It’s an unfortunate state of today’s digital music landscape that two creative industries which stand to benefit from cooperation are too often are at odds with one another: the music industry and the developer community.

At next week’s Mobile Entertainment Live: The Music App Summit, taking place Oct. 5 in San Francisco, Billboard is bringing together these two groups in hopes of fostering better lines of communication, brainstorm new ideas, and dispel much of the mistrust and misinformation that has resulted in what is sometimes an adversarial relationship.

Programming and marketing an event like this can be a challenge. The venture capital and developer communities in Silicon Valley are deeply wary of the music industry, and for good reason. They feel the labels are greedy, charging developers licensing fees to incorporate music into their products so high that it makes it too difficult for a young startup to turn a profit or invest in innovation. (Moves like ASCAP’s continued insistence that digital music file downloads constitute a performance only exacerbates the problem.) They feel the music industry isn’t innovative, placing onerous restrictions on how music can be access and used. Expect that to be a major theme from speakers like Kleiner Perkin’s Matt Murphy, or Venrock’s Dev Khare.

But this conference is not designed to lecture the music industry on their business model. It’s designed to showcase the creative talent of the developer community. The music industry tends to feel that music is the only creative element in a digital music deal. That’s not true. Designing applications that capture the interest of music fans is just as creative an endeavor as writing and recording an album.

Music industry execs also tend to feel they are the only music lovers in the room, but make no mistake, music app developers are perhaps the biggest music fans of all. They love music so much that that many spend their free time designing new ways to discover, listen and appreciate music. Sure, they also hope to make a business out of it. But most of the best apps and services originate as a labor of love. What better ally to have on your side? (There’s a great discussion of this on the MidemNet blog.)

At Mobile Entertainment Live, we’ll have 18 finalists vying for the title of best mobile music app of the year in six different categories showing off their creations for us, detailing the inspiration, motivation, and vision behind each. We’ll have leaders of the music developer community like The Echo Nest’s Jim Luchesse and Smule’s Ge Wang, offering us a glimpse of their creative process and the opportunity for both industries to work together more.

It’s unfortunate that we rarely see music industry executives or artists attending tech industry conferences, just as it is frustrating that tech industry execs rarely attend music industry conferences. It’s too easy to get caught in our respective echo chambers of blame and self-righteous indignation.

That’s why Billboard is inviting both camps to the table for Mobile Entertainment Live: The Music App Summit. There’s more to learn from each other than there is to fear.

For the full agenda, list of awards finalists and to register for Mobile Entertainment Live: The Music App Summit, please visit