A popular music industry conference may have found its new home in Burbank.
Throughout this week, A&R Worldwide is hosting its annual MUSEXPO and Worldwide Radio Summit events at the Castaway restaurant, located in the Burbank hillsides.
Since 2005, A&R Worldwide founder Sat Bisla has been bringing together artists, producers and other executives in the music industry to talk about the future of their professions.
MUSEXPO, now in its 15th year, was held in West Hollywood for many years and several years ago was hosted at venues in Hollywood.
Bisla said Burbank was a good fit for his events because of its proximity to major recording studios and labels, as well as its many hotels and the airport his attendees can use.
“We chose Burbank because it’s its own municipality, and so many creative things are done in this city,” he said.
It also has good access to freeways, he added.
Bisla has been in the music industry since 1984, starting his career as a radio and club DJ.
He has also dabbled in music journalism, venue promotion and artists and repertoire work.
While the core fundamentals of the music industry — a hit song, great artists and exceptional experience — hasn’t changed, Bisla said the distribution of the medium has seen a big shift.
Residents in some countries still cherish and purchase hard copies of their favorite albums, but streaming services like Spotify, Soundcloud and Apple Music have taken over the distribution landscape.
“Mobile devices have allowed consumers to listen, see, hear and interact with artists in ways that we’ve never seen before in one platform,” Bisla said.
He said he sees these online platforms as both a blessing and a curse.
On the one hand, artists worldwide can upload their songs with the click of a mouse and be heard by thousands of people on the Internet.
On the other hand, there are so many people uploading their music that it floods the market, making it more difficult to find good talent and connect with an artist.
“It used to be that you go on an artist’s website and everything would be on there, but now you have to go through all their different social platforms, different streaming services or their YouTube page,” Bisla said.
Record labels have also had to catch up with the times and use social media to ensure their artists and the label itself stays connected with consumers.
“What I’m seeing the music business becoming is a pop-culture business,” Bisla said. “It’s not just music, it’s every touchpoint connected to the artist and their value.”