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SXSW Festival exclusive: Part I

Pic: Janna Lusk

Janna Lusk reports live from the famous SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas:
This place is incredibly busy and has become so much more sophisticated compared to past years.  The trade show is filled with big, corporate brands, no longer little recording studios or artists handing out their CD art. 



First, some items of interest to you.


1.  There is an entirely new movement in digital novels.  It is designed for iPads and is a completely interactive experience for the reader, in a non-linear narrative.  It is quite fascinating and cutting-edge.  This would be a terrific item for you to cover.  I spoke with the designers, and they are very interested in getting publication in Europe.  They will create an online interactive demo, and they would be interested in having Proti Sedi feature it.


2.  There is a company called Pollstar that coordinates and reports on music tours, all areas of the globe.  Possibly a useful resource for you?


3.  There is a new music search engine forming called Amykdala.  It functions much like Wikipedia, but it is crowdsourced music and videos added by users and with voting enabled so you can check a song or a band’s current relevance at any moment.  This would be something new and different, appealing to younger crowd/hipsters, highly adaptable, creates a site far more searchable than YouTube.  The company is based in Berlin, so your readers might like reading about this.


5.  A hot new social interface is called Rounds.  It is video chat that is entertaining.  While people are chatting on video, you can play games together, play music together, insert thought bubbles over their heads...It appeals most to the teenage crowd, also to university ages.  Right now, they are an app on Facebook, already up to 4M users, entirely grown virally.  The company is based in Tel Aviv, and plans to grow to a stand-alone program and site.  It’s like Skype, but with the fun of Facebook.  Good idea for a story?


Showcases tonight:



The Stepkids


Truly a visionary group.  A trio of guitar, bass & drums, all vocalists.  Their unique combination of 70s-influenced R&B with film collage projected onto their entirely white stage setup creates an experience like watching performance art.  These artists from Bridgeport, CT have played France, Australia and Japan, all with the hope of creating harmonies that fill the chest and while colorblock visions swirl across the eyes.
Definitely worth watching out for these guys.

Panels today:


Creating a Scene in 2012 – formula for creating a relevant local scene with social media’s assistance


Importance of Online Video and Social Media




Keynote Speech – Bruce Springsteen


Featured speakers – Ann and Nancy Wilson


2012: The Year Dance Music Killed Rock & Roll




SXSW Interview – Juanes – The world’s leading all-Spanish language rock artist sits down to discuss music and his role as a global social activist.


Website Demolition Derby – live critiques of band websites, ruthless and leaving all diplomacy aside.  The site’s design, content and functionality will be assessed.  How does the website fit with the artists’ overall online strategy, how good is it toward achieving certain goals?


Publicity in the Digital Era -  with advancing technology, how has it changed music PR?  What is the impact of music blogs and online media?  How many blog posts does it take to equal a national magazine cover?  Does online buzz convert to album sales?


Secrets to Fan Engagement: Innovative Strategies


Obsession of the Dealmaker – head candid discussions of veteran dealmakers on how to make it rain in a dry climate: where the money is, how to find it, and what kinds of contracts are being struck.    Learn how social media has impacted the dealmaking environment and how commerce is really happening in the music business today.

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