boatcruise

We are going to consolidate a couple days of meetings and reports from around town into today’s post. With most of the interactive folks having left Austin a few days ago, our in-office schedule has really been focused on meeting music companies and touring acts as they try to crack the second screen nut for live events. We feel pretty strongly that we have the right answer; or at least a platform that allows you to test things out quickly, get audience response, and iterate.

We woke up to find this tweet from the guys at Estimote. Basically showing off the demo we have for our office that shows how easy it is to integrate ibeacon technology into just about any app. While the video demo definitely isn’t filled with Lucasfilm level special effects, it is short, sweet, and quickly communicates that location based application events are easy to do when you are working with talented developers.

Heading to the Convention Center, we stopped off in a panel called “Hip Hop: From Mixtapes to the Cloud”. On the panel were representatives from The Verge, SoundCloud, and Rostrum Records. What we found extremely interesting was how music distribution continues to be a combination of deep analytics into the audience and gut feel to what the next “hot” thing will become. The power of a mixtape as a way to distribute music from lots of different artists for free, and then seeing which beats or artists have traction to separate themselves from the group. A great example that was mentioned by Ted Suh from Soundcloud, was Macklemore. He mentioned that the track “Can’t Hold Us” was uploaded to Soundcloud more than 2 years ago. Even though its been available to listen for free this entire time, that didn’t hurt them selling the song from multiple channels and having a HUGE 2013.

It was time to let our hair down and check out some of the music going on in the city. We took in a few bands at the Convention Center itself before heading to the streets.

First up was Moses Sumney. A tall lean talented vocalist from Los Angeles. He had the audience captivated and after the show was extremely approachable and wonderfully kind. Good guy.

After that, we were in for a special treat with the Australian rock band, The Preatures. Not having heard them before, we weren’t sure what to expect. However, within the first 15 seconds, the female lead singer decided that she’d just own our souls. Imagine if Debbie Harry and Mick Jagger had a baby. She’d be Izzi Manfredi. Her stage presence is infectious and totally engaging. Go out of your way to see them.

We then made our way over to the Hyatt Regency across the river. It was a bit of a hike away from the main drag of where all of the action is, but we were on a mission. Internet sensation Tori Kelly was doing a show in the lobby of the hotel, and we had to hear her. The voice of an angel and now managed by Scooter Braun, Tori is set for lift off to the main stream. With hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers and tens of millions of YouTube views, the world is her oyster. So we took a position on the balcony directory across from her stage while throngs and throngs of teenagers sang ever note of her songs. It was pretty wonderful.

Finally, we took this photo as the sun was setting over the river that cuts through the middle of downtown. What isn’t clear in this photo is the party barge in the center filled to capacity with people. Everyone was on the top floor of the boat with the bottom part completely empty. And on the top floor there was a punk band belting out their power chords and grunts to an approving audience. The sounds just echoing across the water. You only see and hear something so magical in our town.