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ASCAP Launches Tech-Focused Innovation Initiative With Speaker Series, Summits & More

ASCAP is launching a new initiative to explore how its music creator members and music users, can benefit from advanced technologies, new business models and creative collaboration. 

Dubbed the ASCAP Advanced Research & Innovation Initiative, the program includes a bi-monthly speaker series, plus Music Startup Summits held with VC and investment firms, and more.

To kick off the initiative, the performance rights organization has also announced a partnership with the NYC Media Lab, which connects media and technology companies with universities in New York City. At the NYC Media Lab Summit Thursday (Sept. 26), ASCAP is leading a workshop titled "How Emerging Technology is Changing the Music Industry” at the New York City College of Technology (CUNY) in Brooklyn.


Going forward, ASCAP will conduct primary research and development with faculty-led research teams across the city, with the goal of finding ways to better serve ASCAP members using applied technologies like machine intelligence. 

The speaker series, meanwhile, will be held at ASCAP offices across New York City, Los Angeles and Nashville. One of the first to take the podium will be Daniel Belquer, co-founder and chief technologist of Music: Not Impossible, a company that makes wearable technology to assist the deaf by translating sound onto the skin through vibration.

“We are looking further into the technology horizon to seek out what may be possible to super-serve and support our songwriter and publisher communities for years to come,” said ASCAP chief strategy and digital officer Nick Lehman. “We are pursuing this program as a deliberate way to provide a funnel for the deep passion that ASCAP employees already bring to their work, in order to harness innovation that matters to our members. By exploring new technology, talent, business approaches, and partnerships, we can create new value as ASCAP evolves into the next century.”