Let's start by admitting that I'm about to break several basic rules of journalism. While there's reporting in this piece, I am also a newly minted fan of SF Music Tech. So, it is with heartfelt gratitude that I take to my computer at 11:30pm to gather my thoughts after a whirlwind day at SF Music Tech Summit. Gratitude for Brian Zisk and the incredible team that worked tirelessly to pull of an impeccable conference; for the countless enthusiastic individuals who I crossed paths with both intentionally and circumstantially; and for the ideas shared, expanded upon, and set in motion throughout the day. While there is entirely too much future content for one blog post to handle, there were a handful of recurring themes worth highlighting.
Opportunity makes a follower. Experience makes a fan.
"I believe all music fans have moments like this with their favorite artists. They see an amazing performance at exactly the right time in their life or they get to to meet a member of the band and they really like that person and the go from someone who really likes an artist to someone who is a true fan of that artist." - Ethan Diamond, Bandcamp
"The question around is recorded music an important part of a musicians life is, I believe, absolutely yes, how you present that recorded music is changing. Everything we've talked about are great ideas for monetization, but in order to make them work, you must first truly understand your fans - both who they are, and what they want." - Amy Dietz, INgrooves
Think like a Startup
"I think we need to shift our mindset as musicians to looking at music as a small, medium, or large business depending on where you are in your career. It's like a startup, and if I were starting, I'd knock on every venue door, talk to every band that's playing, try to get in front of their audience, put my work out there for free, play as many shows as possible to try to best understand who my customer is and what they want." - J Sider, BandPage
"We never got a free pass. Our fans wanted our best. So our mantra was it's that 10% extra that makes it 100% better than anything else. Thats the work ethic we walked into every rehearsal with - our fans demanded it. That knowledge of our fanbase is what forced us into working for the credibility we came to have in this space." - Jimmy Chamberlin, Smashing Pumpkins
Dan Berkowitz, of CID Entertainment said yesterday, "Every single person in this room right now could sell words on the internet. Selling experiences is one thing, creating those experiences and over-delivering for those people is everything." That is exactly what, as an industry, you did for me at SF Music Tech Summit.
So, that being said, I want to personally thank each and every one of you for an informative, invigorating, and inspiring conference. I am eternally grateful to those of you who welcomed me into your tight knit community with open arms - I look forward to following your journies and to learning more from you along the way.
I close out the day hopeful for the future of the music industry. Not because there aren't obstacles, but because there are people out there like you who are committed to overcoming them.