Joe Conyers is head of product at Songtrust, a music publishing startup that helps music makers collect their royalties. Songtrust was recently named one of Billboard’s top music startups.
As SXSW Interactive winds down and the shwag and much of the good free food dry up, those of us who cross over between music and tech have dug in. Consumer brands and musician-facing products are still visible around the city, at panels, and in the tradeshow. Many of us got to catch up at a Music Tech mixer hosted by Topspin on Tuesday, which was a great chance to chat with an international crowd of forward-thinking label owners, music startups, artists, and event promoters.
There have been plenty of growth announcements and lots of promising licensing news in and out of SXSW this last quarter — a welcome story in the wake of Beyond Oblivion’s highly public bankruptcy. This latest class of music startups has been growing up quickly. Turntable.fm announced they have approval from the majors, and while their negotiations took some time, it’s still one of the best and quickest licensing stories in recent years. Bandpage and Topspin are both coming out of the conference with amazing partnerships and huge growth stories. Fundraising is up, with Soundcloud, Songkick, and Next Big Sound all doing sizable rounds. There’s also been massive consolidation in music distribution services, with the acquisition of Fontana by INgrooves and the merger of The Orchard and IODA.
Music tech has been overlooked by VCs for the last few years, but interest seems to be picking up beyond music streaming and an ecosystem is growing. As another year of SXSW winds down, we’re all ready to keep up the momentum.
Friday, March 16, 2012