SXSW Take-Aways

One of the panels I attended was called “Rights Done Right & Whats Gone Wrong”.  This panel was a little informative but a lot of it felt like a sales pitch.  They helped me understand the importance of ISRC and keeping track of all your metadata for your writers catalog; however they also confused me by explaining that there is not one centralized data base yet for these codes.  With the increased use in blockchain technology there will soon be a centralized database that will be able to easily identify every individual sound recording and who the registered owner is.  The rest of the panel seemed like they were trying to sell me on each of the panelist's individual platforms.  Overall I just learned to register for my ISRC and to keep all my metadata organized.  

One of the most informative panels that I attended was called “How To Build An Effective Streaming Music Strategy”.  They opened this panel by discussing what the real value is to new artist of having these large streaming counts.  They said that its a great starting point and thats about it.   It gets these artists out to many new ears but it doesn't help predict an artists longevity.   They explained that it takes a well thought out release timeline and marketing strategy.  They stressed that the most important thing for an artists success is building a brand.  Artists need more than one popular song to tour off of. Right now a popular strategy is to try and get on playlists.   They said this works great if its part of a larger marketing plan but playlists alone isn't going to break an artist.  They also cautioned us to watch out for any playlist plugger that promises so many streams because its a scam.  Pluggers can get you one a playlist but once its their its all up to the consumers.  The like to skip ratio will kill you right away if no one likes the song.  No plugger can negate that.  Brad Belanger was one of the panelists.  He is the manager of Sam Hunt and several other artists who have been very successful with streaming.  He explained what he believes is good timeline for releases.  He said that for a new artist he will first release a single along with two other “B-side” songs.  He said its no good to only have one song out.  When someone first discovers your music, you want them to be able to go to your page on what ever platform they are using and be able to hear more.  Then after 6-8 weeks of letting that song marinate he’ll release another single.   Then in another 4-6 weeks release one more.  Then you have your traditional 5 song EP that you released over the course of 3 or 4 months.  They had a lot of other great insights into the streaming world and one of their last points was this: “treat streaming platforms (i.e. Spotify, Pandora, Amazon, Apple Music…) like you would early social media platforms in 2008.  Listener interaction is going to increase in these platforms and you want to have a well developed page that consumers can connect with. 

Austin FinleyComment