Artists gather at SanFran MusicTech Summit

Meliza Solan Surdi · May 20, 2009 · Short URL:

An inside look at how technology is changing the music industry

This week, more than 650 entrepreneurs, indie artists, music enthusiasts, investors, and technology developers gathered at Hotel Kabuki for the San Fran Music Tech Summit. And, as you'd expect from a music conference, there was a musical performance. This year's draw was Matt Morris, a songwriter from Justin Timberlake's label Tennman Records. There was also a session where I appeared as a host for musical startups' elevator pitches and company demos.

"The musical summit's attendance was up from last year, despite the economic downturn," according to event founder Brian Zisk. "A lot of conferences are off but we are on... We are having such a great turn out, but the important part is the quality of these folks. They are coming out for this event and finding what they want such as connecting with people, getting financing, promoting what they're doing, and even finding jobs. We even had an extra 150 people sign up." 
There were panels based on marketing your own music efficiently, how to effectively reach fans with your brand, and how the Internet is changing the future of the music industry. I caught up with Darryl Ballantyne, CEO of LyricFind, which recently launched an iPhone app. It's the No. 1 app in Canada, according to Ballantyne, who spoke on the Mobile Apps panel. "The biggest takeaways from this discussion, for me, were twofold: One, give your users as many ways as possible to pay for your app - paid, ad-supported, subscription, up-selling virtual goods. Make as many of these options available so that the right one is there for every user, " he advised.  "Second, there were four major criteria echoed by all the panelists to make a platform viable. First is critical mass of users, second is solid distribution system (App Store), third is easy ways to monetize apps (both ad-supported and selling app). and lastly, ease of development."
I also caught up with the other founder Shoshana Zisk, who explained why the conference was put on in the first place. "My goal was to get people in the Northern California technology scene to get together, network, and develop relationships. It sounds like we hit our goal because many people have been saying that they found new jobs, new partnerships, and now they have found more work than they can handle. So I feel great about the we are bringing to the city," Shoshana explained. "When we had our first conference in February of 2008, people were wondering where the future of the music industry is going. The Bay area has played a huge part in that because of all of the new developed technology. So with the interest, we wanted to put another one on a few months later and the turn out was bigger. So now we are starting to do these summits quite often.  This is our fourth one and the attendance has tripled. People are getting more and more excited and we see a lot of stuff happening because of our events."

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes