ON:07 - The Challenge of the New Reality

Article by RJ Thomson | 17 Nov 2007
  • The Skinny - ON:07

The last decade has been marked by a state of relentless change which has had an impact on all aspects of the global music industry. Digital technologies, and the challenges and opportunities which they bring, necessitate a fundamental re-assessment of how music-related businesses connect creator to consumer. The value of music has been dramatically undermined by a failure to monetize the actual behaviour of music consumers. If this failure is not addressed it will result in a scenario where artists can no longer make a living from creating and performing music. The implications are very serious, not just for the maintenance of the bargain that is copyright, but also for cultural diversity and the joy that music brings to people all around the world.

As a magazine committed to exploring cultural developments as they happen, THE SKINNY has organised a conference with a host of the top thinkers in the field. They will be asking:

-Is the music industry doomed? What can be done to save it?
-Is music itself going to be affected, and for the better or worse?
-How does the way we consume things affect our understanding of them?

The world-class panel consists of:

PETER JENNER – keynote address
Chairman, International Music Managers’ Forum

Tovey Chair of Music, University of Edinburgh; chair of judges, Mercury Music Prize

Director of Research, MCPS-PRS Alliance

Director of Strategy and Communications, Bebo

The audience will be a host of influential figures, from members of the Scottish music industry, academics, musicians, and senior cultural policy makers.

Reid Hall, Edinburgh University, 4pm, Mon 10 Dec

2 - 2 1/2 hrs, including interval.

Everyone with an interest is warmly invited to come along to this fun and influential event. Places will fill fast: please RSVP to skinny@skinnymag.co.uk - saying a bit about why want to come or why you should be there (if your job title doesn’t make it immediately obvious) – or call 0131 467 4630 to book a place.



Sincere Management & Chairman, IMMF

After gaining a First Class Honours Degree in Economics at Cambridge University, Peter Jenner became a Lecturer at the London School of Economics at the tender age of twenty-one.

His career in academia lasted for four years after which he left to devote his attention to managing an up-and-coming modern music group that had caught his attention. The band's name was The Pink Floyd.

After their time with the Floyd was over, Peter and his business partner Andrew King then put on a series of free concerts in London's Hyde Park which culminated with The Rolling Stones in 1969.

Now, after more than forty years in the music business, the list of clients he has worked with reads like a Who's Who of musical successes. He has managed T Rex (fronted by Marc Bolan), Ian Dury, Roy Harper, The Clash, Robyn Hitchcock, Eddi Reader, Baaba Maal and others.

Peter continues to manage the career of Billy Bragg and in 2006 was the co-author of the well received Music Tank report Beyond the Soundbytes. He is also Chairman of the IMMF, a director of the UK MMF (Music Managers' Forum), and has many other projects on the go.


Tovey Chair of Music, University of Edinburgh; chair of judges, Mercury Music Prize

Simon Frith read PPE at Oxford and did a doctorate in Sociology at UC Berkeley, going on to establish himself as a leading music critic in the 1970s.

He has taught at Warwick, Strathclyde and Stirling universities, and was Professor of Film and Media at the latter. Since 2006 he has occupied the Tovey Chair of Music at Edinburgh University.

He is the author of many books, including The Sociology of Rock, in which he examines the consumption, production, and ideology of rock music. He has examined all areas of rock’s cultural impact, often arguing that rock music is best understood as a mass cultural form which best understood primarily as a mass medium.

He has chaired the judges of the Mercury Music Prize since it began in 1992.


We’re also very pleased to be welcoming Evan Cohen, Director of Strategy and Operations for Bebo.

Bebo is one of the leading social networking portals, and has recently been hitting headlines for its innovative user-generated content. Evan will be presenting a showcase of Bebo’s KateModern showreel, as an introduction to a talk about the changing nature of how people are consuming music and entertainment content online. He’ll also be discussing what Bebo’s new Open Media music platform will mean for owners and consumers, and how it fits into the future of the music industry.