TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: syncing and publishing, experiencing music live, and fan engagement (Music Conference panel overview, part 3 of 4)

By on Tuesday, 8th March 2016 at 1:00 pm

Editor’s note: We’ve made some exciting changes to our annual TGTF Guide to SXSW this year! In addition to the music showcase portion of the guide that you are likely already familiar with, we’ll also be bringing you our picks of the best of the conference panel programming for the convention side of SXSW Music. The SXSW Music Conference is divided into 12 general categories of panels, called tracks, and we have divided our panel coverage into four separate articles, each highlighting a different sections of panel content. This is part three of our four-part preview. If you missed the earlier parts of our panel preview series, you can click here to find them.

Licensing, Syncs, and Publishing
This track is all about the benjamins, exploring practical ways for musicians to monetise their craft. In the digital age, the avenues are practically limitless, and artists, publishers and record labels are all competing for a piece of the pie. The more banal panel topics on this track include such self-explanatory titles as Mailbox Money: Making Money in Music Publishing on Wednesday 16 March and Latest Trends and Tips in YouTube Monetization, scheduled for the following day.

But this track also explores facets of the music business that are not as immediately obvious as recording and touring, specifically composing for film, television and advertising, along with publishing and licensing for those ventures. There is a general panel called Creating Custom Songs for Film, TV, Trailers & Ads, on Thursday 17 March as well as several more specifically focused workshops. I’d Like to Teach the World: Music Supervise an Ad, scheduled for Friday 18 March, promises a hands-on workshop experience in creating music for commercial use. Covers & Remixes & Customs – All You Need to Know, on the docket for Thursday 17 March, discusses the customisation of music for movie trailers, such as the one below for recent film ‘The Finest Hours’, featuring Snow Patrol’s 2009 track ‘The Lightning Strike’.


Live Music, Touring & Festival Experiences
As stated in the panel description for Bringing Out Your Fans in the Digital Age, “touring is now the main income source for many artists, and also an important platform to develop and break artists.” On this Friday 18 March panel, guest speaker Zeeshan Zaidi, General Manager of Artist Services at Ticketmaster, will address the all-important question of how to encourage fans to attend live gigs, perhaps also touching on the rather discouraging but widespread practice of ticket scalping. On a tangential subject, the Wednesday 16 March panel Does Social Media Make Concerts Better? examines the prevalence of social networking while attending gigs and how it relates to the overall live music experience.

In the interest of broadening the scope of live performance beyond the confines of physical locality, there are two panels scheduled to discuss broadcasting live events via television and streaming, Concerts & Festivals: Television vs. Streaming, and Livestreaming Events: Past, Present & Future, both on Thursday 17 March. By contrast, live attendance and personal experience are the focus of two Friday 18 March panels, Music Curation Through Artist Festivals and Global Festivals and Their Locales.

Perhaps most relevant to a city like Austin is Small Live Music Venues: Who Needs Them Anymore?, scheduled for Saturday 19 March. The bustling downtown music scene in the Texas capitol surely makes a strong affirmative case. That workshop might be a good follow-up to one of the Thursday 18 March evening panels, David & Goliath: Thriving as Independent Promoters, where Stephen Chilton of Arizona’s Psyko Steve Presents will be featured as a guest panelist. I can personally vouch for some of the shows Chilton has presented at small venues in my local area, including Frank Turner at The Pressroom in Phoenix last October.

Marketing and Fan Engagement
Tangential to the above Live Music track, this category features panels relating to how artists reach new fans and retain already established ones. Thursday 17 March panel Stream to Ticket: Mapping the Value of Discovery focuses on the live music experience as the basis of music sales and seeks to capitalise on that trend. The Influence of UK Fandoms, scheduled for Wednesday 16 March, is a panel near and dear to our own hearts here at TGTF. It promises to challenge the idea that America is the gold standard for music success, citing The Beatles and One Direction as obvious examples of UK artists who carried their appeal across the pond, as well as American acts like Haim who broke first in the UK before gaining recognition at home.


Panels dealing with Internet and social media marketing strategies abound, including The Art of Impactful Content: Standing Out in 2016 on Friday 18 March, How Major Labels Build Rockstar-Worthy Websites on Thursday 17 March, and Modern SEO for Bands and Brands, with SEO being short for Search Engine Optimisation, also scheduled for Thursday. Not to be left out, another Thursday session titled Radio Re-tuned for the Music Ecosystem features Radio Disney General Manager Phil Guerini discussing how the seemingly archaic radio format is adapting to compete in the ever-evolving multimedia music context.

Stay tuned for the fourth and final installment of our Music Conference panel preview, which posts this Thursday, the 10th of March. New panel discussions are still being added to the schedule and as always, the panel schedule is subject to change. For complete, updated information on Music Conference tracks at SXSW 2016, click here.

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