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SXSW Recap: Panels, Concerts and Showcases

SXSW has become an increasingly important event for the media and entertainment industry. The numbers themselves are telling—the show has had five+ years of double digit growth, and organizers said there was a 40 percent increase in registrations for the interactive portion this year compared to 2010.  On the music and film side, organizers said that last week, the city of Austin, TX saw 2,000 bands perform on 92 stages, and there were more than 275 film screenings.

While the conference and festival’s increased prominence brings more eyeballs, it also means it’s harder to stand out from the crowd. Brands need a strong online presence to create interest and drive audiences to their physical events.

Not only did we participate in the conference portion of the festival, but Cisco Eos powered the sites behind Atlantic Records’ SXSW events, driving interest and real value over the course of this much anticipated event. These turned out to be some of the highlights of SXSW: Read More »

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SXSW 2011 Showcase: Killers, Lasers, Papers enabled by Cisco Eos


Janelle Monae backstage and ready to go, being interviewed Killers Lasers Papers show host Gurj Bassi

The Killers Lasers Papers showcase by Atlantic Records here at SXSW 2011 featured amazing performances from the label’s very deep pool of talent including rapper / singers,  Donnis,  B.o.B., Whiz Khalifa, and Janelle Monae. The KillersLasersPapers.com site powered by Cisco Eos is the online home for this hot concert.  Even though the concert has wrapped up -- there are behind the scenes photos from the show available taken by the Atlantic Records team (check out their profile page here), red carpet photos, and shots of the show. For those who were at the show, they can upload any video or photos they took during the KillersLasersPapers showcase and share them on the site by signing up.

The performances were so amazing and the show was the highlight of my lengthy SXSW experience, so it’s really great to know the memories can live on at an official online site for the event. I would like to see more concerts like this have an official event page. A Facebook event page  may drift off into the ether after the event is done. As a fan I would like to  know I have a dedicated URL I can look up any time :  for instance,  KillersLasersPapers.com.  I have my own profile page on KillersLasersPapers (link to my profile) and I’ll be uploading some of my own videos and photos from the event  over the next few days to share with fellow fans. Also, because there was a Twitter hash tag for the concert - #KillersLasersPapers -- I can go back and review the conversations about the show.

UStream's Social Stream from KillersLasersPapers

The site featured a live stream of the show to fans across the globe with Gurj Bassi from MTV’s Downtown Girls hosting and providing back stage interviews with the artists. Also via UStream’s social stream, a real time chat on the front of the site (pictured right), kept the fan conversation about the show going. The social stream feature allowed fans to chat with each other during the show using their Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and AOL Instant Messenger accounts. Janelle Monae fans call themselves ‘fandroids’.  Uber ‘fandroid’ Lady Maestra tweeted the right answers to questions during the online scavenger hunt, winning herself the custom designed Killers Lasers Papers Flip cam (pictured).

Some show highlights -- Donnis opened up the night performing his hit ‘Eat You Alive’. B.o.B followed Donnis’ set backed by an amazing live band.  He and the band played his hits ‘Nothing on You’ and ‘Airplanes’. The band really kicked into gear during a really triumphant performance of the heartfelt song ‘Don’t Let Me Fall’.

B.o.B. at KillersLasersPapers

Whiz Khalifa followed, and immediately had the crowd going with his rap ode to the Pittsburgh Steelers, ‘Black and Yellow’. Khalifa moved on to a new rap song from his catalog called ‘The Thrill’ which borrows from Empire of The Sun’s ‘Walking on a Dream’. He even did a tribute to rapper / singer Nate Dogg who recently passed away.

Wiz Khalifa talks to Scott Brown (at right), Cisco Media Solutions Group Marketing Director, about making his videos with Flip cams

Janelle Monae’s group, all dressed in super crisp black tie outfits, ran through really danceable songs like ‘Wondaland’ and ‘Dance or Die’ at the beginning of their set. She then worked up to dramatic fast moving numbers like ‘Cold War’ and ‘Tightrope’ by the end of a set that went much longer than we all expected. She pushed her performance right up to the 2 AM show close. Earlier in the evening, our marketing director Scott Brown was whisked on to the tour bus to present Miss Monae with a Flip cam. Scott remarked that Janelle is super soft spoken -- likely she just saves her energy up for such epic and dramatic performances.

We will share more behind the scenes photos and videos from KillersLasersPapers on the blog when we are back from SXSW but you know the real place to stay tuned to for content from the show is KillersLasersPapers.com

Some great shots from Scott Brown follow in the slide show below.

Janelle Monae and her very talented band performing ‘Sincerely Jane’ from her first album Metropolis, at KillersLasersPapers

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Social Networks and Music – Part 1

The Cisco Media Solutions Group team transitioned from the SXSW Interactive 2011 conference on Tuesday (3/15), into the SXSW Music 2011 Conference (3/16). Dan Scheinman, SVP and GM of the Cisco Media Solutions Group participated one of the first music panels of the conference - You’ve Built a Social Network, Now What?

Dan was joined by moderator Bill Werde, Editorial Director of Billboard Magazine,  Paul Sinclair, SVP of Digital Media of Atlantic Records, and Michael Fiebach of the digital marketing  and management agency Fame House.  Also joining the panel as a last minute addition was Hannah Hooper from the band Group Love to give the artist perspective on social networks.

So many great tips on how bands -- no matter what their size -- can connect with fans using social networking sites were offered during the panel. You can follow the SXSW panel discussion and all the advice the panelists shared by watching this Twitter hash tag - #nowwhatpanel (click on the link) .

Many music oriented technology services and tools were mentioned which can help bands maximize their digital presence as well as effectively sell content. Part 2 of this blog post will summarize some of the specific tools and strategy offered by the panelists.

For part 1 of this blog post -- here is the overall theme of the #nowwhatpanel : the artist web site is critical to a band’s success in the world of social networking. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace -- proliferate in number, grow audiences, and some even eventually die off. That’s just one of many reasons, Paul Sinclair of Atlantic Records shared this with the SXSW music panel attendees ( mainly independent musicians in the room ) :

When Atlantic works with an artist on social networking strategy, the artist web site is the first thing they work on with them. Paul shared some specific examples on how he worked on social media strategy with Atlantic artist Christina Perri via her web site -- http://www.christinaperri.com/

Digital Marketing strategist and artist manager Michael Fiebach of Famehouse says bands are simply “renting their fans to social networks” if they do not build their own web site. He recently started working with a new rap group from Philadelphia, OCD, on turning the group’s good sized following on social networks like Facebook and Youtube into something more meaningful for the artist and the fan.

Check the Cisco Eos Twitter feed for more of the discussion and the Twitter hash tag #nowwhatpanel . Part 2 will have more tips from the pros on how bands can connect deeper with their fan base.

Trends at SXSW Interactive

Cisco Media Solutions Group is at the SXSW conference as our colleague Scott Brown blogged about right here. Before we got to the expo hall booth 322 and got ready for the Killers Lasers Papers showcase Thursday 3/17 at SXSW Music, we tried to get to as many SXSW Interactive panels and events as we could.

I looked back to my blog post on SXSW Interactive 2010. I wrote in 2010, SXSW Interactive attendance was up 40% from 2009. Well can imagine it’s up another 40% in 2011 -- I haven’t seen the latest statistics yet. Long lines dominated my first day attending panels at SXSW Interactive.

Also, the conference is much more spread out this year -- with interactive panels spread out in hotels and other venues across Austin. No matter how hard you try, it’s not easy to get to all the panels you want to see. When it come to media and entertainment -- SXSW Interactive has plenty of panels to offer about how digital and social media are changing experiences with content. The two trends I noticed right away for SXSW 2011 are:

1. Mobile applications seem to have the share of attention at interactive -- and many of them are focused on ‘getting together’ around interests -- nightlife events, food, photos, fashion.

2. Content creators are focused on extending their brands across digital platforms and in the real world -- this trend was highlighted by the term I kept hearing at the conference -- transmedia.  You can follow the term on Twitter via the hash tag to learn more -- #transmedia.

While I was at the blogger lounge sucking up all the bandwidth I could get, Cisco colleague Jeff Marusak was out in the field taking notes. He attended some panels on how to mine social media for customer insights and we’ll share some takeaways from those panels in this post.

CLICK ON READ MORE TO CONTINUE
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Cisco @ SXSW: Revolutionizing Social Media with You

South by Southwest officially kicks off this weekend, and the Cisco Media Solutions Group is busy getting ready for this year’s festivities. If you missed our previous blog posts, you can read up on all of the events in which CMSG will be participating, including the hottest show at SXSW, Killers, Lasers, Papers.

If you’re a media exec in charge of marketing a content brand, or a technologist tasked with developing cutting-edge online experiences for your portfolio, then you’re probably at SXSW to discuss the social revolution taking place in the business of and the experience with entertainment content.

Over the last couple of years, executives and entertainers alike have begun to harness the power of “social.” Artists have flocked to Twitter and Facebook to launch projects and connect with fans. Media companies have incorporated social into their promotion campaigns and built communities of fans around their content. All of this is great, but questions remain around the long-term value of these efforts:

  • How do you convert social engagement to new revenue streams?
  • How do you turn a social snacking experience into a long-term relationship between consumers and your branded content?
  • What’s the right mix of social components for your brand, and how do you get them to achieve the objectives you have? (Or more fundamentally, what IS your strategy for how you’re using social technologies?)
  • How can you scale the successes you’ve had with one site/artist/brand to an entire portfolio of brands? Read More »

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