What's The Download® Interactive Advisory Board Unveils WTD Music Survival Guide and Honors R&B/Pop Artist Chris Brown at CMJ Music Marathon in New York City

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First-of-its-kind report is culmination of two years of research and thousands of conversations with music fans and music makers.

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We've seen countless assessments of the music industry from the media over the past few years, but the WTD Music Survival Guide is the first solutions-oriented report written from the point of the view of the consumer

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In a call-to-action to ensure the survival of music in the new digital realm, the What's The Download® Interactive Advisory Board (WTDIAB) unveiled the What's The Download Music Survival Guide today at CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. The WTDIAB is comprised of 12 young music fans and several high-profile music creators and industry veterans who serve as Honorary Members, three of whom were present at the unveiling today: Chris Brown, chart-topping R&B/pop artist, Eric Garland, CEO of BigChampagne, and Shirley Halperin, Us Weekly Entertainment Editor. The WTD Music Survival Guide is the first-of-its-kind to be written from the viewpoint of young consumers, and provides seven Survival Tips — constructive solutions to tackle illegal downloading. Written as part of an extensive public education campaign dedicated to addressing the challenges facing music fans and music makers in today's digital dilemma, the WTD Music Survival Guide is available online beginning today at http://www.whatsthedownload.com.

In addition to outlining relevant court cases and perceptions of the music industry that have led to illegal downloading, the WTD Music Survival Guide's insightful solutions include re-committing to artist development and educating consumers, as well as stronger proposals regarding digital rights management and compatibility. Furthermore, the Guide presents observations about why online communities are so influential, and what it will really take to get young adults to stop file-sharing illegally.

"One of the goals of What's The Download has been to create a dialogue between the music industry and the music fan, and the result of the WTD Interactive Advisory Board's efforts over the past two years has shown that this conversation can bring actionable results," said Neil Portnow, President of The Recording Academy®. "We hope that the views of the WTD Board will be read with seriousness by not only those in the music industry, but by anyone who loves music and supports its ability to thrive in the future."

Honorary Members helped the WTDIAB explore ways to reach a consensus that addresses the needs of both the recording industry and music fans. These lengthy discussions have culminated in the creation of the WTD Music Survival Guide.

"As both an artist and a huge music fan, I see how much effort goes into making music, but also how confusing the music industry can be to fans," said GRAMMY®–winning singer/songwriter Kelly Clarkson. "Ensuring that music retains its value is a subject that is very close to my heart, so being part of the What's The Download Interactive Advisory Board's educational campaign has been a valuable experience. It's wonderful to see the Board create something as positive as the WTD Music Survival Guide."

"I'm proud to be part of the What's The Download campaign and its cool group of music makers who are helping to turn up the volume on so many important topics facing the industry today," said Chris Brown of his inclusion as an Honorary Board Member. "Being a relatively new artist out there, I am living the conflict of both needing my music to be heard as well as needing my music to be sold."

The members of WTDIAB have spent the last two years researching and gathering thousands of opinions on issues such as piracy, access to digital music, and file-sharing as part of an ongoing educational campaign to address the value of paying for music.

They have spoken to music fans, artists, retailers, label executives, producers and engineers at industry conferences, local Recording Academy Chapters, recording studios, and their own universities. Additionally, members of the WTDIAB are joined by Honorary Members that include high-profile music creators and industry veterans. Today's event welcomed the newest Honorary Board Member -- Chris Brown -- to a list that includes Sway Calloway, Kelly Clarkson, Common, Earth, Wind & Fire, Eric Garland, Shirley Halperin, Mark McGrath, JD Natasha, and Kanye West.

"We've seen countless assessments of the music industry from the media over the past few years, but the WTD Music Survival Guide is the first solutions-oriented report written from the point of the view of the consumer," states Eric Garland, WTDIAB Honorary Member and CEO of online measurement company BigChampagne. "What we really need to work on in earnest is ensuring that creators are fairly compensated for their work. This groundbreaking report by the WTDIAB is a step in the right direction, and I would recommend it as required reading for anyone who cares about music."

To coincide with the unveiling of the WTD Music Survival Guide, What's The Download also is sponsoring College Day on Nov. 2, a day filled with college radio-oriented panels, performances, exhibitors and special events that take place at the CMJ Music Marathon. CMJ offers a unique environment for the WTDIAB to present its findings to and interact with a wide variety of music fans and professionals from all corners of the music business, including record labels, music press, technology, instrument manufacturers, marketers and professional organizations. The views of the WTD Music Survival Guide are not necessarily those of The Recording Academy.

About What's The Download and the WTD Interactive Advisory Board

What's The Download is a comprehensive, research-based public education campaign designed by The Recording Academy (producers of the GRAMMY Awards) to empower consumers to make informed decisions regarding how they get their music. The campaign focuses on offering comprehensive and understandable information about intellectual property and downloading issues. The application process for the WTD Interactive Advisory Board was rigorous and thorough. After an online application was submitted by hundreds of young fans, nearly 70 semifinalists were selected to participate in the video portion of the process. Upon receipt of the video entries, the judges narrowed the search even further by having the last finalists participate in phone interviews. In the end, 12 final applicants had a seat on the Board. The campaign, designed to complement other current industry campaigns, includes public service announcements, blogs, exclusive newsletters, K-12 lesson plans, local market activities, the WTDIAB, and an educational Web site (WhatsTheDownload.com) where millions of people have turned for information and a chance to be heard.

About The Recording Academy

Established in 1957, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., also known as The Recording Academy, is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards, The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. For more information about The Academy, please visit http://www.grammy.com.

Media Contacts:                        

Meredith Bell

Edelman for The Recording Academy    


Jaime Sarachit

The Recording Academy    


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