Open Music Initiative Teams Up with Ace Hotel

Libby Botsford
February 8, 2018
Press release

The Open Music Initiative, an initiative of Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE), has announced a partnership with Ace Hotel to drive new artist engagement opportunities. As part of the partnership, Ace Hotel will join Open Music in offering its first public series of events, cohosting a series of workshops across the hotel's properties designed to foster creative dialogue, and explore the impact technology will have on the future of artistry and fan engagement.

Open Music was founded in 2016 to promote and advance the development of open standards for sharing data related to creators and rights holders of music. Since its launch, the initiative has forged partnerships with over 200 of the leading music and technology companies in the world to create an open standard for data sharing.

Using Technology to Bolster Creative Expression

The Ace Hotel events will explore new artist and consumer experiences through a series of interactive workshops and demonstrations designed to inspire and build on previous work. Attendees will learn how technologies such as blockchain can lead to new forms of creative expression, fan collaboration, and commercialization opportunities. The events will also demonstrate new use cases, such as prototypes that allow artists a direct-to-consumer licensing for their music with customized settings on how a song can be sampled, or a wearable device that provides input back to a DJ—and the original artist—on where and when their songs are played and the physiological response from the audience. The event will culminate in an artist engagement session where Open Music will solicit feedback from the artist community on their questions, priorities and ideas.

"Our goal is to dramatically simplify the way that music creators and rights owners are identified and compensated. We spent the last year and a half building prototypes and an API (application protocol interface) to turn that ambition into reality," said Panos A. Panay, Berklee's vice president for Innovation and Strategy. “As we take our learnings from theory to practice, we’re excited to have Ace Hotel on board as our latest partner."

"There is so much opportunity for creative expression and forward-thinking pursuits in the digital realm, and we're honored to be working with Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship and their Open Music Initiative to bring new exploratory technologies into our communities," said Kelly Sawdon, partner and chief Brand Officer of Ace Hotel Group. "We're lucky enough to operate in cities with overwhelming artistic talent and can't wait to see what insights they discover given the necessary tools and knowledge. We're excited to kick off the partnership in New Orleans, with the possibility to expand to other cities in the near future."

Building an Industry-Wide Framework of Support

Open Music has garnered broad and unprecedented support from across the entire music industry. Founding members include: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, SoundCloud, Viacom, SiriusXM, Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et éditeurs de Musique (SACEM), Red Bull Media House, and a wide variety of startups in the rights management space, such as DotBlockchain Music, Jammber, Ujo Music, JAAK, and Blokur.

The first in the series of Open Music events at Ace is taking place on Tuesday, February 27, at Ace Hotel New Orleans. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. CT, with a presentation on Open Music and future technologies starting at 7:00 p.m. CT, and demos and an artist feedback session to follow. To learn more or sign up to attend, visit