Digilogue Days 2023 Highlights: Day Two of the music tech conference
Day Two of the Brookyln conference brought more invaluable advice on building a career in music.
Image: Respective Collective
Day 2 of the Digilogue Days conference at Industria studios in Brooklyn, New York was more of the same as Day One: entrepreneurs, executives, and artists mixing it up, sharing knowledge, success stories, and contact information. The second day of panels, keynotes, and workshops ran the gamut from advice on collaborators, ways to get paid, and how to find your audience.
The day opened with a keynote discussion between Cierra Brooks (The Cî Agency) and Manny Wellz (Oulala) on the new creator economy, specifically how Wellz draws insights from the types of content that resonates with his fans to ensure he’s adding value to the experience.
Get a lawyer
A panel on building your team as an artist featured Jenna LoMonaco (ONErpm), Justin LaMotte (Black Wax), Rebekah Espinosa (Prescription Ownly), Shardé Simpson (Simpson & Reed PLLC), and Tate Henshaw (Arc Business Management). They discussed the often non-traditional paths they’ve seen to creating a successful artist team, and explained how even though the first person on your team is often a manager, you should seriously consider getting a lawyer.
Music distribution tips
In the middle of the day, Serona Elton, the head of educational partnerships at the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) led a deep dive workshop on how the agency – formed after the passage of the Music Modernization Act, which changed the way digital mechanical licensing works – collects and distributes royalties from mechanical licenses on digital distribution platforms. Then two TIDAL product managers, Ashley Williams and Kara Lee, held a demonstration of the platform’s “Artist Home” dashboard, exploring the new “Fan Data” tab and showing how artists can use demographic information to target their marketing efforts.
Later in the afternoon, Ashley Hall (The Orchard), Faryal Khan-Thompson (CD Baby), Jason Johnson (Culture Impact Agency), and Soy Kim (Spotify) discussed the ongoing globalisation of music, specifically how language is no longer a barrier to building an audience, using the success of artists like Bad Bunny and K-Pop’s global domination to evidence how the lines between domestic and international markets have been blurred.
A panel on community building and partnerships featured Charleton Lamb (Stem Disintermedia/Tone), Hallie Cross (Save The Music), Paulina Vo (The Digilogue/Highnote), Vanessa Noguera (The Industry in Spanglish/Warner Music Group), and Yudu Gray Jr. (24/7 Artists). Despite acknowledging that “independent artists are looked down upon in the financial world,” the panel discussed the ways in which the communities they built around shared interests helped them overcome limited access to capital, and how leveraging the power of old-school tools like word of mouth and email lists can help manifest your digital community in the meatspace.
The Future of Music & Technology
The final two panels offered a glimpse into the future and a reflection on the recent past. The Future of Music & Technology panel, featuring Dani Deahl (BandLab), Kathy Baker (YouTube), Megh Vakharia (SymphonyOS/Integral Studio), and Melanie McClain (Blurred Lines), discussed the importance of leveraging all the data you collect about your fanbase, avoiding getting stuck in short-form video, and the challenges of fighting passive listening habits that limit your potential fanbase’s engagement with your music.
And the final panel of the conference collected four attendees from the previous two days, who shared their experiences on the show floor, in one-on-one sessions, and in the main stage lecture hall. The main takeaway? Gratitude for the opportunity to meet and share ideas with hundreds of like-minded people, all seeking a sustainable path to a career surrounded by the thing they love most: the music.
Editor’s note: BandLab Technologies and MusicTech are both a part of Caldecott Music Group
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