviously if he’s able to sell thousands of units in one week, he is able to monetize social media. And there are many other ways.

With your digital background, what do you see as the biggest deficiency in our music industry regarding social media?

The biggest deficiency regarding social media is not recognizing the importance of it. The country music community has always valued the relationship between fan and artist. These new platforms have put that relationship closer than ever. The artists that embrace it are nearly always seeing measurable results in the growth of their career. There is an expectation from a large subset of fans that there should be much more active communication and engagement and it’s essential to do that. When an artist does it, it pays off both short and long term. People need to recognize it’s a marathon, not a sprint and that the investment requires time, energy, and consistent care. This conference will emphasize how important it is to be spending that time.

Leadership Music Digital Conference is offering 5 pairs of FREE tickets to MusicRow’s readers. Email your name, company name, and email address to [email protected] and we will randomly select 5 winners from the emails on Monday, Apr. 23 at noon. 

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About the Author

Sherod Robertson is President and Owner of MusicRow Enterprises. He oversees all operations and develops strategic initiatives for MusicRow magazine, RowFax, and MusicRow's CountryBreakout chart. Robertson previously served as Director of Finance of Arista Records after beginning his career as Vice President of Finance and CFO at Reunion Records.

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