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Music Specialist Speaks

The Miami Music Festival starts officially on November 12, 2010. 

This year the Urban Network, lead by visionary Miller London has become the defining complement to a festival with WORLDWIDE implications. I am excited about this event, because there will be over 450 different performing acts creating new and original gospel, latin, rock, r&b, jazz, acoustical, Caribbean, hip hop, and more. 

Some of the leading executives in contemporary Urban music today have committed to participate and most will share insight and knowledge within the conference & master classes. Most central to me will be the ability to sit, talk and network with like minded individuals that can discuss future possibilities.

Miller London

Miller London has crafted the greatest contemporary Urban music convene of this year.


Allen Johnston
The Music Specialist

        I WARNED YOU
2010 Music Fest
The largest, most productive Urban event of the year is happening and you should be there.  Don't tell me later that you could have gone.

Miami Music Festival logo

Conference Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Chris Flame (Hip Hop Producer)

Keynote Speaker: Steve Robertson (Vice President of A&R, Atlantic Records)

Keynote Speaker: Isaac Green (A&R, Columbia Records)

Keynote Speaker: Nick Haussling (A&R, Warner Bros. Records)

Keynote Speaker: "Big Sam" Savvy (GM and A&R Director, Mizay Entertainment)

Joe Alonso (Events Manager, Killer Music Group)

Susan Amat (Founding Executive Director, Launch Pad, University of Miami)

Debra Antney (CEO, Mizay Entertainment)

Timothy Turner Anwar (Founder & CEO, One Dream Entertainment and TalentVisionLive)

Julio Bague (East Coast Creative Director, peermusic)

Derrick Baker (Program Director, 99 Jamz)

Darryl Ballantyne (CEO, LyricFind, Inc.)

Reggie Barriero (Artist Brand Expert, Founder of The Artist Brand)

Tere Batista (Artist Manager, The SPARK Artist Management, LLC, and Entertainment Business Consultant, Tere Batista, P.L.)

David Bercuson, Esq. (David Bercuson, P.A.)

Kevin Black (CEO, U Can Fly Holdings and President, World Star Hip

Lauren Bourgoyne (Production and Marketing Coordinator, Miami Downtown Development Authority)

Gabrielle Bozza (Director of Business Management and Legal Services, The Hub)

BJ Bueno (Author and Branding Expert, The Cult Branding Company)

Bryan Calhoun (VP of New Media and External Affairs, SoundExchange)

Luther "Uncle Luke" Campbell (Hip Hop Icon)

Jacob Cap (Executive Music Group)

Stephen M. Carlisle, Esq. (Stephen M. Carlisle, P.L)

Barry Oliver Chase (The Law Office of Barry Oliver Chase, P.A.)

Leila Cobo (Executive Editor for Latin Content and Programming, Billboard)

Don Cody (CEO, Moses Media, Inc.)

Ted Cohen (Managing Partner, TAG Strategic)

Creepa (winner of MTV's "From G's to Gents")

Don "Thrill Collins" Di Napoli (Co-CEO/Founder of iStandard, Inc.)

Pat DiNizio (Singer, The Smithereens)

DJ Artistic (Jelly radio - internet)

DJ Jayforce (On-Air Personality, WRFG, Atlanta)

DJ Terrah (Mixshow Director, On Air Personality, and Music Director, WTMG Magic 101.3)

Jose Elias (Executive & Artistic Director, Community Arts and Culture)

Michael Feldman (Head Audio/Video Technician, Arsht Center Knight Concert Hall)

John Ferguson (President, Fase 1 Entertainment)

Daniel Foganholi (Lead singer, City of God)

David Frangioni (Engineer, Technologist, President of Audio One & Pro Media Training)

Hillel "Frankie" Frankel (President/CEO, NoVo Artist and Label Representation)

Marshall Freeman (Artist Manager, JamRock Entertainment Group, Inc.)

Eric Galen (Founder & CEO,

Sean Gonsalves-Barriero (Brand Management Architect, MY CMBA)

Lenny Gonzalez (Award winning Director of Photography, Rhino Studios)

India Graves (VP Radio Promotion, Mizay Entertainment)

Kyle A. Green, Sr. (CEO, QS4 Entertainment & Studios)

Warren "Flaw" Griffin, Jr. (Chairman and CEO, Chart Vision, Inc.)

Jason "J Hatch" Hadshian (Co-CEO/Founder of iStandard, Inc.)

Nicole Henry (Acclaimed Jazz singer)

David Isaac (Producer, Mix Engineer, CEO of

Marc Jacobson, Esq. (Marc Jacobson, P.C)

Laurie Jakobsen (President, Jaybird Communications)

Allen Johnston (The Music Specialist, consultant)

Jim Jonsin (Grammy Award-Winning Hip-Hop Writer and Producer, and Entrepreneur)

Monica Jordan (A&R Manager, Sony/ATV Music Publishing)

Michael Katz, Esq. (Katz & Associates PL)

Jay King (Industry veteran, musician and producer)

Jason Klein (Dance Music Producer, Remixer, aka Monster Taxi)

Jill Kratish (Director of Programming, Broward Center for the Performing Arts)

Ross LaBrie (Head Audio Engineer, Arsht Center Studio Theater)

Corky Laing (Drummer and Songwriter, Mountain, Cork)

Rhoda Lawrence (Vice President of Universal Music Christian Group, Los Angeles, CA)

Rico Love (Songwriter -- Usher, Omarion, Marques Houston, B5)

Darcel Madkins (President &CEO, Umoja African Arts Company)

Romina Andrea Magorno (Senior Account Executive at Nevarez Communications)

Abesi Manyano (Owner, Abesi Public Relations)

Pete Masitti (Songwriter, producer, and owner of West End Recording Studios)

Vic McLean (President, Virtuous Music)

Tony Michaelides (industry veteran and author of Insights From The Engine Room)

Arthur Mitchell (VP, Business Development, Urban Network)

Vadim Molochnikov (VP Business Development, Custom

Andre' Montell (CEO, Amir Gospel)

MonteRosa (Latin Alternative Recording Artist)

Kevin Moyd (Promotions Coordinator/Account Marketing Executive, WMBM)

Sean Pajot (Music Editor, Miami New Times)

Chris Palmer (Managing Partner, Take 6, and Director of UM's Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment Program)

Anthony "Big AMP" Parker (Earthquake Entertainment)

Ivan J. Parron, Esq. (Parron Law: Attorneys and Counselors)

John "JP" Patillo (Vice President, Fase 1 Entertainment)

Jean S. Perwin (Law offices of Jean S. Perwin)

Eddie Phoon (Event Director, USA Songwriting Competition)

Lou Plaia (Co-founder, ReverbNation)

Mark Poiesz (Drummer, Ghost of Gloria)

Maestro Powell (Promotions Director, Sunday Gospel Show host, Mixshow Director, WEDR-FM, Miami)

Elric "E-Class" Prince (Founder and CEO of Poe Boy Music Group)

Jeff Rabhan (Artist Manager, and Chair of the NYU Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music)

John Redmond (President and Owner of Publish This, Inc)

Lolo Reskin (Owner, Sweat Records)

Douglass E. Robertson (Chief Executive Officer, SpunLive, Inc.)

Robert "Leo" Rodgers (Sr. VP & Label Liaison, Bungalo Records)

Frank Rodriguez (Grammy-nominated Engineer, Head engineer at Vanquish Studios, Instructor at SAE)

Roxy Romeo (On Air Personality, Y100 Miami and Z100 Ft. Myers)

Mark Roofe (Mark Roofe (Producer, Engineer, and President of M5 Music Group))

Steve Russell (Singer, Songwriter, Producer and Vocal Arranger)

James Sammataro, Esq. (Shareholder, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, LLP)

Andres Sanchez (Engineer, Instructor and Supervisor at SAE)

Rey Sanchez (Former Musical Director for Chayanne and Program Director of UM's Music Business & Entertainment Industry Program)

Seth Schachner (Founder, Managing Director, Strat Americas LLC, and former Vice President, Digital Business - Latin Region, Sony Music Entertainment Inc)

Allison Shaw (President/Owner Manic Monkee Management)

Roberto Somoza (Managing Member, worldclique CR)

Larry Steele (Host & CEO of Gospel Hallelujah World Wide Radio Network/Station Manager of WPUL 1590 Daytona Beach, FL)

Damon Stewart (President of Urban Music for IGA Talent Management & Consulting Inc.))

Marc Stollman, Esq. (SVP, Legal and Business Affairs, S2BN Entertainment Corporation / Stollman Law P.A.)

Monika Tashman, Esq. (Partner, Hiscock & Barclay, LLP)

TC Thompkins (CEO at Thompkins Marketing & Media Group)

Felipe Tichauer (Recording, Mixing, and Mastering Engineer, Red Traxx Mastering)

Judy Tint (Attorney, Consultant, and Adjunct Professor at NYU)

Pete Wallace (Songwriter and producer)

Pete Warner (Business Affairs, Rainysongs Entertainment - DMGUSA/Urban Network-East -Internet Technology Director)

Erma "Aunt-Tee" Weaver (Aunt-Tee Promotions)

Tandy Weems (Chief Business Offices, XUMANII)

Harold Whaley (V.P. American Basketball Association "ABA" / PD KURN Urban Network radio)

Billy Wiz (CEO, We In The Zone Entertainment, LLC)

Richard C. Wolfe, Esq. (Attorney, Ehrenstein Charbonneau Calderin)

Lin Woods (Gospel Editor, Urban Network)

Brandon Young (Manager, Ghost of Gloria)
  More Than an Actor

Lance Reddick has built himself quite an auspicious career as an actor: he starred in The Wire as Cedric Daniels, in Oz as Detective Johnny Basil, in the fourth and fifth seasons of Lost, and now in the hit drama Fringe. What you may not know about Lance is he's also quite a singer with some great chops. In fact, Reddick always wanted to be a singer and started acting on the side to help make a living. Now, he returns to his lifelong passion with his new album, Contemplations & Remembrances, which showcases his vocal jazz stylings on a number of fantastic tunes.


Listen to Lance Reddick Here

MusicDish China logo
Launched at MIDEM 2010 in Cannes, France, MusicDish*China is the latest online brand from MusicDish LLC, a digital music company, focused on the transforming music market in China. Leveraging its various online properties and growing network of Asian partners, MusicDish*China capitalizes on the growing interest in the Chinese market to educate and influence music executives and professionals worldwide.

Since 1997, MusicDish LLC has served as the bridge between the music industry and the artist. Through its extensive online presence, MusicDish provides artists with an edge over the ever-prevalent competition the music industry entails. MusicDish gives the artist the opportunity to take advantage of several different services: a creative approach to artist development and representation; online press release distribution & marketing; publications disclosing all the latest information involving the music industry; and even a indie music video channel.

MusicDish uses a personal and approachable staff, highly informative content delivery, and creative marketing strategies to give the artist the best way to approach & advance in the seemingly inaccessible - and ever changing - music industry.

Eric de Fontenay
(718) 278-0662
ecfont [at]

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   Midem 2011
A winning combination for your music is the MUSIC SPECIALIST at MIDEM.  Our companies continuing successful international agreements have brought recognition and revenue to our clients.  2011 should be the year that your project is presented to the International music communities and businesses.  We maintain positive multi national relations for:




We provide business operations back office services in the areas of publishing administration, licensing, royalty recovery, business affairs, label operation, business administration and the digital marketplace.



iPhone Face
Mobile Phone Growth Worlwide

ABI Research estimates that at the end of the second quarter of 2010, more than five billion mobile subscriptions were active worldwide. Emerging markets such as India, Indonesia and China have continued to add mobile connections at a rapid clip, and show no signs of slowing down.

Africa led the charge, registering 4% growth in subscribers between 1Q and 2Q 2010. "Africa's low mobile penetration and usage are now attracting multinational mobile operators such as Bharti and Vodafone to the world's last remaining growth market," comments ABI Research vice president of forecasting, Jake Saunders. "This new competition will lead to lower monthly tariffs and will allow more people on the continent to access a mobile phone."


Downtown Mystic cover
"Down Town Mystic creates real and important soul music. This music is not to be missed and should be a 'must listen' for anyone who loves roots and soul music."
Chris Keaton, Keaton Music Ventures

"Downtown Mystic's "Standing Still" album effectively tapped into the strain of the Americana radio audience that resonates and identifies with roots rock & roll.  With echos of The Buffalo Springfield, The Stones, Creedence and the Band, the songs on Standing Still sparked the kind of reaction that any radio programmer looks for and the Americana stations reflected that."

Oliver Richman
Oliver Richman

The Ten Year Old Triple Threat Prodigy's Latest Song Was Penned By His Grandfather, Legendary Motown Songwriter Ron Miller, Who Wrote the Holiday Classic "Someday at Christmas"-Which Justin Bieber Sang At The White House For President Obama And First Lady Michelle Obama

The holidayseason is fast approaching-and Oliver Richman's already got his gift for us picked out: a new holiday themed video of "One Little Christmas Tree," which will debut on YouTube and his website ( November 15.

Earlier this fall, the 10-year-old triple threat prodigy created major industry buzz with "Defying Gravity," a beautifully produced video of Richman singing the showstopper from the hit musical "Wicked." The YouTube clip has now been viewed over 18,700 times.

Originally recorded by Stevie Wonder, "One Little Christmas Tree" was penned by the singer's late grandfather, legendary Motown songwriter Ron Miller.

Oliver has been entertaining audiences for several years with his powerful voice, energetic stage presence and diverse dancing and acting strengths. The video is designed as a professional introduction to his multitude of talents, just as the early YouTube clips of pop sensation Justin Bieber were instrumental to launching his career.

One of the songs Bieber recorded early on, in fact, was "Someday at Christmas," another classic Stevie Wonder hit written by Ron Miller. The teen star was invited to the White House to sing it for President ObamaFirst Lady Michelle Obama.

While Oliver has the charisma, charm and ambition to become a musical force of nature all on his own, there's no denying the musical creativity in his genes. Ron Miller has penned some of the biggest hit songs in history recorded by legendary recording artists around the world, including "For Once In My Life," "Touch Me In The Morning," and "A Place In the Sun," "Heaven Help Us All," "Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday," "I've Never Been To Me" and "If I Coud," to name a few. In 2007, Ron was awarded (posthumously) the Heroes and Legends Lifetime Achievement Award in Songwriting.           

Oliver's mother, Lisa Dawn Miller, is a successful singer, writer and producer. His stepfather, Sandy Hackett (son of legendary comedian Buddy Hackett) is a well-known comedian, actor, writer and producer. Sandy and Lisa are the producers of "Sandy Hacketts Rat Pack Show," currently running fulltime on the Las Vegas Strip at the Riviera Hotel & Casino and in theaters across the country.

Oliver has made numerous special guest appearances in the show and is currently preparing for his upcoming role as "Young Frank Sinatra."

As always we appreciate you reading THE MUSIC SPECIALIST SPEAKS.  Please feel free to submit questions, articles, information or comments directly to our office.

The Music Specialist
P.O.Box 310540
ATLANTA, Georgia 31131

In This Issue
Miami Music Festival
Lance Reddick
MusicDish China
Mobile Phone Growth
Downtown Mystic
Oliver Richman
Professional Services
Music Conference Memories
black cap frontal

Sometimes I just get full from all of the lies people tell concerning the music industry.  Today is one of those days after hearing for the umpteenth time that music sales had fallen to an all time low.  And that the music industry was failing I decided to do a little research on my own. 

Here is the story on why people are upset and you continue to get misinformation concerning the industry.  Under the old model an Independent record label would have to finance the recording of the music, manufacture album product, manufacture singles, and create posters, flyers and point of purchase advertising.  Then find a distributor that would buy the product for a healthy $8.00, the distributor would then sell the product to the retail store for $12.00 who in turn marks the product up to $16.98.

If you were unlucky enough to get a major deal then the numbers get even smaller.  After the label has recouped the advance to artist, marketing funds, packaging deduction, producer's funds and video advance a "HIT" CD would average $1.40 - $1.70.  Placing that equation into today's digital world you can sell 2 singles online at $.99 and get more money than you could receive on selling a complete CD while on a major label.

What I have found out is very illuminating.

Nielson SoundScan has reported that in the four years of 2006 to 2009, music purchases increased from a record starting point of 1 billion purchases to the new record point of 1.5 billion music purchases.This does not take into consideration the sales or other revenue streams that Nielson SoundScan doesn't track.

So let's take a moment and look at the non tractable revenue streams.

Public performance income

Pay what you want donations

Show income

Ringtone sales

Synchronization license

Subscription based streaming services like Rhapsody & Mog

DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) streams like Pandora. Last.Fm, Jango, Slacker and satellite radio XM, Sirius

Direct Fan selling sites

Bundling or selling music with merchandise like t-shirts or video games.

Fan Club subscriptions

All of these uses, plays, licenses and purchases generate revenue, just like a paid download. When you include these additional revenue streams the numbers go off the graph.  The reality is:

More musicians are making money off their music now then at any point in history. This is occurring around the world and new exciting music is being created daily.

The cost of buying music has gotten lower but the amount of money going into the artist's pocket has increased.  More music more money this is a natural phenomenon.

 There are more people listening, sharing, buying, monetizing, stealing and engaging with music than at any other point in history. The Internet has opened up a brand new "wild wild west" where new and innovative ideas concerning music and music usage are being explored.

There are more new ways for an artist to get heard, achieve a fan base and make a living off their music now than at any point in the history of this planet.

The gate keepers have been eliminated because technology has made it possible for any artist to get distribution, to get discovered, to pursue their dreams with no company or person making the decision that they are not allowed "in the industry".

Once there was a "traditional" system for music to be created and distributed,  now The majority of music is happening outside of the "traditional" system

The conclusion that is not realized is that more and more artists are selling singles to the population that wants them, while CD and album sales and downloads are decreasing.  Why pay $16.98 for an entire CD when the single you want is only $.99, simple arithmetic.

Even vinyl is making a comeback for independent artists and labels.  Big labels still aren't buying the vinyl comeback, but it wouldn't be the first time the industry failed to identify a new trend in the music biz.

On Oct. 17, launched a vinyl-only section stocked with a growing collection of titles and several models of record players.

"Our numbers, at least, don't really point to resurgence," said Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America's director of communications. Likewise, Nielsen SoundScan, which registered a slight increase in vinyl sales last year, nonetheless showed a 43 percent decrease between 2000 and 2006.

But when it comes to vinyl, these organizations don't really know what they're talking about. The RIAA's numbers are misleading because its member labels are only now beginning to react to the growing demand for vinyl. As for SoundScan, its numbers don't include many of the small indie and dance shops where records are sold. More importantly, neither organization tracks used records sold at stores or on eBay -- arguably the central clearinghouse for vinyl worldwide.

Vinyl's popularity has been underreported before.

"The Consumer Electronics Association said that only 100,000 turntables were sold in 2004. Numark alone sold more than that to pro DJs that year," said Chris Roman, product manager for Numark.

The realization of this is spellbinding, the truth is mesmerizing.

Number one is that music fans are buying more music from a wider spectrum of artists.

Contrary to popular belief, despite the cost going down to purchase music, the net revenue for a self-distributing artist is up as compared to what an artist traditionally earned via a label.

Finally the entire business model of the major labels was built around selling a full-length physical album. Because of this, those artists signed to majors net less money off the sale of the music, while the label makes a killing.

Think about it, what other lies are you being told?

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On October 25, 2010 the NAB announced that its Radio Board is backing a "limited" performance fee that would range between 0.25% and 1% of a station's net revenue, depending on a provision related to the rollout of radio-activated mobile devices. Under the terms approved by the Board, the Copyright Royalty Board will no longer set rates for broadcast or Internet radio, MusicFIRST must acknowledge and recognize "the unparalleled promotional value" of radio, and an AFTRA issue that would allow streaming of commercials must be resolved.

Upon first reading about the proposed terms I immediately thought that NAB was trying to work against the musicians and artists that comprise MusicFIRST.

Their first requirement of disbanding the Copyright Board's ability to set rates is completely not in the interest of MusicFIRST.  This idea is presented for terrestrial radio broadcast AND Internet streaming.  I believe that the entire industry is headed towards reception of Internet streamed material direct to consumer.  Of course the NAB wants to set their own rates and when they can't agree with the artists they want a special "legislatively mandated rate court." to handle the situation. Without a governing body that regulates, sets rates and procedures the NAB would have no one to control them and their money would keep litigation going on for years. 

The second issue of wanting the US government to make FM chips in cellphones mandatory has nothing to do with the rights of MusicFIRST or artists as a hold.  Once you read the terminology you then understand that this will include ALL radio active mobile devices, which mean computers, cell phones, and anything new that may come around.  My question is WHY?  FM technology is OLD antiquated technology that will be totally phased out within a few years.  What is the real reasoning behind the NAB wanting to impose their will upon the entire music industry?   It must have something to do with the idea of Internet streaming and their ability to control the airwaves, (read MONEY). 

Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, which represents the mobile phone makers has said "If NAB keeps pushing this agenda, CEA will "continue to point out the following":

"Radio is a legacy horse and buggy industry trying to put limits on innovative new industries to preserve its former monopoly. The industry's refusal to innovate to the benefit of consumers raises questions about the ongoing wisdom of broadcaster use of publicly owned spectrum that could better be used for broadband services that serve the public interest."


"Many local radio stations are unmanned, particularly at nights and on weekends, rendering the alleged emergency alert benefit of FM tuners in mobile phones unreliable and raising questions about the wisdom of permitting such unattended operation."


"At a time when popular new digital media platforms like satellite radio and online music services are required to pay performance royalties to copyright owners, it is unclear that the royalty exemption for broadcast radio stations can be justified. Indeed, fairness requires that the royalty rate paid by broadcasters should be the same as that assessed to online music streaming services and other new technologies."

The payment rate quoted for musical artists of between .25 percent and 1 percent of net stations revenues is entirely too small for the amount of music played that creates revenue within the stations. 

The NAB broadcasters unilaterally cut their digital royalty rates and lowered their terrestrial royalty payment from the agreed upon amounts in July.  The latest version of the Performance Rights Act recommends a performance royalty schedule in which commercial radio stations making $500,000 to $1,249,999 would pay an annual fee of $5,000; stations making $100,000 to $499,999 would fork over $2,500; and those making less than $100,000 would shell out $500.

Those broadcast licensees making $1.25 million or more would pay a rate to be negotiated between radio stations, copyright holders, and the Copyright Royalty Board. In trying to assess the financial impact the PRA would have on those stations, the Government Accountability Office recently suggested a hypothetical rate of 2.35 percent.

The NAB has balls if nothing else, for they have declared that the entire system currently in place must change solely for their own benefit.  The government must stop doing its job on setting rules and rates, AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) must change its rules on separate payment to talent on streaming commercials, and artists should acknowledge the "promotional value" of radio.

What about the money?

With new technology changing the communications field on almost a daily basis, the idea that one trade industry group can bully the music industry is ludicrous. Congress writes the laws, not trade associations like the NAB and Radio is the only platform in the United States that doesn't pay performers.

Wherever the music is played the artist should be paid.

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