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SF MusicTech 2014

Educate yourself music peoples

The SF MusicTech Summit is exactly what it sounds like. A gathering of people in the music industry that focus on tech, or vice versa. What I’ve learned from going for the past few years is the more boring a panel sounds the more interesting they usually turn out to be, and vice versa.

It’s all on the moderators and how well they can steer the conversation to the crucial topics of the moment. Equally as important is if the panelists make up an equal representation of the different viewpoints and how well they can express their side through stories and experiences (in a timely manner). And there just happens to be one panel that especially did that.

Music licensing may not sound that interesting, but it’s one of the most controversial topics in the industry right now and has been since the rise of digital media.

Gary Greenstein (moderator) got together a few lawyers that are right in the middle of this mess, representing Pandora, Google & SoundExchange (which collects royalties for the major labels). The panel covered a decent amount, educate yourself, but it seemed to come down to two major issues in the battle between labels & music services, transparency & integrity of artist’s analytics & metadata, respectively (I think).

On the flip side there’s the panel I go see almost every time, but usually don’t last that long there. It may be because I know a lot more about social media than music licensing, but I just feel like I don’t get that knowledge dump I do at the panels covering the more technical side of the music industry. I did however have a question for the panel that I thought would spicin’ things up.

I wanted to ask how much they thought blogs played a role in an artist’s success and what were the best ways to gain their attention (I’d like perspective), but I got a friend to do it for me instead. Or so I thought, until he ended up going off on his own tangent – as you can hear in the panel’s recording (that’s a whole other Oprah story).

Thankfully, G-Eazy stepped in right after and answered it like only an artist could. Story begins 10 minutes in.

Contacting blogs isn’t a numbers game. It’s about establishing meaningful relationships. Don’t just pitch bloggers right off the bat. Have an interest in what they’re doing. Work your way into their community so much that you get their friends and peers sharing it first.

It’s not going to be quick or easy, but neither is making music. Treat your relationships like your art. And don’t rush it!

Also, stop with the damn unsolicited mass mailers. Hit us up on SoundCloud, it’s much more efficient for us. <3

. the disappointment of the day .

Of course this starts off at my most anticipated panel of the day, The Future of Internet Broadcasting. I was overly excited, which never ends well, because I thought I could bring some useful information back to my coworkers about the future of internet broadcasting. I work in internet broadcasting in my not-free time.

Instead, it was just a pitch for StationDigital. Which I wouldn’t have minded so much, I love hearing about startups with something new to bring but it didn’t in so many ways. Mostly the interface, all over the place.

As my boss pointed out, I think this is a good example where they went wrong…

(StationDigital’s loading screen)

To end on a bit more positive note, this panel goes far beyond music and is far more important. If you’re not read up on net neutrality, this is something you need to educate yourself on.