Recap: The Inaugural Mondo.NYC 2016

A week and a half back, music industry professionals, artists, fans and students got together for the first-ever Mondo.NYC Festival at the Kimmel Center on the legendary NYU campus in lower Manhattan. Panels, keynote speeches, presentations and performances from artists dominated the five-day event, allowing members from different sectors of the industry to exchange ideas, strategies and thoughts on the future.

TuneCore was honored to be one of the sponsors at the inaugural Mondo.NYC 2016 festival, with indie artists across all genres performing throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan each night. In fact, we’re proud to mention that almost 50% of Mondo’s featured artists have used TuneCore to distribute their music at some point!

Bob Boilen, creator of NPR’s “All Songs Considered” and the Tiny Desk Concert Series acted as moderator throughout Mondo.NYC, offering decades of experience and overall music-nerdery to conversations with everyone from label owners and strategy folks to publicists and journalists.

There was a LOT to cover – not to mention TuneCore’s very own “Under the Hood” presentation on Friday morning – but below are pictures and quotes from some of the notable panels and discussions we were fortunate enough to make it to.

"Making Streaming Work for the Music Industry with Michael Nash & Robert Levine
“Making Streaming Work for the Music Industry” with Michael Nash & Robert Levine

During the “Making Streaming Work for the Music Industry” discussion, UMG’s Michael Nash explored the importance of major labels accepting and expanding the role of music streaming. With physical product dominating almost 70% of the market share in territories like Japan and Germany, there’s an important future to look at.

“How fast is change coming? It’s coming like a freight train,” Nash went on to say, noting “one of the most positive developments” being the growth in the space between Spotify, Apple Music and now Pandora. He believes that int the next 3-5 years we’ll see a few major players rise in the digital distribution space, as well.

mondo nyc 2016
Daniel Glass, owner of Glassnote Records, making a keynote address with Bob Boilen

Another inspiring moment during Mondo was the Keynote Address with none other than Daniel Glass of Glassnote Records. A man with a storied career in music, his imprint has been responsible for a new wave of independent artists looking for a friendlier label model. Glass explained while major labels can give artists the push they need, labels like his help left-of-center artists find their way in the world.

It was a bit of a trip down Memory Lane as Daniel and Bob reminisced and re-emphasized the importance of CMJ and college radio during the 80s and 90s. Plenty of laughter and note taking went down, and they transitioned into how Sirius XM stations are actually a refuge for would-be college radio fans.

Before wrapping up, Glass also reiterated the importance of a live experience in 2016, saying of Glassnote’s Aurora, “If I had $100K to develop her, I’d spend $97K getting people to see her live.”

"Press & PR: How To Rise Above the Din"
“Press & PR: How To Rise Above the Din”

Press and PR can be a pain-point for many indie artists just getting started down the DIY road. Rolling Stone contributor Christopher Weingarten, Audible Treats PR founder Michelle McDevitt, Big Hassle PR founder Ken Weinstein, and Bond Moroch PR founder Skipper Bond all provided what they  considered to be a ‘good day’ at their respective jobs.

Explaining the nuances of how to catch a writer’s eye and how to target your pitches, the attendees – mostly independent musicians – diligently jotted down bits of information. Bob Boilen kept things light and encouraged those in attendance to ask questions and get the most out of this very helpful panel.

It was refreshing to watch members of both sides of this complicated machine exchange thoughts, laughs and questions for each other behind the mics.


On Friday, TuneCore’s very own Senior Director of Entertainment Relations Chris Mooney and Director of Marketing Mitch Wenger presented and moderated “Under The Hood: Get Your Music Heard and Get Paid for Doing It”.  TuneCore Artists Devvon Terrell, Opus Orange, Kathryn Gallagher and The Republic of Wolves all sat in to discuss the state of digital distribution for independent artists in 2016.

While we couldn’t make all of those awesome panels and discussions, below are a few of our favorite helpful quotes heard from the Kimmel Center. Be sure to browse through some more photos, too, and share any great advice or stories YOU heard during Mondo.NYC this year in our comment section!

“That direct connection with your fans at shows is huge. When you’re sending them links to your music, send it to them at two points of contact.” – Benji Rogers, CEO, PledgeMusic

“If you’re doing pre sale ticketing on a tour, just make sure you have a period for fans associated with email sign ups to keep control of your data.” – Justin Spindler, Director, Music Glue

“Having ownership of your data is really important. People want to know if you’re worth their time and if you’ll make them money. It’s all about metrics.” – Matt DuFour, VP of Artist Development, ReverbNation

“Content is key. Audiences don’t mind being marketed to, but you have to do it well. There needs to be a balance between the brand, the audience and the artist.” – Jennifer Stilson, VP Music, MTV/VH1

“When it’s real is when the brand identifies with the type of music it is. By having something that the brand stood for, that became synonymous with the sound of the brand.” – Nick Parmar, Director, W Hotels

“Find your authentic lane when it comes to working with brands.” – Joi Brown, SVP Marketing, Atlantic Records

“Figure out who your fan amplifiers are and serve them. That’s what grows your fan base.” – Cortney Harding, Founder, Cortney Harding Consulting