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!
Tell Your Story with Webdoc
Engaging Stories – it’s what gets people interested. Currently, it’s hard to keep people interested in your story with only text. Musicians are trying to find interesting ways to be heard through the clutter and creating rich media posts is one way to stand out. Last week, I talked about creating engaging content and I mentioned a tool called Webdoc. Webdoc is an easy tool that enables you to create rich media posts in seconds. Musicians don’t have to worry about HTML because the interface is WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). You can include a URL or HTML if you really want to though.
Getting started on Webdoc is easy: All you have to do is connect with Facebook or Twitter or create an account. Once you are in, you can start creating a post. The blank white sheet can be designed any way you want. You can include text, pictures, music, and video. I think one of the best features is the fact that you can add elements from applications like Facebook, Songkick, Soundcloud, Instagram, Slideshare, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube, and more. There are various customization options that include resizing posts, making it public or private, and adding different colors and fonts. Musicians can get really creative and create campaigns to release new music, announce show dates and upcoming performances, tell stories, or share whatever they want. I’ve used Webdoc before and I think it’s a great tool for Musicians to share content that can capture people’s short attention spans and caters to people that are more interested in visually appealing posts rather than just text.
Once you are finished creating your post, it is easy to share your creation with other people via social media, email, and embedding it on your site. Various Musicians and companies have used Webdoc such as Nirvana, One Direction, Megan and Liz, Universal, EMI, Sony, InGrooves, and Essence Media. Check out Webdoc’s page and PDF guide that are designed to help musicians.
This video gives an intro to Webdoc:
Since it’s SXSW, Musicians attending can take advantage of the opportunity by sharing Webdoc posts letting Fans know what they are doing in Austin, introducing people to their music, and more. Try out Webdoc and let me know what you think by commenting below. Thanks!