Keynote I: Beyond the Hype – How VR, AR, and AI will shape the Future of Media

Presented by Devi Kolli, Co-Founder & CEO, AiSolve

The role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is dominating headlines and has the potential to underpin a new era of technical efficiency. AI is now at the centre of this latest wave of innovations, including Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).

In these early stages of technical change, it can be hard to predict their place in the future. Devi Kolli, Co-founder and CEO of AiSolve has been working in this space for 13 years, and recently spun off an AR company to GAME in a multi-million-pound deal.

Devi will guide us through the hype and the reality around the potential of these developments, share insights from her experiences working hands on with the tech, and offer her perspectives on how these emerging technologies will shape music and media consumption in the future.

Kleine Zaal, Thursday 23 February, 10.45 – 11.30 CET

Keynote II: Now & Next – An Artist’s Perspective on the Future of the Music Industry

Presented by Sam Lee & Melissa Bel (Independent Artists)
Interviewed by Rhian Jones, in collaboration with PPL UK

At last year’s FastForward, Sammy Andrews reminded us that without our artists we don’t have a music business. There is a risk that we spend a lot of time talking about artists, and working on their behalf, but we don’t always give them the opportunity to share their perspectives. This year, in collaboration with PPL, Sam Lee and Melissa Bel join Rhian Jones to share their experiences.

With the rapid & fluid evolution of the digital age, the demands on artists have grown exponentially. Not only do they need to manage a two-way relationship with fans, in a manner previous generations had not conceived, but as each new ‘next big social media’ launches, they are required to serve yet another important audience.

Sam (UK) and Melissa (CA) have been through various funding routes, successes, hiccups and mishaps. They share their views on the challenge of balancing the day to day demands of maintaining a fan base, whilst touring, recording, and writing, and the key challenges they think artists will face in the future.

Kleine Zaal, Thursday 23 February, 17.15 – 18.00 CET

Keynote III: Misery Business? Staying Healthy in a 24/7 Music Business

Presented by David Emery (VP, Global Marketing Strategy, Kobalt Music), Silvia Montello (SVP, Recordings Supply Chain & Client Services, Kobalt Music), and Darren Hemmings (Managing Director, Motive Unknown)

After many years of being under-discussed, Mental Health has taken an increasingly prominent place in the music industry, and this is long overdue. Constant demands arise from the ‘always on’ nature of the business and can put a tremendous strain on physical and mental wellbeing.

As well as changes to the macro landscape, with elections and referendums creating an increasingly unpredictable future, the music industry has seen more than its fair share of disruption and continues to be constantly changing. Whilst there are no silver bullets, there is plenty to be positive about!

Our presenters don’t have a miracle cure, but they are passionate about people, and ensuring that people look after themselves. They will be sharing their experiences from the different challenges they have faced as well as answering audience questions.

Kleine Zaal, Friday 24 February, 11.15 – 12.00 CET

Keynote IV: Future of A&R

Presented by Mike Smith, Managing Director, Warner/Chappell Music UK
Interviewed by Cherie Hu, Music & Entertainment Contributor, Forbes (US)

The industry is changing and the nature of signing bands is changing too. Mike Smith has seen A&R from both sides of the aisle, from MCA then EMI Music Publishing to Columbia Records, Mercury Records, Virgin EMI and then back to publishing as Managing Director of Warner/Chappell Music UK.

He has signed artists including Blur, Supergrass, Doves, The Beta Band, Gorillaz, The White Stripes, The Libertines, The Scissor Sisters, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Mark Ronson, Calvin Harris, Glasvegas, Band of Horses, Gossip, Katy B, Madeon, MGMT, Ryan Adams, Miike Snow, The Civil Wars, The Vaccines, The Strypes, Duke Dumont, Iggy Azalea, Slaves and The Vamps. While, as President of Music at Virgin EMI, he signed The Chemical Brothers, The Libertines and Squeeze.

Mike was recently awarded the inaugural Sir George Martin Award at Music Business Worldwide’s A&R Awards, and is the perfect person to talk about The Future of A&R.

Kleine Zaal, Friday 24 February, 13.45 – 14.30 CET

Click here to view all other sessions announced.