SF MusicTech has come a long way since its inception less than two years ago. It’s kind of a big deal now – even Google was there this time. The media has become increasingly interested in the discussions happening at SFMT since they happen, you know, at the bleeding edge of music/tech. Naturally, SFMT founder – the ineffable Brian Zisk – is more than happy to chat with the cameras. You can truly see the passion in his eyes and hear it in his voice. This guy is the personification of music/tech.
If you’re new to Evolving Music or SFMT you might want to read our reviews of the previous four summits below for some context.
SanFran MusicTech Summit 1: Rockstars, Lawyers, Nerds and Me
SanFran MusicTech Summit 2: Guestlist Wish, Artist Activism, and Label Survival
SanFran MusicTech Summit 3: Albums Die, Social Media Kicks Ass, and Songs Find a Home
SanFran MusicTech Summit 4: Singalongs, Video Interviews, and Twitter Gossip
Google’s involvement this time around could be the harbinger of a new chapter in the music/tech saga. With their recent foray into music search, Google has presented the confused and conflicted music industry with a powerful new ally. While their new service is definitely still bumbling about in the dirty diapers of its infancy, it’s clear that Google has grand plans for it. At the summit, they emphasized a “search-driven, partner-delivered” strategy.
Another theme, especially among the geekier of the attendees, was that APIs can set you free. Not only do APIs enable the ever-increasing plethora of clever mashups out there (e.g. JamBase + iTunes music library = iConcertCal) to be born, but ultimately they help blur the line between content and context and serve up what the end-user has (knowingly or unknowingly) wanted all along: cool ways to experience music.
Whereas social media was a big talking point at past summits, it seems now to be a foregone conclusion. It’s not about convincing music people they need to use social media. Everyone pretty much gets that now. And if they don’t… well, “If your label and your manager don’t get digital or social media, FIRE them,” was one way to put it. Here’s another savvy social media quote overheard by the Hypebot folks: “Facebook doesn’t need a music strategy, music needs a Facebook strategy.”
The always cool Pandora admitted to working on what will hopefully be built-in Pandora capability in cars. Plenty of auto makers already offer built-in iPod adaptors. Why not built-in Pandora?
In addition to Google, a host of other cool sponsors were to thank for SFMT #5. Of note: Heatwave Interactive, which is seeking to “fundamentally revolutionize the entertainment landscape by creating innovative cross-media properties for gaming, film, music and television,” the web domain extension dotMusic, which is exactly what it sounds like, and Collecta, which offers real-time search through popular blogs and social media.
Once again, the SanFran MusicTech Summit brought together the thought leaders of music, tech, and that living breathing intersection of the two for hours of heated debate, deal-making, and good vibing. One can only wonder what cool new ideas and companies will be born as a result of conversations had and relationships built that day.