Canadian Music Week is in full swing, and the conferences began Wednesday, April 19 with the Digital Summit and the first-day focus on radio.
The FYIMusicNews team staked out several panels to give you the skinny. Click on the URLs for the names of the full panel participants, as we offer short and sweet summaries in chronological order to outline the essentials...
9:50 a.m. - What Women Want - Radio
Streaming is cool, but radio rocks, especially in cars: For a couple of suit-wearing data crunchers, Alan Burns and Hal Rood sure know a lot about what excites women… especially in their cars and while wearing earbuds. Turns out, women listen to a lot of radio “to just escape or improve my mood, to hear today’s current hits” and “to hear fun and funny stuff in the morning,” in that order.
Presenting insightful/surprising stats from a national U.S. study of women’s media consumption launched in 2010, Burns and Rood’s What Women Want made a few points very clear: terrestrial radio remains vital, Adele is tops with gals 15 to 54, and “the more a woman feels a radio station understands her, the more she is going to listen.” Kind of like with men, except with ad buys. - Kim Hughes
Podcasting To Millions: Podcasting is no longer the unrefined cousin of terrestrial radio. In the U.S., 42M people tune in weekly to podcasts, and that number shoots up to 67M listeners on a monthly basis.
The key attraction is good storytelling from an amiable, well-spoken host, schooled in their chosen field, with Amplifi Media's Stephen Goldstein stating: "People don’t watch crap on TV anymore. Personal control is the big change - the same on radio as it is on television.”
It's determined that podcasts draw 15% of a U.S. audience that listens weekly, wherein Canada it's 15% of those 18+.
In Canada, The Humble and Fred Show gets downloaded 12K-15K daily, running sponsored promotions ranging "product in hand" fan endorsements through social media platforms Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
Sponsorship and licensing fees supply the main revenue. “We live in an on-demand – customizable world. People want to listen on their own schedule,” says H&F's Howard Glassman. Globally, 10B podcasts were downloaded in 2016. - Bill King
11:10 a.m. - The State Of Social Media
Social media: your best game likely sucks: If you don’t have a Pinterest strategy, avoid emojis and upload to Facebook from your desktop, your social media game-plan sucks.
Those were just a few of the lid-lifting revelations rapidly delivered by Gavin McGarry, Canuck-born L.A.-based president at Jumpwire Media where deep-pocketed players like Coca-Cola, Virgin Radio and Rotten Tomatoes buy bot-busting online intel to build a brand.
Some other top-line takeaways from McGarry’s The State of Social Media panel: Musical.ly rules with the kids, Mevo is ace for live-streaming and author Antonio García Martínez’s Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley is the juiciest spine you’ll crack this year. - Kim Hughes
11:40 a.m. - The Economics Of Ticketing
The Secondary Ticket Market - Illegal? Immoral? Few CMW panels will be as heated and ideologically divided as this one. Jeff Poirier, GM of controversial ticket reseller Stub Hub Canada, was antagonized by European panelists calling his company's practice both unethical and illegal. It turns out their laws in this field are way more stringent than in North America.
Aline Renet of French trade org PRODISS noted that “in 2012 we criminalized the reselling of tickets without the promoter’s permission.” Italian concert promoter Claudio Trotta bluntly declared secondary ticketing "a crime. It’s very simple.”
Poirier fought back, citing the principle of supply and demand and claiming artists are getting a cut of the action. Reps of TicketFly and Ticketmaster took a more measured stance. No easy solution to this issue, it seems. - Kerry Doole
11:50 a.m. Augmented Reality - Beyond Pokemon Go
Augmented Reality Vs. Virtual Reality: In a market that's predicted to hit $120B in revenue by 2020, is there enough room for both Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to co-exist?
"I think there's a place for both,' sys Pierre LaFrance, virtual world builder and developer for Vrvana, the Montreal-based company that offers HMD, the only AR/VR headset ready for market.
Even though the AR and VR markets look promising, content creator payments - similar to music industry woes - remain a concern. Zone3's Awane Jones suggests creators can control public payments for their work directly in the future through the technology. Meanwhile, Montreal's Empire I is set to star in a groundbreaking VR series about the history of dance. Stay tuned. - Nick Krewen
12:40 p.m. - Music in 360 Video + VR Digital
The Singing Hologram: Meet Maya Kodes, the virtual pop star, who has a single out on iTunes and 5335 Facebook followers.
Neweb Labs' Élodie Lorrain-Martin says Maya, a hologram, performs in front of live audiences and that fans "can meet her in her own world, talk and engage with her." She said the songwriters' biggest challenge was to write about "virtual love" and "being rebooted" that concern Maya's world. Meanwhile, Indie88 is the first radio station to engage in 360 video with its Black Box performance series and the station's Paul Morin says "they're looking to invest in more." - Nick Krewen
Charity – it’s in you to give, especially if you play the guitar: Musicians are doing some mighty things in the charitable space.
That message resonated during Musicians and Charity: Finding a Way To Give Back, spotlighting several marquee names (Arcade Fire’s Marika Anthony-Shaw, Skydigger Andy Maize, Scott Helman) using their fame for good… and being heralded for same by website Samaritanmag; founder/editor Karen Bliss hosted the panel. Biggest takeaway? Small actions have a huge impact.
Also, caring is cool. And governments will listen if constituents roar. Delivered amid a CMW schedule chock-a-block with tips for revenue-building and successful branding, the humanity of those messages soared. - Kim Hughes
1:30 p.m. Streaming Sharing, Stealing
Why Steal When You Can Stream? Carnegie Mellon University professor Rahul Telang singles out data as the key to becoming a dominant player, confirming that with such series as Netflix's House Of Cards and the movie star appeal of Kevin Spacey, the linear way of watching TV is over.
Telang also claims that streaming services have had a negative impact on piracy because free content discourages stealing. Defining the "4 P's" as product, price, placement, and promotion, Telang says Netflix understands the public tolerance level for streaming service pricing. Studios have caught onto data value and are now limiting sharing of info on such streaming hubs as Spotify. The challenge for all is identifying your audience. - Bill King
Clubs: New Noise Bylaw In The Offing? This panel explored the ongoing problems facing Toronto clubs. Economically, Hugh's Room Live's Grit Laskin warned that the city is turning into Manhattan, a place in which the creative class can’t afford to live.
Venues owner Shaun Bowring also sounded the alarm, urging the City to move faster on the issue. Music Sector Officer Mike Tanner tellingly noted “quicker and City Hall are not usually in the same paragraph,” while his colleague Mark Sraga confirmed a modernized noise bylaw is being worked on.
Everyone urged the music community to pressure City Hall and counter the anti-fun “little old ladies” lobby. - Kerry Doole
2:10 p.m. Standing on the Platform
Platforms are unifying public and private radio stations: With the launch of Radioplayer Canada and iHeartRadio Canada, radio needs to be where people are and integrated on all platforms.
Rogers' Julie Adams says, “it’s about agreeing on technology and competing on content." The UK-developed Radioplayer app brought public and private broadcasters together at the dawn of streaming's popularity, offering a standard web player to make the listener experience easier.
iHeartRadio Canada boasts 100M+ listeners and 120 platform integrations, division head Rob Farina said, adding that the brand wants to reach the consumer on the platform of their choice. Cars are the next frontier and the medium is still advertiser-driven.
When it comes to teenagers, Zack Sang & The Gang, heard on 75 stations across the U.S, is one of the most successful in grabbing their attention.
“It’s a big thing for everyone, making sure your brand lives 24/7," Sang says. "Digital opens this up. Not all content put out there is solely audio. Content will always be a priority. People want somebody they can follow. They want a pulse, something real on the other end.” - Bill King
Open Source Translates Into Greater Community Collaboration: After The Nash Agency's Audrey Raby talked about how algorithms based on syntax often think they know you but sometimes get it wrong, using an ice cream-and-wildfire analogy,
MP David Lametti Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, said the Feds aren't ready to regulate open source software, but that a community-based sharing collective would be crucial moving forward. He also noted that blockchain technology "makes smart contracts possible" - contracts that can be self-executing and/or self-enforcing. - Nick Krewen
Advertisers Need Competition: Could this be the beginning of the end of advertising as we know it? Panelists felt that the only reason advertising was the most successful business model on the Internet is because it's the only model, and felt the time was ripe to for someone to break the mould and come up with a new competitive model. But there were no hints or suggestions as to where that might emerge from. - Nick Krewen