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Making Online Music Pay — how the music business can monetise the digital space — will take place at London's Cafe de Paris on Thursday, June 4. The event will be chaired by UK Music chief executive Feargal Sharkey, who has been active in trying to promote understanding between the music industry and Internet Service Providers. Andy Burnham, secretary of state in the Department for Culture, Media & Sport will be giving the keynote address at the conference. Topics for discussion include how ISPs can help the music industry; the ways other industries are making money online; and identifying profitable uses of existing applications and social media channels. There will also be case studies examining the different business models of established online music channels, as well as weighing up the potential of online video. Sharkey says, "How to make money online is an all-encompassing and topical issue — not only for music companies and tech start-ups, but for all businesses built on copyright. Challenges we have grappled with for a decade or more are now being faced by movie producers, newspapers, book publishers, games developers, software businesses and a variety of others. "Consequently, the theme of this Music Week conference is a timely one, bringing together as it does some of the key figures in music and digital media. How we innovate, strike partnerships and capitalise on the limitless thirst for music online is key not only to our futures, but pertinent to every other creative business in the UK." Confirmed participants include Spotify UK managing director Paul Brown, ISPA UK chairman Nicholas Lansman, BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor, 7 Digital CEO Ben Drury, Nokia Music head of product marketing Tim Grimsditch and Shazam CEO Andrew Fisher, with more names due to be announced over the coming weeks. The conference is in response to detailed research from Music Week, which shows that the music industry is desperately looking for ways to cut through the PR hype around online music to find models that will actually make money. Music Week editor Paul Williams says that it is precisely this the new conference will address. "The world of online music can seem a bewildering place sometimes, with new sites and even new business models appearing all the time," he explains. "But the fact is, we are in the music business, which means we need to make money. That is too often forgotten. But Making Online Music Pay will address that, making it, I believe, an essential event for anyone in the industry today." The event's website is now live online where delegates can register and view the conference programme. Williams adds, "Music Week is very proud to put its name to this new conference. The line-up of speakers and panel guests is very strong and we will have more big names to announce soon."
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