NYU Steinhardt Hosts Sound Development, Bringing Together New York City’s Music Industry

“There’s so much that happens here that couldn’t happen anywhere else,” said Steinhardt’s Judy Tint, describing New York City’s thriving music scene to a room of policymakers, musicians, and industry professionals on Thursday at Sound Development: NYC.

Hosted at NYU Steinhardt and staged as part of the inaugural New York Music Month, the full-day conference created by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, NY is Music, and Sound Diplomacy explored the intersection of music, tech, entertainment and real estate.

Larry Miller, director of the music business program, welcomed attendees to Sound Development: NYC.

This spring, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment released a report that found that New York City is the largest music ecosystem in the world, with a total economic output of $21 billion, including $5 billion in wages and 60,000 jobs. New York is also the emerging music tech capital, with more music tech firms than San Francisco and Los Angeles  combined, said Shira Gans, senior director of policy and programs at the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

However, the industry has faced challenges in New York, particularly due to expensive real estate, which has forced 20 percent of the city’s small music venues to close in the past 15 years.

But the future of music in New York City is bright, said Larry Miller, director of the music business program at NYU Steinhardt. While many venues have closed, new ones have opened. Spotify is relocating to New York City, and the GRAMMY Awards are returning after a 15-year absence.

Miller led a conversation among music venue leaders on the live music experience in New York City, discussing what has made certain venues successful and what challenges they face, including the secondary ticket market and security after the terrorist attack in Manchester.

Judy Tint (left) led a discussion with music industry professionals.

Tint, a visiting assistant professor of music business, also moderated a panel on how creativity thrives against the odds in New York. The panelists, including Riggs Morales of Atlantic Records and Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, noted that the city’s culture of walking, rather than driving, physically brings people together in a way that is unique to New York.

“It’s a big city, but in the music industry, it’s a small town,” Tint said.

Photos: Ben Ouriel