The voting process is underway in the SXSW 2019 PanelPicker, where the public gets to vote on which session ideas should be programmed at the Austin conference next March.
As ever, there are plenty of music sessions being pitched, so I’ve spent some time today reading through them on the PanelPicker website, to come up with a selection of 20 that may be worth your vote. Interestingness is the prime selection criteria, while leaving out all-male panels (although not single-male sessions) and separating sessions pitched by or involving Music Ally staff out from the 20.
(You can find those at the end though: we’d love your votes!)
Here are the 20 music-related session pitches from other people and companies that I think would be fab to see programmed at SXSW 2019, then:
#YouToo? Creating a More Inclusive Music Industry
The PRS Foundation’s Keychange Project’s Vanessa Reed gets together with artist Shirley Manson; A2IM CEO Richard James Burgess and 1Xtra broadcaster DJ Target to talk about gender equality and diversity in the industry, and positive steps forward.
Licensing that Works: a 21st Century Framework
Organised by Becky Brook of Jaak, this panel (also with journalist Cherie Hu and Warner/Chappell’s Eric Mackay) will explore a path forward for music licensing. ‘Blockchain’ is carefully avoided in the session description, but I’m fairly sure it’ll come up…
A Cultural Revolution You Didn’t Know is Happening
We know all about rocketing music-streams in Latin America, but how can artists capitalise by touring there? WorldHaus Music’s Myla Hardie, SIM SP’s Fabiana Batistella, Summerstage New York’s Paula Abreu and Live Nation Latin America’s Marla Guttman will explain.
Female Leadership with the Top Women of Interscope
A high-calibre panel talking about how women can identify their strengths and make the most of their opportunities in the music industry: with Interscope’s Nicole Wyskoarko, Michelle An and Nicole Bilzerian as well as The Participation Agency’s Sari Delmar.
Artists in Control: Technology and the new DIY
Kickstarter’s director of music Meredith Graves and artist Damon Krukowski will be joined by eMusic advisor Bill Campbell for this exploration of trends around DIY distribution and crowdfunding, including blockchain and token-based economies.
The First Women in Music Study
Women in Music and Berklee College of Music have teamed up to survey thousands of women in the US music industry, and this session would be the big reveal for the initial report’s main findings, and how they can be used to affect change within the music business.
Modern Adventures in A&R
Discussion of how A&R is evolving and what its role is in the modern music industry, with Defend Music’s Greg Katz, Kobalt’s Amanda Samii, Interscope’s Carlos Cancela and Atlantic Records’ Carrie West.
Black Women in Entertainment: The Necessary Voice
Pandora’s head of pop programming Tiana Lewis will be joined by “three powerful, bad-ass, black women” including Pepsi’s entertainment marketing manager Angelique Jones to talk about diversity and inclusion in the workplace, as well as the speakers’ impact within their own companies.
How Artificial Intelligence Will Disrupt Music
This panel caught our eye not just because of its topics – whether AI can predict future hits; create music to rival humans and enhance live-music experiences. But also because of the company of the speaker: Google / YouTube product manager Jacquelle Amankonah Horton.
Self-Sovereignty, Open Protocols & Future of Music
Another blockchain panel that doesn’t have the ‘b’ word in the title: here artist Imogen Heap; Berklee College’s Panos Panay; IBM’s Janet Snowdon and PwC’s Grainne McNamara will talk about blockchain, user-generated content and new income opportunities.
What the Music Industry can learn from K-Pop
BTS have broken through, but what else can the music industry learn from K-Pop? Angela Killoren, COO of CJ E&M America – one of the key K-Pop firms – would be talking about social media; integration of merch and live events; and other tactics from South Korea worth understanding.
How Humans and Machines Classify Music
Data geeks (like me) would surely flock to a session from Pandora’s product manager for music recommendations Evan Paul: he’ll explain how humans and machines classify music, and the challenges they face as streaming services grow and evolve.
Guide to Breaking a DIY Indie Artist with Ron Pope
Ron Pope may be best known to Music Ally readers for defending Spotify from artist criticism back in 2014. Here, he’ll talk about his own career – which includes millions of single sales and more than 1bn streams so far – accompanied by Blair Clark, Liz Mayo and Grey Gordon from indie label Brooklyn Basement Records.
Master Quality Music: Here, There & Everywhere
We’ve seen plenty of manels about hi-res music in the past, but MQA is bucking the trend this time round: its CEO Mike Jbara would be joined by Lenbrook International’s June Ip, Smoke Season artist Gabby Bianco and Rothenberg Mohr & Binder attorney Tiffany Almy for this update on the present and future state of hi-res music.
Music Industry 3.0: The Great Rebalancing Begins
CrossBorderWorks’ Vickie Nauman thinks we’re heading into a new creator-led phase of the music industry. She’ll be joined by UCLA’s Gigi Johnson, AWAL’s Lonny Olinick and Friends at Work’s Jeremy Gruber to explain what that means, and how artists can capitalise.
New Label Models in the 21st Century
AEI Group’s Sarah Stam, Believe Music’s Malena Wolffer and FutureHouseMusic’s Gino van Eijk would be getting together for this panel to talk about some of the new, independent label models shaking up the industry, and how they are working with and for artists.
Cha-Ching! Artists & Labels *Can* Sell More Merch
Bandcamp’s Andrew Jervis would be joined by Tommy Boy Music’s Rosie Lopez, Whiplash’s James Marks and United Cassettes’ Conor Ryan to talk about “what kinds of merch sells well, how to produce, showcase and ship it, and how not to lose money” – including looking beyond vinyl.
What I Like About You: Music & Brand Partnerships
A panel that thankfully promises to go beyond the usual platitudes about ‘authenticity’ to dig in to what’s really working for musicians and brands. Manic Monkee’s Allison Shaw, memBrain’s Jennifer Sullivan, Roc Nation’s Peter Rogers and Full Stop Management’s Evan Winiker are on the roster.
Right On! Real Developments in Rights Technology
How can rights-management organisations and technology cope with the explosion in usage in the streaming era? Songtrust’s Molly Neuman, FUGA’s Anna Siegel, TuneRegistry’s Dae Bogan and CrossBorderWorks’ Vickie Nauman would be the talkers.
‘Music And’ How Different Paths Lead to Greatness
Cutting through the clutter nowadays is about more than just the music: how can an artist’s other passions help win them fans? Singer/songwriter/author Veedeshnee Ragavulu’s panel aims to explain, with Madame Gandhi drummer Kiran Ghandi, Artist Launch’s Karen Marie Mason and Dynisty Entertainment’s Emmanual Aboagye joining her.
And don’t forget Music Ally’s sessions…
I didn’t want to include these in the main selection of 20 ideas, for fairness’ sake. But Music Ally staff have pitched three sessions (and are participating in another) which may be worth your consideration:
Local Heroes: Regional Music Services
Organised by our CEO Paul Brindley, this will bring together reps from three local streaming services to talk about how they operate and why labels and artists should work with them. Saavn’s Meetal Shah, iMusica’s Sandra Gama and Mdundo’s Martin Nielsen are the panelists, with Brindley moderating.
Buy Bye: Transitioning Off of Media Buying Agencies
Labels have been cutting ties with digital media-buying agencies in favour of building their own in-house teams. Why, and what does it mean? Organiser Wesley A’Harrah, our head of training and international marketing, will be joined by The Orchard’s Aaron Ford and Universal Music’s Emily Frost for this discussion.
In-House or Round the Houses? Outsourcing Creative
Our SVP of strategy Patrick Ross has pitched this session, which will explore how labels are using external specialists for creative campaigns. He’ll be joined by The Bot Platform’s Syd Lawrence, Sneak Attack Media’s Marni Wandner and Mixtape Monopoly’s Genius Elliston.
Conversational Interfaces in the Music Space
We’re not organising this: it’s an idea from startup I Am Pop, with Music Ally’s A’Harrah slated to join BMG’s Sam Hill, Mom+Pop’s Jessica Page and Maverick Artists Agency’s Leslie Doyé to talk about how messaging apps and conversational interfaces can work for music marketing.