At the Kabuki

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So I took Radio Nowhere out on the town yesterday to the SanFran MusicTech Summit, billed as a convergence of people interested in the “evolving music/business/technology ecosystem”. That sums me up pretty well, and unsurprisingly, I had a good time.
My main takeaway? Music is gonna be huge, just huge, on the internetz!
Okay, seriously, though, this is the second one of these things that I’ve been to, and though they’re a little more slanted towards music-flavored high-technology business plays than the interests of even the bloggiest independent musician, I thought there were several interesting developments:

  • No one has yet figured out how to use the internet to help artists/bands find their audiences (other than spending 18 hours a day on MySpace making “friends”, that is). Topspin is reportedly working on something like this, but is not talking about it right now.
  • Carnet Williams, who was there to talk about his company, sprout , turned out to be the same Carnet Williams that I used to work at summer camp with back in the day. He’s also working on something that sounds like it might be great for indie artists, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about it.
  • Stephen Jenkins, of all people, had a bunch of sensible things to say about the immediate future for musicians and the music business. He explained Third Eye Blind’s buzz-worthy gambit of releasing stems for fans to remix before the actual album appears, which people in the room seemed pretty taken with. He also opined that the music business is the Wild West right now, which (paraphrasing here) gives artists today the opportunity to imagine how they want their careers to be, and then shape things to match that vision.
    I’m predisposed to distrust the guy (long story), but there was something about the particular way he phrased that which hit home. Maybe it was his semi-charm.


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