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Billboard DMS 2003 - The (Internet) Revolution will be Televised

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Kurosh Nasseri started the panel, declaring that music has to be paid for, even if it is forced and that "it shouldn't take a computer hardware company to show us how to sell music" and that we have to make music easier to purchase and more accessible, and that lawsuits are part of the solution. Rob DiStefano (Twisted) continued, saying that the world community needs to step up and say it's wrong to take things that aren't yours.

Eddie Gordon (DJInTheMix.Com) said that the 5 majors are concerned about market shares, but they have to get on the internet and dance with the kids or die. Kevin Hedge (West End Records) talked about having most of their music on sale on their website, but they are getting killed by the credit card clearance companies which charge 20-25 cents per hit. Rob said the sale of a CD is effectively a dinosaur suggesting a solution like "Ikea" music where the customer can build and buy an album online and we'll send the artwork.

Kurosh agreed that people still want a physical collection of music because people buy the stuff they want and nusic is part of their lifestyle but the day of the $20 cd is gone.

The conversation quickly moved back to commercial digital downloading and Kevin mentioned this was good for the dance music community because they are more tech savvy. He mentioned that its actually beneficial to the labels because the "profit margin on digital download is better than a 12" - $4.00 if a person buys all the tracks versus 75 cents on commercial 12" single."

Rob DiStefano expressed excitement about the new Itunes model because its " a direct relationship with the customer that will build brand loyalty" and can build artists instead of making them as disposable as the music. Rob also mentioned several sites are trying the itunes effect for dance music including - Dancetracksdigital.com, shopsolid.com, undergroundnyc.com and beatport.com Eddie Gordon pointed to the success that his site DJInTheMix.Com, which services DJs with digital promos, has had with Junior Jack "E Samba" and Despina Vandi "Gia."

One of my favorite quotes from the whole week came from Rob Distefano who said "Exclusivity among upper echelons is over, the internet has leveled the playing fields."

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