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CMU@TGE Previews: The data pioneers

By | Published on Tuesday 3 May 2016


We are now just a couple of weeks away from this year’s edition of new music festival The Great Escape which, once again, will feature the CMU Insights @ The Great Escape conference at the heart of its convention programme. Each day in the CMU Daily, CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke is previewing the sessions we will present this year – currently those in the full-day strand ‘Transparency! Data! Blockchain! Let’s make buzzwords happen!’

The need for better copyright data has been quite the talking point of late, with much debate about how we can improve the efficiency and transparency of the way digital income is processed. Though it is worth remembering that the issue isn’t that the music industry doesn’t have any databases – actually it has lots of databases – the question is how might we go about creating a one-stop, accurate, publicly accessible block of music rights information. Or maybe the real question is this: is such a thing actually achievable or desirable? Are we better off trying to get existing databases to talk to each other?

Either way, those organisations and companies with interesting music data solutions already in development have to be part of the conversation, which is why we’ll be having that very conversation as part of the data strand at CMU Insights @ The Great Escape this month.

Four conversations, in fact. I’ll be talking one-on-one with representatives from four key music data projects, including Robert Kaye from the long-established and always evolving MusicBrainz; Niclas Molinder from the very exciting start-up Auddly; Åsa Carild from the collecting society-led ICE venture; and Phil Sant from Omnifone which, although best known for powering other people’s digital music services, is actually more interesting today for the music data it has amassed, and the products it is now building around all that.

All four will provide useful updates on their projects, but also valuable insights as we endeavour to map the way forward in addressing the music industry’s data problem. ‘The data pioneers’ takes place at 3pm on Thursday 19 May as part of the full day strand that is outlined here.

TGE delegates get access to all of CMU Insights @ The Great Escape and all the other festivities that take place over the three days of the festival – passes are £230 and available here. This year tickets are also available for just the convention side of the proceedings for £100 and those can be bought here.