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In 1980, more than 200 people gathered at a New York City rehearsal studio to discuss and debate challenges in the music business. The event exploded in subsequent years, expanding its focus to cover growth of the music industries, and to include a music showcase festival called, “New Music Nights.” These were held in various New York City area clubs and venues, and were eventually opened to the public.

In its 15-year run, the first series of seminars annually attracted more than 8,000 participants from 35 countries, and was considered one of the most influential Music Business Conferences in the World.

In 2009 NMS was revived because the music business was in crisis after a decade of dropping album sales. Label executives, agents, promoters, and artists needed to find ways to break away from the traditional album-based business model.

That year, The New Music Seminar was re-launched by Tom Silverman and Dave Lory as a touring series in New York City and Chicago. It convened in Los Angeles and New York City in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and became an annual NYC conference up to 2015. 

In 2016, NMS shifted away from the multi-day event to focus on more intensive discussions and introduced the NMSessions. Always evolving, NMS now hosts the bi-monthly NMSessions, Monthly Open Community Forums, and live-streaming show, The Insiders.

NMS is the ultimate destination where artists, industry players, and companies are provided the knowledge, tools, and connections they need to succeed and build the New Music Business. We believe in creating a conversation and continue to adapt to deliver that dialogue to you.


 Select Highlights from the Original NMS 1980-1995


Madonna – 1984

Nirvana – Pyramid Club  – 1989

The Godfather of Soul James Brown – 1984

D.J. Jazzy Jay Mix Tape – 1982

GWAR – 1989

RuPaul – 1986

DJ Battle for World Supremacy Finals – 1990

MC & DJ Battle – Grandmaster Caz vs. Melle Mel – 1987

Melvins  – 1993

 Laurent Garnier, Miss Djax – 1993

NMS on MTV – Lou Reed hosts MTV’s 120 Minutes -1986

Ice Cube presents YO-YO to NYC for the first time – 1990

ASCAP Rap Corner Grandmaster Mel, Ice-T, and more – 1990