Thoughts on the Bandwidth 2011 conference
I'm going to be brief here as I'll soon be posting up a new post for my upcoming panel at the SF MusicTech Summit on September 12th. The image you see above is not exactly a tag cloud but more a collection of terms that surfaced throughout the couple of days of talks at Bandwidth 2011. Like a tag cloud though, the larger the font the more importance seemed to be put on those terms.
As I've always pointed out, these conferences exist in a bubble - this one still centered around the bubble theme of "the Internet screwed things up for the music biz, what do we do?" As we know, at its advent the Internet disrupted all existing businesses - adaption was the key, as was creating new markets. I'd say, to be fair, the music industry is attempting to create new markets but it always feels like it's a burden and a chore not exactly inspiring and exciting.
Anyway, the biggest surprise for me on Day 2 was a presentation by Adam Klein, President & CEO of eMusic.com which included actual data based on audience research! I'm hoping to get to see that research data if Mr Klein would be willing to share it. My takeaway from the presentation is that eMusic will be rolling out a new platform for users over the next month or so, a platform based on discovering what their users do and what they want. Not rocket science I know, but in the music/tech world that's quite a step forward.
Still, what is required is way more disruption not less. Streaming services are not the holy grail nor are advertising-supported music services, so we need to spend less time discussing the arrival of Spotify to these shores or the Pandora IPO and roll up our sleeves, as Mr Klein has, and jump into the fray - disruptively.