3 Big Takeaways From Capitol Royale
Last weekend Capitol Music Group hosted its second annual Capitol Royale Music Conference in Hollywood. After a day and a half of panels, demos, showcases and a hackathon, several key themes and takeaways emerged.
Labels and Agents are signing artists earlier than ever
These early bets are being driven by data (“millions of streams!!!”, “900,000 TikTok followers) and perhaps fear of missing the “next big thing” in a rapidly shifting music and media landscape. Unless there’s a new level of commitment to artist development from the entire music industry, that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Stellar live showcases included Bandsintown’s Big Break program (Adrian Jean, Dead Poet Society, Hello Forever and Jay Wile), Live Nation’s Ones To Watch (Katori Walker, Lauren Sanderson, Kaya Stewart and Tobi), and the Motown Musician Accelerator program (Asante, Charity, MYNA and Kaleb The Intern, Bravo and WebsterX).
Data matters, but it’s not everything.
“Data helps me route a tour, but I still only sign artists that I believe in,” Paradigm agent Trey Many said during the Hypebot hosted Data-Driven Touring panel while admitting that if he were on the fence, data might push him one way or the other.
“There’s a big difference between a stream and a follower,” said Ty Baisden of management firm Colture.cc on the same panel. “Hearing a track on a playlist does not mean you’re a fan that will pay $30 for a ticket.” Marisol Segal of AEG and Dave O’Conner of Live Nation rounded out the panel.
Head vs. Heart: How Data Is Transforming A&R, presented by Bandsintown and hosted by Bandsintown Group co-founder and managing partner Fabrice Sergent, offered a spirited discussion between Capitol SVP Streaming and Research Jeff Temske, SNAFU Records CEO Ankit Desai, Chartmetric Data Scientist Josh Hayes, Caroline EVP Matt Sawin, and Capitol A&R Manager Kate Loesch
“I use data to back up my gut instincts,” summed up Loesch. “At the end of the day, numbers won’t tell you what cuts through emotionally. Only music can do that. Only real artists can do that.”
We’re only at the beginning of the music tech revolution.
40 million tracks at your fingertips may feel revolutionary, but its nothing compared to how Augmented, Artificial and Virtual Reality will transform music creation, music consumption and the artist to fan relationship.
The 35+ programmers and creatives at the Capitol Royale Hackathon used APIs from UMG, Bandsintowm, Bose, Ford, Hypno, Dolby and Cloudinary to offer a glimpse of that future.
For example, one of three Bandsinown Challenge winners, The Crossroads team of Patrick Dilanchian and Phillip Paik, integrated the Bandsintown Partner API with those of Ford and Bose AR. The result: when a fan is driving near a club or concert venue, recommendations are delivered based on their listening habits. The fan can save them and purchase tickets later when they’re not driving.