Digilogue Days 2023 Highlights: Day One of the music tech conference
We headed to the brand new Brookyln-based conference to see what we could learn.
Image: Image: Respective Collective
Digilogue Days is a new two-day music and tech conference held in Brooklyn, NY, by the organisation The Digilogue. In name, it’s a space created to connect music industry workers, artists, and those who aspire to be. In practice, it’s an entrepreneurial academy for people looking to build their own businesses in the music industry, and a captive audience for the companies that want to sell them services to facilitate that goal.
The show floor hosted booths from Warner Music U, ONErpm, SoundCloud, the Orchard, Too Lost, Epidemic Sound, EVEN, Symphonic, Indie Flow, United Masters, and Creator SPC, along with useful services like resume reviews with industry professionals, photographers shooting headshots and artist photos, and one-on-one sessions with mentors to help guide budding artists.
The air of ambition
The vibe on the floor was overwhelmingly optimistic; young people floated from booth to booth, grateful to have direct access to people from the Digital Streaming Platforms (DSPs), distribution services, and licensing agencies that can prove crucial to making a living from music. The hustle and ‘grindset’ was out in full force – one attendee had an LED backpack strapped to his back with a QR code promoting his social media marketing business.
Rising with Tidal
Industria typically serves as a photo studio, with large rooms bathed in natural light, and the main stage that hosted the keynotes, panels and deep dive workshops were typically packed to the brim.
On day one, the stage played host to a keynote with Robin Johnson (Indie Creator Society) and Jason Kpana (artist and relations, Tidal), who discussed Kpana’s rise through the music industry, Tidal Rising’s first artist summit at their new HQ in Union Square, how artists are using the tools on Tidal’s Dashboard to help create a sustainable business from their music, and how the DSP’s new ‘Live’ feature is driving users to ‘favourite’ more new music than ever.
A panel on ‘Artistpreneurship’ featured Brianna DeMay (Taste Creators), Jake Posner (The Culture Theory), Mag Rodriguez (EVEN), Piff Marti (Stay Dangerous Productions), and ladidai (LADIDAI PRODUCTIONS). They discussed how artists can organically build fanbases, and how the film model of a theatrical release to streaming could work in the music business.
A mental health panel featuring Andre Mullen (The Paradigm Shift/We Are Paradigm LLC), Jessica McDevitt (More or Less (with Jess)), Marni Wandner (Marni Wandner Coaching), Mike Heyliger (Detoxicity Podcast), Mike Epstein (GoodTalk) discussed ways for artists to take care of themselves while taking care of business (“Keep receipts” and “Remembering ‘No’ is a full sentence,” for starters).
In the middle of the day, BandLab’s Kevin Breuner led a workshop on its cloud-based Digital Audio Workstation, with a focus on the SongStarter –an AI tools that prompts song ideas – and Forking tracks, which involves building off of an existing track. Breuner shared a song he had created and worked with the audience to fork it into something new.
Another panel on marketing with content creation featured Blair Miller (Chaos Creators Entertainment), Damien Ritter (Too Lost), Jacorey Barkley (ContraBrand Agency/No Labels Necessary), Tolu Ayeni (Meta/Instagram), and Drew de Leon (the Digilogue), and discussed ways for to use live broadcasts to organically develop a fanbase, as well as starting the “content waterfall” that sees content trickle down from the lives, repurposed into Reels and then Stories.
Ayeni pointed out how getting onto new platforms – like Meta’s new service Threads – early allows creators’ content to be “super-served” to the smaller audience of early adopters, and sets them up to grow along with the platform.
Discussing innovation in the ‘Live Experience,’ Lauren Youngblood (The Elle Word), Michael Schneider (Veeps), and Nick Maiale (jump.global), and VELI (Veli Brand) admitted that during the resurgence of live music after the pandemic lockdown, artist have turned to old-school tactics like meet-and-greets, which emphasize intimacy and closing the gap created by the months-long absensce of live shows. And as touring has become even more expensive, smaller artists are tools both tried-and-true (loop pedals) and next-generation (Kemper Profiler) to be more efficient.
The final panel of the day explored the intersection of music with sports, fashion, and gaming, featuring Brian Desrosiers (Bashment Management/Sosshouse Records), Brooke Rascoff (Riot Games), Gabrielle Gomes (Dinner Service NY), Jonna Valente (Gotham FC), and Shauna Alexander (SOUND x VISION).
They discussed various ways in which they helped artists tell their stories through collaborations with fashion brands, sports teams, and video games; Rascoff also discussed the ways that Riot games uses music to help expand the stories of pre-existing characters from their games, even going so far as to create a virtual pop girl group (K/DA) from League of Legends characters.
Learn more about Digilogue Days.
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