Two panels held at NARM this afternoon (May 6) represented a significant departure from yesterday's programming, with speakers on the "Music and Social Networking" and "Artist Managers" panels declaring the old CD and major label models all but dead.

On the earlier panel, representatives from four social networks (MySpace, imeem, MOG, and last.fm) discussed the relationship between music and social networking, pointing out that for younger users, music is a social activity and a way to define identity. J. Scavo, head of MySpace Records, pointed out that, "it would have been difficult for MySpace to survive without music."

Panelists at the San Francisco Marriott also discussed the pros and cons of different recommendation systems, with last.fm's Jonas Woost pointing out that their system can often predict the rise of a certain artist on the charts. Imeem's Steve Jang told the audience that artist-to-user playlists were one of his site's most popular features.

Responding to a question raised by moderator Tim Mitchell of IODA, Jang also offered a counter-argument to Billy Bragg's point from a New York Times editorial that social networks sold for a large sum should share their windfall with affiliated artists. Jang told the crowd to look at it the other way and consider whether a band that gets big on MySpace should be forced to pay royalties to the site.

At the following panel, Simon Renshaw of Strategic Artist Management called recorded music a "grand promotional device." Pat Rains, of Patrick Rains and Associates, pointed out that while the business of music is bigger than ever, the record business is shrinking rapidly. He then said, "the public has lost interest in buying music."

None of the three managers on the panel said they would encourage any of their acts to sign deals with major labels, and Harriet Sternberg, who has her own management company, said that developing artists who take 360 deals are selling themselves short.

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