Pollstar Live! Power Panel Preview: The Future Of Live Music & Streaming

Geiger, Carter, Cuban, Lynch & Greenstein drive one of the conference’s major panels.

One major attraction on the opening day of Pollstar Live!, Feb. 7 will be “The Future Of Live Music & Streaming” panel featuring some serious industry digital power players.


Marc Geiger

Speakers on the panel include Troy Carter (Global head of Creator Services, Spotify), Mark Cuban (entrepreneur/owner, Dallas Mavericks), Roger Lynch (CEO, Pandora), and Scott Greenstein (President and Chief Content Officer, Sirius XM), all moderated by WME’s Partner and Head of music and thought leader Marc Geiger.

Geiger told Pollstar he was delighted with the lineup and “honored to moderate a panel with such industry leaders. I think [when] Pollstar starts booking people like that, they’re doing it right.

“I would attend that panel, and I’m thrilled to be moderating it.”

The joining of digital and live music is a subject Geiger has been hot on for quite some time, as he founded his UBL website and started his ARTISTdirect venture on the information superhighway in the ’90s.

“Streaming is what the consumer wants,” Geiger said at this year’s International Entertainment Buyers Association keynote address in October. He added that once the capability is there to allow the consumer to buy a ticket while they are listening to an artist’s music, it will have a huge impact on the live entertainment business. “We are not seeing it yet, but I think it is one of the things that is on the checklist of improvements that as an industry we can get to.”

In recent months, YouTube has unveiled a partnership with Ticketmaster to facilitate purchases in exactly the manner he described and Spotify has been making plenty of moves in the same direction.

Streaming officially took its crown as the most popular way to consume music in 2017, as BuzzAngle Music’s Mid-year report showed the number of audio streams grew 58.5 percent from the previous year, with song consumption and overall music consumption on the rise, though album and song sales were both down. This panel will explore some of the implications of what that means for the live industry.

Hip-hop has certainly grown in the live business, and many industry vets have watched the genre’s explosion parallel the rise of streaming.

“Streaming has enabled hip hop to grow even bigger and at a far quicker pace due to the unlimited global access it provides in music, video content and sharing,” hip-hop agent legend Cara Lewis told Pollstar in a November cover story. “Hip-hop and R&B are defining the culture of today and what resonates with young fans,” she added, noting “stellar performances with over-the-top productions.”

Troy Carter’s input will be crucial as the Spotify executive and Atom Factory CEO is in a unique position to comment on how the streaming giant will align with the live industry. He also brings his experience as a former manager of artists including Lady Gaga, John Legend, and Lindsey Stirling. He is also co-founder and managing partner of Cross Culture Ventures and entertainment advisor to the estate of Prince. 

Pandora still has its corner in the streaming ecosystem and was among those on the forefront of bridging the connection between streaming and live when it purchased Ticketfly in 2015, meaning CEO Roger Lynch can share some of his company’s battle-tested wisdom.

Radio is figuring out how it fits into streaming, and Sirius XM’s Scott Greenstein brings a major player in the game to the table. Sirius is at the forefront of providing digital content through its satellite and internet radio services, and the company has ventured into the live events space as well.

Then, there is Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, television personality on “Shark Tank,” entrepreneur, and generally ubiquitous businessman. What many may not realize is that Cuban is the founder of AXS TV, his partnership with AEG, CAA, CBS, and Ryan Seacrest media. That station bears the name of AEG’s ticketing arm, and Cuban’s stake in the cable channel puts him at the confluence of digital content and live entertainment.