VersoFest 2023


Sunday, 4/2, 3pm

Music industry veteran Dick Wingate (DEV Advisors) moderates a panel with three music business experts including: Sam Hendel (Chord Music Partners) Tiffany Almy (Founder, PKA Law), Jeff Warshaw (Founder and CEO, Connoisseur Media), David Boxenbaum (CEO, Newport Media Advisors).

This panel will explore the recent explosion of investment in both the recorded music and music publishing businesses. Ubiquitous music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music have generated billions for rights holders with the regular income streams they generate. Significant new revenue is now being generated from license fees to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok; sync fees to TV, film, and ad producers; gaming and Web3 platforms; and exercise platforms like Peloton. The panel will also explore the new collaborative models for music creation driving the biggest chart hits.

Wingate has been at the forefront of music marketing, A&R and interactive technology for more than 40 years, launching or developing the careers of artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann, Peter Tosh, Eddy Grant, Pink Floyd, Sarah McLachlan, and Garland Jeffreys, with senior positions at Columbia, Epic, PolyGram, and Arista Records. Subsequently, he pioneered the digital music business with Liquid Audio, Inc., playing an integral role as chief content officer in their 1999 IPO and currently operates DEV Advisors, a media and entertainment consultancy.

David Boxenbaum (CEO Newport Media Advisors) has been an operator and strategist at the crossroads of music and technology for 25+ years. David Co-founded Octone Records, where he discovered and developed several platinum artists, including Maroon 5. He subsequently sold Octone to Universal Music Group. David also launched and ran the international company of Avex, the largest music and entertainment company in Japan. While at Avex, David transacted several music catalogs. Currently, David is an operating partner at a private equity fund, where they are two deals closed into a roll-up of music rights management software companies. In addition, David is an investor and advisor to several music tech companies.

Founder and CEO of Connoisseur Media, Jeff Warshaw is a lifelong broadcaster. He built his first station while still a student at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1993 Jeff founded Connoisseur Communications Partners LP, a 39 station group which he later sold to Cumulus Broadcasting in 2000 for $258MM. In 2004 Jeff formed Connoisseur Media which now operates 13 radio station brands and digital assets in 5 markets. Highly respected and celebrated industry wide for his outspoken candor, Jeff’s spirit of innovation and long held principles of integrity, accountability and improvement remain core values of the company and guide its team members. Jeff serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Broadcasters, the Executive Committee of the Radio Advertising Bureau, and is Chairman of the Nielsen Audio Advisory Council.

Sam Hendel is a Co-Founder of Chord Music Partners, which he formed with KKR through the $1.1 billion acquisition of KMR Music Royalties II, a unique catalogue of 62,000 copyrights, including the works of The Weeknd, David Guetta, OneRepublic, Kid Cudi, Diplo, and Fleetwood Mac.  Sam recently joined with Francisco Partners to purchase Kobalt Music Group, the leading independent music publisher.  In 2022, Sam founded JKBX (“Jukebox”), to democratize music assets through fractional ownership.  The JKBX platform will allow catalogue owners and artists to offer shares of their royalty streams as a regulated security to retail investors, while deepening the connection between fans and their favorite artists and songs.  Sam is also the Co-Founder of Dataminr, the leading AI company for real-time event and risk detection, which he started with two former Yale University classmates in 2009. 

Tiffany R. Almy, Esq. (Founder, PKA Law LLC) utilizes her almost two decades of experience and the many relationships she’s fostered (both on the business and creative sides) along the way, to provide a progressive, hands-on, collaborative and goal-oriented approach to talent representation, with an aim for career longevity. She understands the importance of diversification, flexibility and adaptation in navigating a constantly changing industry, providing counsel in the development of new business opportunities across multiple disciplines, strategic implementation of emerging technologies, and ensuring optimal content monetization. She’s been involved in a multitude of asset sales both for the disposition of recordings and compositions (including negotiating one of the first catalog sales to Hipgnosis in early 2019), headed up business affairs for a music publishing company, and served on the Board of Directors of Women in Music (NY + Global Events Co-Chair) for almost four years.

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