Music Business Association
The Music Business Association (Music Biz), formerly known as the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), is a not-for-profit trade association based in Marlton, New Jersey that seeks to promote overall growth in all areas of the global music business by hosting annual events, offering educational materials, and fostering engagement opportunities for its members. Music Biz’s membership includes major & independent record labels, music retailers, distributors, streaming services, creatives, lawyers, and others involved in the sale of music and related merchandise. Representing over 90 percent of the industry at large, Music Biz provides opportunities for collaboration between professionals from all industry subsets to invest in the future of the entire music business while also addressing each business segment’s individual needs.
Music Biz members have access to a slate of premium member benefits which are grouped under the Association’s three pillars: events, education, and engagement.
Music Biz hosts a slate of annual events and webinars that help to inform its members on the latest developments across the music business and promote conversations that will shape the industry’s future. The Association's in-person event slate includes the Music Biz Annual Conference, the Association’s flagship event; the NY:LON Global Music Business Summit, in association with Music Ally, which alternates between New York City and London every year; and its Entertainment & Technology Law Conference, held twice a year both during the Annual Music Biz Conference and in a separate forum in New York.
Music Biz offers educational resources to help industry professionals at all levels make informed business decisions. These resources include virtual webinar events, curated daily news and industry analysis feeds, and trend reports provided by the Association’s network of research partners.
The Association also supports future industry professionals through its Academic Partnership program. When a college or university becomes an academic partner, all students and teachers in music business, technology, or entertainment law programs gain access to all of Music Biz’s member benefits.
Students at Academic Partner institutions, as well as the family members of member company employees, are also eligible to apply for financial aid via Music Biz’s Scholarship Foundation. Since its founding in 1966, the Foundation has raised over $9 million to support the costs of higher education for the industry’s future leaders.
Music Biz facilitate and encourage interaction between all of its members, so they may develop partnerships that will promote growth across the entire music business. This manifests in a searchable directory to facilitate contact between members, a job center for members to post open opportunities with their company or search for a new position, a discounts webpage offering members offers on partner-hosted events and services, and a slate of opportunities for members to promote their products and services.
Established in 1958 as the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), the Association changed its name to the Music Business Association in October 2013 while also folding in digitalmusic.org, its home for online music initiatives. According to James Donio, the Association's president at the time of the rebrand, the change was made because "more segments of the business than ever before now play an active role in the commerce side of the business, so the name ‘National Association of Recording Merchandisers’ no longer reflected everyone who can participate in the organization... for the first time in the organization’s history, the ‘M’ stands for music.”
Music Biz is guided by its Board of Directors, composed of top executives from companies spanning the entire music business to ensure the needs of all industry subsets are met.
As of March 2020, Music Biz’s Board of Directors includes:
Executive Committee members
Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood, UnitedMasters — Chair
Rosa Asciolla, Spotify — Vice Chair
Steve Savoca, Apple Music — Secretary
Stephen Judge, Schoolkids Records — Treasurer
Perry Bashkoff, Instagram
Bob Bruderman, Kobalt Music Group
Cameo Carlson, mtheory Nashville
Carrie Colliton, Record Store Day
Steve Corbin, Warner Music Group
Glenn Dicker, Redeye Worldwide
Jennifer Fowler, Sony Music Entertainment
Symon Hallam, YouTube Music
Bruce Ogilvie, Alliance Entertainment/Super D
Louis Posen, Hopeless Records
Ryan Redington, Amazon
Mike Rittberg, Big Machine Label Group
Sean Stevenson, Entertainment One Music
Jeff Stoltz, Universal Music Group
Annual Music Biz Conference
Music Biz’s marquee event is its Annual Music Biz Conference, which has taken place in Nashville, Tennessee since 2015. The event features a robust educational program addressing the highest profile issues affecting the music business, and serves as a forum for private business meetings and networking opportunities. The conference also celebrates creative, executive and philanthropic achievement from the past year during its annual Music Biz Awards ceremony, which expanded with the introduction of the Music Business Hall of Fame in 2018. The Hall of Fame honors past industry executives, landmarks, record labels, and media outlets who have made major impacts on the music business that have shaped the industry into what it is today.
Music Biz 2019 was the Association’s largest event in 17 years, with over 2,300 industry professionals and music business students in attendance. The event, held for the first time at the JW Marriott Nashville, featured a four-day schedule with over 300 industry experts discussing the most pressing issues facing the industry across more than 150 panels.
In March 2019, Music Biz announced that their Annual Conference would remain at the JW Marriott through 2021, extending their commitment to Nashville as the budding central hub of the global music business. The move also addresses the need for additional space since, as the conference continues on a trajectory of year-over-year growth which began in 2015.
At the 2019 event, following a Country Music Association presentation at the conference that showcased three female artists – Kassi Ashton, Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery – Music Biz chairman Stephen Harkins of Ingram Entertainment began a presentation acknowledging their talent and suggesting a desire to “smell their hair,” a reference to former USA VP now infamous habit. Harkins soon after resigned as Chairmen of the association on May 8 due to his inappropriate comment.
- "About". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Member Community". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Mission". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Events". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Education". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Academic Partners". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Scholarship Foundation". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Engagement". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "NARM and digitalmusic.org Become The Music Business Association". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Board of Directors". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Music Biz 2015 To Be Held in Nashville May 12-14". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Music Biz 2019 - More Than Just A Conference". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Music Biz Awards & Hall of Fame". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Music Business Hall of Fame". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Music Biz 2019 Highlights: Hayley Quizzed Zane, Def Jam's New Chapter & The Orchard's Rise". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Music Biz 2019 CMA Breakfast and Music Biz Presentations: Scripted Remarks from Music Biz President James Donio". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Annual Music Biz Conference Makes Nashville its Home Through 2021". Music Business Association. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- "Music Biz Association Chairmen Resigns Abruptly Following Annual Conference". 14 May 2019.