Overheard At FastForward
Following the successful debut of the FastForward music conference in Sydney, here are six sound bites that capture the variety of topics discussed and set the tone for the coming 12-18 months in the Australian music industry.
Data should empower artists. It has to help us make decisions, not hinder us
“Artists need to be equipped and empowered to use their data. Simple things like the time of day your fans listen can be incredibly influential! This education, combined with transparency from the services themselves, is key for building, sustainable long-term careers.” – Ben Godding, AWAL
Australia and NZ need to be a springboard to the Asian live music market
“Australia and New Zealand are the markets that will be used to unlock relevant Asian markets feasibly. We have huge potential in that respect and the artists need to be finding new markets.” – Roger Field, Live Nation
Technology change has always been met with suspicion. We should look for the opportunities
In the ’80s, many people thought the drum machine would get rid of drummers.
“It didn’t, it just became a new tool. AI can technically write music, it can’t create a scene. I see it as a creative tool to be enjoyed. Don’t be afraid.” – Emily Scoggins, The O2 (London)
Metadata matters more in a world of voice-activated search
Services like Alexa change music consumption. You need to tag your music for people to find it using everyday language.
“If I am an artist of a label I would pay incredible attention to metadata. It sounds nerdy, but it’s essential. Be like a hawk on how your music is being presented on those streaming platforms.” – Scott Ryan, Gracenote
Gender: Driving change takes deliberate effort, and everyone can help
When it comes to driving gender equality, it’s everyone’s job to include and help develop junior women in the industry. “Inviting young women in the office to meetings, and not asking them to take notes, but having them there to learn and develop their experience is one small step everyone can take.” – Brigid Dixon, Mushroom Group
Spotify going public is slowly restoring confidence in music tech investment”
“There have been some public failures from music tech companies with heavy investment, and that’s created an adversity to music investment. Streaming services have also had a torrid time, with Soundcloud restructuring and Deezer stepping back from an IPO. To have Spotify get to market, and be met with confidence – and a stable price – can only be a good thing for the wider music ecosystem.” – Chris Carey, Media Insight Consulting
While not confirmed, we hear rumours that FastForward is already planning another event – same time, same place next year.