The opening two days of the Music Matters conference has thrown up its share of topical discussions, with 360 deals and the systems for royalty collections coming under the microscope.

On a June 4 panel discussion on 360 deals, Walt Disney Records president David Agnew said they don't work for everyone. "There's always a sense of unfairness in terms of who gets what piece of the pie," Agnew noted.

Panel moderator Harvey Goldsmith, the legendary promoter who is managing director of Harvey Goldsmith Productions, added, "My concern is that record companies in England are looking for extra revenue (through 360 deals) - they're in panic mode."

Elsewhere, the recently signed memorandum of understanding between Sony BMG Music Entertainment and major publishers to streamline digital licensing and royalty collections across Asia is open to the whole music industry, delegates learned. "We'd like as many people as possible to participate in it," said Andrew Jenkins, executive VP, international, of Universal Music Publishing International, during the "Licensing 101" panel discussion on June 4.

"It's a very avant-garde model and can only mean more royalties for our members," said Brandon Bakshi, BMI executive director, writer/publisher relations for Europe and Asia.

Guests also learned that there is surprisingly little research concerning how music works to assure the long-term success of a brand. The comments were made by David McCaughan, regional strategic planning director at McCann WorldGroup Asia Pacific, during the "Marketing Matters" panel.

"Music is so organic, so maybe there's an assumption (that music helps build brand image)," said Scott Dinsdale, executive VP, digital operations and new technology, Sony BMG Music Entertainment.

The three-day conference concludes June 5.