FastForward 2018 - our top takeaways

Top takeaways from FastForward 2018

26 Apr 2018

It’s a busy few months in the world of music and tech talk-fests. MusicBiz in Nashville, where the world’s biggest music and technology companies come together, is fast approaching, hot on the heels of the hugely successful inaugural FastForward (FFWD) in Australia.

Brisbane has BIGSOUND, Melbourne has Face the Music, Adelaide has Indie-Con and Nightlife Music was in Sydney for the first FFWD music industry conference.

Nightlife’s Jay Mogis from the Licensing and Business Affairs department, who is also off to Nashville next month was discussing Metadata, Transparency and Music, while CEO David O’Rourke put the Future of Search and Discovery under the music microscope.

The conference covered a lot of talking points and topics but here’s our top three takeaways:

1. Transparency

Transparency remains a critical concern for the music industry.

As technology evolves, music usage data, ownership and registration remain core issues and getting this right has always been one of Nightlife’s core philosophies.

While much discussion at FFWD focused on revenue for some music companies, more attention to creating efficient and fair licensing models was key for users of music.

Transparency in terms of gaps in diversity was also acknowledged as ‘works in process’ but shining a light on this was a clear focus of the conference.

On a side note FFWD was one of the first conferences we have been at that was equal in terms of gender representation on panels, and Mushroom’s Brigid Dixon gave a passionate and enlightening presentation on employing strategies for greater inclusivity.

2. Data V Instinct

Data has been a buzz word for years in the music industry, but data and algorithms alone can’t beat human decision making according to Sweetie Zamora from Remote Control Records, who asked the audience to consider how to ‘disconnect from data and reconnect with vibes’.

This wasn’t a slight on data, but pinpointed that music is often an unexplained, emotional connection. A kind of, ‘sometimes you just know’ what is amazing, regardless of the stats.

We get it!

Creating the right atmosphere with music is what we have always done; Nightlife’s musical experts are hands-on and human.

Yet through technology we can scale and leverage our unique human curation. Francis Coady from Havas Sports and Entertainment took this to another level. He outlined his work in creating brand communities, and how this very human process drives data as much as decisions that are based upon it.

3. What the future holds

Many see the future of music in Virtual Reality (VR), especially when looking at the live music industry and how audiences can get closer to artists. Social ticketing, rewarding loyalty and creating context for audiences were all strong themes across the panels. With voice control fast becoming a way of controlling our devices, FFWD Founder Chris Carey provided food for musical thought.

What happens we you say “Play me some good music” or more interestingly, “play me some bad music.”

Context, choice and control is king when it comes to creating the right music environment, and this is why at Nightlife we do what we do.

Eddie Cob from Make It Social explained that large portions of live ticket revenue come from septuagenarians (people in their seventies).

Legacy artists are dominating in terms of tour revenue, and he suggested it could be that youth have a lot less disposable income than the older music fan.

At the flick of a switch Nightlife can help any business adjust to this and we are keeping on top of these trends at events like FastForward.