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MusicTank and University of Westminster launch “Future Thinking” project to nurture music business talent

23 January 2015

University of Westminster’s pre-eminent music industry think tank and business information hub, MusicTank, is launching a new initiative, Future Thinking, to profile outstanding postgraduate music business talent, drawn from the University of Westminster’s world-leading MA Music Business Management (MBM) course.

Future Thinking aims to foster knowledge transfer within a rapidly transforming business sector. It allows the University of Westminster’s postgraduate students to submit their postgraduate theses, the best of which will be published and freely distributed via the MusicTank website.

The project acknowledges the exceptional foresight and critical thinking of next-generation music business thought leaders, who are awarded a MusicTank Business & Innovation Award annually. A series of high-level music industry seminars, part of MusicTank’s ongoing think tank series of cutting-edge debates, will also be supporting the project.

A launch event, titled Moneyballing Music: Big Data, Consumers and A&R, will take place on Tuesday 10 March 2015 at the University of Westminster’s Regent campus. Renowned figures from the music industry will attend the event, including Jack Fryer, Head of Consumer Insight at Universal Music UK and Jeremy Silver, former Executive Chairman of Semetric. Keith Harris, Chair of MusicTank and prominent artist manager who has worked with Elton John, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Supremes and Stevie Wonder, will also be in attendance. Tickets for the event are available to purchase on the MusicTank website.

The event will focus on the first thesis submitted to the ‘Future Thinking’ platform entitled Moneyballing Music: Using Big Data To Give Consumers What They Really Want And Enhance A&R Practices At Major Record Labels by Prithwijit Mukerji, MA Music Business Management postgraduate and Universal Music UK Marketing Assistant. The paper provides an empirical study of the use of social media big data to better anticipate consumers’ tastes and better inform A&R processes and decision-making.

In his paper, Prithwijit Mukerji takes forward lessons learned from the US sports industry – the term denotes the use of smart data to improve performance – innovatively applying this theory to the music industry. The paper not only addresses how the recorded music sector is currently collecting and using data to support a historically subjective and high-risk process of signing and developing new artists, but also considers how such data can be used to help minimise investment risk through deeper understanding of consumer demand and behaviour. Downloaded the paper for free.

Sally Gross, MA MBM Course Director, University of Westminster, said: “Future Thinking builds on and enhances University of Westminster’s reputation for leading-edge music business education, profiling exceptional fresh thinking before a rapidly evolving music industry still grappling with key challenges. This will positively impact students’ employability and further smooth their transition into the upper echelons of a dynamic and constantly evolving industry.”

Keith Harris, Chair of MusicTank, University of Westminster, said, “It is essential to continually bring new thinking to bear on some of the industry’s challenges which arise from the new business environment. Informed opinion not jaundiced by some of the industry’s past battles can often lead to previously unexplored solutions.”

For further information please contact:

Sarah Evans-Toyne, Chiara Barreca or Arran Fano
Broadgate Mainland
T: +44(0) 20 7726 6111
E: westminster@broadgatemainland.com

Jenny Tyler
MusicTank
T: 020 8357 7317
 E: jenny.tyler@musictank.co.uk

Notes to editors

Event details

Information and booking

Moneyballing Music: Big Data, Consumers And A&R
Tuesday 10 March 2015, 6.30–9pm
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

Cost: Earlybird rates currently apply from £25 (students £15)
Speakers: Prithwijit Mukerji (marketing assistant Universal Music UK); Jack Fryer (Head of Consumer Insight, Universal Music UK); Jeremy Silver (Digital Media Advisor & former Executive Chairman, Semetric (Musicmetric); Keith Harris (Chair, MusicTank/ PPL Director of Performer Affairs & Keith Harris Music Ltd (Stevie Wonder); others tba

Publication details

Moneyballing Music: Using Big Data To Give Consumers What They Really Want And Enhance A&R Practices At Major Record Labels
Prithwijit Mukerji - MA MBM postgraduate and Marketing Assistant, Universal Music UK.
First published in London, January 2015 by MusicTank Publishing and freely available as a pdf download from musicta | ISBN: 978-1-909750-06-7

Upcoming publication

The next Future Thinking publication, Copy Right Exemption, proposes a bold evolution in the concept of private copying exemption that effectively balances the need for rightsholder compensation with a harmonious, equitable and transparent process that accurately and appropriately charges those who enable copying – the device and hardware manufacturers who profit from the copying of music.

About MusicTank

Established in 2003 MusicTank is a unique, neutral information hub for UK music business addressing change and innovation through informed debate, objective analysis and industry engagement. Owned and operated by University of Westminster, its content-rich website – contains a wealth of industry information and resources, together with event transcripts and podcasts, news, reports and research papers. Visitors to the site can sign up to a free monthly email newsletter, and for a small annual subscription, become members giving access to premium content. MusicTank was shortlisted for a THE Leadership & Management Award (Knowledge Exchange), 2012.

About MA Music Business Management

University of Westminster’s MA Music Business Management is unique, being the first and longest running of its kind in the UK. As such, it is regarded by the music industry as a gold standard in music business education, preparing and delivering consistently high-level, next-generation music industry leaders and entrepreneurs.


About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.


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