Annual MUBG walking tour takes students to West Village, Meatpacking District

(MUBG student Laura Immonen at the Mr. Brainwash exhibit; Photo by Cristine Mayer)

Becoming an annual happening, Music Business Graduates’ walking tour in Fall 2010 took the graduate students from Greenwich Village to the Meatpacking District. Walking through old graveyard and looking at places where people have been hanged at Washington Square Park, stopping at probably United States’ only intersection where a street encounters itself (Waverly Place and Waverly Place), and recognizing old town houses and their windows that once used to be the entrance to the building were just some of the “behind-the-scenes” moments.

When arriving to the district, the primal function of the area – packing meat in the industrial factories – was visible in the buildings that still contained elements of the old “Highline” train track. Seeing a railroad going through a building is something that the generations of today would never have even considered. The Meatpacking District itself was cleaned during the early 21st century, but during the past few years it has been totally refurbished. It combines beautifully old history, modern art, and personal experience.

As an outsider, the area seems to be very “New York” in that sense. The excellent tour guide Dr. David Zapotocky also took the group to Chelsea Market, which fits perfectly in its surroundings and the atmosphere of the Meatpacking District. Some rumors say that during the night the area turns into a wild disco land, almost like in the times of the gay revolution.

The tour culminated to a stunning modern pop-art exhibition by Mr. Brainwash. This exhibition combined the elements of pop culture, colours, and a message with a hint of sarcasm. That’s what modern art, and New York itself, aspires to offer; here’s the framework, experience it in your own way.

A special thanks to Laura Immonen for her report on the tour.

Welcoming Jason Menkes, Clinical Assistant Professor

The Music Business Program welcomes Jason Menkes as our newest faculty member. Jason has a longstanding relationship with the program as he earned his M.A. in Music Business from NYU in 2004. Since his graduation, Jason has been dedicated to the strategy, creation, and implementation of music for branding an advertising campaigns. He is co-founder and partner of COPILOT Strategic Music & Sound ( and was recently appointed the East Coast Chapter President for the Association of Music Producers (AMP). We are excited to have Jason on our team and value his experience in branding as an increasingly relevant licensing opportunity for artists and musicians.

VeloCity recently sat down with Professor Menkes to get a closer look into his advice for music business students and how he got his start in the industry.

Why did you decide to work in the music industry?

When I started my first band, in the second grade, I made my friends sign a contract promising to come practice and not to fight or run away… we had some teasing issues. I’ve been interested in the balance of business and creativity ever since!

What do you like most about teaching?

The music industry is constantly reinventing itself, now more than ever. I love being able to step back from the day-to-day hustle to explore the larger patterns and practices of the industry. I’m constantly surprised and impressed by my students’ eagerness and insight.

What tips do you offer to your students in the classroom?

This program in this city offer the best possible environment for you to experiment with the theories and concepts you learn in class. Produce a show. Release a record. Manage a friend’s band. Collaborate with your fellow students. Ask your teachers for help. Don’t be afraid to try new things and risk failure, you have an amazingly supportive safety net at NYU.

What career tips do you offer to your students?

Don’t wait until senior year to build your network. Reach out to alumni and guest speakers, ask them about their career paths and for advice on yours, and keep in touch with them throughout your education and career. There is no “traditional” career path, and jobs opportunities will present themselves in surprising ways.   Make sure you stay fresh in people’s minds as a proactive and eager talent.

You may also visit Jason Menkes’ faculty bio on the Steinhardt website here (link).

Alumna, Founder of The Music Business Network recognized for work on analytics

In December 2008, MUBG alum Kathryn Sano (’10) created The Music Business Network (, a company devoted to providing networking opportunities for industry professionals, students, and musicians. Over the last two years, The Network has accumulated over 2,000 participants worldwide through its Facebook page (link) and numerous networking events. The company also offers consultation services to assist new companies and artists build their brands and make business decisions.

Kathryn has received considerable recognition for her work in building The Music Business Network, including NYU Steinhardt’s Graduate Student Organization’s Star Award. Kathryn also wrote an article (based on her final M.A. Colloquy project), about how artists can utilize web analytics to further their careers, for ASCAP’s Playback magazine.

Follow The Music Business Network on Twitter @MusicBizNetwork


Author Fred Goodman engages with students at Collegium

(Undergraduate Director Catherine Radbill interviews Fred Goodman)
On Wednesday, September 29th, acclaimed author Fred Goodman came to speak to Music Business undergraduates at Collegium, our weekly program meeting. Goodman’s most recent book, Fortune’s Fool, follows Edgar Bronfman Jr.’s rise to power as CEO of Warner Music Group. Fortune’s Fool takes an in-depth look into Bronfman’s life as an heir to the Seagram’s fortune and his dive into the recording industry. Goodman’s examination of Bronfman sheds light on the evolution and inner workings of Warner Music Group since it became a publicly traded company in 2005. More broadly, Fortune’s Fool provides a detailed study of current major label business models as they struggle to protect and control the value of their content in an increasingly digital industry, as well as the history of record labels’ relationship with Wall Street and big business over the last 30 years.
Fortune’s Fool portrays Bronfman and his high-profile cronies as being driven by inflated egos, big deals, and chart performance, and asks us to consider the future of the recording industry as the current financial stability of Warner Music Group denotes optimism and other major players continue to fade. In response to a student question, Goodman hypothesized that in the future, record labels are likely to outsource more and more, focusing on A&R and marketing as their areas of expertise.

Music Business Program celebrates 35 years

(Female giant panda Taotao celebrates her 35th birthday at the Jinan Zoo in eastern China’s Shandong province)

The 2010-2011 academic year marks the 35th anniversary of New York University’s Music Business Program. Our Undergraduate program debuted in September 1976 while the first Graduate students entered in 1993. In our 35 years, the Undergraduate and Graduate programs have graduated an estimated 1000 alumni! 

To commemorate this milestone, we bring you 5 other notable events from 1976:

January 11 – The Philadelphia Flyers play the Soviet Red Army team, the Red Army leaves the ice for a portion of the game and the Flyers win 4-1.

April 23 – The punk rock group The Ramones release their first self-titled album.

July 20 – The Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars. 

August 5 – The Great Clock of Westminister (or Big Ben) suffers internal damage and stops running for over 9 months.

November 26 – Microsoft is officially registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State of New Mexico.


Graduates’ start-up makes licensing a breeze

(Ben Cockerham and Patrick Sullivan at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.)

In 2007, NYU MUBG graduates Patrick Sullivan (G ’00) and Ben Cockerham (G ’06) founded the licensing and royalty solutions provider RightsFlow ( to address the industry-wide pain of navigating a complex web of content owners and licensing agreements. RightsFlow’s proprietary “FLOW” bulk licensing technology allows the company to obtain licenses from publishers and pay out royalties owed to songwriters with ease.

One of RightsFlow’s notable emerging services is Limelight (, a simple, online tool that allows musicians and bands to clear the rights to any cover song. Limelight aids artists in securing mechanical licenses and paying mechanical royalties to songwriters for digital, physical, and ringtone licenses. RightsFlow has seen rapid growth and adoption of Limelight by artists, groups, and choirs across the United States and 46 other countries, including at many schools and universities.

Earlier this summer, RightsFlow announced an agreement to provide full mechanical licensing and administration for Rhapsody (, the leading online music subscription service. The deal will provide Rhapsody with additional tools and solutions for mechanical licensing and content management services for publishing rights in the United States. RightsFlow also provides support for online entities such as Muzak, The Orchard, CD Baby, and DiskMakers.

In addition to running RightsFlow, Patrick and Ben have been involved in government hearings about the future of digital copyright. With features in Billboard, a client list of over 10,000 labels, distributors, and music services, and a 23 million-song database, RightsFlow has quickly established itself as a leading provider of mechanical licensing services and royalty payment technology. 


Sunny Jain makes headlines with Asphalt Orchestra, Red Baraat

(Sunny Jain (top left) with Red Baraat)

MUBG Class of 2000 graduate Sunny Jain had himself quite a summer this year. A percussionist and composer, Jain performed as part of a weeklong stint at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival in July with Asphalt Orchestra (, a contemporary marching band organized by New York’s Bang On A Can. Over the course of the week, the 12-piece had the pleasure of working with David Byrne and Yoko Ono on newly commissioned works they wrote for the group. Check out a New York Times review of Asphalt Orchestra at Lincoln Center here

Aside from Asphalt Orchestra, Sunny has been staying busy earning critical acclaim with Red Baraat (, an energetic funk band whose sound fuses New Orleans brass with Indian Bhangra. In July the group made their Canadian (Montreal Jazz Festival) and European (Pori Jazz Festival, Molde Jazz Festival) debuts, and also performed at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing for the first-ever Bhangra party with DJ Rekha and Reena Shah. With features in Wall Street Journal (article) and on Good Morning Japan (video), the future looks bright for Sunny Jain and Red Baraat. 


What We’ve Been Up To (2009-2010)

Welcome to VELOCITY | The Official NYU Music Business Blog. We are excited to be expanding our online presence and featuring up-to-date news and information on program events and alumni. We realize that this first post is VOLUMINOUSLY long: future posts will be short and frequent. Here’s what we’ve been up to while we’ve been away:

2009 and 2010 Commencements held at Yankee Stadium

In 2008, the original Yankee Stadium closed its doors after 85 years of glory. The following spring, the first game was played in the new Yankee Stadium, inspired by, and built across the street from its predecessor. That May, New York University held its 2009 graduation events at the new ballpark for the first time, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton giving the commencement speech. We were pleased to have such wonderful weather and proud to be a part of the first graduation ceremonies held in the new Yankee Stadium.

(MUSB Class of 2009 graduates outside of Radio City Music Hall)

NYU’s commencement this year was a bit rainy but we were happy to be up at the home of the Bronx Bombers once again, and actor Alec Baldwin gave a great speech. Luckily everyone was able to stay mostly dry despite the drizzle. Once again we were happy to be back uptown at Radio City Music Hall for Steinhardt’s ceremonies. Congratulations to the Undergraduate and Graduate Class of 2010.

(MUBG Class of 2010 graduates outside of Radio City Music Hall)

(Prof. Catherine Moore with MUBG Class of 2010 graduates outside Yankee Stadium; Photo by Joyce Lin)


Three of this year’s graduates earned Steinhardt awards for outstanding contributions to the NYU community:

Ida Bodman Award – Dana John

Richard Hirsch Memorial Award for Students in the Arts – Kristina Frost

GSO Star Award – Kathryn Sano


CEOs in the Arts Speakers Series

(Prof. Catherine Radbill, Kevin Liles, Prof. Shirley Washington, Ed Lover, and Prof. Catherine Moore)

CEOs in the Arts Series presents leading arts executives twice yearly in an interview format. These conversations explore the strategies, challenges, and goals of some of the city’s most important arts business leaders and the companies they run. On Friday, November 6, 2009, Steinhardt’s Council on Arts Management welcomed Kevin Liles and Ed Lover to the Rosenthal Pavilion at the NYU Kimmel Center for University Life.

Kevin Liles is the CEO and Founder of KWL Enterprises and has 20 years of experience in the music industry at the major label level. In 1993 Liles became the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Manager at Def Jam, and by 1998 accepted the position of President of the Def Jam Music Group. Following the merger that created the Island/Def Jam Music Group in 2002, Liles added the title of Executive V.P. of Island Def Jam Music Group to his resume. In 2004 he joined Warner Music Group as Executive V.P. and was part of the senior executive team when the company went public in 2005, and oversaw the expansion of the traditional record company role in artist’s career. 

Ed Lover is synonymous with New York City radio. Ed was a part of the infamous Ed Lower and Doctor Dre Morning Show, and has been a fixture in hip-hop for the last 20 years. Having done it all from TV to film to books, he is truly a renaissance man. Ed was the first voice heard on Power 105.1 when the station flipped the switch in 2002, and moved to afternoons in 2005. Currently, he holds down mornings on The Ed Lover Show.

More photos from the event can be viewed here.


NYU hosts the 2009 New Music Seminar

(NMS Co-Executive Director & Producer Dave Lory, Prof. Catherine Moore, and NMS Founder & Executive Director Tom Silverman in front of the Gibson Tour Bus at NMS 2009)

In July 2009, NYU Steinhardt and the Music Business program hosted the New Music Seminar. Held at the NYU Kimmel Center for University Life, the annual conference aims to create a music business in which talent can rise to its highest potential based solely on its merit, without regard to its financial resources or connections. The event focuses on emerging business models and innovation, and works to teach artists and their representatives better, affordable and faster ways to achieve success, so that they may also create a new economic model that better rewards both artists, their investors and those in artist services. The conference was a great success and we were proud to see many of our alumni and students in attendance. This year’s New York City summer conference was held at Webster Hall and was a sold-out success. Check out the New Music Seminar online here.

Visiting Scholar Dr. Guy Morrow

The Music Business Program is proud to welcome our very first visiting scholar, Dr. Guy Morrow. Based at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, Dr. Morrow is a lecturer on topics such as music business, arts management, rhythm, and music theory. His PhD concerned artist management practices in the Australian popular music industry and his current research concerns such practices in the global economy, positing the argument that while the artist managers’ role is increasingly central, their attempts to work globally are hampered by a lack of consistency in relation to best practice and conduct across different territories.

During a February 2010 talk at NYU, Dr. Morrow spoke about “artist management in the global economy”. In his discussion, he covered topics such as how managers navigate the international regulatory and deal with different sets of “rules”, how managers can cover several territories without having a local co-manager, differences in managing and decision-making when artists have success and revenue potential in multiple international markets. He also commented on his research projects about artist management and the music industry in China, and the characteristics of the Australian music scene.

We are truly excited to have Dr. Morrow with us and look forward to collaborating and hearing more about his interesting research projects in the future.

NYU Music Video Games Research Project launches

The NYU Music Video Games Research Project launched in February 2009. Led by Professor Sam Howard-Spink and Blair Gerold (UG ‘10), the initiative explores the commercial and cultural convergence of music and video games. On May 20th the group held an event marking the announcement of new Music Business Graduate classes and suggested sequences for students interested in music and audio for video games and other interactive media. Keep an eye out for the Music Video Games Research Project as there are sure to be more awesome events and gaming opportunities in the future.

Check out the NYU-MVGRP blog here.


JD Souther named Artist-in-Residence

(Prof. Catherine Radbill, JD Souther, and CMJ Founder & Executive Director Joanne Abbot Green)

JD Souther, one of the principal architects of the Southern California country-rock sound and the pen behind numerous hits by the Eagles and others, was the Artist-in-Residence at the NYU Steinhardt Music Business Program April 12-14, 2010. The residency was supported by the Aronson Family Speakers Fund and the CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival.

Known for his extraordinary song crafting abilities, Souther co-wrote some of the Eagles’ most beloved hits including “Best of My Love,”  “Heartache Tonight,” “New Kid In Town,” and “Victim of Love.” His collaboration with the band continues through the Eagles’ 2007 release Long Road Out of Eden. Artists including George Strait, The Dixie Chicks, Glen Campbell, and Michael Buble have recorded his songs.

Souther received the prestigious ASCAP Golden Note Award in October 2009. The honor is reserved for songwriters, composers and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones. Past recipients include Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Alan Jackson, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, André Previn and Tom Petty among others.

During his three-day residency, Mr. Souther worked with Music Business majors, as well as many other NYU musicians. MUSB junior and songwriter. Stephanie Wells got an opportunity to have lunch with Mr. Souther and present to him her recently completed, debut EP Maybe It’s The Music. “He was really cool,” said Steph. “A lot of the advice that he gave me was to really put myself out there lyrically and really focused on the parts in which I am most conversational. The biggest thing he told me is to trust what you have to say as a writer and to say things naturally and organically. That’s something that I will never forget.”


First MUSB students study abroad in Buenos Aires

(Morgan McGrath and Mike Greene at Plaza San Martin in Buenos Aires, Argentina)

This spring semester 2010, two undergraduate students studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, marking the Music Business program’s first representatives in the city. February through June, juniors Morgan McGrath and Mike Greene lived with an Argentine host family and attended classes at the NYU in Buenos Aires academic center in the neighborhood of Palermo. There, the two immersed themselves in the Spanish language and Argentine culture, studying everything from the national history and literature to popular culture and music.


MUBG student’s band releases iPhone app

Shinobi Ninja, the Brooklyn-based p
unk-funk-rap-hip-hop group featuring MUBG student Dave Machinist, recently released their very own iPhone app, Shinobi Ninja Attacks! Bundled with their new EP, the app is a side-scrolling, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-inspired beat ‘em up game lets you play as favorite Shinobi Ninja member. Players roll through the streets of Brooklyn on their way to rock the mythical Club Babylon, and taking out evil hipsters, Jersey jerks, and angry subway riders that get in the way with drumsticks and guitars.

Perhaps the coolest feature of Shinobi Ninja Attacks! is that the game rewards fans for playing. As you reach higher levels, there are two free music videos can be unlocked. The app also uses smartphone GPS capability to locate real world concertgoers and delivers to them more free music and promotions over the air.

Check out a trailer for the app on YouTube here, and the app can be downloaded at

Alumni mentions in Billboard

Two of our Music Business alumni are in the 2009 Billboard “30 Under 30” top young executives list. Congratulations to Evan Lipschutz (undergrad ’02) and Seth Faber (undergrad ’04). Both alums remain actively connected to us: Seth was a panelist for the NYU MEISA Northeast Regional Conference (hosted at NYU) in November 2008, and Evan spoke recently in the Production and A&R class.

Seth Faber :: Director of marketing and artist development, Primary Wave Music Publishing

Internships at RCA Victor and Arista Records, an assistant’s job at Octone Records and 18 months as an artist development manager at Island Def Jam all led to Seth Faber, 27, to his current spot at Primary Wave Music Publishing. Since joining the company 18 months ago, Faber struck “a landmark licensing deal with [the digital transaction firm] GTECH, which enabled Aerosmith to be the first band to have its own multiplatform lottery campaign,” according to Primary Wave chief marketing officer Adam Lowenberg.

Evan Lipschutz :: Senior Director of A&R, Mercury Records

Hailing from Tampa, Fla., “a test market for food chains,” Evan Lipschutz, 29, feels like he comes from “a good breeding ground. I think like a basic American.” And he applies that viewpoint working with acts like Parachute, the Killers, Fall Out Boy, Duffy, Portishead and the up-and-coming Utah band Neon Trees. Mercury Records chief David Massey hired him at Sony Music International (later Daylight/Epic) as he was about to graduate from New York University’s Music Business Program.

Another alumnus, Bret Sjerven (UG ’04), made the list in 2007. For this and other news from our web newsletter archives, click here.


Several of our undergraduate and graduate alumni have been featured recently in the “Executive Turntable” section of Billboard, a weekly section that highlights job promotions around the industry.

Dileepan Ganesan (UG ’03) was promoted to senior income tracker at Cherry Lane Music Publishing from income tracker.  (June 20, 2009)

Charlie Davis (G ’08) was named director of sales by CD/vinyl manufacturer Sound Performance USA. He was the administrative coordinator for publishing at Downtown Records.  (August 1, 2009)

Jason Walker (G ’08) was promoted to director of royalties by licensing consulting company Rightsflow from manager of systems. (October 24, 2009)

Maureen Lloren (UG ’06) was named head of publishing at Glassnote Entertainment group after being the A&R coordinator at Denise Rich Songs/785 Publishing.  (December 12, 2009)

Fred Beteille (UG ’04) was appointed senior director of strategic technology at the Harry Fox Agency after a stint as director of business affairs and licensing technology. (June 19, 2010)

Facebook group created for MUSB and MUBG alums

(Music Business Program softball team, the Rock ‘n Ballers)

For all undergraduate and graduate alumni of the NYU Music Business Program a Facebook group has been set up. You may join here. (If this doesn’t work for you, simply search “NYU Music Business Alum” and the group should appear.) It was set up by Sam Gomez (UG ’99) and Professor Shirley Washington is an administrator. Please join as we are trying to make it an additional way to communicate with you and YOU with us! Let us know what you are doing, where you are, any job opportunities, events you are involved in, marriages, new babies, etc.

You will have to be approved and the request will most likely come to Professor Washington. It would be helpful to her if you could put your degree, B.M. or M.A., and year of graduation somewhere in the request. We already have 216 members so let’s keep it growing.