Digital Media Summit 2015 Caters To Rockstars
Posted by Rob Campbell on May 12th, 2015
For anyone who doesn’t know better, the Digital Media Summit held in the middle of Canadian Music Week on Thursday May 7th 2015 at the Sheraton Center in Toronto focuses on the plight of the modern musician. The speakers and exhibitors at the show cater to music producers, publishers and creative content makers, as they work to protect their Intellectual Property Rights and yet still affect the largest mass distribution of their product. The speakers at the show give nods to all attempts to redefine fame in an age when everyone can be famous. The puzzle here is best expressed best by Seneca College in their business school marketing ad campaign that says simply, ‘make a million clicks matter’. Here’s Rob Campbell the Smojoe (and author this article) in the breakfast line with rock & roll Singer Songwriter Jennifer Levy who is a country girl from Western Canada eager to build her own fan base and become her own recording company and music marketing team. DMS is a billed as a forum to discuss all forms of digital media, but because there are so many musicians and band managers in town for shows related to Canadian Music Week, the trade show vendors and celebrity speakers all like to reference the state of the music industry in their talks. Unlike other tech conferences, DMS is filled with rock & rollers like Jenn and Norelle French of The Starved with whom I spent most of the afternoon. Sennheiser microphones were set up just inside the front door of the trade show and their business director Nick Mandiliaras was on hand to answer questions and give product demonstrations. Their display was decidedly old school and this probably brought some comfort to the older musicians seeking something familiar in the Digital Age. Stingray Music set up a display for ALL GOOD VIBES which has made them a leading provider of music products and services available on TV, Web, mobile and commercial settings. They were set up at the bottom or the stairs making music for the show and their sign says they offer, ‘the best music experiences for every moment and mood in your life.’ Seneca College has a prodigious music theory and performance program that produces well over a hundred talented musicians each year. Once again this school was well represented with faculty and students distributing free recordings. Dylan Hennessy was personally dispensing copies of IMP 19, a music compilation to which he contributed a track called Bevdale Road. Lisa Nicole the country music pop star was at the show in advance of her own performance at the Cadillac Lounge on Queen St West on Saturday May 9th, a sold out show. Robert Hutton the Executive Director of the CMPA, the Canadian Music Publishers Association was present to share his vision of Canada resuming its place as a preeminent pop star producing nation. The sentiment shared by Jamie Moffat the Director of Business Development at Streamon.fm who has developed technology that enables broadcasters to make the most of their on-air content with revolutionary streaming technology (HTTP live streaming) which is easy-to-use and allows instant podcasting and social media sharing. The company offers an array of reliable, low-maintenance live streaming products on their website. Low tech product vendors like Zippo lighters are part of Canadian music industry landscape and have been for eighty years.. Founded in 1933, the company is eighty two years old, and in June 2012 they manufactured their 500,000,000th Zippo lighter. At DMS the booth attendant told me that one in five Zippo customers is a collector. Above is their phone app which is an image of a Zippo lighter on screen, so even if you don’t have the iconic butane lighter you can still hold one up at rock concerts during Canadian Music Week – brilliant. Digital Media Summit recruited an impressive array of speakers, panelists and interactive workshops. Many of the speakers were discussing the emergence of Spotify and some had good things to say but mostly people were dreading the rise of an oligarch in this space. Music streaming service Spotify is very near a deal to close $400 million of new funding from sources including Goldman Sachs and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, the Wall Street Journal reports. This would value Spotify at $8.4 billion. The new valuation would be double that of rival streaming service Pandora, which has a market capitalization of around $3.5 billion. This news comes just months after it was reported that Spotify was looking for as much as $500 million in new venture funding. This funding would be a strategic move for Spotify, beset as it will soon be by competitors like Apple’s rumored Beats music service and the just-relaunched Tidal, bought by rapper and business mogul Jay Z recently. YIQYAQ (a personalized online radio community), Tweekly.fm (a Last.FM/Twitter mashup) and Charts.fm (a chart remixing site) on the rise, no-one could deny that the way we consume our favourite tunes has become inextricable with our online lives. MySpace is increasingly seen as the Avril Lavigne of social networks: outgrown by its audience. Depending on who you listen to, social media is either the death or the resurrection of the music industry . The Digital Media Summit embraces the phenomenon of course and encourages early adopters and offers insights into advanced marketing strategy.
Word of Mouth Experts Gathered at the 2015 Digital media Summit
But is the hype around bands using social media to amplify Word of Mouth for rack bands really justified? Does the WOM ‘ social media platforms’ that connect fans with bands actually translate into more direct sales? The death of MySpace could also signify that WoM is really not that important…? Ted Cohen seemed rather critical of Spotify in his talk with Brian Solis the Principal Analyst at Alimeter Group, and author of What’s the Future of Business? came on stage with Ted Cohen early in the morning to discuss how ‘Its Time to Move on to Social Media 2.0’. That title attracted lots of people in the music industry who are always seeking the next big platform to dominate and ‘growth hack’. But Brian sees the rise of this power player as something distorting the landscape even further, a new monster to take down by a smaller smarter cheaper or just simply better service that rises when Spotify becomes uncool. Saul Colt. a Word of Mouth marketing expert, with his office manager before speaking on a panel about WoM for musicians. Saul offered his own insights into what makes something new and cool for kids, and what venture capitalists should look for when trying to find the next big thing. You can read more stories about the Digital Media Summit on Facebook, and tweet to them @DMS_Summit. The hashtag is #DMS2015.