The SanFran MusicTech Summit at the Kabuki Hotel in San Francisco this past week was perhaps sprinkled with voodoo magic to ensure all the attendees, logistics and sponsors involved would show up and do their thing. Rather, its success was truly due to the magic of Brian and Shoshana Zisk who oversaw every detail of the conference along with Todd Tate who secured over 20 sponsors (including Bub.blicio.us). Perhaps it was also due to lessons learned as this is their fourth Summit produced in less than two years. Over 600 attendees came together including entrepreneurs, lawyers, activists, artists and musicians seeking to make money and make sense of the rapidly changing world in the music industry. Many in the audience could have easily been one the incredible speakers representing the industry.
The following statement sums up the continued quandary that the music biz finds itself in and continues to face. As stated in January of 2008 in the arstechnica site, “…music isn’t on its deathbed yet; in fact, people are listening to more artists than ever before, on more white earbuds than ever before, in more places than ever before. They’re just not paying as much.” Its the SanFran MusicTech Summit that provides the ideal place for all the players to come together to seek out the solutions.
Laura Evenson, a first time attendee of the Summit and Director of Communications for ImageSpan, shared with me her thoughts about how inspiring the the conference has been during these tough times. “With the fragmentation of content and revenues online, everyone is talking about how the costs of current manual licensing and billing processes grow so burdensome that it’s tough to make any money. Despite the uncertainty many people are expressing at this Summit about where the industry is going, the optimism expressed by many others here is infectious. It’s inspiring to see so many people sharing their vision for how to survive the transformation of the music industry, and even thrive as we all move forward.”
The sessions spanned topics ranging from Social Networking Technologies to Improve Monetization, Music Activism, The Future of the Music Industry, Mobile Apps and, oh, so much more. CLE credits were offered along with their program that included an interesting discussion of the future of music licensing on the Internet. According to the official site , the most popular sessions attended were Social Networking & Music, The Future of The Music Industry and Monetization – Idealism in Practice. As I was also taking pictures during the Summit, I noticed there was standing room only in the rooms, indicating additional interest in the many other sessions offered. I even overheard attendees lament that it was hard to pick which session to attend. Networking abounded throughout the day in the hallways, during lunch and at the sponsored breaks that provided coffee, sweets and other vitals to keep folks alert and energized.
There was plenty of Social Media coverage of the Summit including photo coverage by me, Mona the Cocktail Photographer, Ustream who live video streamed the sessions, along with many others. Overall the sessions were lively and full of heated discussions such as during the Social Networking & Music Session when the moderator, Dave Allen of Nemo Design tied his question to a company’s transparency. He appeared to put Geoff Ralston, CEO of LaLa on the spot when he inquired about patents that he had applied for recently. At first it appeared Geoff was not going to be transparent with the audience, but he then elaborated his view in full detail, revealing that it was part of a group of 15 patents that had the DRM title in it that caused the stir.
As usual, the Summit’s grand finale was a packed banquet room full of networking, food and all types of beverages. Food was served, High Flyer poured wine, panty melting Love Potion #9 was offered and positive moods were in abundance. Another great day in San Francisco full of learning, negotiating, partnering, music and lots of new friends for all.
The Summit Session
Reaching Fans Session
Social Networking & Music Panel
Social Networking & Music Panel: Ali Partovi of iLike, Chuck Fishman of Cisco and Anthony Batt of Buzz Media
Krystyl Baldwin, Maddie Mat Mat & Laura Wiggins - the gals who kept it all running smoothly
Standing Room Only
Standing Room Only
Matthew Gonzales Sharing the SanFran MusicTech Experience
Local Music Vibe who power a national network of local music communities
Leon Rogers, Heather Rafter, Sean O’Connel and Brian Zisk
Cocktail Hour has arrives at last!
More pics at Julie B’s Flickr Site
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Visit Julie’s page at http://www.julieblaustein.com