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Allen Bargfrede

Interview

Music Industry Evolution

Allen Bargfrede’s eclectic career trajectory is a testament to his adaptability and foresight. As a music and technology lawyer, he has seamlessly transitioned into strategic advising and operational roles, shaping the way music companies and their investors navigate an ever-evolving industry. His work, especially with the Rethink Music initiative, has been pivotal in fostering transparency within the music industry, particularly addressing the perennial challenges of metadata. Allen recalls, “We did a lot of work on transparency in the music industry and particularly the metadata challenges that exist.”

Metadata: The Music Industry’s Unsung Hero

Allen demystifies the concept of metadata for the uninitiated, highlighting its critical role in the music ecosystem. “Metadata in the music industry is really what’s… identifiers that help streaming services… so that the royalties can be properly allocated,” he explains. This information is the unsung hero of the industry, ensuring artists and rights holders are fairly compensated. His initiative, Verifi Media, underscores his commitment to leveraging technology to resolve the complexities of data management in music.

The Rising Trend of Investing in Music Assets

In a fascinating observation, Allen sheds light on the growing trend of investing in music assets. He traces the origins back to the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent rise of streaming services, coupled with low-interest rates, which collectively spurred investors to consider music royalties and copyrights as viable and stable investment opportunities. “You saw very, very low, and in the case of Europe, negative interest rates. And so, uh, investors… started to look at music and say, this is an area, A, that’s growing. And B, it’s non-correlated to economic shocks,” Allen notes, explaining the allure of the music industry to investors.

Music-Tech Community Fusion

Allen is passionate about creating platforms that bring together professionals from various backgrounds. His efforts through Rethink Music and other smaller, more focused events have been about creating spaces where people from academia, business, and technology can cross-pollinate ideas. He believes in the power of events to foster genuine connections and inspire innovation. “Bringing this kind of diverse set of backgrounds obviously provides different perspectives to the other folks that are in the room,” he reflects on the importance of collaborative environments.

Envisioning Music 2030

Looking ahead, Allen is excited about his latest project, Music 2030, a series of events set in the culturally rich and dynamic city of Biarritz. With a focus on the intersection of AI and music, Allen aims to explore how these technologies will shape the future of music creation, distribution, and consumption. He envisions Music 2030 as more than an event, but as a continuous hub for creativity and thought leadership in the music industry.

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