Andrew Policastro (UG ’14) Covers Marvin Gaye for YouTube

What do you like about this song that made you want to sing it?

I love soul, funk, and R&B music; they are some of my favorite genres. To me, “Let’s Get It On” blends the best elements of those genres into this killer song. Plus, it’s plain sexy.

Does it have any special meaning to you?

Of course. The whole “Let’s Get It On” album is about love; wanting it, feeling it, making it, and losing it. In Marvin Gaye’s recording, you can feel his deep, sexual desire for this one woman. Being a 20-year old guy, I related to that immediately.

What made you decide to record it and put it out for the public to see?

The main reason is that the song is so fun to sing. But aside from that, I’m planning to use YouTube covers to begin building a small fan base, so that when I finish up my own material, there will (hopefully) be people who want to listen to it.

Do you feel this cover is original?

It’s not really up to me to decide, but I hope that people feel this cover is original. Dan and I worked very hard to make sure we added our own styles to the song. We decided to have a very simple arrangement to act as a backbone to the song, but also decided to leave room for riffing and improvising. We shot about 8 different takes and each one sounded different.

What is your singing background – do you perform often?

I don’t have a formal singing background. I learned how to sing from my friend Teresa who is studying voice at City College. She’s crazy talented. I jokingly asked her to teach me how to sing one night, and she agreed to it. Every time we hung out she would show me something new. Although the way I learned to sing is pretty unconventional, I do have a classical instrumental background. I’ve taken piano from a very young age and studied Oboe under the principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic. I was able to draw upon a lot of the information I’ve learned from being trained as a classical instrumentalist when Teresa was teaching me how to sing – such as breath support, phrasing, etc. In terms of performing, I do a lot of open mics around NYC.

Is it nerve-wracking to put yourself out there on the internet?

Absolutely terrifying. I’m pretty shy when it comes to singing. I’ve only been doing it for about a year now and I don’t have a lot of confidence in my voice yet. I wasn’t really nervous while I was recording it – since it was just Dan and me hanging out in a room – but as I was uploading it to YouTube I realized people would end up seeing it. Then the nerves hit. I started criticizing all the mistakes I made in the video and second-guessing whether or not I should put it up. It took some friends to calm me down, but once I finally uploaded the video I felt relieved and excited. It’s by no means perfect, but I’m proud of how it turned out.

Annual Alumni & Current Student Networking Reception Stirred the Pot

(Graduate Program Director Dr. Catherine Moore in discussion with panelists, from L to R: Kittie Palakovich, Mark Ciampittiello, Adam Parness, Sam Tall. Photo by Chianan Yen courtesy of NYU Steinhardt)

On Friday, February 22nd the NYU Steinhardt Music Business program held its Annual Alumni & Current Student Networking Reception at the Helen & Martin Kimmel Center for University Life. The panel was entitled “Data Privacy and Music Revenue: Can We Afford an Ethical Viewpoint?” and was moderated by Graduate Program Director Dr. Catherine Moore.

This year’s event sought to stir the pot and stray from “safe” topics. For the first time the event centered on a sensitive industry topic – so sensitive that several alumni who were invited to be panelists were not allowed by their companies to speak about it. Another new aspect of this year’s reception was that the undergraduate and graduate programs were both represented as current students sat on the panel alongside alumni. Event coordinator and Music Business professor Shirley Washington expressed that she chose to combine alumni and current students on the panel “as a way to demonstrate an advantage we have as a university, that we can tackle and debate hard things.”

Opening words from Dean Mary Brabeck, Dr. Robert Rowe and various music business faculty gave attendees a look into recent news and accomplishments in the Music Business program. Among them were Undergraduate Program Director Catherine Radbill’s new book, and the publication of this book featuring a chapter on Brazil written by Dr. Sam Howard-Spink. Attendees were then introduced to the panel:

Katherine “Kittie” Palakovich, Esq. (UG ‘03): Director of Business Affairs at Creative License, Inc., the leading independent music licensing and talent procurement agency for brands and advertisers. Prior to Creative License, Kittie held various positions in the music industry including management, radio promotions and business and legal affairs. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Music Business from New York University, Kittie earned her law degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

Adam Parness (UG ‘00): Senior Director of Music Licensing at Rhapsody International, Inc. where he manages the company’s agreements and relationships with record labels, music publishers and other licensing entities for the award-winning Rhapsody music subscription service in the United States and the Napster service throughout Europe. Adam is also an accomplished guitarist both on stage and in the recording studio.

Mark Ciampittiello (G ’14): current Music Business graduate student with a B.A. in Communications and Media Studies from Fordham University. Mark has studied audio at New England Institute of Technology and interning in several departments at Atlantic Records, JAMBOX Studios and Cybersound Studios.

Sam Tall (UG ’14): current Music Business undergraduate student and founder of Under the Window, LLC. Sam has signed and produced four commercially released albums, manages the careers of two actively gigging artists and books shows all over the country. He is also employed full-time by Downtown Music, and is a recipient of the 2011 ASCAP Foundation Joan & Irwin Robinson Scholarship.

(The panelists spoke to a full house. Photo by Chianan Yen courtesy of NYU Steinhardt)

The panelists compared the types of data they use at their companies. For Parness at Rhapsody, the focus is more on location and demographic data than user data. Parness reiterated throughout the discussion that Rhapsody has a strict privacy policy and draws the line at “anything that starts to look like an advertisement.” Graduate student Ciampittiello stressed the importance of Facebook aggregation and APIs, as it creates better market segmentation to can be used by artists to build a fan base off of other artists with similar repertoires. Undergraduate entrepreneur Tall agreed, stating that as a manager, the kind of data he looks for is handed to him on Facebook. Specifically, Tall uses age and location demographics to determine where his artists should tour and to make sure that an artist’s lyrical content is in line with the artist’s audience demographic. Graduate alum Kittie Palakovich added prior purchasing data and callback offers as prevalent data being used in the industry today.

Of course, one could always use more data. The panelists named user income brackets, socioeconomic data and users’ favorite forms of delivery as types of data they don’t currently have that, given the access, they would use to better manage artists. Dr. Moore and the panelists discussed where to draw the line between private data and usage data. Upon debating the topic, the panelists were in agreement that giving users the choice to opt in is the key to avoiding data misuse. Tall offered the opinion that there is a “wave of paranoia” around user data that can only be solved through a joint effort: while companies need to make their privacy statements and terms of use more explicit, clear and understandable, “people need to stop being paranoid.”

(Front Row: Grad faculty member Judy Tint; Dr. Catherine Moore, Palakovich, Grad/Undergrad faculty member Shirley Washington; Back Row: Ciampittiello, Tall, Dr. Rowe, Parness, Dean Brabeck, Undergrad faculty member Larry Miller. Photo by Chianan Yen courtesy of NYU Steinhardt)

The key takeaways from the discussion were the subject of opting in (“as long as users know it’s happening, it’s fine”) and the importance of data as a whole. Parness advised, “If you’re a startup, you should be concerned about it from day one” while Palakovich added, “All data is important.” Following audience questions, the discussion concluded and panelists, alumni and current students networked over dessert.

Posted on | Posted in Alumni, Events |

Senior Spotlight: Christina Lauro

Where are you from?

Really I’m from a lot of places. I was born in Chicago, IL. I moved to Northern California at the age of 3, at 4 I moved to Rhode Island, and at 5 I moved to Westchester County, NY. At 11 I moved back to Northern CA (Silicon Valley) and stayed there until I graduated high school. I also spent my Freshman year in Florence, Italy. So, typically I tell people I’m from CA just because I lived there the longest and the most recently.

What is your background in music?

I’ve been singing since 3rd grade and that’s pretty much how it started. I had some stints in musical theater, I played the piano for about 5 years, but really for me it’s about the singing. Once I hit high school I started taking singing more seriously and began private voice lessons on top of choir. By my junior year I was auditioning for bigger choirs and by my senior year I was a singer in the CA Coastal Region Honor Choir, a soloist in the CA State Honor Choir, and a soloist in the ACDA National Honor Choir under Tim Sharp. Today I sing for a professional volunteer choir, the Canticum Novum Singers (not affiliated with NYU) under the direction of Harold Rosenbaum and I still take private voice lessons.

Why did you decide to come to NYU?

I’ve always wanted to live in New York City, ever since I had moved to New York with my family—we would visit the city every couple of weekends and even at a young age I fell in love. Over in CA, we’re not too familiar with many of the east coast schools but I knew about NYU from my acting friends. I, of course, begged my parents to make a visit and when I saw Washington Square Park and the campus and the surrounding city I knew I wanted to go. It was my first choice school even compared to higher ranking universities so as soon as I was accepted I enrolled.

Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

I’m not one of those people who can grab a bunch of names out of the air and swear that they’re truly my favorite artists. I go through phases with my music and I tend to like everything. I guess the artists that have stuck with me the longest are bands like Kasabian, I like some of Muse’s older stuff, The Beatles (of course), Cream, pretty much anything our parents grew up listening to I ended up listening to, so classic rock as a genre sticks with me and has a lot of good memories associated with it. I’ve started getting into the electronic genres too, and I like Thomas Gold a lot right now, but I’m all over the place with this type of music so I can’t really say I have one favorite artist.

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

Musical guilty pleasures? I’m guessing this is the stuff we don’t really want the world knowing about…

I sometimes listen to metal… and also Enya.

What have been some of your favorite music business classes/professors in your time here?

I don’t really like playing favorites and I thoroughly enjoyed every professor that I came into contact with in this program. There are some serious industry professionals that I get to see and work with on a weekly basis and that sometimes blows my mind. I think my favorite classes so far are Strategic Music and Branding (taught by Josh Rabinowitz), Music Publishing (Jennifer Blakeman), and Village Music (Larry Miller). SMB was just an awesome class, it gave me a side of the industry that I hadn’t thought about before and actually landed me my first internship. I’ve learned so much in Music Publishing and I’ve actually been able to apply some of what I’ve learned at work which is always really cool to do. In Village Music I think Prof. Miller is doing a good job opening us up to the business side of the industry which, though we learn a lot about the industry in this program and a lot about business in this program, it’s refreshing to see how everything goes hand in hand. But this program isn’t limited to these three professors and classes, everyone I’ve had a class with has opened my mind to something and all of the professors are pretty awesome.

Have you had any really cool music-related moments in New York?

I think one of the coolest music-related moments I had in NY was when I was serenaded by the band Locksley. I had only just started hearing about them when they came into town and a girlfriend and I went to the show and managed to get right up front against the stage. Halfway through one of the songs the lead singer points right at me and we had semi-awkward eye contact while he sang some sappy chorus. It was really fun; I got to meet them after the show and they all seemed like really great guys.

What was your best internship?

I’ve only had three internships and they were vastly different from each other so it’s hard to pick a favorite or which one was “the best”; I think it’s easier if I just talk about why each one was so awesome and what they all taught me. My first internship was at a venture capital tech consulting firm, Alteon Capital, where I was essentially an analyst. It was sometimes a grind, but I learned so much about research, excel, how to write professional emails (a skill that doesn’t always come naturally) and reaching deadlines in a work environment.

My second internship was at Cornerstone, a creative marketing agency that also runs labels for some major brands. Walking away from this internship, I think I learned how to have a decent phone conversation (it’s hard not to be awkward) and to deal with all sorts of people. I ended up working in strategic marketing and helped out with Mountain Dew’s Green Label Sound and Bushmills’ ad campaign with Bon Iver (with a little side work on Converse’s Rubber Tracks and Qream’s campaign). Every now and then I would send a handwritten thank you letter to Justin Vernon and his family, the concept of which was neat (though he had no idea it was me, of course). I think the coolest experience I had in this internship was when I had to deliver some props to the photography studio Jack’s Studio. The place was like something out of a movie: there were models everywhere, music was blasting, it was completely white inside with some purple orchids here and there, there was a bar in the studio and I (lamely) got some artisan bottled water. The photographers actually asked my opinion on how I thought the props should be placed (the photos were intended for a Bushmills ad) and I was the only one there from my company so I got to give some input. Of course the entire internship wasn’t all glamor and loud music but some of the experiences were really cool.

My third and final internship was with SiriusXM, and they ended up hiring me at its completion. I worked in a strange branch of business development that is essentially a strategy branch for streaming. Unfortunately, due to the fact that this is a public company, I can’t say much more than that. It was an amazing internship and I would recommend anyone trying to work here, you can find some helpful intern reviews about many different positions in the company

What is the story behind your job at SiriusXM?

I started off as an intern and I worked really, really hard. That, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. I showed initiative and independent thinking, and I have a great relationship with the music programmers as well as the engineers, so they asked to keep me on after my internship ended.

What is your dream job?

My dream job will take me years and years to accomplish, and I know that I have to start slowly and modestly, but I think one day I would like to work on the executive level at a major media company. I know it’s hard work, and I have no intention of “running the show” right now—I have so many things to still learn and experience—but I do eventually want to make my way there.

Are you leaving the program with different career aspirations than you had when you entered the program?

When I entered the program I had more of an international slant to my direction—I wanted to do something that allowed an easier collaboration between the US and foreign artists. When I started applying to internships there wasn’t exactly an “international collaboration department” in any company (I did consider going into international departments at major labels, but there was really no mixing between the US and foreign acts and that’s what I wanted to do), so I decided that business development was almost as good and here I am. Now I definitely have a different set of aspirations; working in corporate development has given me a better sense of who I am and how I work and I’m looking more in the direction of major media companies than international music.

What would be your advice to incoming and transfer students?

Work hard, pay attention, and don’t forget that your professors are there to help you inside and out of the classroom; you have their networks at your disposal, so ask them for help. I was a transfer student and I think the hardest thing was fitting everything in so I could graduate on time. Thanks to that, my other piece of advice would be that you really need to plan ahead; things change but it’s always good to have a plan so that you’re working towards something.

Student Outlook: The Case For Killing The Album

Guest post by Philip Vachon (UG ’16). We encourage feedback and commentary on all Student Outlook contributions. Leave a comment below or tweet us at @NYUMusicBiz.

From the minute the music industry started tanking, experts along with decidedly non-experts have decried the end of the album as though it were the end of a slightly larger rotating circle. The separation of albums into essentially twelve “singles” stemmed from the file-sharing of Napster which sent mp3 files individually, as well as iTunes’ $.99 per song model. Critics often say, “an art form is dead” and “today’s ‘now culture’ doesn’t have the attention span for true artistic works.” But if I may be so bold, I’d like to propose a question that seems too simple to yield any results: so what? Yes, yes, I know that jobs and profits have been lost and in The Great Restructuring of the Industry times have been dismal to say the least. But somehow music has survived, thrived even. So, is it possible that the death of the album as-we-know-it was needed to save music? Before the axe falls I will gladly read the charges against the accused.

Imagine there is a new painting by your favorite artist (you may need to imagine first that you in fact have a favorite artist). Not just a painting, but also an entirely new exhibit. You’ve heard from art critics that this exhibit received anywhere from four to five out of five stars, yet all the critics offer are broad descriptions of the works as a whole, maybe only showcasing one painting. Would you buy all of the paintings without seeing them? No. This blind purchasing model is essentially the situation album buyers in the past were faced with. Now of course this metaphor is imperfect because the cost of all of those paintings would probably be substantially more than the average album cost, and for some the full price is worth the risk. The fact remains, however, that in the past albums were one of the few, if not the only products that were bought with essentially no knowledge of the product the consumer was putting money down for. Today, individual tracks that can be previewed on iTunes, uploaded onto YouTube and Spotify, and posted in blogs allows the fan to assess based on more than blind faith whether they will buy.

The characteristic inherent of the album is that the foundation of the argument for its survival as a complete and comprehensive work is singularity. The album, as those on that side continue to see it, is a monolith incapable of being divided or taken apart. The problem with this is the incentive for artists and record labels alike for each song to be good on its own didn’t exist. Many cynics in the industry feel that an album is often a few great songs tied to useless “filler” tracks. True, not all songs are attention-getters from the start and perhaps the necessity of buying the entire bundle encouraged listeners to devote time to those less flashy songs, but today with the ease of listening on YouTube or Spotify listeners and fans still have the access to explore to any degree they want. As listeners are now free to buy or not buy each track, there is a financial necesssity to make each one quality rather than merely album padding, leading inevitably to more carefully crafted songs. This change will affect the creation of music, but how has it affected how we listen?

One seldom-heard topic in the debate over the separation of tracks is the rise of the playlist. Today all of us are able to combine individual tracks to build our own stories and messages in the same way that mix tape makers and DJs have. Creative liberation from the blocky and bound album format has made music listening a more creative and expressive endeavor. Rather than passive consumption of music, listeners today are active and interactive while enjoying their favorite music. By categorizing playlists by mood, genre or activity, we are forced to examine the subtle similarities and differences that make those songs able to interact well inside of that playlist. We can see the positive effects of this increased examination in the rise of “mash up” culture. Artists like Girl Talk and Super Mash Bros. engage in national tours off of their style of music in which components from sometimes dozens of songs all reside on one track. These songs’ origins span decades and genres, re-contextualizing the music they know and breathing a new life into what they do not. This new context has affected not just how we listen, or the music creation process; it has changed how we discover music.

In the past, unless you had a 6-disk CD changer you were stuck listening to one genre, one artist, one at one time. Today with the separation of tracks we are able to jump from Mozart to Motown with a click. This allows for further analysis of the music through comparison, but also breaks down preconceptions that serve as barriers to whole forms of music. Yes, music A.D.D. is very much a reality to a generation that has grown up with that kind of ease of switching. It is entirely possible that being trapped within one work at a time makes listeners devote more attetion to the music, but the diversification of styles and genres on the iPod of a Millennial today is already making for more open-minded fans. Ask a group who grew up with the individual track being the dominant musical format and you’re sure to find many who are fans of Radiohead, Kanye West, and that weird old band their dad told them to look up. This opening of tastes comes with the breakdown of preconceived ideas of what certain grenres sound like and, along with this, what type of person listens to those genres. The significance of breaking down these stereotypes cannot be understated, as completely new forms of art are now open to groups of various types that would never have experienced them otherwise.

All this notwithstanding, there is one argument for the pardon of the non-separated, non-digital album that is a much simpler and literally concrete concept: people like to hold it. It’s tangible. There is a simplicity in giving money and receiving a physical object that appeals in a deeper way that people think to human nature. I may be overcomplicating, but there is a sort of conceptual crisis around the loss of the tangibility of music in the digital age. Throughout its existence music was the tangible: sheet music, wood and metal seats, instruments, vinyl, plastic tapes, 8-tracks and CDs. Today, music is left to this abstract concept of a file that flows throughout the infinity of the Internet and the world with a transience that is unsettling to grip. Many of the problems today in the music industry lie in this renegotiation around “what is music now?”

I am not here to solve the problem, at least not yet. All I’m saying is, this question needed asking. Maybe we have to put it in perspective that music existed before there was a language to write about it in. It is an art based in feeling and no matter how much humans attempt to make it so, it never was tangible. It’s on the edge of its expiration that music always dodges death and mystifies us again. So as the axe falls maybe we will be able to embrace the saying I’ve found to be increasingly appropriate in today’s industry: Music is dead, long live music.

Student Outlook: To Get More Superfans, “Game On”

Guest post by Alec Steinfeld (UG ’13). We encourage feedback and commentary on all Student Outlook contributions. Leave a comment below or tweet us at @NYUMusicBiz

As I drive down the Miami shoreline, the car’s engine howls as it shifts into top gear. The wind gushes in my face, and I’m having a blast. One of my favorite songs plays on the radio, Tom Petty’s “Refugee.” Then, I run over a crowd of people.

This scenario didn’t happen in real life. Instead, the experience was a fantasy played out in the Rockstar videogame “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.” I played this game when I was a kid and, despite the risque subject matter, acquired lasting memories of my virtual experience. Amazingly though, what has continued to stick with me after all these years has not been the gameplay itself, but rather the lasting connection I made with the game’s musical soundtrack.

The game was a period piece in a sense. The setting was Miami’s glitzy and drugged out heyday in the 1980s. The music reflected this context and played a variety of hits from the era. I grew to really enjoy this soundtrack. However, I now realize my liking of these songs would not have come to be had I heard them independent of another medium. The game told a powerful story providing the context for the music to connect on a personal level.

The put this into context for those who have little experience with video games, think back to your favorite movie. Now, think of the most exciting, emotionally charged scene in this film. Most likely, this moment had a musical soundtrack driving the emotional direction of the scene. And, most likely, you remember the music playing during this moment.

Now think, in a world where the average person is bombarded with information, including music from a variety from a variety of other competing artists, keeping your (at the very least recorded) music memorable now takes more effort or creativity. Studies have shown humans process information visually at a much higher rate than any other external medium. This is the reason why info graphics online are much more effective delivering and inevitably retaining information in the human mind. Now, combine this medium within a visual and interactive context. These findings lead to a time tested and not remarkably novel conclusion: music plus visuals leads to a lasting impression.

Surprisingly enough, the music industry has yet to grasp the resonate power games can make on fans and consumers. While television and movies combine music with a visual medium, video games adds another further solidifying variable: interactivity. The plasticity of and control over a game’s design also leads to benefits over previously used combined mediums. Whereas there are complicated human elements to creating movies and even music videos, game designers can tailor and experience specifically for musical content and vice versa. As a result, we obtain a visceral experience that connects with fans.

Now that we understand the benefits games have when interacting with fans, here are a few pointers to keep in mind before making that call to Xbox.

The Material Must Speak for Itself

While the dissemination of technology has made producing a record easier than ever, and in turn creating a need to find ways to “rise above the noise,” the same has happened within the gaming industry. Finding a designer for your game can now be much cheaper and even decent on a relatively small budget. However, this means the consumers of games have myriad options to choose of all the games out there.

Here we have a catch-22. While the hope for aligning your music to games attempts to rise above te noise, the game will have to do the same among others in the competing marketplace. So, before you make an investment or spend the effort pitching your music to game companies, remember that the game will also have to be memorable for your music to be memorable. Or even worse, your game may even be associated with a bad experience.

(A screenshot from "Skrillex Quest")

A Catalyst: From Fan to Superfan

After years of tinkering, artists have finally figured out how to reach as many people as possible through online tools. With email lists, promoted posts, Twitter feeds, Tumblrs and Kickstarters, bands have the greatest number of tools they have ever had in being able to reach out to fans and non-fans alike. Yet, bands have yet to fully utilize tools that foster fan engagement and in turn retention.

Superfans hold the key to a band’s financial success. After bands acquire interested users – by playing shows, streaming their album on blogs, promoting their material on the social web – their extended success, at least in monetary terms, rests extensively on engaging in interactive platforms (akin to the 80-20 rule). Games hold just one answer to this question, and if handled well, can pay extended dividends.

But again, your game cannot just be another touch point to cast a super wide net for your fan base. Remember the goal: engagement. In order to engage, you must have a strong comprehension of who is in your fan base. Do your due diligence on who has shown to conntect personally with your music. Ask: why did they experience this connection? Answering this question will provide the grounds as to how you and your band would like to move forward.

Player 1 Press Start

Some artists have already taken this initiative. Take electronic dance music artist Skrillex. He recently releases Skrillex Quest (, a free online game with the backing of the artist’s electronic dance motifs. The game does a great job of integrating story, gameplay, and the music of an artist.

Online platforms present numerous paths to connect with fans on a personal level, and gaming could lead the way. Keep on the lookout for more music-inspired games in the near future.

A Gangnam Style World

Guest post by Emma Miller (UG ’16)

The day Psy’s “Gangnam Style” was uploaded to YouTube was average at best. I watched it with a confused expression, laughed a bit, then talked briefly with some of my k-pop friends who all made remarks like “lol, wtf just happened?” and “I swear I’ll never understand k-pop.” The rest of July passed, more k-pop videos were released, and “Gangnam Style” left the front of my mind. As August arrived and I finished the eleventh draft of my “NYU Freshman Packing List of Awesome,” Allkpop – an American-based k-pop news site – announced that Psy would be flying to the US to have a meeting with “Justin Bieber’s agency.” We all know what happened next.

Psy would not be the first artist to travel out west in search of a deal, but Psy was definitely the most unexpected. Over the years there have been many attempts to make k-pop big in America. Top solo artists like BoA and Se7en along with groups like the Wonder Girls and Girls’ Generation made valiant attempts with English lyrics, slick dance moves, and good looks yet some gave up and went back east while others continue to try to slowly grow their American fan base. Psy accomplished a decades’ worth of work in just over four minutes.

The past few years have witnessed the rapid growth in popularity of both k-pop and k-dramas (Korean dramas) in what many call “Hallyu” or “the Korean Wave.” Outside of Asia, Hallyu’s influence can be seen in South America with k-dramas airing on TV, k-pop being played in public areas, and unofficial fan clubs gaining numbers that make North American fans jealous. K-pop has also been gaining popularity in Europe with SM Town (a large-scale concert featuring all pop groups under the company SM Entertainment) selling out Le Zenith de Paris in fifteen minutes last year. A second date was made at the same venue after European fans organized a flash mob asking for one more additional concert.

Even before Psy, k-pop was not completely unknown in the United States. Here we have seen a large amount of k-pop become available on iTunes within hours of its release in Korea, when in 2008 you’d be lucky to find anything at all. Hulu and Netflix have also started carrying k-dramas and movies; many of them are even recent. YouTube created an official k-pop channel, MNet (a Korean TV channel) launched MNet America, MTV K was created, the Wonder Girls starred in a movie on Teen Nick, and fans have come to expect at least one or two concerts to happen in NYC and LA every year when in 2009 we thought the ones who reached our shores would never come again. Shortly after SM Town Paris, SM Town also came to the US to perform a sold out show in Madison Square Garden just after GIrls’ Generation released the English version of “The Boys.” Before “Gangnam Style,” Girls’ Generation held the title of “most viewed k-pop video on YouTube” with “Gee.” Since that small feat, “Gangnam Style” has gone on to be the most viewed YouTube video of all time.

More recently, JYJ member Kim Junsu performed at the Hammerstein Ballroom in August, 2NE1 performed at the Prudential Center in October, Big Bang performed two shows (an additional one was added after tickets sold out in around two hours) also at the Prudential Center in November, the New York K-pop Festival was held in Skirball during Welcome Week, and multiple “Gangnam Style” flash mobs have been held throughout the city. On November 29th, the TV show Glee even had a k-pop episode featuring “Gangnam Style.” “Fantastic Baby” by Big Bang was also shortly featured, further introducing more k-pop songs to the general American audience. It is an exciting time to be a k-pop fan living in New York City but the rest of the world may be wondering, “what happens after Gangnam Style?”

Psy is not scheduled to release a new song until 2013 and all stateside k-pop events have wound down as Korea launches into its 2012 award show season. They say this has been the biggest year for k-pop yet but the post-Gangnam Style world will hopefully be overflowing with more worldwide k-pop hits. The MNet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) aired on November 30th from Hong Kong outlining just how many good things are happening in the current k-pop scene. Here are some of the winners:

Artist of the Year: Big Bang

Song of the Year: Gangnam Style

Album of the Year: Super Junior – Sexy, Free and Single

Best Male Group: Big Bang

Best Female Group: SISTAR

Best Rap Performance: Epik High – “Up”

The entire list can be found here.

Until next time, keep an eye on k-pop!

Study Abroad Report: Prague

Guest post by Brittany Holloway (UG ’14)

As a student contemplating whether or not studying abroad was the right choice for me, my biggest concern was whether or not I would be able to take classes that would count towards my degree requirements. The options that the NYU Prague study abroad site provides Music Business students with quickly eased my worries and my reaction was immediate: I couldn’t miss this opportunity!

Once I had sorted out which classes I would take during my semester abroad, I became curious as to what roles music and the music business as a whole would play in my experiences. My first realization upon arrival in Europe was that the relationship I have with the music industry would not be negatively affected by my relocation; I still check all of the same websites and blogs as I did back home to stay up to date but furthermore, my opinions and knowledge of the industry on the international scale have expanded. Five MUSB students, including myself, are in Prague this semester and I can proudly say that we have continued to help the live sector of the music industry thrive. The artists we have seen perform in Europe span from The Tallest Man On Earth and Japandroids to the Berlin Philharmonic, with everything in between.

(From L to R: Lauren Fior, Grace Harris, Brittany Holloway, Sarah Cowell, Camille Johnston)

The close-knit nature of the MUSB program has followed us across the Atlantic, displayed clearly by our choice to spend part of the Fall Break together in Amsterdam! The friendships I have made as well as the ones I have strengthened will act as just one of the many things I will be bringing back with me to New York. In regards to the events I have experienced and the newfound perspective I have, I cannot wait to see the long-term benefits to both my personal and professional life. Until then, Na Shledanou! (Goodbye in Czech.)

MUBG Alum Collin McLoughlin Going Far on NBC’s “The Voice”

Two years ago, Collin McLoughlin began his studies in the Music Business Graduate Program, working on his music on the side. After a year of studying and making connections, McLoughlin took a leave of absence to devote himself to his music.

We are happy to say that McLoughlin did exactly what he set out to do during his leave of absence from the MUBG program. On the September 18th episode of NBC’s “The Voice,” McLoughlin performed Cat Stevens’ “Wild World” in his blind audition. Three of the four judges wanted him on their teams, and McLoughlin chose Adam Levine, coach of Season One winner Javier Colon. McLoughlin’s audition performance on “The Voice” went to #7 on iTunes.

Most recently, McLoughlin faced elimination in the Battle Round, the stage in which contestants go head-to-head in a duet with a teammate, and the coach is forced to eliminate one of his or her own players. Although McLoughlin lost his battle and was eliminated by Levine, thanks to the newly added “Steal” component, McLoughlin was saved: he was stolen by Blake Shelton, resident country star and coach of Season Two winner Jermaine Paul. Next week is the Knockout Round; those who survive will advance to the live show.

Check out McLoughlin’s Official “The Voice” page to see photos, blog posts and videos of his performance. “The Voice” airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8:00pm EST on NBC.

Follow McLoughlin on Twitter and check out his YouTube channel.

Posted on | Posted in Alumni |

NYU Music Business Faculty and Alumni to be Panelists at CMJ

CMJ 2012 is officially underway. As you go about the conference this week, keep your eyes and ears out for some of our very own faculty and alumni, who will be sharing their insight and knowledge as panelists.



Professor Catherine Radbill

Professor James Celentano

Professor Sam Howard-Spink

Professor Shirley A. Washington



Adam Parness

Scott Berenson

Jack Bookbinder

Katie Seline

Scott Englund

Michelle Mayumi McDevitt

Zach Feldman

Karl Fricker

Barry Heyman

Ben Cockerham

Mehmet Dede

Posted on | Posted in Alumni, Faculty |

New Book by Music Business Professor Catherine Fitterman Radbill

Introduction to the Music Industry: An Entrepreneurial Approach is the title of the just-released textbook by Professor Catherine Fitterman Radbill. Radbill is the director of the Undergraduate Music Business Program and has taught for 10 years at NYU.

“I needed a text to use in our Business Structure of the Music Industry course, the introductory class I’ve been teaching since I got to NYU in 2002,” explains Radbill. “Every year it became more difficult to find upbeat and fun teaching material. The books on the market were either boring tomes, out of date, or completely out of touch with the way students today learn. So – I wrote my own textbook!” The book’s cover, showing an entrepreneurial goldfish jumping from a crowded bowl into an empty bowl, is an apt metaphor for the engaging material within it.

Radbill was approached four years ago by senior editor Constance Dietzel, from the highly-regarded academic press Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, about the possibility of writing a textbook that focused on music entrepreneurship. “Constance lived in my Washington Heights neighborhood at the time, and we met often over dinner to hammer out the details of the book,” Radbill states. “It was fun, but then I had to get down to the job of actually writing the thing.”

In the book’s acknowledgements, Radbill acknowledges Dietzel, “…who wisely rejected my first book proposal and who performed wonders with the second.” Radbill laughs about those rejections now, but “they were pretty devastating at the time. I stayed depressed for about a day, then got back to the computer to revise, and revise, and revise…”

Introduction to the Music Industry: An Entrepreneurial Approach gives a realistic, relevant spin on the classic introductory text. Every chapter explores the inner workings of the music industry, all the while reminding students to think like entrepreneurs. Using creative problem-solving exercises, discussion questions, collaborative projects, case studies, hands-on activities, and inspiring stories of actual music entrepreneurs, the textbook offers numerous opportunities for students to apply their newfound entrepreneurial knowledge to real life situations. The textbook’s companion website offers additional materials to create enhanced teaching and learning experiences.

Radbill states, “I feel as if I’ve been holding my breath for 3 years, waiting to see if my students would like the textbook. They’re my toughest critics. We’ve been using it for 3 weeks now in class, and so far I see a lot of smiles in the classroom. What a relief!”

Click here for more information on the book.

Posted on | Posted in Faculty |