Cisco Blogs

Social Networks and Music – Part 1

- March 16, 2011 - 5 Comments

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 –

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.

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  1. It's interesting to see big media companies like Atlantic taking part in this type of event. It wasn't long ago they shunned anything to do with the web and viewed it as a medium for pirate copies of their product.

  2. I think you'd be surprised at how forward looking some media companies are with regards to directly engaging customers and their digital strategy. In that sense, the music industry are some of the leading-edge adopters as they look to create new, high-value fan experiences that can ultimately lead to monetization opportunities. Things are definitely changing in medialand.

  3. “renting their fans to social networks”? I think Michael Fiebach of Famehouse is off there. Social Network fans will be social network fans, it is left for the canny to engage them.

    • It's a metaphor - I think what Mike is saying is that social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube allow fans to connect with artist content, but that artists in return don't get information about what their fans are doing with the content and exactly who these fans are. So without some way to capture information about fans and directly connect with them, like an artist web site, email registration, etc, artists don't get to know who their fans are.

  4. Music industry and music artist should really focus on social media. I am not surpised of this turn. Waiting for second part of the article with videos, please.