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Up Close: Music Biz

Advancing and Promoting Music Commerce Since 1958: Founded in 1958 and called the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) until 2013, the Music Business Association (Music Biz) is a non-profit membership organization that advances and promotes music commerce—a community committed to the full spectrum of monetization models in the industry. The organization provides common ground by offering thought leadership, resources and unparalleled networking opportunities, all geared to the specific needs of its diverse member- ship. It is dedicated to putting its collective experience to work across the entire range of delivery models: digital, mobile, physical and more, from content to consumption. Over the years, the membership has evolved with the industry, from specialty stores, to mass merchants, now adding mobile and streaming subscription services. And with music commerce becoming a part of every aspect of the business, it means the addition of managers, publishers and artists becoming an active part of the membership served by Music Biz.

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Impactful History of Annual Music Biz Convention: Historically, the annual NARM Convention provided a powerful platform for emerging superstars and music formats to be introduced to the industry. These include Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, NSYNC and Josh Groban, among others. In 1982, the Association marked the launch of the CD format in dramatic fashion. A full orchestra was seated and playing on-stage, then row by row the musicians got up while the music continued playing. The big reveal was that the audience was actually listening to a CD the entire time, demonstrating the new medium’s high sonic quality.

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Music Biz 2016: When Music Biz moved its annual confab to Nashville in 2015, the event saw a 40% increase in attendance. The convention is a forum for meetings between content makers, labels and commerce partners, showcasing artists to physical and digital stores and streaming services. One of 2016’s new programs is focused on female music industry executives talking about achieving success in a male-dominated business. The convention will also showcase Music Biz’s Academic Partnership Program, inviting students from 20 colleges and universities who have prominent music business programs.

For more information, visit musicbiz.org.