‘What is your $ocial Music Currency?’ Presented by SoundCtrl; Sponsored by dotMusic 2/3/10

dani1About this Social Media Week Guest Blogger: Dani Klein is Founder and Blogger at YeahThatsKosher.com, Founder/Consultant at SocialCity Marketing and Social Media Director at StandWithUs. You can follow Dani on Twitter @YeahThatsKosher.

Ironically held in a space known as “Former Tower Records Space” on Foursquare, ‘What is your $ocial Music Currency?’ discussed the role of Social Media within the music industry. The event was sold out / standing room only, which sure makes me glad I had a press pass.

Admittedly, the music industry is not where I consider myself super-knowledgeable, thus I decided to focus on the words of wisdom relating to social media, marketing and business (which I have a background in).

While the event was advertised as discussing Social Media currency, specifically within the music industry, the panel didn’t really touch on it as much as I would’ve liked. The term “currency” wasn’t really used. Rather they discussed either their personal experiences using social media, mainly Twitter & blogging, or the recent changes to the music industry [caused by technology].

questlove panelThe panel consisted of:

    ?uestLove* – Drummer from the Roots and the Jimmy Fallon Show
    Andrew Katz – Sr. Marketing Manager for Pepsi
    Marisa Bangash– Co-Founder of Uncensored Interview

  • The panel was moderated by James Andrews* – Co-Founder of BeEverywhere.tv
*I found ?uestLove and James to be quite interesting characters.

?uestLove discussed the idea that there is little success in the music biz without a tribe / crew / group surrounding it. Even solo artists have their groups. Today, an artist’s crew could be online (especially with the emergence of social media). Andrew added that the world doesn’t need another Britney Spears or Beyonce. As a brand that is entrenched in the music industry, Pepsi is involved in connecting audiences to different tribes. Artists today need their own social network for them to have worth to brands. Are they involved in the network? Do they embrace social media? Brands are looking for those that do, and piggy back on their success.

?uestLove sees the music labels as the middlemen of the music world, which in essence they are. Marisa added that globally, labels aren’t necessary anymore. Due to the emergence of social media, artists can bring their message directly to the consumer. However, ?uestLove added that as an artist today, you need to do a lot more than just spin or produce… Can you blog? Can you represent your brand? He implied that beyond being a good musician you must also be a good marketer / promoter.

Pepsi uses music to find new ideas. Ideas get voted on, and receive grant money from brand. Artists are encouraged to use their social networks (blog & tweet) to gain votes. Andrew claims that Pepsi is new to Social Media (he named Facebook & Twitter specifically), but an upcoming crowdsourced campaign should boost their presence. According to Andrew: Brands are curators (of content). It is easy to sponsor content, much harder to be a creator of content.

Marisa discussed the licensing of indie music by big brands. Brands & bands can go hand in hand, especially if it is organic and authentic.

As a popular tweeter, ?uestLove (~1.3M followers) has been approached by companies to tweet, which he deemed a bit scary. A quarter million dollars is a large carrot to push a brand’s content. (It seems he hasn’t taken a bite, although he said he may sell eventually sell out to Twitter, but not yet). ?uestLove uses Twitter to push new music & bands, and demos that come his way. Causes are important, but can be problematic if they are not properly vetted. This is similar to what I heard Monday evening at the Social Media & Haiti event.

In response to an audience question, ?uestLove noted that Business, Art, and Commerce are a dirty combo. Concerning blogs he mentioned that journalists / writers today are lazy since they are copying content from popular music blogger and just re-purposing the content. This leads to writers not forming their own ideas, which is dangerous. Andrew added that blogs are the new [music] charts. Marisa added that blogs have replaced print and magazines; magazines folded because of blogs, which today has become a crowded space.

And finally, to wrap up the review of the event, the best quote went to an audience member: “Fans today are no longer clapping, but rather are Tweeting.” Too true.