As we celebrate International Womens’ Day this week, we’re delighted to shine a light on a selection of leading women in music, who share their industry vision in a series of interviews, before taking part in Midem 2019 next June. First up is Tracy Gardner, SVP, Global Business Development and Strategy, Warner Music Group.
> What recent business achievement are you the most proud of?
I’ve worked in the music industry for more than 10 years, and I’m continuously excited to see how far streaming has come since that time. When I started at Warner in NYC, the company was entering into an agreement with Spotify for its expansion into the US. and I recall the buzz and excitement throughout the industry. I’m proud to be a part of the strategy helping to drive streaming, which helped our industry return to growth in 2015. Ten years later we now have 250 million paying subscribers worldwide.
> What is your biggest hope for the music industry in 2019?
I hope that users start to be exposed to a greater diversity of music. There is so much great music out there but often, due to the way algorithms and recommendation systems are set up, users are served the same content over and over again – there is an opportunity for discovery that needs to be addressed. Also, I hope that streaming continues to explode in new, untapped markets.
> Do you have a particular wish for women in the music industry?
I wish that every woman has at least one advocate for her – whether it’s another woman, a man, friend, mentor, etc. Having someone that has your back and pushes you to grow, both personally and professionally, is something that I have been lucky to have and that has helped me succeed in my career. And of course, we must return the favour for someone else.
> How has women’s role in the music industry evolved in recent years?
It’s grown into one of leadership, with women helping other women succeed. The support that women are showing for each other is inspiring. But, also men are championing women and that is equally important.
> What obstacles remain to be overcome?
There will always be obstacles in different shapes and sizes and that’s why it’s so important that we continue to have discussions around women, diversity and inclusion.
> What will you look for when attending Midem next June?
I look forward to meeting with key players and partners from the international markets – China, LATAM, Africa, MENA, etc. With emerging markets presenting such opportunities in the streaming space, it will be great to have conversations on how we can expand streaming’s reach in these markets.
> Which artists are you the most excited about right now and why?
All the women artists! Seeing so many women being recognised this year at the Grammys and the Brits was a milestone, and seeing our girl Dua Lipa win Best New Artist was so exciting. On International Women’s Day, how could I not mention Lizzo? What a talent! I saw her perform in LA a couple months ago and she simply commanded the room. We need more of her self-love message in the world.
Use the promo code ‘Womeninmusic’ and save €325 off your Midem pass, only until 10 March.