Stephen Witt Keynote Speaker

  • Regular contributor to the New Yorker
  • Author of 'How Music Got Free'
  • Columbia University journalism graduate

Stephen Witt's Biography

Stephen Witt is a journalist, regular contributor to the New Yorker and the author of ‘How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy’

Stephen was born in New Hampshire in 1979 and raised in the Midwest. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in mathematics in 2001. He spent the next six years playing the stock market, working for hedge funds in Chicago and New York. Following a two-year stint in East Africa working in economic development, he graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2011.

In ‘How Music Got Free’ published in 2015,  Stephen Witt traces the secret history of digital music piracy, from the German audio engineers who invented the mp3, to a North Carolina compact-disc manufacturing plant where factory worker Dell Glover leaked nearly two thousand albums over the course of a decade, to the high-rises of midtown Manhattan where music executive Doug Morris cornered the global market on rap, and, finally, into the darkest recesses of the Internet.

The book was nominated for countless awards including the Financial Times and Mckinsey Business book of the year 2015 for which it made the shortlist.

He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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