SXSW Panel Picker Voting: Music Tech Startups
Why can't tech and art just get along?
By Doug Freeman, 3:27PM, Fri. Aug. 31, 2012
Today is the final day of South by Southwest's Panel Picker voting, where the community helps select panel discussions within the tech, music, and film industries for the 2013 festival. The array of potential topics is extensive, with nearly 3,600 combined submissions to SXSW.
One of the most important and contentious areas of debate in recent years, and one that directly impacts Austin as a music and technology hub, is digital music. In March at SXSW, the conversation shifted from the possibilities and future of digital music to the often hard realities and effects of the streaming music format.
Artists are struggling with how best to navigate and find value within the streaming music economy. Tech startups, meanwhile, are attempting to innovate in a way that effectively benefits the expectations and needs of fans, musicians, and the music industry as a whole. Yet the complicated systems of streaming royalties and copyright, as well as a seeming cultural divide between technology entrepreneurs and musicians, often only leaves antagonism between the two.
I wanted to turn that antagonism on its head, to discuss how artists and tech entrepreneurs can better work together in a way that benefits both while also fostering innovation and opportunities for reasonable compensation.
The panel I proposed this year, “Fair Play: Tech Startups and Artists,” looks to bridge that gap by bringing together experts who are actively working across those lines: Dave Allen, founding bassist of Gang of Four and director of Interactive Strategy at North; Steve Jang, Co-founder and CEO of Schematic Labs, the creators of the SoundTracking app; and Brian Zisk, Founder and Executive Producer of the SF MusicTech Summit.
Our goal with this panel is to provide an effective starting point for both artists and tech entrepreneurs to discuss not only how to make the most of the emerging digital music ecosystem, but also to provide perspective on the goals, needs, and priorities of both parties.
We view tech startups and musicians as having more in common than against each other, and believe they can effectively work together to create possibilities that are mutually beneficial. After all, in their own rights, artists are necessarily entrepreneurs as much as entrepreneurs are creative artists.
You can vote for our panel here.