An independent label manager in the audience of the SXSW Music panel, complained there are too many social networks for musicians and label / artist managers to keep up with. He wondered which ones are the most important to maintain presences on. Moderator Bill Werde, Editorial Director of Billboard Magazine, Michael Fiebach of the digital marketing and management agency Fame House and Paul Sinclair, SVP of Digital Media of Atlantic Records offer some strategy for this independent label manager asking the question.
As Paul Sinclair pointed out, musicians shouldn’t chase every new social network that comes along. But at a minimum, musicians are expected to have a dialog with their fans on Facebook and Twitter, and then use the conversations there to drive fans back to the artist web site.
At another SXSW 2011 panel about social networks and musicians titled ‘Musicians and the Social Graph’, DJ and video producer Mike Relm offered to the audience that musicians should take the time to figure out which social networks and services lend themselves best to the kind of conversation they want to have with fans. Relm offers that he primarily focuses on YouTube because he’s focused mostly on the production of video content. Yet he still uses the videos to drive fans back to his web site -- http://mikerelm.com :
If Facebook and Twitter are the main social networks musicians are expected to engage with fans on, which other social networking services are important to fans? At the ‘Social Graph’ panel, Jonathan Crowley, Director of Business Development for Foursquare, talked about how rock giants Soundgardenused the location based social network. Twitter’s Jonathan Adams and SF Music Tech’s Brian Zisk joined the conversation, explaining how messages from musicians over social networks can then be amplified by their own fans.
Personally, I wasn’t using Foursquare as a music fan at SXSW 2011. It turns out if I had been following some of my favorite bands on Foursquare, I would have been let on the news that they were playing some secret shows. Please use the comments section below for any thoughts on the video conversations offered in this post.
Rhydian Dafydd, on bass and Ritzy Bryan, on guitar - rock out at the Chop Shop Records / Atlantic Records SXSW Party 2011, enabled by Cisco Eos
At SXSW, with hundreds of bands, singer / songwriters, DJ / producers, playing across the city, I was reminded of why record labels are important. You need them for the curation and aggregation of the music. Otherwise, in a sea of music, there are less avenues to find a good group of similar artists you may like. Last year at the Bandwidth Conference in San Francisco, we heard music industry luminary and Elektra Records founder, Jac Holzman, opine on the importance of labels as curators (watch video here).
I had not heard any of the Chop Shop Records bands before the event, and I was pleasantly surprised once the showcase got going. All the bands put on monster performances. I thought to myself again, “great curation at work”. The showcase started off with Kitten The Band, led by vocalist / guitarist Chloe Chaidez. Chloe was thrashing about during the 5 song set with a powerful voice and a confident stage presence. The music reminded me of early years of The Cure.
When Chloe of Kitten got off stage, I got to talk with her briefly about how she uses social media to connect with fans. The Atlantic Records team kindly let me know she’s only 16 years old. You would need to get up close to the stage to even guess Chloe’s age because she performs so confidently, yet sure enough she’s a soft spoken fresh faced teen when not singing. Each of the bands I talked with during the showcase have a specific social media channel that they like to use as their primary means of communication with fans. Chloe of Kitten’s social media platform of choice to talk to fans is Facebook; I guess like you would expect of a teenage girl. John Gourley of Portugal The Man emphasized he’s all about Twitter. For the U.K.’s Scars on 45, video blogging is the primary way they communicate to fans. In the clip, they talk about the video they shoot and other methods they use to communicate with fans, including via their Cisco Eos powered web site -- Scarson45.com.
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
It’s that time of year again, when the media, entertainment and technology worlds collide in Austin, Texas for South by Southwest. This year, Cisco Media Solutions Group is taking the nine days of SXSW to show everyone how the business and experience of entertainment is evolving. During SXSW you will be able to find Cisco everywhere – from the conference speaking track, to the expo floor, to musical events and parties.
Can’t make it to Austin for the shows? No problem. Cisco and Atlantic Records will be streaming the Killers, Lasers, Papers show LIVE globally via a Cisco Eos-powered site, each of the artist sites, and even on RollingStone.com. This means whether you are in the front row, or in Butte, Montana, you won’t miss the hottest show at SXSW action. In addition to the performance, there will be numerous opportunities for fans to win prizes during before, during and after the live event, and online. Be sure to register for the live stream and contests at http://www.killerslaserspapers.com/.
Want to hear more about how Cisco Eos and the rise of social entertainment is changing the music, film and entertainment landscape? Then be sure to check out:
Congratulations, Iron and Wine, and the WBR team! And thank you to everyone at Warner Music Group for the continued partnership. (Apologies to @spinclair and @ericsnowden ; I know you guys were hoping it would be an @atlanticrecords artist site. There’s always #150 or #200.)
We’ve had a busy year getting to this point. Consider the following:
Throughout 2010, there was an average of one new Eos site launched per week.
Eos site traffic in the last quarter averaged more than 3.6 million unique visitors per month and 18 million page views per month. This represents an annual growth rate of more than 50% in unique views and a 79% increase in page views.