Panel Discussion: “How has technology transformed the music industry?”
Moderated by: Ron Tite
Jay Frank, Owner and CEO of DigSin
Jay Frank is the Owner and CEO of DigSin, a new singles-focused music company that allows subscribing fans to obtain music for free. DigSin signs new artists to deals that leverage new platforms, social networks and analytics that expose music to a wider audience, building popularity outside of traditional methods.
Frank is also the author of two books. His first book, Futurehit.DNA, is a #1 Songwriting book on Amazon and part of the college curriculum at a number of colleges and universities. The book explores how digital technology has changed the way people discover music and examines what an artist needs to make their song more hitworthy in the digital age. Frank’s second book, Hack Your Hit, is a how-to guide for musicians filled with free and cheap marketing tips.
Prior to forming DigSin, Frank was the Senior Vice President of Music Strategy for CMT, an MTV Network. Under Frank’s leadership, music video ratings reached all-time highs thanks to an aggressive multi-platform promotional strategy. Frank was also Vice President of Music Programming and Label Relations for Yahoo! Music, responsible for all the company’s music programming. He was instrumental in the exponential growth of Yahoo’s audience bringing in approximately 25 million people a month. He was also senior music director at The Box Music Network, worked in marketing and A&R for Ignition Records, managed a live music venue, programmed broadcast radio stations and created two local music video shows.
Andy Wiedlin, Chief Revenue Officer at Buzzfeed
Andy Wiedlin is a respected Internet veteran and responsible for leading BuzzFeed’s revenue growth strategy and audience outreach. Prior to joining BuzzFeed, he was the SVP of Sales at Huffington Post where he pioneered the idea of social news, built a successful sales team, developed a market strategy and defined social marketing products. Andy got his start in the social space in 2008 at MySpace as Vice President of Sales. From 2003 to 2008, Andy worked at Yahoo as Vice President of the Northwest Region. Previously he served as Executive Director at iVillage and Vice President of Sales at WeddingChannel.com. Before diving into online in 1999, Andy spent five years with AT&T International/Bell Labs. He spent 10 years working abroad, primarily in Japan and Australia. Andy has a Master’s Degree in Pacific International Affairs (with a focus on Marketing and Japanese Language) from the University of California, San Diego.
Aron Levitz, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances at Xtreme Labs
As Senior Director of Strategic Alliances for Xtreme Labs, Aron Levitz is the resident expert in the media space. For over 10 years, Aron has been navigating the head-on collision of mobile and online interaction with digital content for some of the most important companies in the entertainment industry. This included working with the likes of Universal Music, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Group, and global publishing companies such as CSI, Socan and PRS to launch multiple digital music stores and subscription music services in over 15 countries. He has also worked with top music services like Slacker, Pandora, Spotify, Rdio and 7Digital.
Before joining Xtreme Labs, Aron played a vital role as Director of Entertainment and Global Content Acquisition at BlackBerry (formerly RIM), focusing on relationships in the music, movie, TV and sports worlds. Aron has had a hand in creating second-screen experiences for the Olympics, MMVAs, ESPN, NBA, and CFL. Aron has also worked at Livehive Systems, Kobo Inc., and Angstrom Power working on the cutting edge of mobile hardware.