Europe’s Music Tech Industry Comes to Berlin

Thank you for creating such a wonderful experience with us this year, see you again in 2020!

Berlin, Germany | May 22-23,2019


Music tech is changing the face of the music business forever. Network with and join some of the most innovative players in the industry. Find out how your business can take advantage of these trends.

What Shall You Expect

Unique industry insights

Narrow circle of business leaders

Professional discussion


Investors, VCs and Funds

  • Find business partners and co-investors
  • Discover music as an investment asset
  • Promising Music Tech startups with MVP
  • Learn about the future of the industry
  • Talk to other investors on their experience


Music Tech Companies

  • Meet investors
  • Learn latest music market trends
  • Connect with professionals from music industry
  • Join Music Tech community in Berlin
  • Introduce your technology to the industry


Labels, Publishers, PROs

  • Claim and maintain accurate copyright data
  • Get better linking of songs to recordings
  • Network with copyright infrastructure builders
  • Discover best pratices in income tracking
  • Benchmark data management technologies

Headline Speaker


Merck Mercuriadis is the CEO and Founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Ltd. A London Stock Exchange publicly listed music investment fund.

Merck is is also known as a world leading music executive and music manager. As a manager he is currently representing Nile Rodgers and is former manager of: Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Morrissey, Iron Maiden, Pet Shop Boys, Mary J Blige, Macy Gray, Jane’s Addiction.

Merck Mercuriadis


CEO JAM just add music GmbH

Consultant to / Ex-GM Apple / Napster

Head of Entertainment & Media Facebook

Artist profiler and Songwriter at BMG Rights Management    

Project Lead The Venue Berlin at Axel Springer SE

CEO Karajan Institute

Founder of the pan-European investment network Media Deals

CEO & Founder Blokur

Co-investor Soundcharts

Founder of Playtronica

VR Audio production Director at Lucha Libre Audio Berlin

Founder Younk – Community Label


Founder WARM

Co-founder Andrson

Head of Business Unit Fraunhofer IDMT

Founder and CEO Melodrive

President & Founder MusicTech Germany

Project Manager at KulturProjekte Berlin GmbH

Managing Director at Axel Springer & Porsche

Wednesday, May 22nd





Opening Remarks by Conference Chairman, Helen Meyer


Keynote: Soundtrack of your life. Why and how do people listen to music nowadays and whats do they want it to be?

Deep dive into voice-controlled systems and new customer experience as well as requirements towards service. How customer expectation is changing and how to meet the needs: albums don’t work anymore, no ownership of music, music as temporary value. How will the new consumption realities shape the industry tomorrow?


Keynote: Music is becoming a commodity - how do you engage people to listen your music nowadays?

Trends and Insights on Facebook & Instagram. Music content consumption and the consumer journey on Social media. Product innovations to drive engagement.

Speed Networking + Morning Coffee Break


The future of radio

What could the future of Personal, Global and digital radio look like? What will be the future of radio look like in a Streaming dominated music economy? The different radio formats, and pro’s/con's

Keynote: How the Hipgnosis Songs Fund is transforming the music industry

Traditionally the main investors in the industry are labels, who collectively spend around 4,5 billion USD in A&R and marketing activities annually. The amounts needed to break an artist in a major market, such as the USA or UK vary from 0,5 to 2 million USD. It is a very capital intensive business, but also a profitable one. This set up naturally leads to a monopolistic market structure, where few players dominate it. As a consequence, remuneration is distributed in a very unbalanced way: creators tend to receive only about 8% from the revenues, while being the most important part of the value chain. Merck set up an investment fund, Hipgnosis Songs Fund LTD, to deal with this situation. He will tell why private investment into music makes sense, share his vision on the future of music as an asset and elaborate on how he is planning to balance the revenue distribution with his initiative.


Interactive session: A Simple Guide to Amplify the Power of Human Touch

Want to explore the new types of interaction between human and technology with the help of sound as a medium. Curios about a tech, which сonnects every object, from soap, sneakers, clothes, and cars, to airliners and cities to create meaningful sonic installations and engage the audience for musical interactions? Get involved into this interactive session to play some tunes on the hands of your neighbors!

Networking Luncheon


The dawn of a new era: enter the AI Composer

As AI in music starts to mature, a new kind of creator emerges. One who interacts lightly or deeply with the AI studio to produce instant & infinite music compositional variations. Rather than focus on the threat, let’s take a moment to focus on the possibilities which lie ahead. We created Alfie, our AI music creation platform, to enable anyone to play, discover & create amazing music. After hitting a key milestone in April 2019, we are confident that we can now double-down on our mission to bring it to a mass market of creators. In our presentation, we will reveal our approach and demo 4 music tracks created by Alfie.

Keynote: Artifical Intelligence, Copyright and the Music Business

AI systems are increasingly being used in creative work, from music compositions, storytelling to production of visuals. While the content industries that monetizes these works depend on copyright frameworks, in most jurisdictions AI-generated works cannot be copyrighted. This talk gives an introduction to AI music systems and discusses business strategies for content companies to address this tectonic shift.


Artist Insight: Dance the Algorithm

How writing songs for a virtual Popstar changed my mind on AI. State-of-the-art collaborations between „creative" AI ́s and humans. Adapt or die: Every ten years something kills the music industry. What ́s next?

Coffee break


How Music Creators Can Survive the AI Music Generation Revolution and Thrive

Several companies, from small research-oriented startups to high-tech giants like Google and Spotify, are currently developing Artificial Intelligent (AI) systems which can generate convincing music. This tech posits unprecedented challenges to music labels, producers, and artists. The talk will touch upon some of the hallenges that the music industry will face in the advent of AI creative systems, and provide a few ideas on how different actors in the industry can benefit from this revolution.


Panel Discussion: How can independent music players gain from using AI today?

There are several ways an independent player could benefit from AI: In 2000, 80% of the music industry’s revenues came from less than 3% of the releases. AI could help to match undiscovered artists and their music to listeners who would enjoy their sound. Help to compose and to produce automatic music to enhance label catalog. Projects such as “Meditative Music,” “House Moods,” or any style collections project could greatly benefit from this. We will discuss the case-studies of AI use.

Closing remarks by Helen Meyer


Gala dinner for speakers and VIP package holders

Thursday, May 23rd





Opening Remarks by Conference Chairman, Billy Mello


Standardizing and consolidating data in the music industry to enable increased revenues

Industry realities in royalty management: the status quo with data and complexity. What do we want from data in the music industry? Where is the right balance of publicity and privacy? What are the possible solutions to current issues in tech: blockchain? AI? What does the industry need to do to introduce new technologies such as blockchain?


A rights data repository for transparent and fair compensation to creative rights holders - success or failure?

Solving the metadata chaos is always based on assumptions from existing businesses and keeps an eye on systems and processes which are hard to change. But how would a system look like, when artists and authors are in the centre, everything is made to generate transparency and the focus is set on easy and effective licensing? Can more new businesses and applications bring more money to the data centre? Can new frameworks substitute the old paradigms completely and what are there new roles servicing artists and authors in an ideal new world?

Morning Coffee Break


With modern audio recognition and other data, do PROs still need to payout by market share?

The current state of audio recognition and source separation, and how can these technologies add value? When every recording can be identified, why do PROs still payout unallocated royalties based on market share? If we are able to identify individual instruments in a recording, and we can even identify the individual performers, and every other rights holder; when we have so much data, why are major publishers still getting royalties based on their market share, instead of real data?

Panel discussion: Overcoming issues in partnerships along the music value chain

What do we need to improve the communication between a big number of industry players involved in copyright management? How shall we facilitate the data exchange between all the value chain participants? How can we improve current practices to make record business profitable again?


Networking Luncheon


Panel Discussion: Investing in music technology: Insights from investors

Due to constantly growing global revenues of the industry, the music business is becoming an increasingly interesting area to invest in. The drivers of this new music economy are startups that are developing new tools and economic value creation opportunities for artists, the industry and consumers. Together with panelists from the public and private investment sector, we will discuss the opportunities and main challenges for investments in startups that are building solutions for the future music ecosystem.

Indie label 2.0: turning music into community asset with help of AI and Blockchain

Due to the content abundance we need smarter ways of understanding the market and funding the records. We found a way how to validate the songs before launching them to the market and how to use power of community to co-found the records. We will discuss how it works and how we apply AI and Blockchain to do that.


Coffee break


How digital A&R changed the artist-industry relations and what is coming next?

Several digital A&R projects, using data, AI and machine learning disrupted the A&R practices and made the way for more artists to be mentioned and labels to discover and monitor performance of the artists. What are the real impacts of this – how easier is it now for the artist to be mentioned? What commercial impact does it have for labels? How did it change the relations between artists, labels and publishers? And most importantly: what is the next step in artist-industry relations?


Reimagining A&R and helping musicians thrive

This talk concentrates on how the A&R can be reimagined with the help of the community. The artists are being developed, the smart algorythm on the basis of AI help identifying next stars and helps the artists to be mentioned by labels. Labels get a reliable tool to identify investment opportunities.


Closing remarks by Billy Mello and end of the conference

Partners,  Sponsors and Participants

What’s next ?

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About the conference

More speakers will be published soon. Subscribe to keep updated.

Smart Waves mission is to embrace the role which technology and creativity are really having in the music industry. Artist and songwriters have long been at the backend of the music value chain, now with the help of tech, they are coming to the frontend.

We created a platform, where the innovators meet the music industry leaders to discuss the latest insights and use cases from tech applications in the music value chain. Thus we foster innovation exchange and the progress in the industry.

“Revealing the new music infrastructure. Bringing innovators together.”

The Smart Waves Conference is designed to become a platform for connections and knowledge exchange between those, who make the technological revolution in the music industry.


Business cases

You will learn about successful applications of technology in different parts of the music value chain & use cases directly from industry leaders.


The Conference aims to share knowledge & facilitate networking. For that, we have made it in a business conference format, limited the number of participants and reserved a lot of time for networking.


Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Voice Recognition, Online Communities, etc.


The Conference covers topics ranging from consumption and marketing trends & challenges, AI in music production, copyright and rights management innovations, finance & investments to A&R and community management.

The primary focus of this conference is to unite the brightest minds of the industry innovation with the real players of the music world. Let the most promising projects and start-ups learn about entering and changing the market and see how associations, businesses and artists would change the world around us by taking the music industry to the next level.

Study: Impact of Distributed Ledger Technology on Music Industry

A thorough study of Camila Sitonio and Alberto Nucciarelli! By investigating the industry’s supply chain, they argue that the on-demand streaming platforms (e.g. Spotify and Apple Music) have allowed consumers to easily access music products but have introduced a level of intermediation between artists and customers leading to inefficiency of the royalty payments systems. They discuss some applications, that would allow disintermediation of the industry, allowing artists to create and capture more value from their own products.

Read it!

How will AI impact music industry?

Music Ally and the BPI put together a stunning report on AI in music industry! “We are entering an era where humans – from artists and songwriters through to A&Rs and digital marketers in labels – will be complemented by AI in various forms, from algorithmic composition tools to hyper-personalised playlists and messaging chatbots.” Want to know the key trends?

Read it!

Berlin chosen for Smart Waves conference

The news is out, we’ve selected Berlin, Germany, for what will become one of the most prestigious events in music tech and music business! Taking place from 22-23 May, Smart Waves will examine themes as diverse as streaming services, blockchain and AI. To read our launch press release –

Read it!

“Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.” ― Frank Zappa

The Venue

Berlin is regarded as the music capital of Germany. Located at the heart of Europe, it has become home for many music industry leaders: major labels, streaming companies and rights management organisations. It also happens to be a major startup city with growing music tech scene.

It hosts offices of globally leading companies (Universal Music Group, BMG Rights Management, Spotify, GEMA, etc.) and is recognised as one of the Europe’s most important music locations.

Riverside Studios ( isa unique collective of renowned artists and professionals located in Berlin’s Media Spree, right by the water, neighboring most of the industry’s leaders.  Riverside Studios is a never before seen creative hub gathering under one roof top-ranked artists and experts from different backgrounds and musical genres.