New Music Seminar

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New Music Seminar
NMS Logo 2012.jpg
New Music Seminar Official Logo
Date(s) June 8–10
Frequency Annually
Venue New Yorker Hotel and Various Live Music Venues in NYC
Location(s) New York City, New York, USA
Years active 20
Founded 1980–1995, 2009–present
Founder Tom Silverman, Mark Josephson, Danny Heaps, Scott Anderson[disambiguation needed]
Next event 2014
People Tom Silverman: Founder & Executive Director
Peter Schwinge: General Manager

The New Music Seminar (NMS) is a Music Conference and Festival held annually each June in New York City. The New Music Seminar originally ran from 1980 – 1995 and was relaunched in 2009. NMS features over 150 CEOs, Presidents, Executives, and leaders in the emerging music business along with over 100 artist performances. The mission of the New Music Seminar is to grow a sustainable and better music business to allow creators the best opportunity to succeed. The NMS strives to enable more artists to achieve success and encourages new levels of investment in music and artists

In 2012, NMS hosted the first New York Music Festival in collaboration with the New York City Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment declaration of the city’s first New York Music Week. The festival took place in 17 venues throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.



In 2013 the New Music Seminar along with the SoundExchange Digital Broadcasting Summit moved to the iconic New Yorker Hotel and held its opening night party at Webster Hall. 2013 marked a growth in International relationships spearheaded by the newly appointed General Manager, Peter Schwinge. Music showcases from France, Spain, and Sweden – an International Movement conducted by MIDEM, and an uprising in International sponsors and delegates enhanced the discussion throughout the global music community.
A new addition, to the benefit of artists, was the Music Xray A&R Listening and Critique room where artists had the opportunity to have their music listened to, and critiqued by reps from: Atlantic Records, Republic Records, RCA Records, Virgin Records, Label Recruit, LOCAL VIBES, Glassnote Records, Razor & Tie, Robbins Entertainment, Island Def Jam, and Columbia Records.

Theme: Building the $100 Billion Business
Keynotes: Frank Cooper III (Global CMO Consumer Engagement, Pepsi Co), John Sykes (President, Clear Channel), Rio Caraeff (CEO, Vevo)
Tee-shirt Slogan: Listen!
2013 Artist on the Verge Winner: Air Traffic Controller
Venues: Webster Hall, Pianos, Cake Shop, The Living Room, The Delancey, Rockwood Music Hall, Tammany Hall


On June 17–19, the New Music Seminar explored the exciting future of the music business with the SoundExchange Digital Broadcasting Summit and the BMI Creative Conclave; which took place at Webster Hall in New York City. The creative community and their label partners met the digital broadcasters, music bloggers, music technologists and all of the new music exposure and monetization players. Clear Channel CEO, Bob Pittman and Sean Parker were the keynote speakers and shared their vision for the future. Every sector of the evolving new music business convened to discuss their perspectives for the exciting new future for the music business. Since 2012 the New Music Seminar has stayed in NYC.

For most of the people in the music business, this is probably the first time in a decade where they are feeling a new sense of optimism. Although unauthorized on-line music usage and distribution has not gone away, it is now time that the music industry begins to focus on expansion and positivity rather than fear and protectionism. – Tom Silverman Co-Founder and Executive Director[1]

Theme: Appetite for Disruption
Keynotes: Bob Pittman CEO, Clear Channel and Sean Parker, Founders Fund Executive General Partner
2012 Artist on the Verge Winner: Maren Morris


After a sold out event in New York City on July 19–21, 2010, New Music Seminar returned to Los Angeles one day after the Grammys, with its 3-day event from February 14 through 16th, 2011, at the Sheraton Universal Hotel. The kickoff red carpet event, The After Grammy Jammy (the NMS Opening Night Party), was held at The Music Box in Hollywood on Monday night, February 14 with the “Artist on the Verge Finals”, which selects one artist who will walk away with over $50K in promotion and marketing, Tuesday, February 15 at The Roxy.

The two day, three night conference included a symphony of five "movements" (focused discussions) over the course of two days, 12–18 minute Intensives (presentations) from key industry leaders, 22 mentoring sessions, daily and nightly musical performances, Summit Meetings and workshops on Rock, Hip Hop, Producers and Songwriting along with ongoing networking opportunities throughout.

NMS founder Tom Silverman explained, "The New Music Seminar is the epicenter of a new movement. The NMS is the creative crucible where new ideas are hatched and new collaborations formed. The New Music Seminar is a meeting of the architects of the next music business; the creators, the investors, the technological visionaries, those for whom music is a passion that they cannot do without.”


Los Angeles[edit]

New Music Seminar came to LA’s Henry Fonda Theater on Feb 2nd as a one day music, networking and educational extravaganza for the industry who are seeking to learn and understand how to help artists “rise above the noise floor” in a shifting musical landscape.[2]

Featured players included: CMO Pepsi, Kevin Lyman, President/founder Warp Tour, Alexandra Patsavas of Chop Shop Music, Justin Tranter, lead singer of Semi Precious Weapons, Derek Sivers, Founder of CD Baby and Jason Bentley, Program Director of KCRW.

The full day conference included four “movements” aka panels, live performances, the New Music Seminar “Artist on The Verge” contest winner performance and a ton of schmoozing both before, during and after the event.

There was also an opening Night party at The Viper Room, located at 8852 West Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069, on Monday evening February 1, 2010. The evening began with a cocktail reception where people can network and schmooze. This was a private show and open only to New Music Seminar delegates, the media and partners, which includes NARAS, LA Weekly, Music Connection, Billboard, Digital Music News, Yahoo Music, MySpace Music, Hypebot, Filter Magazine, Ourstage, Revebnation, Mozes, A2IM Members and a host of new technology companies who are attending and many, many more. It will be a great opportunity to meet and schmooze with all the top media and players in the music industry.

Says NMS founder Silverman,”The music business has changed beyond recognition. The old record business is over. For record companies it’s a bleak picture, but it puts thousands of artists in the strongest position they have ever been to create their own success. The trends are clear now and at the NMS the future will finally be foretold.”

The conference featured Keynote address followed by four Movements:

  • 1st Movement: Welcome to the Music Business; Everything you know is wrong. The New Definition of Success. 1000 True Fans and the Fan Relationship Pyramid.
  • 2nd Movement: Get Arrested; Marketing Yourself in the New Music Business – MySpace, Facebook and Twitter are not enough.
  • 3rd Movement: The Creative Process and radical Differentiation; Supercharge your music to rise above the noise floor and achieve success. A virtual A&R meeting.
  • 4th Movement: The Live Show and Tour; How to Cut through the Glut and reach the Magic 300 Ticket Mark

New York City[edit]

New Music Seminar announced that it would no longer remain a 1-day conference and expand into a multi-day event from July 19 to July 21 in New York City. The two day, three night conference included a symphony of five "movements" (focused discussions) over the course of two days, 8 TED-style presentations from key industry leaders, 22 mentoring sessions, nightly musical performances and ongoing networking opportunities. This seminar address both the artists’ dilemma of breaking out from the ever-growing glut of music releases and the development of a new business model for a sustainable music business.

NMS featured “players” (speakers) included: Eric Garland (Big Champagne), Joe Kennedy (Pandora) Mike Doernberg (Reverbnation), Courtney Holt (Myspace Music), David Goodman (CBS Interactive), Little Steven (Underground Garage and the E Street Band), Ariel Hyatt (Ariel PR), Corey Denis (Not Shocking), Linda Lorence, (SESAC), Jay Frank (CMT), Gwen Lipsky (Sound Thinking), Tom Jackson (, Martin Atkins (Tour: Smart), John Simson (Soundexchange), Corrie Christopher (APA), Chris Vinson (Bandzoogle), and Tony Van Veen (Discmakers) and many more. The Artist Movement “conducted” by Margaret Cho featured superstar artists discussing how they got their break and tips on how to apply what worked for them.


In 2009, the New Music Seminar was relaunched by Tom Silverman and former New Music Seminar staffer Dave Lory.[3]
Theme: The Revolution Starts Here

New York[edit]

The New Music Seminar returned as a one-day event in the 2009 summer on July 21. It was an event that created the template for music conferences by combining business and shows.The New Music Seminar, was held at the New York University Steinhardt's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. The program consisted of a keynote, four educational sessions on how to combine new and old methods with technology for career success, and an artist's showcase.

"I have been asked many times over the last 15 years to bring back the New Music Seminar," Silverman said, "but it wasn't until the end of 2008 that I could finally see the new business begin to emerge. The trends are clear now and the future can finally be foretold."

Catherine Moore, director of the Music Business Graduate Program at NYU's Steinhardt School said in a statement: "The purpose and the philosophy of the NMS is a perfect fit for the music business program. We are honored to be part of the launch. I know the delegates will gain valuable information and insight that will allow them build a successful career in the changing music business landscape."


Following rave reviews from the New York City conference on July 21, The New Music Seminar went to Chicago for the first time ever on October 6 at the legendary Park West.[4] "The music business has changed beyond recognition. The old record business is over at this point and it is a bleak picture for record labels. But it puts thousands of artists in the strongest position they have ever been to create their own success." – Tom Silverman

On October 6 in Chicago, the reincarnated New Music Seminar announced a new dawn of the music business. Offering practical, straightforward, cutting edge solutions for artists trying to make it in these challenging times, NMS promised to give artists the knowledge and tools to step into tomorrow's music business today. The conference kicked off with Keynote address by Michael Spiegelman, Head of Yahoo! Music, and was followed by four "Movements":

  • 1st Movement: Welcome to the Music Business; everything you know is wrong. Redefining Success. 1000 True Fans and the Fan Relationship Pyramid.
  • 2nd Movement: Expose Yourself: Marketing for the next music business; MySpace, Facebook and Twitter are not enough.
  • 3rd Movement: The Creative Process and radical Differentiation; Supercharge your music to rise above the noise floor and achieve success
  • 4th Movement: The Live Show and Tour; How to Cut through the Glut and reach the Magic 300


In June 1980, Tom Silverman, Mark Josephson, Danny Heaps, and Scott Anderson[disambiguation needed] brought 220 people together at a New York City rehearsal studio to discuss and debate challenges in the music business. The event grew in subsequent years,to act as a catalyst for change in the music business. The New Music Seminar added music showcases and a festival, initially called "New York Nights" and later, "New Music Nights." These were held in various New York City clubs. At its peak, the first series of seminars attracted more than 8,000 participants from 35 countries.

Haoui Montaug was Panel Director of the NMS at the time of his 1991 death.[5] Following his death the NMS inaugurated the Haoui Montag New Music Awards in his honour.[6]

Notable Breakout performers from the Original NMS include: 10,000 Maniacs, Bob Mould / Sugar, Dave Matthews Band, Dinosaur Jr., GWAR, Indigo Girls, Jesus Lizard, Living Colour, Midnight Oil, My Bloody Valentine, Nirvana, Oasis (US Debut), Pavement, R.E.M., Reverend Horton Heat, Romeo Void, RUN D.M.C, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Sugarcubes, The Buzzcocks, Pixies, Urge Overkill

Similar events[edit]

The New Music Seminar, since its inception has since spawned almost every important music conference worldwide, including SXSW, Winter Music Conference, In the City, CMJ and Canadian Music Week.


  1. ^ Silverman, Tom. "Tom Silverman on the Music Business Resurrection". 
  2. ^ Kickmag New Music Seminar PR 2010
  3. ^ NMS Returns 2009 Billboard
  4. ^ NMS Comes to Chicago 2009
  5. ^ "Haoui Montaug; Disco Doorman, 39". The New York Times. p. 25. 
  6. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (30 May 1992). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 13–. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 

External links[edit]