NY:LON Connect speaker interview: Jammber CEO Marcus Cobb

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Marcus Cobb is a seasoned entrepreneur, having started or helped to start 16 companies. He’s best known as the CEO of online music and tech platform Jammber, which is used by labels including Sony Music and Big Machine Label Group.

 In the past, Cobb was hailed as a computer prodigy by the Las Vegas Review Journal when he was just 21 years old, before being recruited by Microsoft Consulting Services as a team-lead specializing in innovative technologies.

 Cobb is presenting as part of the US and International Startup Showcases session at NY:LON Connect on 24 January.

:: What’s been the most exciting digital music trend or technology for you in 2017?
Tough question! It's hard to think of only one. Even though streaming isn't new, it's driving growth in the industry more than even which is driving spending which is driving investment and that is good for startups.

I'm really excited about the new tools that are coming out. The creation devices are the most exciting to me.

:: What music startups have caught your eye in 2017?
Jammber, obviously! But if I have to name a different one, I really like UpNext. They turned music discovery into a game where you can scout real upcoming artists.

It's like fantasy football meets music. Fans get to vote for artists and for tracks they like. I think it's pretty cool and artists can build a great momentum out of that.

:: What do you think the biggest digital challenge will be for our industry in 2018?
I think it will be the operational challenges in a world where digital content is growing faster than we ever expected it to grow.

Who would have thought the industry would go from 5% streaming to 44% in such a short period of time? And it's not just in music, it's also in film.

Legislation still moves very slowly when it comes to copyright, there's still old ways about how we deal with intellectual property around music and film that are going to slow us down tremendously and cost the system to break a little bit over the next couple of years.

:: Which trends and technologies are worth keeping an eye out for in 2018?
I think we're going to see more and more devices like Alexa. And they are going to get smaller and smaller. You would be able to wear Alexa like a lapel microphone.

:: Which question/topic would you most like to see debated at NY:LON Connect?
I think we need to get attribution and monetization closer to the creators. Why aren't we doing that? The industry is growing and thriving. Are we making sure that performers and creators of all different tiers are being equally compensated?