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MEIS CONFERENCE (Music and Entertainment Industry Studies) BRINGS MUSIC BIZ INSIDERS TO FTC
Annual MEIS Conference provides students with cutting-edge knowledge about the music business
By Sean Lanigan, ’22
The annual MEIS Conference (Music and Entertainment Industry Studies) took place at Five Towns College in the Downbeat Cafe on December 10th, presented by the FTC Business Management Division. For FTC students, events like this are especially important to learn what to do before and after you release music.
One of the most critical themes from this event was to show aspiring music business students how the music business is a very complex industry. The panelists discussed the importance of copyright law in the digital age. Barry Heyman, an attorney and Adjunct Professor in the Business Department at Five Towns, says with technology, copyrighting music is more important than ever, “Now that everything is online, it is easier for people to compare and give commentary on songs that sound incredibly similar. We have to educate students on situations such as getting permission to sample songs, so copyright is followed properly.”
The value of career and industry events is endless. College students are always looking for ways to improve their chances of getting an internship or landing a job in their field. Lou Plaia, an Adjunct Professor in the Business Division, has seen the benefits pay off for several candidates, saying, “You get to learn and shake hands with industry people. I go to a lot of conferences throughout the country, and a lot of times, students meet their first boss, land their first internship, and/or job at events like this.”
One thing to know about the music industry today is that, for the most part, the days of releasing full albums seem to be long gone. In a competitive market, it’s about releasing one song at a time. Thomas Hutchings, who owns a record label called Artists Without Labels, believes content is king.
“Access has changed. Digital is open to everybody, and you have to make your content available all the time. Releasing singles is the way to go now because, in today’s world, content has a shorter shelf life,” said Hutchings.
The keynote speaker for the MEIS event was T.H. White, a musician and music producer for Sky Council Recordings. White gave the students great advice, such as how to reinvent the wheel in today’s music. White expanded on that further, saying, “If you want to be a lawyer, there is a pattern. You go to college, you go to law school, and you get hired. In the music business, the path is very vague, so you want to make sure music is a passion that you can’t live without.”
The MEIS event was a very informative event with great advice from many different industry professionals.
Professor Kate Kimmel, Business Division Chair at Five Towns College, believes the event did what it was advertised. “Students got to hear from industry professionals on how to proceed in terms of getting their music out there.”
Additional reporting by Sebastian Montenegro, Aaron McLaughlin and Mark Gamble