This week I attended Music4point5 Brand Discovery, an event that I was especially looking forward to because I would get to meet people who wouldn’t just nod condescendingly when I spoke about the importance of metadata, but also because I’ve been working on a piece of writing about marriages of conveniences in the music industry. As it transpired, this was not the place to be researching for this particular topic, because at Brand Discovery I heard people who refused to focus on the inadequacies with the digital product and the overreaching nature of DSPs, but instead I came across a roomful of people with great ideas and those with the ability to enable them. This wasn’t the occasion to encourage sycophancy or curry favour, but instead it was an environment that was naturally conducive to bringing the creative and the powerful together, without the pretension or the posturing.
From a Decibel perspective, it’s clear that our place on the tech side of the fence puts us directly in the position of being able to enable Artist and Brand collaboration; the presentations on offer from brands, the artist perspective and technology revealed how nothing stands in isolation in this ecosystem. Daniel Green from entertainment brand giants, Viacom spoke of innovative collaborations, the most notable being between MTV Europe Music Awards and Swatch where an interactive host acted as a link between the show and the audience, giving a truly integrated experience. From within the tech battalion, Will Mills of the discovery app Shazam proffered the audience an insight into one of the most innovative tech products of the last few years, showing how music tagging could help make a user journey, from discovery to acquisition, exploitable by both Artist and Brand. Wilhelm Taht of Flow*d indicated the advantages that his service demonstrated for musician and audience interaction, how checking-in algorithms offered on smartphones and social media were creating an experience that didn’t just reside within a gig or album, but instead was a global, shared force.
Although not much attention was paid to rights holders, this was a truly optimistic look at the future of music, enforced by realistic expectations; during the panel discussion, on being asked who was the best service to go to leverage these agreements between brands and artists, members of the panel declined to assert their own company’s dominance and instead said to “choose the deal that’s best for you.”
This also wasn’t a time to get bogged down in the minutiae and issues troubling the whole industry, but instead it was a measured look at what steps we can take going forward, whilst taking care not to run too early.
Brand Discovery was not a matter of an all-out sell, nor a self-indulgent celebration, but instead what these events should be: an evaluation of the options that musicians have, an assessment of the impact of tech contribution and how brands can help the industry climb out of this massive hole it’s dug for itself. Ultimately hopeful.
Head of Knowledge Management
For a full run-down of all the speakers of the day, check out http://music4point5.com/
This entry was posted on Thursday, September 29th, 2011 at 11:23. It is filed under Blog, News and tagged with artists, brand, Decibel, discovery, event, metadata, music, Music4point5. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.