News / 24 February

Music Released: The 2014 Motto

In the wake of digitalisation and global connectivity, music, including other media content, has been freed from its physical medium. Depending on one’s point of view, this liberation could be good or bad. The fact is, this process has changed the music industry and music scene forever. Under the motto MUSIC RELEASED, the WORD! conference of the Berlin Music Week 2014 will address these processes, introduce new players and stakeholders, and shine a light on economic structures, while also presenting a whole new way of looking at the music industry.

Interactive music, tech & startups

What happens when music is set free? It’s not just about new digital players entering the field, sometimes the starters have to get off the pitch or find new positions. To some extent, the rules of the game have changed, or a game changer, like Apple in its time, comes along and completely levels the playing field with a new device and its associated ecosystem.

Recorded and VUT Indie Days

Germany’s largest platform for recorded music, VUT Indie Days, has become a key part of WORD! and primarily attracts professionals from home and abroad. Besides keynote speeches, panels, speed meetings, elevator pitches and synch sessions, the Postbahnhof venue provides a product space with room for lounges and promotional offers, including business receptions and power lunches. After the successful debut of the VIA! VUT Indie Awards last year, the award ceremony will also be held this year to mark the conclusion of Indie Days.

Conditions for producing pop culture

In terms of Music Released, digitalisation has reshaped economic conditions as well as the playing field for stakeholders in the music industry – ranging from artists to music journalists. New players, such as streaming portals, have entered the scene and subsequently restructured processes and revenue streams. On one hand, there are more opportunities to participate in cultural productions, yet, on the other, a few stakeholders are centralising economic processes via their platforms. Making music, distributing it and writing about it used to be, more often than not, motivated by a passion and from within and could only sustain the livelihood of its protagonists for a short time. The digital landscape is constantly shifting depending on grey areas, legality and cooperative agreements. What were once considered unusual forms of financing pop culture, such as crowdfunding and venture capital, are now going mainstream. How can pop culture continue to be produced sustainably? Who belongs to the music industry system now, and how have freedoms, interdependences and collaborations changed? What role does new technology play? This thematic thread will analyse current conditions for producing pop culture from different perspectives.

Diversity

The theme of diversity will be used to collect various perspectives that are rarely the focus of events or the western mainstream music industry, yet are still interesting and relevant for further reflection on the music business and music culture. These issues, including other developments in the music industry in various countries, which have so far been discussed primarily at the edges of the German music industry, will be presented. It will also offer a stage to individuals and groups outside of the mainstream on which to present their ideas and developments.

Issues covered at WORD! will be presented in the following formats at the Postbahnhof:

· Discourse: presentations and discussions
· Further education: workshops
· Product/Idea presentations: booths
· Business meetings: organised meetings, e.g. speed meetings

Find soon more information on our website.

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