SXSW: Highlight, Turntable.fm, and more music industry news
With SXSW last week, flocks of people working in music, tech, and social media, headed to Austin, TX along with startups, Musicians, entrepreneurs, celebrities, and filmmakers. To Musicians, this was a chance to showcase their talent through live performances and to network with music professionals.
On the tech front, many apps that launched last year were focused on group messaging. This year, there was an emphasis on location-based apps at the conference. The most buzzed about startup at SXSW this year was Highlight. For those that aren’t familiar with the startup, Highlight is an app that shows users when others are nearby when they have something in common such as friends or interests. Location-based apps add a social layer to the daily act of passing people. Even though many people talked about Highlight, much of the conversation were complaints about the app’s battery-draining qualities and privacy concerns. Techcrunch.com featured a post talking about Why Highlight Wasn’t A Breakout Success at SXSW. Other apps that were talked about were Path, Glancee, Banjo, Sonar, and Grandstand. (More here) These location-based apps help people interact offline. Another startup, Uberlife, is similar to Highlight, but Uberlife is more geared toward musicians and allows them to organize hangouts with fans. Check out these apps and others to see if you can connect better with fans offline.
In addition to app and startup news, the social media website, Turntable.fm made an announcement. While at SXSW, Turntable.fm announced that the company had signed licensing deals with the 4 major labels. The social media website lets users share their musical tastes, interact with each other, and promote music. Musicians can take advantage of this platform by creating an account and playing music for people to hear. In addition, Turntable.fm allows musicians to set up listening parties so their fans can hear new music before an album or EP release.
With all the discussions of the music industry, Bruce Springsteen gave some good advice to young Musicians during his SXSW keynote. This year, the Boss delivered the keynote and had some advice for Musicians as he closed his speech:
“So rumble young musicians rumble. Open your ears and open your hearts. Don’t take yourself too seriously and take yourself as seriously as death itself. Don’t worry. Worry your ass off. Have ironclad confidence, but doubt. It keeps you awake and alert. Believe you are the baddest ass in town and you suck! It keeps you honest. Be able to keep two completely contradictory ideas alive and well inside of your heart and head at all times. If it doesn’t drive you crazy, it will make you strong. And stay hard, stay hungry, and stay alive and when you walk on stage tonight to bring the noise, treat it like it’s all we have and then remember it’s only rock ‘n’ roll.”
Watch Bruce Springsteen’s keynote speech at SXSW below:
For more from this year’s SXSW, check out http://sxsw.com/. Did you attend SXSW this year? Did you discover some great new music? Let us know in the comments below!
Time for SXSW 2012!
It’s that time of the year again. Once winter ceases to exist and spring weather is on display for everyone to experience, thousands of people across North America, at least, become excited for the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festivals and conferences happening from March 9th to 18th in Austin, Texas.
The conference is split up into an interactive side, a music side, and a film side with new and exciting innovations showcased to all attendees. Mirroring the great exhibitions at the height of the industrial revolution in the 1800s, SXSW offers a glimpse into the future of media, communications, and entertainment - this is a valuable, rare opportunity for everyone to get a taste of what is yet to come.
As we are musically inclined, it’s important to note some of the exciting events, initiatives, and guest speakers that are in the spotlight for this year’s conference. One exciting new avenue of SXSW that is worth exploring is the “Accelator”, which aims to discover the most innovative online technologies. With regards to music, there are quite a few mobile and Facebook apps with the aim to provide the concert-going experience in a convenient and portable way. Many of the new technologies offer innovative distribution systems for music, harnessing the power offered by social media to drive newer and higher quality fans.
Along with showcasing new music technologies, the conference also has a variety of music panels devoted to discussing the current state of the music industry. Some key artists who are expected to speak are Bruce Sprinsteen and Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. There’s also a bit of a focus on the history of music itself, but the really innovative concept of this conference deals with the workshops, which bring together musicians and record label/company executives in an open and interactive forum. Another super interesting panel that will be featured is called “Bands, Brands & Fans”, which discusses how the digital world and music have started complementing each other and how musicians can leverage these new tools in the most optimal manner. A keen discussion on using social media marketing to tap into emerging bands, this panel is sure to cause much debate on both social media etiquette and viral marketing.
One interesting infographic recently featured on Mashable discussed the social media chatter of SXSW attendees. To note a view metrics featured on the infographic, SXSW was featured in over 300,000 conversations across social networks and over 2800 badges were offered in FourSquare for users checking into the conference, with a long line for these badges to even be issued. There’s definitely a lot of buzz going on in the social networking world about SXSW and it’s clearly visible through this infographic.
Finally, it’s important to understand the foundation of SXSW - namely, the music. Along with the formal conference part of the event, there will also be a variety of musicians and performances on the main stage throughout the conference. If you’re hoping to party and rock out to some fresh new music, then SXSW is the place to be.
Expected to attract over 16,000 people this year, SXSW is guaranteed to be an awesome place for open musical discourse to occur about the future of both the music industry and the artistic paradigm as a whole. We’ll keep you posted on any exciting updates throughout the course of the conference, but be sure to check out SXSW for all the latest news regarding panels, workshops, and events that may interest you.