The most exciting and promising music tech news are shared at South by South West in Austin, Texas this year. We’ve created this roundup of interesting talks about music tech you shouldn’t miss if you’re attending. And if you’re not: this is the current status in music tech and it’s looking good!
PLOTTWIST… it’s actually 15 talks!
Music Tech News 2017
- Decoding Songwriting With Data
- Building a Modern Pre-Order Strategy
- Creative and Financial Aspects of Sampling
- The Future of Music is Space
- The Future of Rock and Metal in the Digital Space
- How To Build A Music City – The Launch
- Jazz in the Digital Age
- Learning and Teaching Music in the Digital Era
- Music Tech Meetup
- Navigating the YouTube Safe Harbor
- Rights & Metadata in Evolving Digital Music Space
- Tech Matters: A Blueprint for DIY Musicians
- Using Data to Discover the Next Big Thing
- Movement Tracks: Where Biotech and Music Converge
- The New Sound of Music: Austria @ SXSW 2017
- Other very helpful resources to prepare for SXSW17
1. Decoding Songwriting With Data
Lyrics create memories, emotion, connection, and controversy. They tell us about their writer, from the sophistication of their word choices to their writing process. Over the course of 2016, we tracked the lyrics of the songs we heard, from popular music to our favorite indie artists, and decomposed them into their atomic parts in order to decode songwriting. Every part of a lyric is an avenue of insight. The visualization of the syllables, words, phrases, lines, rhymes, and verses provides a way to compare the works of even the most diverse artists. We will take this quantitative approach to lyrics and contrast it with the art of songwriting and see if there is validity to an analytical approach.
Decoding Songwriting With Data, Mar 15, 2017 | 12:30pm – 1:30pm.
2. Building a Modern Pre-Order Strategy
What does it take to build equity, drive revenue, and expand your community, before the usual release cycle begins?
Pre-release promotion in the music industry is often sidelined until there is artwork, a track list, and a title, for something new. But, we’ve already learned that fans want to participate sooner, and will pay for exclusivity, access, and deluxe products. How do we improve engagement, and keep building anticipation, without over-sharing?
Building a Modern Pre-Order Strategy, Mar 15, 2017 | 5:00pm – 6:00pm
3. Creative and Financial Aspects of Sampling
Rihanna’s #1 Billboard Hot 100 single “Work” contains an interpolation of “If You Were Here Tonight” written by Monte Moir of Prince’s band The Time. Drake’s #1 Billboard Hot 100 “One Dance” contains a master sample of “Do You Mind” performed by Paleface & Kyla. Now more than ever the hits of today sample the songs of yesterday. An experienced music attorney will guide us through the complexities of a sample clearance agreement. A major label music executive will discuss how samples affect royalties. A grammy award winning music publisher demonstrate the steps of clearing a sample from the publishing side. A Grammy Award-winning producer will discuss the creative aspects of sampling.
Creative and Financial Aspects of Sampling
4. The Future of Music is Space
Spatial audio has gained popularity since the rise of virtual reality but its applications have yet to be truly seen in the music industry. By adding the dimension of depth to our audio, how can this affect the type of music we create and the way that we listen to it? Join us as we hear from those working in the spatial audio field on what that space does and will look like. Whether music becomes an augmented reality overlay, something we create in a virtual world, or something that we feel via haptics all around us– sound is no longer confined to stereo.
The Future of Music is Space MAR 15, 2017 | 2:00PM – 3:00PM
5. The Future of Rock and Metal in the Digital Space
The Rock/Metal genre has been historically driven by physical sales, but the trend has shifted lately thanks to streaming, social media and forward thinking figureheads that have enabled the genre’s passionate fanbase to favor digital formats. Global superstars like AC/DC and Rammstein have acknowledged the value of streaming by making their catalog available across the board. Other bands like Bring Me The Horizon have managed to translate a massive following on social media into real sales. The demise of the album format has made innovation flourish and new revenue sources like VR and experiential rewards are being explored. Is the digital landscape the new el dorado for rock and metal?
The Future of Rock and Metal in the Digital Space MAR 17, 2017 | 12:30PM – 1:30PM
6. How To Build A Music City – The Launch
Music city leaders gather to discuss How To Build A Music City. In 2016, we shared community strategies that can help music scenes advocate for resources and support from your city. In 2017, advocates and experts from all around the world gather at SXSW to discuss the planning processes used in The Launch of music programs that benefit the growth of music scenes. Goal: How To Build A Music City equips musicians, entrepreneurs, and influencers with ideas and strategies that you can use to build city support for your music scene. It doesn’t stop at SXSW. We invite our audiences to stay connected in a growing network that helps advise and encourage emerging music cities.
How To Build A Music City – The Launch, Mar 16, 2017 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm
7. Jazz in the Digital Age
Jazz is one of the most unexpected scenes to benefit from modern technology. For the first time, fans are being born out of content, not just music. We explore how apps, social media, and digital platforms have affected the genre. Have a young audience become more engaged with jazz thanks to social media and apps? Which is the best route for developing a music career in the digital age – is it touring in the traditional sense or new age digital content creation?
Tina Edwards hosts a discussion between Christian Scott, who released his award-winning app Stretch Music in 2015, Jacob Collier, the 21-year-old Youtube sensation who was discovered online, and Billboard’s Natalie Wiener.
Jazz in the Digital Age, Mar 15, 2017 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm
8. Learning and Teaching Music in the Digital Era
This panel will explore the ways that traditional music publishing companies and disruptive startups are helping musicians to learn how to play music. From Sheet Music and interactive music sites to YouTube and apps, there are numerous ways to help people learn, and with the advent of augmented and virtual reality, this world is continuing to evolve. How will songwriters monetize these new channels and products? What are the legal and licensing issues that we need to know? How is the concept of music teachers and students changing?The panelists include professionals from publishing companies, music instructors, and technologists that can provide unique and diverse perspectives.
Learning and Teaching Music in the Digital Era, Mar 16, 2017 | 12:30pm – 1:30pm
9. Music Tech Meetup
Join this designated networking session to find all the music tech movers and shakers in one room where you don’t have to yell over music or navigate lines and bars. Join us for a round of speed schmoozing where you’ll meet potential clients, investors, and partners, followed by time for informal networking. You’ll be encouraged to meet newcomers to the music tech space and to find ways to partner with others in the room to benefit the industry. We’ll sweeten the deal by emailing a contact list of all meetup attendees when you’re back home.
Music Tech Meetup, Mar 14, 2017 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm
10. Navigating the YouTube Safe Harbor
More than 200 recording artists and industry figures, including Irving Azoff, Taylor Swift, and U2, recently signed an open letter to Congress decrying the rampant exploitation of their work for profit by entities such as YouTube. A key part of the letter focused on the inadequacies of the DMCA, a law enacted in 1998—long before the development of modern social media and popular sites such as Periscope, Snapchat, and Facebook. This panel explores the existing DMCA takedown regime, the debate surrounding its reform, and how rights holders and internet service providers can navigate its murky waters.
Navigating the YouTube Safe Harbor, Mar 16, 2017 | 12:30pm – 1:30pm
11. Rights & Metadata in Evolving Digital Music Space
As the music industry continues to be shaped and advanced by digital innovations, stakeholders face new and unforeseen business challenges. From rights holders to music licensees, data has become significantly more important to the accrual, collection, and distribution of royalties to income participants. This panel will discuss the issues relating to music rights and metadata in the digital music age and evaluate some of the ways in which these issues are being addressed by companies, music creators, and collective societies in the United States and abroad.
Rights & Metadata in Evolving Digital Music Space, Mar 17, 2017 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm
12. Tech Matters: A Blueprint for DIY Musicians
Technology has greatly transformed and expanded opportunities for the DIY music community to create, market and distribute their work. The truth, however, is that not all technologies are the smartest solutions for every artist. In a digital ecosystem with so many moving parts, it is important to experiment without losing focus, and to refine your business strategy and hand pick the tools that will make your unique career both innovative and sustainable. Incorporating the perspectives of artists, tech companies, artist managers and digital media experts, this panel will discuss best practices and resources for DIY artists to make the most out of technological disruption.
Tech Matters: A Blueprint for DIY Musicians, Mar 17, 2017 | 5:00pm – 6:00pm
13. Using Data to Discover the Next Big Thing
Identifying the next big hit used to be based on the taste and intuition of a select few – but no longer. Ticketmaster will lead a panel of music, media, and tech industry insiders to showcase emerging artist programs and how they are using data to predict the next big thing. We will cover many different programs in the market now, the benefits they provide, and the trajectory of artists they feature. The panel will delve into key metrics analyzed by programs like Ones to Watch, New Music Favorites and Spotify Emerge, giving artists, their teams, and fans insight into what it takes to be identified as a promising new act, and how these programs can help them accomplish their goals.
Using Data to Discover the Next Big Thing, Mar 15, 2017 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm
14. Movement Tracks: Where Biotech and Music Converge
This dynamic panel will provide examples of music’s power as a core catalyst to restore, maintain and enhance health by highlighting music biotechnologies developed to improve and recover the ability to walk for children with cerebral palsy and adults with Parkinson’s disease. Panelist will inform and discuss new possibilities to improve patient outcomes through the integration of music technologies, smart sensors and data analytics to improve both the scale and impact of global healthcare solutions initiatives to transform people’s lives.
Movement Tracks: Where Biotech and Music Converge, Mar 13, 2017 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm
15. The New Sound of Music
A full day of networking, talks, showcases and presentations of current music tech trends and news from Europe. This year, Austria hosts this one of a kind event that will cover topics from “Classical music and talk”, “Lifesciences, Health and Music” and live presentation of emerging technologies for artists and right holders.
The New Sound of Music, March 14th, whole day.
Other useful resources
Twitter list of useful accounts to follow for free stuff and parties
Unofficial guide to SXSW 2017
Get RSVPed automatically
Best of SXSW17 Spotify playlist
Dedicated SXSW subreddit
Austin events on Eventbrite during SXSW17
Meetups during SXSW17
Gary’s SXSW Guide
Title Photo by Paulina Spencer.