Industry Profile: Alexander Ljung
By Larry LeBlanc (CelebrityAccess MediaWire)
This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Alexander Ljung, Co-founder/CEO, SoundCloud.
British-born hobby-hacker Alexander Ljung was raised in Sweden, and now lives and works in Berlin as the co-founder/CEO of SoundCloud.
SoundCloud, launched there in 2007, is one of the world's fastest-growing audio platforms with more than 1.7 million registered users.
It employs 28 people.
The service provides tools for musicians, producers and others to share and collaborate on the web. Some 85 apps have been built on top of the platform, allowing SoundCloud users to connect their accounts to creations across a multitude of applications and websites.
SoundCloud has been described as “Flickr for music,” since it enables users -- including Sonic Youth, Moby, and Beck -- to share their music or sound files without format restrictions.
The origins of SoundCloud are modest. It was developed by Ljung, 28, and its co-founder as well as the firm’s technology officer, Sweden-born Eric Wahlforss, 30, primarily to enable music professionals to share music with each other.
The pair, who have backgrounds connected to music, had been annoyed that whenever people collaborated on music online, it wasn’t possible to get immediate feedback.
Their simple idea evolved into an all-encompassing publishing tool, that provides a quick and efficient way for music professionals to exchange the music they are working on in private settings; allowing for easy collaboration and communication prior to a public release.
With SoundCloud, music professionals can send and receive large amounts of tracks without cluttering their email inbox, having to make use of generic file sending services or managing their own server.
For instance, an artist can make music on their desktop, and they can save it directly to their SoundCloud account. Then, they can use that track when they go to a website and just import it directly from their SoundCloud account. The website doesn’t retain the original audio or software because it accesses the SoundCloud platform.
SoundCloud’s music or audio files can be embedded practically anywhere online, and have no file-size limit. SoundCloud allows fans and others to comment on specific parts of a recording, and allows artists or labels to share songs publicly or only with specific contacts.
Basic SoundCloud is free to use. Four premium accounts, available for different fees, remove restrictions on how many songs can be uploaded and how many contacts a user can have.
Ljung has a Master of Science degree in Media Technology with a major in Human Computer Interaction from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He also studied marketing and business development at the Stockholm School of Economics.
While in university, Ljung and Wahlforss collaborated on a joint Master’s Thesis that evolved into a book “Trustmojo,” centered on web-trust.
How many registered users does SoundCloud have?
We are at about 1.7 million.
Are the bulk of users artists and labels?
Yeah, definitely. We have quite a wide definition of that (group). We look at the whole group as creators. Most are people that are creating audio tracks themselves. Some of them are managers or a label that is very close to the original creator. A lot (of what is being sent) is music, but not all of it is music. There are some crazy applications for audio books, and there are some people doing voice blogging and things like that. That is more niche, but it is there.
How cool is it having Sonic Youth, Moby, and Beck using SoundCloud?
Yeah, there are a bunch of really cool artists there. (The service) keeps popping up with new ones (celebrity artists) which is exciting.
You seem very busy right now.
It has been extra (busy) at this point. I have been traveling to the U.S. a lot. We are about to set up an office in San Francisco, so we are at this really fun point. We are going to expand the office a little bit, and expand what we are doing a bit. So I’ve been traveling back-and-forth (to San Francisco), trying to run everything smoothly here (in Berlin) while being out of the office a lot.
When will the San Francisco office be operational?
We’re hoping in the next two months or so we’ll have something there. It’s fairly small to begin with. We will have two of our guys move over. Then, I’m going to split my time 50/50 between Berlin and San Francisco.
Are you setting up an office in San Francisco because it’s close to Silicon Valley?
Yeah. It is really for the techs there and all of the web companies. Part of SoundCloud is that it is an online platform with open APIs (application programming interfaces,) which means that other people building web technology and web products can use SoundCloud as a platform for their products as well. Part of us being in San Francisco is to get closer to other web technology companies there and make sure that they get integrated with SoundCloud, so our users can use all of the different services from one single place.
[Silicon Valley, in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area, is home to many of the world's largest technology companies including Apple, Google, Facebook, HP, Intel, Cisco, eBay, Adobe, Agilent, Oracle, Yahoo, Netflix, and EA.]
How have users found out about SoundCloud?
That’s a good question. We still haven’t done any advertising or anything like that. There’s been no real marketing around it. I think there are two things to it. One is that we started from our feeling that there was really something lacking on the creators’ side. We knew that there were a lot of creators out there. I think that when some people started to see (the service), they felt really connected to the service. I think people got really passionate about it early on. People are very passionate about (the service) and they want other people to see it as well.
The second part was that, in essence, one of the main ‘use cases’ is that you use SoundCloud for sharing tracks with other people. So you are uploading your tracks and then sharing them with other people.
The service makes it very easy to get the word out to other people about itself.
It is a viral and an organic growth; it is more from the users themselves. I think that (our growth is) partly because we make it that simple for them, and partly because users are really passionate about it.
How many apps are available on SoundCloud?
It has about 85 apps. SoundCloud is an open API that anybody can use. When somebody builds something like that for SoundCloud, it increases the value proposition of SoundCloud for our users as well. It makes it a more engaging experience for users. It is more value for them to keep using SoundCloud.
It is with the four premium accounts that SoundCloud makes money?
Yes. You can think of it as a tool set. It’s a software tool set where we have a free service that brings in a lot of users to try out the product. Then, a certain sub-set of those users, they are going to want the power edition of the service. They are going to upgrade to one of the premium accounts, with all of the features. Then they pay for the software as they use it. They can pay on a monthly or yearly basis. If they decide that it’s not worth it anymore, they can quit at any time.
What are the differences between the premium accounts?
The differences are mainly based on four features. One is the amount of details around the statistics of a track. How much insight you get into what is happening. The second one is how many different widget formats you have. So, it’s the richness of how you can express yourself across the web. The third one is on how deeply engaged you can get with the community on the site. The fourth one is the amount of minutes of uploads you have.
You measure in minutes?
It’s easier to measure in megabytes but that doesn’t make as much sense for the user. They call it beats per minute for a reason. Not beats for megabyte. So we just present minutes to the user; that makes more sense in a music context.
How much money did you launch SoundCloud with?
We really didn’t have any money at the time. We came out of university; we had a little bit of extra money from consulting work we had done. We rented a small apartment here (in Berlin) and got a tiny office space. Then, we got some (air) flight tickets for two or three friends from Sweden to join us for the summer. That was pretty much it; it wasn’t fancier than that. I have a lot of pictures of us sitting in our really bare office. We built our own desks, and as the heating wasn't working, we have gloves on with cut out fingers so we could still type.
Not even IKEA furniture?
No. We just took some junk we found in the yard and built some furniture. We had a stereo there. I bought this second hand stereo for 20 Euros which we used for awhile. We were coming out of university so we were used to living on a very low budget. It wasn’t much of a problem.
Soon after its launch, you received funding from a small group of private investors.
Yes, we did. Here in Berlin, we got some early angel investors. Then in 2009, we closed a deal for equity based investment from a London-based capital firm called Doughty Hanson Tech Ventures.
In 2007, you and Eric set up SoundCloud in Berlin on a week’s notice.
Yeah. It was a really crazy time. But, it was fun. Eric and I had gone around to a couple of cities in Europe to see if it made sense for us to start up in some other place other than Stockholm. We had a really great day in Berlin. We got back home, and thought, “Let’s just move over.”
Eric already spoke German.
Yes. He had a little bit at the time. Now, his German is quite good. We have a real international team so we speak mostly English at the office.
How’s your German?
To be honest, it is terrible. I’m not quite getting there.
What’s the benefit of SoundCloud being in Berlin?
There are a few things. There is something special in the city. There is a lot of art and a lot of creativity, and people who are very experimental and progressive about their art. That exists on the technology side as well. There are a lot of really great progressive new technologists here as well. That intersection is interesting for us. Progressive art and progressive technology really fit what we are trying to do. This is a real great atmosphere to be in.
Then, what we realized later on was that, compared to other European cities, Berlin is a really cheap city to be in as well. You can have people who live in a real amazing city, that don’t necessarily need that much money to do it. So, we can run the company in a really cheap way.
How difficult was it establishing SoundCloud in Berlin?
(Laughing) Deutsche Telekom is worst in the world. It’s funny, but with our old office we had to struggle so much to get the internet connection there. It was an old building, but still. It was crazy. Finally, we got some Deutsche Telekom guys to come around. They installed an internet connection that was basically a single wire hanging from the window of the office, and down the front of the building. It was open, anybody could have cut it off. That was our whole internet connection as a web start up.
Did you have Wi-Fi?
We had a Wi-Fi router plugged onto that. All of the computers were going through that tiny wire hanging out the front of the building. It didn’t make me feel very enthusiastic about Deutsche Telekom.
What are users looking for at SoundCloud?
It’s a bit of everything. The common thread through, is that people are looking to share sounds in one way or another. It can mean that I want to share only with you because we are collaborating and I want to get some feedback on something. It might mean that I am sharing an unfinished work with a larger set of the community on the site to get some input or some ideas from people. Or that I want to share it with a wider set of web users, maybe for a promotional purpose or something like that.
With its ability to be embedded anywhere, SoundCloud is, in fact, a hub.
Exactly. We wanted to make it really straightforward for someone that is creating sound and music to utilize all of these different applications. No matter if it is a desktop application for making music or an on-line site for promoting. We want them to use all of these things seamlessly and inter-changeably. So we are trying to build this layer in between that can connect to all of these different things. Ultimately, it allows the users to use their sounds wherever they want.
To date, the use of music on the internet has focused on consumption.
Yeah, exactly. We were quite different from the beginning. I think what we were doing was not so interesting from a bigger perspective, because what we were really saying was that we’re not going to build something for the consumers. There were already enough people focusing on consumers. We really want to focus on the creators and the different needs that they have.
The consumer field for music on the internet is overcrowded with so many technology and content competitors.
Exactly. I respect that they are all trying to focus on how to get a certain amount of tracks available, and in different ways, for consumers. It is a really interesting problem, but there are already a lot of great people trying to solve that. Sometimes, there have been ambitious (consumer-related) things that people were trying to build, but they were never executed very well.
Whereas, we saw that there was much less activity, and definitely less things from a tech perspective happening on the creators’ side. We wanted to bring our knowledge of great web technology and put that in the hands of the creators.
You wanted SoundCloud to specifically service creators?
But we wanted a broader set of creators. We have very high-end professional users, but we also have people that are just starting to create different types of sounds. It may not even be music, sometimes it might be audio clips or people doing talk radio or stuff like that. We really wanted to provide tools that would work for a bunch of different kinds of creators.
Both Eric and you have been involved in music and sounds for years.
I used to be a sound designer in a post production studio, I did sound and music for TV and did some feature films. There was also quite a bit of advertising (work). Eric has released music under his artist name, Forss. He released an album (“Soulhack”) and has toured around. We both have had backgrounds that were deeply involved in creating different types of sounds.
Berlin is one of the great music cities.
Yes. We listen to a lot of different music. We are very much into electronic music, and Berlin is definitely a good city for that. One of the things that drew us here was the very experimental attitude toward music here. People trying out all kinds of crazy sounds.
You two aren’t music industry people. You are both tekkies, really.
To a certain degree, definitely. We are both kind of nerdy guys. Eric, obviously, has music as an artist. He has been more in the music industry, but more on the artist side of things. I have come into it more from creating sounds and music for TV. But we are more from the tech side I would say.
Look at your degrees in media technology, and marketing and business development. Not too much music there.
Not so much. We were mostly doing (music) on the side. Even though with media technology, I was focusing on human computer and direction. It was technology focused; we were building some installations where people could experiment with music and physical space. There was always this mix between media, music and technology. I think that we are both into technology, but we are always trying to apply it in more creative areas.
Did you and Eric meet in university?
We did. We had heard about each other from different friends. The first time that we met was in one of the computer labs at the Royal Institute of Technology. The reasons that we started talking was that we were the only two guys there with Apple laptops. We were both trying to synchronize the school’s calendar feed with Macintosh’s iCal application.
You two collaborated on “Trustmojo” as a the joint Master’s Thesis that became a book on web-trust.
That was one of the first bigger projects that we did together after we met up. We started doing a bunch of different projects. We tried to get overlapping courses and stuff like that, so we would do different projects together. We tried to do projects that had some point to them, outside of a university context. We were sort of using university as a framework for doing projects that we wanted to do. We built some different inter-active installations and stuff like that. The thesis was the first of the bigger projects that we did together. We moved to San Francisco for a while to interview people building social software there. I started reading a lot of sociology as we started writing the book.
[Wahlforss has a Master of Science degree in Industrial Economics with a major in software engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He spent three years studying economics at the Stockholm School of Economics. He has been involved with the web on almost every level, as an interface designer and programmer, interaction designer and strategist.]
Did the strategy for SoundCloud develop during that period?
It wasn’t so directly linked but some of the ideas, and some of the design principals came out of that and influenced a lot of what we ended up building. The book was about sociology and social software, how people interact with each other on the web. It had nothing to do with sound or music. But when we started building SoundCloud we applied a lot of the things that we had learned from the book on how to design spaces online for where people could be social.
We are probably not even out of the starting gate in terms of the potential of the internet.
Exactly, and there is still so much stuff missing. For us, in the beginning, it really was (about) a personal thing that we were missing. We wanted to be able to send files back-and-forth to people and (be able to) comment on them while we were working on them.
Even MySpace is more a social network than a provider of music.
It’s a mainstream social network. As photographers, we really loved how Flickr worked, and how it was focused on the creators of photos. There are social elements to it, but (the platform is) around the actual photos themselves and it is more for the people who take photos. We really wanted to have something like that for sound and music as well.
Flickr is like Twitter for photographers.
Yes, there are certainly similarities. A friend of ours wrote this really great article about how above a context, people need some kind of object to be social around. He talks about throwing a beach ball out into the audience and everyone starts passing it around and talking to each other. The ball sort of becomes an object that they are social around. In Flickr, that’s obviously the photos. In Twitter it is the status update itself. In our case, it’s the sound.
The sound and the ability to comment and interact with the sound.
The interaction is an important aspect of SoundCloud. With music downloads on the internet, there’s generally no emotional attachment to what is being downloaded.
That’s true. As soon you download something you have lost the connection to the original source right away. Whereas, if you actually keep the source online and advise and direct around it there, you build up this social context and a lot of interesting information around the track that you can aggregate over time as well.
Having the creator discuss how they created the track is…
That stuff is amazing. I have seen some producers put in very detailed info about what they are doing behind the scenes. That stuff is just great. Both to listen to and to watch. To actually play a track and look at those comments while they appear is a really cool experience.
Artists and producers are also using SoundCloud to collaborate with others.
Yes. People use it to send tracks back-and-forth all over the world.
How is the sound quality on SoundCloud?
We have tried to optimize for scenarios of people wanting full quality and also having something faster and more accessible. We allow people to upload (files) in just about any quality. While we save the original uploaded file on the service, we then create a smaller file that we use for streaming online. The user always has access to the original track if they need to download it and work more on it. They can always get the original file.
In effect, they control the master.
Yes, they have the (high quality) master stored but they have this (lower quality) online streaming. It is one of those things that you don’t see on the site or you don’t notice. But the thing is, that you can put just about any kind of file into it, and it will work with it. We have done a lot of things to make sure that nothing unexpected disrupts the user flow. No strange error messages etc.
What security measures are there?
As far as people being able to set up their private tracks while collaborating on things, there are pretty high measures of security on that. It’s not military great, but it is as close as they get.
The creators control the distribution.
Exactly. I think that’s a really big deal. People can put things up and they can see the statistics of what actually happens with it in different context. They have a lot of control over what has been put up.
Are there rights issues involved?
We are providing a service for creators. When a creator wants to upload stuff, they give a representation that they have the rights to do what they are going to do with the tracks. We have to rely on them being professional enough about only doing the stuff that they are allowed to do. We have a very fast system of being able to take down things in case somebody doesn’t have the rights.
The creators as rights holders are, in effect, granting you an exemption.
Yes, but they only have to give us enough (permission) for them to use the service. As soon as they remove their tracks, no rights stay with us. It is completely in the hands of the owner. We are a temporary service for them. It should be (seen as a tool) in which they have control and they can back out at anytime. Like software that you are making the music in. You are putting your music in there, but you should never be giving any rights to that tool. It is just tool that you are using.
At this point, SoundCloud only supports audio. Will you provide a platform for video at some point.
There is no VideoCloud planned. Even though it would be fun to do, we think that there is just so much more to do on the audio side; and there are so many millions of people out there creating audio. So, we really want to focus on getting all that.
At some point will SoundCloud develop hardware?
That would be fun. But, like with video, there’s so much to do with what we have now. It would be really fun though. We did an experiment where we had a MIDI controller that we could send sounds to SoundCloud with. It was done as a hack on the weekend. It’s a very cool feeling where you have a hardware item hooked up to the web. But, we have no immediate plans for video.
There’s great stuff out there for people that take photos; and there’s some pretty good stuff for video as well. What we are really looking at is what is good for sound.
As a fan, is there any artist you’d like to use SoundCloud?
(Laughing) Well, if Bjork would sign up for her own account, I would definitely stalk her.
Larry LeBlanc is widely recognized as one of the leading music industry journalists in the world. Before joining CelebrityAccess in 2008 as senior editor, he was the Canadian bureau chief of Billboard from 1991-2007 and Canadian editor of Record World from 1970-89. He was also a co-founder of the late Canadian music trade, The Record. He has been quoted on music industry issues in hundreds of publications including Time, Forbes, the London Times and the New York Times.
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Charles Driebe, Blind Ambition Management Ltd. 09/22/06
Jeremy Driesen, Ray Bloch Productions 09/07/01
Michael Drumm, Music Link Productions 07/18/08
Angie Dunn, Lucky Artist Booking 10/13/06
Jay Durgan, MEDIAmobz 11/09/11
Erik Dyce, City and County of Denver's Division of Theatres & Arenas 08/02/02
Erik Dyce, City and County of Denver’s Division of Theatres and Arenas 08/23/10
Paolo d’Alessandro, International Solutions 06/25/14
Ros Earls, 140dB Management 02/19/14
Art Edelstein, Festival Productions 12/01/02
Bruce Eisenberg, Audio Analysts 08/31/01
Martin Elbourne, The Glastonbury Festival 12/18/09
Michael Elder, Red Entertainment 03/17/06
Tod Elmore, Sixthman 11/24/06
Paul Emery, Clear Channel Entertainment 11/19/04
Arty Erk, Citrin Cooperman 04/27/16
Joe Escalante, Kung Fu Records 07/08/05
Colin Escott, Music Historian/Journalist 07/18/11
Ritch Esra, The Music Business Registry 09/27/02
Ritch Esra, The Music Business Registry 04/24/12
Mike Esterman, Esterman Entertainment 09/01/06
Jeff Eyrich, BePop Records 11/25/05
Bob Ezrin, Bigger Picture Group 05/24/09
Lisa Fancher, Frontier Records 08/09/10
Rick Farman, Superfly Productions 10/15/04
Ray Farrell, eMusic 06/09/06
Sam Feldman, S.L. Feldman & Associates 10/25/02
Bob Feldman, Red House Records 11/24/02
Charlie Feldman, BMI 08/26/05
Paul Fenn, Asgard Promotions 11/22/09
Debra "Fergy" Ferguson, TourDesign 08/01/03
Pete Fisher, Grand Ole Opry 09/11/09
David Fishof, David Fishof Presents 01/08/01
David Fishof, Rock 'N Roll Fantasy 10/05/08
David Fishof, Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp 02/28/12
Mike Flanagin, New England Country Music Festival 09/12/08
Joel Flatow, RIAA 12/13/11
Jim Fleming, Fleming Artists 03/20/10
Joe Fletcher, Joe Fletcher Presents 01/12/06
Jeff Fluhr, StubHub 10/06/06
Nancy Fly, The Nancy Fly Agency 04/02/04
Arthur Fogel, Live Nation 08/09/09
Martin Folkman, Independent Music Awards & Music Resource Group 08/11/06
Belle Forino, Fantasma Tours 03/18/05
Fletcher Foster, Universal Records South 07/31/09
Sam Foxman, Contemporary Productions 01/06/06
Todd Frank, 4Star Entertainment, LLC 01/24/03
Bob Frank, Koch Entertainment 01/09/09
Larry Frank, Frank Productions 01/17/11
Mike Fraser, Record Producer/Engineer 10/11/08
Carl Freed, Metropolitan Entertainment 06/22/01
Elizabeth Freund, Beautiful Day Media & Management 01/26/07
Harlan Frey, Roadrunner Records 07/11/03
Adam Friedman, Nederlander Concerts 06/22/07
Ted Gardner, Larrikin Management 04/25/03
Daniel Gélinas, Festival d’été de Québec 05/23/13
Marci Geller, Sonic Underground 08/15/08
Chris Gero, Yamaha Entertainment Group 10/26/16
Steve Gerstman, SGS 07/19/02
Sandra Gibson, The Association of Performing Arts Presenters 01/09/04
Sandra L. Gibson, Association of Performing Arts Presenters 01/16/09
Steve Gietka, Trump Properties 07/30/01
Steve Gietka, SMG Entertainment 03/19/14
Darren Gilmore, Watchdog Management 03/17/16
Daniel Glass, Glassnote Entertainment Group 10/16/14
Jake Gold, The Management Trust 04/13/01
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 09/07/07
Harris Goldberg, Concert Ideas 06/27/11
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 04/16/14
Martin Goldschmidt, Cooking Vinyl Group 09/29/16
Harvey Goldsmith, Harvey Goldsmith Productions 06/28/10
Michael Goldstein, RockPoP Gallery 11/09/07
Seth Goldstein, Turntable.fm 09/20/11
Anna Paula Goncalves, CEO Global Brand Appeal 08/20/14
Arnie Goodman, Blue Storm Music 11/15/02
Wesley Goodman, Red Entertainment 09/16/05
Richard Goodstone, Superfly Productions 01/27/06
Christie Goodwin, Photographer 03/18/15
Rob Gordon, What Are Records? LTD 02/01/02
Steve Gordon, Entertainment Attorney 08/06/04
Yoav Goren, Immediate Music & Imperativa Records 06/10/14
Mike Gormley, L.A. Personal Development 11/10/06
Jonathan Gosselin, Gosselin Marketing & Promotions 07/02/04
Richard Gottehrer, The Orchard 04/10/09
Sean Goulding, The Agency Group London 09/12/12
Jerimaya Grabher, RPM Direct 09/26/03
Mary Granata, The Granata Agency 09/06/10
Kelly Graves, Providence Performing Arts Center/Professional Facilities Management 01/20/02
Stan Green, Stanley A. Green Lighting and Productions 12/12/03
Mark Green, Celebrity Talent Agency Inc. / Bergen Performing Arts Center 08/12/05
Jeffrey Green, Americana Music Association 03/10/06
Paul Green, The School of Rock 07/06/08
Benjy Grinberg, Rostrum Records 12/06/11
Brent Grulke, SXSW 03/06/09
Michael Gudinski, The Mushroom Group 10/29/15
Phil Guiliano, CIE USA Entertainment Inc. & OCESA PRESENTS Inc. 03/25/05
Steve Gumble, SBG Productions 06/16/06
Greg Hagglund, Vivelo! 05/07/04
Rodney Hall, FAME Music Group 11/06/09
Rob Hallett, Robomagic 02/05/15
Craig Hankenson, Producers, Inc 02/23/06
Kerry Hansen, Wynonna Incorporated 10/03/03
Eric Hanson, Ted Kurland Associates 12/20/02
Eric Hanson, Tree Lawn Artists 03/23/07
Rusty Harmon, MTM Music Management 12/06/07
Ali Harnell, Clear Channel Entertainment Nashville 08/15/03
Bob Harris, 02/06/09
Evan Harrison, Huka Entertainment 12/08/16
David Hart, The Agency Group 02/20/04
Laura Hassler, Musicians without Borders 12/02/15
Abe Hathot, Musician, composer, and music producer. 12/21/16
Steve Hecht, Piedmont Talent 08/29/12
Travis Hellyer, Mezzanine 09/02/05
Janie Hendrix, Experience Hendrix 02/01/10
Nona Hendryx, Rhythmbank Entertainment 06/02/06
Dan Herrington, Dualtone Records 07/25/03
Sara Hickman, Sleeveless/Stingray 06/30/06
Dan Hirsch, On Board Entertainment 04/04/03
Nick Hobbs, Charmenko 12/14/01
Carel Hoffman, Hilltop Live/Oppikoppi Productions 11/07/12
Ian Hogarth, Songkick 08/09/11
Gene Hollister, Rose Presents 04/08/01
Rusty Hooker, Rock Steady Management Agency 02/16/01
Jake Hooker, Hook Entertainment 05/10/02
Martin Hopewell, Primary Talent International 04/19/02
Tom Hoppa, TKO Booking Agency 09/29/06
Bobbie Horowitz, Times Square Group 01/04/02
Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages 11/01/11
Bruce Houghton, Skyline Music 10/27/00
Bruce Houghton, Skyline Music 01/22/14
Andi Howard, Peak Records and Andi Howard Entertainment 09/02/03
Barbara Hubbard, ACTS 09/12/03
Laurent Hubert, BMG US 11/12/15
Seth Hurwitz, I.M.P. 04/20/09
Ariel Hyatt, Author, and founder of Cyber PR 11/23/16
Mark Hyman, Ashley Talent International 11/09/01
Brett Hyman, Category 5 Entertainment 07/23/04
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 08/17/01
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 05/28/14
Doug Isaac, Super Bowl Concert Series Producer (EXI) 08/24/01
David Israelite, National Music Publishers' Association 11/29/08
Tom Jackson, Tom Jackson Productions 02/06/13
Jay Jacobs, Parc Landon 09/21/07
Larry Jacobson, World Audience 09/17/04
Audra Jaeger, The Management Trust 05/09/03
Ralph James, The Agency Group 01/31/11
Jeffrey Jampol, Jampol Artist Management 07/18/12
Jean Michel Jarre, International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) 06/19/13
Michael Jaworek, The Birchmere 05/08/09
Peter Jesperson, New West Records 11/03/06
John Jeter, The Handlebar 08/15/12
Mike Johnson, Groundrush Media 02/17/06
Mike Gormley & Jolene Pellant, Yes, Dear Entertainment 04/23/10
Susan Joseph, Justice Entertainment Group 02/21/11
Darren Julien, Julien's Auctions 10/25/10
Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson Guitars 09/28/10
Leonard Kalikow, Music Business Reference, Inc. 06/26/08
Craig Kallman, Atlantic Records 03/20/09
Steve Kane, Warner Music Canada 02/09/17
Danny Kapilian, Independent Producer 07/12/02
Mike Kappus, The Rosebud Agency 10/26/09
Andy Kaufman, Birdland 05/17/02
Wendy Kay, Mars Talent Agency 03/09/01
Lucas Keller, The Collective 03/22/11
Marty Kern, Clemson University 07/07/01
Carlos Keyes, Red Entertainment 10/08/04
Golnar Khosrowshahi, Reservoir Media Management 10/24/12
Martin Kierszenbaum, Interscope/Cherrytree Records 09/06/09
Barney Kilpatrick, Rattlesby Records 10/28/05
John Kinsner, The Walnut Room 03/28/08
Doug Kirby, LiveTourArtists 10/24/03
Steve Kirsner, Compaq Center 06/29/01
JoAnne Klabin, Sweet Relief 03/21/03
Andrew Klein, Revolution Marketing 11/05/04
Larry Klein, Producer, bassist, songwriter 03/13/12
Jack Kleinsinger, Highlights in Jazz 04/25/08
Ann Kline, Casa Kline 09/04/14
Brian Knaff, Talent Buyers Network 09/29/01
Kymberlee Knight, IEBA 11/16/00
Mike Kociela, 360 Productions 05/30/08
Stefan Kohlmeyer, Bach Technology 02/08/10
Lily Kohn, Microsoft Corporation 02/14/11
Tim Kolleth, Alligator Records 01/25/08
Al Kooper, Musician/songwriter/producer/author 02/06/14
Mitchell Koulouris, Digital Musicworks International, Inc. 02/11/05
Mark Krantz, John Schreiber Group 06/15/01
Jeff Krasno, Velour Music Group 11/19/07
Jeffrey Kruger, The Kruger Organisation 01/25/02
Harvey Kubernik, Author/historian/music journalist 08/20/15
Ted Kurland, Ted Kurland Associates 01/15/01
Jordan Kurland, Zeitgeist Artist Management 08/23/11
Carianne Laguna, Blackheart Records 03/07/08
Brady Lahr, Kufala Recordings 04/30/04
Ernie Lake, EL Records 01/19/07
Roks Lam, Wolfman Jack Entertainment 12/17/04
Anni Lam, Parc Landon 06/29/07
Gary Lane, CenterLane Attractions 10/14/05
Tom LaPenna, Lucky Man Productions 09/10/04
Camilo Lara, EMI Music Mexico/MIS 08/10/07
Gary Lashinsky, Lipizzaner Tours 05/13/05
Gregg Latterman, Aware Records 12/13/02
Tony Laurenson, Eat to the Beat 02/27/04
Emily Lazar, The Lodge 10/15/15
Bill Leabody, Leabody Systems 06/10/05
Peter Leak, 24-7 Worldwide Management 03/28/12
Steve Leeds, SR. VP/Promotion/Rock Formats at Virgin Records 07/26/02
Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter 11/14/08
Carl Leighton-Pope, Leighton-Pope Organisation 07/05/09
Steve Lemon, Live 4 Live, Inc. 12/06/02
Randy Lennox, Universal Music Canada 06/24/15
Simma Levine, Disson Furst and Partners 11/10/00
Andy Levine, Sixthman 06/08/07
Rich Levy, Clear Channel Entertainment Properties 06/25/04
Eddie Levy, Chelsea Music Publishing 07/24/14
Myles Lewis, Denise Rich Songs 12/20/10
Adam Lewis, Planetary Group 01/20/16
Terry Lickona, Austin City Limits 03/14/11
Justine Liddelow, Stage and Screen Travel Services 08/31/11
Jim Lidestri, Border City Media 09/03/15
Larry Lieberman, 4EverWild 03/28/03
Eric Lilavois, Crown City Studios, and London Bridge Studio 12/10/14
Marc Lipkin, Alligator Records 03/05/05
Tommy LiPuma (Part 1), Verve Records 11/08/10
Tommy LiPuma (Part 2), Verve Records 11/15/10
Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud 10/04/10
Andy Lo Russo, The Singing Chef 12/16/05
Phil Lobel, Lobeline Communications 08/13/04
Paul Lohr, New Frontier Touring 01/21/05
Paul Lohr, New Frontier Touring 05/17/10
Julie Lokin, New Audiences 03/23/01
Dave Lory, Artemis Records 03/30/02
Max Loubiere, Tour Director 04/11/12
Mark Lourie, Skyline Music 03/08/02
Dave Lucas, Live-360 04/28/06
Joe Lucchese, EventJoe 02/23/07
Kevin Lyman, 4 fini 03/30/01
Kevin Lyman, Vans Warped Tour 05/23/12
Bubba Mac, 09/14/07
David Macias, Emergent Music Marketing 06/17/05
Kristen Madsen, Grammy Foundation and MusiCares 11/22/10
Larry Magid, Larry Magid Entertainment 05/04/10
Peter Malkin, PM Management 02/07/03
Toby Mamis, Alive Enterprises 02/12/01
Billy Mann, Green & Bloom | Topl1ne, Manncom 09/18/14
Tasea Margeolas, Multi Entertainment 06/23/06
Tony Margherita, dBpm Records 09/06/11
Bob Roux & Mark Campana, Live Nation 12/20/11
Lee Marshall, Magic Arts & Entertainment 09/13/02
Zach Martin, Radio Producer at New York's WAXQ-FM 08/30/02
Mario Martin, Gorgeous PR 04/27/07
Molly Martinez, Ticket Summit 2008 05/23/08
Paul Mascioli, Mascioli Entertainment 01/14/05
Michael Maska, Big Hassle 01/28/05
Ted Mason, Mi-5 Recordings 11/16/01
Steve Masur, Masur & Associates, LLC 11/21/03
Pam Matthews, The Ryman Auditorium 04/08/05
Terry McBride, Nettwerk Music Group 03/01/10
Michael McCarty, ole 06/20/11
Jim McDonald, McDonald Group 12/19/03
Virginia McEnerney, HeadCount 11/26/07
Doc McGhee, McGhee Entertainment 06/14/10
Camilla McGuinn, Tour Manager 08/24/07
Andy McLean, North By Northeast (NXNE) 04/01/05
Dennis McNally, Grateful Dead historian/publicist 09/06/02
Garry McQuinn, Back Row Productions 06/14/11
Ruthann McTyre, The Rita Benton Music Library; and president of the Music Library Association 08/31/10
Dick McVey, Musician's Referral Service 10/27/07
Katherine McVicker, Music Works International 01/08/15
John Meglen, Concerts West/AEG Live 02/21/13
Mark Meharry, Music Glue 05/28/15
Jorge Mejia, Sony/ATV Music Publishing 09/17/15
Dan Melnick, Festival Productions, Inc. 02/22/02
André Ménard, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 06/12/09
Bob Merlis, Merlis For Hire/Memphis International Records 01/16/04
Doug Merrick, Cumberland Talent Agency and Merrick Music Group 07/21/06
Louis Messina, The Messina Group 10/22/04
Louis Messina, The Messina Group/AEG Live 07/17/09
Louis Jay Meyers, North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance 03/30/07
Louis Jay Meyers, Folk Alliance International 01/23/09
Todd Miller, House Of Blues - New Orleans 11/14/03
Jeff Miller, Fantasma Productions 03/16/07
Ben Miller, Rock Ridge Music 11/02/07
J. B. Miller, Empire Entertainment 08/22/08
Richard Mills, S.L. Feldman 11/02/09
Marty Monson, Barbershop Harmony Society 07/07/16
Linda Moran, Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) 04/05/09
Jesse Morreale, Nobody In Particular Presents (NIPP) 09/20/02
Chuck Morris, Live Rocky Mountains 09/28/09
Mo Morrison, Independent production 05/24/02
Kevin Morrow, Steel Wool Entertainment 01/25/17
Nick Moss, Blue Bella Records 11/30/07
Jim Musselman, Appleseed Recordings 04/14/06
Natalia Nastaskin, United Talent Agency 04/13/16
Marc Nathan, Flagship Records 07/01/05
David Neilon, Rising Star Promotions 11/30/01
Don Neuen, Star Coaches Inc. 10/10/12
Dennis Newhall, DIG Music 10/07/05
John Nittolo, John Nittolo Productions 04/13/07
Ian Noble, Metropolitan Talent 05/23/03
Josh Norek, JN Media, LLC 07/05/02
David Norman, Tour Manager 04/20/07
Mimi Northcott, Canadian Recording Services (CRS) 04/11/08
Bill Nowlin, Rounder Records 01/05/07
John Nugent, NY JAM Inc. 11/08/02
Andy Nulman, Just For Laughs 11/20/13
Sal Nunziato, NYCD 06/01/01
Bob O'Neal, Ryman Auditorium 06/28/02
Andrea Orbeck, Prehab Health and Fitness 03/15/10
Heather Orser, Toad's Place 01/29/01
Janet Oseroff, MultiMediaProperties 11/18/05
Marc Ostrow, Boosey & Hawkes 12/05/08
Riley O’Connor, Live Nation Canada 07/24/09
Jeremy Palmer, Buddy Lee Attractions 11/02/01
John Palmer, Megawave Records 08/31/07
Panos Panay, Sonicbids 12/23/05
Julien Paquin, Paquin Artists Agency 04/30/14
Graham Parker, WQXR-FM 11/26/14
Crispin Parry, British Underground 02/24/08
Donald Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 04/09/10
Donald S. Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 01/06/16
Bruce Patron, Overland Entertainment 07/28/06
Alexandra Patsavas, Chop Shop Music 09/27/11
Cheryl Pawelski, Omnivore Entertainment Group 09/26/13
Kerry Peace, Alligator Records 08/18/06
Eric Peltoniemi, Red House Records 12/14/09
Scott Perry, Sperry Media 03/11/05
Lawrence Peryer, Jr., 23 Omnimedia 11/07/08
John Peters, MassConcerts 06/07/11
Holger Petersen, Stony Plain Records 04/15/05
Jon Phillips, Silverback Professional Artist Mgmt/Controlled Substance Sound 08/29/08
Dave Pichilingi, Sound City 03/30/16
Vince Pileggi, Music Inc./Music Inc. Sounds 12/01/06
Eric Pirritt, Endit! Presents / The Fox Theatre 10/17/03
Neil Portnow, The Recording Academy 02/08/11
Louis Posen, Hopeless Records 04/04/11
Stephen Posen, Estate of Glenn Gould 01/23/13
Nadia Prescher, Madison House 06/20/03
Jeff Price, TuneCore 02/28/11
Tom Principato, Powerhouse Records 02/01/08
Roger Probert, Core Records 12/08/06
John "Grinder" Procaccini, JP Squared (JP2) 01/17/03
Mark Pucci, Independent Music Publicist 09/09/05
David Pullman, The Pullman Group 11/03/00
Rod Quinton, Saigon Sound System 04/18/11
Dolphus Ramseur, Ramseur Records 10/19/07
Jack Randall, Ted Kurland Associates 04/05/02
Jack Randall, The Kurland Agency 03/08/17
Debra Rathwell, AEG Live 05/03/13
Jeff Ravitz, Visual Terrain 02/08/08
Rich Rees, M.P.I. Talent Agency 09/19/08
John Reese, Freeze Artist Management 08/01/08
Bill Reeves, WRIII, Inc. 10/20/06
Stephen Rehage, Rehage Entertainment 07/30/04
Lisa Reiss, Pearl Productions 08/17/07
Salaam Remi, Composer, producer, musician and label executive. 01/08/14
David Renzer, Universal Music Publishing Group 08/23/09
Alison Richard, Universal Orlando Resort 05/06/05
Kelli Richards, The All Access Group 02/07/12
Gary Richards, HARD Events 08/29/13
Sam Righi, Waterfront Entertainment Group 05/30/03
Jon Rinaldo, Joker Productions 01/02/04
Geary Rindels, Geary Rindels Enterprises, Inc. 12/05/03
Doreen Ringer Ross, BMI 01/18/08
Lisette Rioux, Island Def Jam Music Group 05/16/03
Dave Roberge, Everfine Records & Everfine Artist Management 12/03/04
Sandy Roberton, Worlds End Producer Management 02/20/09
Ty Roberts, Gracenote 01/31/12
Bill Rogers, BRE Presents 07/13/07
Ian Rogers, Topspin Media 06/01/10
Benji Rogers, PledgeMusic 12/19/13
Dave Rose, Deep South Entertainment 09/15/06
Eric Rosen, Ronald S. Bienstock & Associates 05/25/01
Stuart Ross, The Ross Group 02/23/01
David Ross, President IAAM; Director, Show Me Center 09/23/05
Bobby Rossi, Ruth Eckerd Hall 02/28/03
Michael Rothschild, Landslide Records 04/29/05
Robert Rowland, Red Entertainment 06/13/08
Bill Royston, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival 03/07/03
John Rudolph, Bug Music 05/24/10
Elizabeth Rush, E.R.A. / Elizabeth Rush Agency 08/20/04
Aran Rush, Expo and Foro Imperial 02/16/07
Maurice Russell, Harry Fox Agency 10/21/05
Barron Ruth, Skyline Music 02/14/03
Andrea Sabata, Skyline Music 01/07/05
Numa Saisselin, Count Basie Theatre, Inc. 02/04/05
Ron Sakamoto, Gold & Gold Productions 01/16/10
David Salidor, dis Company 07/20/07
Shaw Saltzberg, S. L. Feldman and Associates 06/21/10
Bruce Allen & Sam Feldman, A&F Music 12/19/08
Mark Samuels, Basin Street Records 06/11/04
Jacqueline Saturn, Harvest Records 01/21/15
Tamara Saviano, American Roots Publishing 07/22/05
Tamara Saviano, Author, journalist, and producer 08/18/16
Michael Scafuto, Mountain High Entertainment 12/07/01
Steve Schankman, Contemporary Productions 12/21/01
Steve Scharf, Carlin America 10/11/02
John Scher, Metropolitan Talent 11/21/08
Al Schmitt, Producer/Engineer 02/13/10
Bobby Schneider, Tour Coordinator, Third Eye Blind 01/31/03
Jake Schneider, Madison House 04/02/14
Steven Schnur, EA Music Group 07/03/13
Elaine Schock, Shock Ink 02/19/10
Stacy Schott, Mad Booking and Events 08/22/03
Daylle Schwartz, Revenge Productions 08/19/05
Dean Sciarra, ItsAboutMusic.com 11/26/04
Joel Selvin, Author and Journalist 08/07/14
Jay Sendyk, Sendyk, Leonard & Company, Inc. 05/03/02
Peter Shapiro, Ideal Entertainment 04/16/04
Seth Sheck, Access Pass & Design 01/03/03
Seth Sheck, ACCESS Event Solutions 06/22/16
Seth Shomes, The Agency Group 11/12/14
Jay Sieleman, The Blues Foundation 07/18/03
Anya Siglin, The Ark 03/05/10
Bill Silva, Bill Silva Entertainment 10/19/10
Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy Entertainment 03/06/12
Steve Simon, Clear Channel Communications 05/14/04
Ralph Simon, Live Earth 07/06/07
Ralph Simon, Mobilium 04/12/11
Michael Simon, The Harry Fox Agency 08/14/13
Ron Simpson, RCS Productions 01/11/08
John Simson, SoundExchange 07/15/05
Dion Singer, Warner Bros. 12/07/09
Gram Slaton, The Community Arts Center 02/25/05
Owen Sloane, Gladstone Michel Weisberg Willner & Sloane 10/11/10
Peter Smidt, Eurosonic Noorderslag & manager Buma Cultuur 07/17/13
Garrison Snell, Gyrosity Projects 02/23/17
Mike Snider, Paradigm Talent Agency Nashville 05/17/11
Andrew Snowhite, Musictoday 05/04/01
Bruce Solar, The Agency Group 05/14/14
Nikki Solgot, Circle Talent Agency 02/18/15
Michael Solomon, Brick Wall Management 05/25/07
Mark Sonder, Mark Sonder Productions 07/25/08
Steve Sonnier, UIC Pavilion at the University of Illinois, Chicago 09/03/04
Kathy Spanberger, peermusic 06/20/12
Carolyn Specht, CIE USA Entertainment Inc. and OCESA PRESENTS Inc. 03/26/04
David Spelman, New York Guitar Festival 10/01/04
Jason Spiewak, Rock Ridge Music 04/07/06
Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts 11/29/12
Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts 02/18/05
Jeremy Stephan, Ventures, LLC 04/23/04
Walter Stewart, Mars Talent Agency 02/21/03
Gail Stocker, Gail Stocker Presents 11/12/04
Jon Stoll, Fantasma Productions 10/13/00
Jesse Stoll, AEG 06/27/09
Henry Stone, Henry Stone Music 06/24/05
Jason Stone, Live Nation New York 03/31/06
Howard Stovall, Resource Entertainment Group 05/28/04
Cameron Strang, New West Records 10/18/02
Don Strasburg, AEG Live Rocky Mountains 02/27/09
Barbara Strauss, Sovereign Ventures 05/12/06
Richard Stumpf, Cherry Lane Publishing 08/07/06
Patrick Sullivan, RightsFlow 10/25/11
Bernie Swain & Harry Rhodes, Jr., Washington Speakers Bureau 12/07/00
Dean Swett, Paramour Group 06/14/02
Jake Szufnarowski, Rocks Off 05/02/08
Marc Tanner, Chime Entertainment 12/22/06
Donald Tarlton, The Donald K Donald Group 04/12/02
Tess Taylor, Los Angeles Music Network 08/09/02
Race Taylor, WPLJ - New York 10/27/06
Race Taylor, WPLJ - New York 10/27/06
Chris Taylor, Taylor 03/15/09
Peter Tempkins, DeWitt Stern Group 03/16/01
Peter Tempkins, Momentous Insurance Brokerage 03/27/09
Lisa Tenner, Tenner & Associates (EAT'M) 08/06/01
Jeremy Tepper, Diesel Only Records 10/10/03
Allan Tepper, Bicycle Music Company 09/28/07
Martin Terefe, Kensaltown Studios 05/31/11
Milun Tesovic, MetroLeap Media 10/18/09
Mandar Thakur, Times Music 08/06/15
Jerry Thompson, Promoter Line Inc. 03/05/04
Jose Tillan, MTV Networks Latin America 12/02/05
Jon Tiven, Hormone Studios 08/05/05
Rob Tonkin, Marketing Factory 12/17/15
John "J.T." Toomey, 25/8 Management 11/15/11
Livia Tortella, Warner Bros. Records 01/10/12
Phil Tripp, IMMEDIA! 01/19/06
Claudio Trotta, Barley Arts Promotion 11/26/01
Chris Tsakalakis, StubHub 01/11/10
Ben Turner, Graphite Media 05/10/10
Steve Vai, Favored Nations Entertainment 04/26/02
John Valentino, Fantasma Productions 04/18/03
John Valentino, AEG Live SE 11/01/10
Don Van Cleave, Coalition of Independent Music Stores 04/09/04
Casey Verbeck, Partners in Music 06/06/03
David "Boche" Viecelli, The Billions Corporation 04/18/10
Ray Waddell, Billboard Magazine 08/27/04
Rob Waggener, Foundations Recovery Network 03/07/11
Jim Walczak, Racine Civic Centre 06/03/05
Jeff Walker, The AristoMedia Group 08/16/10
Carla Wallace, Big Yellow Dog Music 11/04/05
Russell Wallach, Live Nation Network 03/20/12
Steve Walter, The Cutting Room 10/24/08
Neil Warnock, The Agency Group 05/02/09
Diane Warren, Realsongs 08/14/09
Butch Waugh, RCA Label Group Nashville 01/10/03
Lauren Wayne, The State Theatre 05/09/12
Kirt Webster, Webster PR 02/03/16
Ken Weinstein, Big Hassle Media 04/22/05
Bruce Weinstein, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts 02/15/08
Larry Weintraub, Fanscape 05/18/01
Pam Weiser, Momentous Insurance Brokerage 10/11/11
Kevin Welk, Welk Music Group 01/24/12
D-J Wendt, Dmand Management 05/09/08
Alison Wenham, Worldwide Independent Network 02/13/09
Bill Werde, Billboard 08/03/11
Joel Whitburn, Record Research 11/13/09
Judd White, Tour Manager/Accountant 02/13/04
Jeff White, In Ticketing 12/16/06
Adam White, Author 09/14/16
Adam Wilkes, AEG Live Asia 10/13/16
Fenton Williams, 04/04/08
Del Williams, Right Arm Entertainment 04/18/08
Bryan "Birdman" Williams, Cash Money Records 09/13/11
Paul Williams, ASCAP 10/19/11
J.P. Williams, Parallel Entertainment 10/03/12
Kurt Willms, Green Room Productions 09/20/03
Chris Wilson, Heartbeat Records 03/02/07
Tony Wilson, Factory Records/In The City 06/01/07
Tom Windish, The Windish Agency 07/26/10
John Wiseman, XL Touring Video 05/05/06
Thom Wolke, Twincloud.com 02/08/02
Michael Wood, City Lights Entertainment 08/08/08
Keith Wortman, Blackbird Presents 03/22/17
Nigel Wright, Independant Record Producer 11/07/03
Dusty Wright, CultureCatch.com 07/27/07
Jeremiah “Ice” Younossi, A-List Talent 09/20/09
Gail Zappa, The Zappa Family Trust 10/02/14
Kevin 'Chief' Zaruk, Chief Music Management 06/10/15
Ron Zeelens, RAZco Visas 04/20/01
Rick Zeiler, Sidney Frank Importing Company 06/04/04
Danny Zelisko, Live Nation 06/19/09
Hillary Zuckerberg, Brick Wall Management. 07/09/04
Steve Zuckerman, Global Entertainment and Media Summit 03/22/02
Paul Zullo, Muze 01/23/04
Nanette Zumwalt, Hired Power 02/03/06
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