Industry Profile: Howard Becker
By Larry LeBlanc (CelebrityAccess MediaWire)
This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Howard Becker, CEO, Comet Technologies.
Howard Becker, CEO of Comet Technologies, is absolutely delighted that his privately-held company recently launched the social networking and social network marketing applications Twitpump, Gamenion, and Sportadore.
Co-founded by its chairman Victor Sviadoschóa marketing and technology entrepreneuróand CTO Valeri Chirokov, a software and internet Research & Development manageróComet Technologies launched in 2001 to develop algorithms for the purpose of compressing, transmitting and viewing video over dial-up telephone connections.
Comet, based in Cleveland, Ohio, went on to pioneer and patent the technology for the streaming of live video through cell phones.
By 2004, Comet introduced the first free videophone service specifically targeted at dial-up users.
In 2005, Becker joined the company as CEO. With a consulting background in technology commercialization, and experience in technology and consumer products, he had the background to develop a strategic plan for Comet that targeted security and media markets.
Becker is a former CPA who has overseen numerous startups, including for software security, web acceleration and geo-location firms. He has also been a CEO for both Signature Works, and Hartford Eichenauer, Inc. as well as senior VP of corporate development for Gibson Guitar Corp.
Becker earned an MBA from the University Of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He also has a B.S. in Management, Minor Economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
As cell phone technology caught up with its live streaming technology, Comet targeted the journalism market by launching its First2Air product line in 2006. First2Air is a mobile application that provides direct live-to-TV air broadcast of streaming video from a cell phone.
Fox News, CNN, ABC News, GEO, Multimedios are among the news organizations that have utilized First2Air.
In 2006, Comet began providing live streaming capabilities to the consumer market. It launched its first mobile social networking experience, focusing primarily on live streaming video. This product, morphed into Phlyr, was provided to AT&T as a live streaming platform for cell phones.
After developing multimedia social network marketing technology last year, Comet prepared to launch the Gamenion, and Sportadore websites; as well as Twitpump, a social networking marketing plug in 2011.
Gamenion is a gamer-centric website with messages that include references to particular games, and game-related keywords. The messages are categorized by game, so that a user can see all the social networking communications related to that game. The website includes unique data bases, where a user can see all the messages from people within their social network that relate to games.
Sportadore is similar in concept to Gamenion, except its proprietary robots search and bring together all Twitter and Facebook messages with key sports and individual athlete related keywords. Users can view all the messages related to a single team, or can view messages from everyone within their social network.
Launched last month, Twitpump is intended to keep followers and friends on a customerís website while aggregating followers and friends. Twitpump offers these friends and followers direct purchasing opportunities from the customerís web site. It allows all multimedia, including pictures, music, video clips, and real time live streaming to be included within messages sent from computers and smart phones.
Twitpump is a social networking marketing plug?
Itís a very cool product. We launched it in Cleveland (on April 18, 2011). We think that we have found something here. Itís a model where we allow businesses to have their social networking platform on their website; and they are able to stream live video onto their website. Since they can do that on their website, they can get even more people to their website; and they can then get more fans, friends, or whoever to their website. More people, more eyeballs, more revenues, more profit to them.
Something like Twitpump isnít in the marketplace?
We hope that we have hit the niche at the right time. A lot of businesses, if they have either a Twitter or a Facebook page, are sharing real estate with Twitter and Facebook branding. They canít sell right on their site. But with Twitpump, we give them a three line script that they can plug right into their website. They have the time line right there. Plus all of their messages go to Twitter and Facebook as well so they donít lose anything off their current marketing strategy.
At the same time, they bring people back to their website where thereís a ďbuyĒ button next to the time line if they want to stream an event or stream some studio time. They can do it right to their site. They donít have to worry about anybody else putting ads around it. They can sell T-shirts right next to the live event.
In essence, Twitpump is an enhancement of Twitter and Facebook, with increased control by the user.
Exactly. We donít perceive ourselves competing with Twitter or Facebook. We view what we do as building on them. If weíre successful, and if our customers are successful, it will bring more people into the Twitter and Facebook communities.
But you are piggybacking on Twitter and Facebook.
We are piggybacking on them because it is their user base that is going to the customerís website. (Twitpump) is a specific niche for business. It works well with entertainers and musicians. Lady Gaga might have millions of followers on Twitter but if she had the Twitpump plug on her website, those people could come to her website rather than going to her Facebook page with all of the (direct) opportunities in engaging them for her concerts.
(Twitpump) reduces the number of clicks by one to three. Plus, you are able to have the ďbuyĒ button there, and not have to share the real estate with all the (Facebook) friends stuff, and all of the Twitter followers stuff on Twitter.
Twitpump is still kind of an enhanced Twitter.
Itís useful for business people to be able to send out a message; and itís useful for a business, like a Disney or a cruise line, to have this on their website. With (Twitpump) they can have people streaming video and have fun things happening. They can put up video clips and picturesóall of thatóand itís all oriented around their brand rather than somebody elseís. So there are some interesting corporate opportunities for it.
You offer a customer more control over their brand.
Absolutely. They control their brand. All their graphics can be there; however, they want to link with the rest of the website. Yep, itís an issue of control. As a side issue, the social networking that we are offering is incrementally better than either Facebook or Twitter because with the mobile media, people can attach whatever they want to their site, including using live streaming as well.
Itís kind of a one-stop shop for the users because with Twitter, if you want to attach a picture you have to go through Twitpic. Then it goes to Twitpic. What do you do when you look at Twitpic? If thereís a picture attached, it gets clicked on and what is surrounding the picture is the customerís website. We have all of the features in one place. Our messages can be up to 4,000 characters.
So Twitpump gets the message out, and lets customers show fans or whatever what they want to showcase.
Yeah. The other thing is fans can put messages up on a customerís time line, where it is not just uni-directional like Twitter, itís bi-directional. Of course, we give the company the back end where they can moderate it. If they want to opt into that feature they can. If they opt in, they can edit out the messages that they donít want.
You arenít using an advertising model for Twitpump.
The model is that the customer has a monthly licensing fee. At this point, the typical fee is $199 a month for the plug in; they get the ability to stream live video. It is run off our servers. They donít have to do a thing. It takes 15 minutes for them to download the script onto their website and to have it show up. For a corporation or any type of entertainer, that isnít a bad deal.
You launched Twitpump with no pre-marketing. How are you spreading word about it?
The initial phaseóthe first six weeks of our marketing planóis to hopefully have opportunities to talk to the media; use the viral network; use the social networking approach to marketing without a significant investment in what would be considered classic advertising. Then, at the end of that six to eight week period, we will see where we are; and determine where we want to go to the next step.
We launched Twitpump last month. We plan to launch Sportadore on May 3. Then we will launch Gamenion two weeks after that. Hopefully, two weeks after that, we will launch something else.
Not having any pre-marketing is quite a reactive strategy.
It is, but with something new, I like to get it out first and through interviews and technical discussions, get people engaged in the whole thing; get people interested; and get feedback before going onto Phase 2.
You want people to use the product and spread the word?
Yes. If we can use this approach to get some users, get them involved, get people getting people, and get the information, that helps create a more classical marketing approach. Then proceed from there.
Tell me about Gamenion and Sportadore.
These are very interesting. We have these little robots that go through the internet and (with Sportadore) any time anything is said about a certain sporting team, a member of the team or anything related to that team, we pull that message, and we categorize it, and list it. Which may sound simple. Some people call that aggregation, but we are doing more than aggregation. We filter news, and we have guys in the background trying to keep up with it.
Not only does Sportadore get all of the information about the team, but a customer can find out what his friends are saying about a team on the internet.
Yes. For example, if I have a Facebook friend, I will see the messages about the (Cleveland) Browns that he is sending. (Sportadore) accumulates Twitter and Facebook messages that go out on the Internet. We have a cumulative of over two million messages for sports. Interestingly, we have put a Twitpump plug on (Sportadore), so a person can use the Twitpump services from the Sportadore page.
Gamenion has the same model for the gaming industry?
For video games and the like. The thing that makes it significantly different is the fact that I can go to a certain game and find out what all my friends are saying about that game. That is something that you canít really do anywhere else.
Why start with sports and gaming sites?
If you look at the market for computers, and the internet, the biggest single dollar value is anything related to games. So we thought that it would be a good target. Gamers are some of the most significant social networking people. They were some of the people who were networking and blogging during all of the early days of social networking that kind of drove the volume. So, we thought that if we did that, it would be good. The first music version will be ready, hopefully, in early June.
Are Gamenion and Sportadore both advertising based?
Exactly. They are advertising based. Quite honestly, from a business point of view, each of these might be useful in and of themselves for potential acquirers. Gamenion might be of interest to a brick and mortar game seller who wants a stronger social networking/internet presence. Sportadore could be of interest to anyone from ABC Sports to ESPN.
You joined Comet Technologies in 2005. How did you meet up with Victor Sviadosch and Valeri Chirokov?
Victor and Valeri met me at the trade show. We started talking about their product. They showed me this Motorola phone that was streaming live video. It was absolutely fabulous.
Plus it featured online audio as well.
Yes. It was unbelievable. They said that they wanted to primarily focus on the security market. I said, ďWell, if you want to focus on the security market initially okay, but, obviously, the end game on this is the consumer market.Ē So we got together.
Why were they attracted to you?
During the period, I had been a consultant for startups. And I ended up in this little bit of a video field because I had done some consulting for a company called Intelligent Machine Concepts (in Titusville, Florida) that do video inspection of beverage cans. Beverage cans get produced at a rate of 50 a second. Itís a blur, but they figured out a way to do video so you could inspect 50 cans a second. Then, we sold that company and I then consulted for a company that was into video security. We were at this trade show where I met Victor and Valeri. I was in Florida at the time and I started working for the company there. By coincidence, my wife Hollee, who has been a structural engineer, decided that she wanted to go back to school and get a degree in architecture. She was accepted at Kent State University. So, thatís how we ended up only 40 minutes away from where Cometís headquarters were in Cleveland. So it worked out really well for both of us.
[Howard Becker resides in Streetsboro, Ohio, with his wife Hollee, an assistant professor in the School of Architecture and Interior Design at Kent State University.]
When Victor and Valeri showed you what they had, did they need startup capital at that point?
At the time, both Victor and other investor groups were in place. So, the money wasnít the issue. What they needed was someone who knew and had experience in technology. I had also done strategic playing (mastering complex game systems and problem solving).
Was the cost of developing Twitpump $6 million?
We have $6 million invested since the beginning in 2001. Every bit of that $6 million ended up being used in what is Twitpump. Of course, it went through variations, starting with the live streaming video. We have patents on the live streaming video in the lower band environment. But, it ended up being helpful even in higher band environments because we have a much higher quality. With cells phone, users are getting streaming from a mobile and all the other interactive things that we have put together. We built on that foundation. It is basically the same team that weíve had from 2001 that has been working with the company.
There was a big shake-up in the telecom market when Victor and Valeri started in 2001. Not a great time to be launching a new company.
Exactly. In fact, with the predecessor to Comet, the original first phase of the technology was for a telecom for the purpose of transmitting video and other large files over telephone lines. When the telecom bubble occurred, the investors in the company said, ďNow that we no longer have the telecom market available, shall we build the business on its own, in and of itself, and try to move forward that way?Ē Thatís how the company moved forward. It moved forward independently as result of the bubble.
Did the company lose any investors?
No, they are still there.
When you came to Comet in 1995, did you have to calm the investors?
Actually, all I had to do was to talk to the current investors, and put together the plan, show it to them, and they bought in. The investment group has been very supportive since that point. As we move forward, in order to grow to the next levels, we will need much larger sums of money. As appropriate, we will see if our current investment group wants to do it or if other people want to get involved.
Has the mobile marketplace just caught up with what Comet has been doing?
Well, weíve been ahead of (the market). Thatís it. Our technology has been ahead of the phones for the past 10 years. What has happened is that they got more memory, they got more battery and other things. And, as the technology has moved forward, they can do more with what our stuff is. We did a lot of work on live streaming video. We were the first people to ever stream live to air from a cell phone. We did it with a Windows mobile-based phone. Fox News started doing it a couple of years ago. We have done a lot on the streaming process.
It was in 2004 that Comet offered video streaming with dial-up. Thatís amazing.
We were doing it on dial-up on some old Motorola phones. It was just unbelievable. It was so cool. It started out black-and-white, and then when the first smart phones came out, we then had to re-write the codes for the Symbian (operating system and software platform designed for smart phones) and Windows. Then, as iPhone and Android came out, we had to move forward with that.
With mobile phones, even the smart phones, the screens for video are probably smaller than what people really want.
Well, on a mobile phone with the size of it today, you are 100% correct. For me, if I want to view a video, if Iím on a plane or somewhere, I need almost a 3 (inch) by 4 1/2 (inch) type of screen size or an iPad. But the iPad is a little larger. I saw some of the early Nokias where they were experimenting with sizes in between. I figured that someone somewhere along the line would come up with something the size of one of the wallets that you put in a suit pocket. A little bit bigger than todayís mobile phone.
The iPhone has been a game changer, but the Android phone with Google will likely have greater impact.
The iPhone was the game changer as far as changing the direction of mobile when it got moved in two years ago. Today though, the game changer may be the Android phones with Google. Just from a technical point of view, our guys like coding on Google. The platform is much more open, and thereís a lot more that can be done with it. As it has gone forward, Google is looking at expanding Android so that it goes on other platforms. That, I think, is a good move by Google. iPhone can be very rigorous and difficult as you do the development work for the mobile. For us at least.
iPhone has the most apps now that people are interested in.
Absolutely with iPhone. The last (figure) I read was 200,000 (apps) and growing. Thatís amazing. But you are right, itís changed everything. Itís going to be a continuing part of the change.
The introduction of music services with Google and Spotify will likely have a significant impact in the U.S. mobile market which seems to be behind other mobile markets like Japan and Korea in terms of the use of content on mobile.
Youíre right. Starting about three or four years ago, we were starting to see the mobility connected people in Korea. Then that expanded to Japan. The amount of content that has been delivered through Japan and South Korea starting three years ago has put (them) ahead of us. Plus they were using the more expensive phones.
Part of the problem in the past two or three years (in the U.S.) was (the smart phone) introductory pricing of $600 or $400. As things have come down more people can get them. The pricing is going to be the issue as to when everybody replaces their regular cell phone with some form of smart phone.
Meanwhile, music industry has to come to terms with varied ways of licensing content.
They are still using old models for monetization.
Yes they are. Monitoring the copyrights can be difficult. There are a lot of watermarks that you can put in place. But for every watermark that you put in place at a different level of encryption, you end up with a situation that someone will focus on and get into. Any type of security always has to be dynamic and in real time and always on line whenever somebody is listening. With all of the privacy issues, technically, it is a difficult challenge for them.
Right holders remain wary of the internet.
When I was with Gibson two years ago, I was working on a project that managed their video rights across all platforms. We tried to pitch it to Paramount, Disney and others. Even at the time, they were scared out of their wits that what had happened to the music industry would happen to them. But they were also scared out of their wits because the technology people didnít grasp how quickly that everything is going to one thing. Thereís not going to be ďits contentĒ and itís no longer how itís delivered, whether it is computer or MP3 or whatever. That doesnít matter. It is all about content available to everybody on everything and whenever they want it. The more you delay that (then) the business you have is going to go down the toilet.
Whatís your background?
I am originally from Connecticut from a small town called Middle Haddam. I grew up five minutes from the Goodspeed Opera House (in East Haddam). My dad was with the telephone company. He started as a lineman. By the time he retired, after 35 years, he was a supervisor of people who were linemen.
Your work experience has been diverse.
I have had three lives. I started out as a CPA. I went into manufacturing, and then I went into technology. Iíve kind of got this wide ranging, very broad spectrum of knowledge, from human resources to marketing to whatever.
In 1998, you made the move from technology to manufacturing.
I was CEO of several consumer products manufacturing companies. The biggest one was Signature Works out of Mississippi with about 500 people. We made brooms, mops and things for Wal-Mart and some stuff for the government. I moved from there and thatís when I went into technology.
When did you work at Gibson Guitar Corp.?
I went there while I was doing my consulting around 2006. Effectively, I was an employee, but I was more like an internal consultant. If there was a problem, Henry Juszkiewicz (chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar Corp.) would say, ďHoward, this a problem. Go fix it.Ē So Iíd go and do research, talk to him about it, and try to fix it.
How was Henry Juszkiewicz to work with?
I found that he was very, very straight with me; and he was very creative, very energetic. He really knew what he was doing. I left him in a very positive environment.
During this period, you werenít at Comet Technologies on a day-to day basis?
What happened was that for about 18 months, I continued as the CEO of Comet but we set up a subsidiary, and brought in a new group of people who moved (the company) in a new direction. So, I wasnít involved on a day-to-day basis. I was working 100% for Gibson at the time. I got back into Comet last July (2010) on a day-to-day basis.
Why did you return to Comet?
We decided totally on (developing) a consumer product that took advantage of the new social networking environment.
It sounds as if Comet had been in conflict with itself while you wanted to create a social networking model.
Thatís it exactly. I think that you have identified what it was. What we learned very early on was that the professional market is limited to three or four major networks and thatís your customer base. Unless every one of their employees has a cell phone that can run your software then the market is even further limited.
Comet First2Air was being used by CNN, ABC and GEO TV.
First2Air is primarily used to stream live video. Part of my vision had been to create a social networking model. We were attempting bits and pieces along the way, but it was not until we decided to actually target the social networking model that I came back in full time.
You recognized a wider market for First2Air; and itís not far from there to Twitpump.
Itís a logical, rational move.
When you graduated with an MBA from the University Of Chicago Graduate School Of Business what did you expect to do?
I expected to go into the world of finance on Wall Street. I ended up accelerating my studies, and I graduated early. I was 22 when I had my MBA from Chicago. The first thing I did was decide to go into (one of) the Big 8 CPA firms. When you are young and in finance, thatís what you did. I was at Cooper & Lybrand for three years before it merged with Price Waterhouse (in 1998). I was in Chicago for 18 months, and then I was in Connecticut for 18 months.
Then, I decided that since I had seen everything in the world, and I was a whopping 24 years old, I decided that I knew everything. I said, ďIíve seen people run businesses; I can do better than that.Ē So I did the entrepreneurial thing. A friend and I bought a small heating element company, Hartford Heating Element Company in Newport, New Hampshire. It had $300,000 in sales and about 20 people. I put all of my savings together and borrowed as much as I could. We ended up in a joint venture with a German company (Eichenauer GmbH) and the name changed to Hartford Eichenauer. By the time I wrapped things up there 15 years later (as CEO), we had peaked out at about $10 million in sales.
Kind of a stretch to what you are doing today with Comet Technologies.
This definitely has a higher cool factor.
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, and the London Times. He is co-author of the book ďMusic From Far And Wide: Celebrating 40 Years Of The Juno Awards.
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Erik Dyce, City and County of Denverís Division of Theatres and Arenas 08/23/10
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
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 íní 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
Marci Geller, Sonic Underground 08/15/08
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
Jake Gold, The Management Trust 04/13/01
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 09/07/07
Harris Goldberg, Concert Ideas 06/27/11
Harvey Goldsmith, Harvey Goldsmith Productions 06/28/10
Michael Goldstein, RockPoP Gallery 11/09/07
Seth Goldstein, Turntable.fm 09/20/11
Arnie Goodman, Blue Storm Music 11/15/02
Wesley Goodman, Red Entertainment 09/16/05
Richard Goodstone, Superfly Productions 01/27/06
Rob Gordon, What Are Records? LTD 02/01/02
Steve Gordon, Entertainment Attorney 08/06/04
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
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
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
David Hart, The Agency Group 02/20/04
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
Andi Howard, Peak Records and Andi Howard Entertainment 09/02/03
Barbara Hubbard, ACTS 09/12/03
Seth Hurwitz, I.M.P. 04/20/09
Mark Hyman, Ashley Talent International 11/09/01
Brett Hyman, Category 5 Entertainment 07/23/04
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 08/17/01
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Simma Levine, Disson Furst and Partners 11/10/00
Andy Levine, Sixthman 06/08/07
Rich Levy, Clear Channel Entertainment Properties 06/25/04
Myles Lewis, Denise Rich Songs 12/20/10
Terry Lickona, Austin City Limits 03/14/11
Justine Liddelow, Stage and Screen Travel Services 08/31/11
Larry Lieberman, 4EverWild 03/28/03
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
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
John Meglen, Concerts West/AEG Live 02/21/13
Dan Melnick, Festival Productions, Inc. 02/22/02
Andrť Mťnard, Festival International de Jazz de Montrťal 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
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
Nick Moss, Blue Bella Records 11/30/07
Jim Musselman, Appleseed Recordings 04/14/06
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
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 OíConnor, 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
Crispin Parry, British Underground 02/24/08
Donald Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 04/09/10
Bruce Patron, Overland Entertainment 07/28/06
Alexandra Patsavas, Chop Shop Music 09/27/11
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
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
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
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
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
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
Tamara Saviano, American Roots Publishing 07/22/05
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
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
Jay Sendyk, Sendyk, Leonard & Company, Inc. 05/03/02
Peter Shapiro, Ideal Entertainment 04/16/04
Seth Sheck, Access Pass & Design 01/03/03
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
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
Mike Snider, Paradigm Talent Agency Nashville 05/17/11
Andrew Snowhite, Musictoday 05/04/01
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
Jerry Thompson, Promoter Line Inc. 03/05/04
Jose Tillan, MTV Networks Latin America 12/02/05
Jon Tiven, Hormone Studios 08/05/05
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
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
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
Nigel Wright, Independant Record Producer 11/07/03
Dusty Wright, CultureCatch.com 07/27/07
Jeremiah ďIceĒ Younossi, A-List Talent 09/20/09
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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