Backbeat: Billboard FutureSound With Songkick, Topspin, Myxer, Gracenote and More
Backbeat: Billboard FutureSound With Songkick, Topspin, Myxer, Gracenote and More

Billboard's inaugural FutureSound Conference, held in San Francisco late last week, was a complete success by any measure -- none other than Island Def Jam SVP, Digital Strategy & New Business Jon Vanhala tweeted on Saturday "#Futuresound was perhaps the best conference I've been at in ages. Kudos [co-organizer] @AntonyNBruno" and Music Mastermind's Lexi Newman called it a "fantastic experience and informative conference."

We've already published a lot of content - including video Q&A interviews - regarding who was there and what was said: You'll find plenty of the former in the candid photographs below as well as here and here - and you'll find plenty of the latter in our complete FutureSound Conference coverage right here.

Yet naturally not all of the conversation made it into our articles and video, and a lot of what we heard and took part in involved three paradigms of music consumption - iTunes, Facebook Music, the newly released Google Music and of course Spotify.

Relating to the iTunes experience, startup Rexly made a splash with their presentation during the Visionary Showcase. Phil McCarty of said "the next major innovation will be in music discovery and on that note, I really enjoyed the Rexly presentation." In an interview, Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin, said, "I really loved the social discovery ideas put forth in the Rexly presentation." During one presentation on Friday, Antony Bruno asked four panelists about the last app they downloaded and two of the four mentioned Rexly. Other relatively new companies that got thumbs-ups included and SoundTracking - of the former, SoundTracking founder Steve Jang said, "I love - it's fun, like a flash mob" Jack DeYoung SVP of music strategy at grooveshark: " is an amazing concept." Ticketfly CEO Andrew Dreskin said his "favorite new app is SoundTracking."

Check Out All of Our Billboard FutureSound Conference Coverage

We asked attendees their impressions of the new Google Music service, launched last Wednesday, and the Artist Hub, which allows artists to upload their music for sale and set their own price. Jack DeYoung of Grooveshark said: "Google Music is great - cuts out the middle man (referring to artist hub)." Kate Scanlon of Concord said that she was "excited" about the service "because I have a Droid, but I'm scared that it will go the way of Google's Buzz product." And AAron Master of SoundHound said that it was "great to see that Google finally has a positive relationship with content."

As for Spotify, the majority of conversations were around the tension between exposure (people reaching new music from Spotify without paying, or without buying the digital download) and cannibalization (people who would have bought digital or physical product, but now use Spotify instead). Not surprisingly, opinions varied widely, with some people saying Spotify is terrible for the industry because of cannibalization, while others think it's a savior for the industry in terms of giving exposure to new artists and converting pirates. It certainly provided one of the livelier conversation topics at a conference full of them.

There's a big batch of photos from the conference below. It was an incredible two days - thanks to everyone who participated and attended. We'll see you next year!

Left to right: Jason Asbahr of, Jonathan Blaufarb of Counset LLP, Tom Scharfeld, G. Marq Roswell of TunesMap and Vivek Sridharan of Counsel LLP (Photo: Arnold Turner/A. Turner Archives)
L-R: Cecilia Harvey of Warner/Chappell Music, Evan Guerin of Buongiorno, Kevon Glickman of Offit Kurman and Jenny Swiatowy of Warner/Chappell
L-R: Hannah Wagner (aka Hannah Minx) of Hyperbot, Shefali Kumar Friesen of Emotitones, Laxmi Vijaysankar of Serling, Rooks, Ferrara, McKoy & Worob, LLP and Christine McGlone of Gracenote Entertainment attend day 2 of the 2011 Billboard FutureSound Conference on November 18, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo: Arnold Turner/A. Turner Archives)
L-R: Jason Ludy and Tom Severson of Myxer and Kaitlin Hayes of Bright Antenna (Photo: Arnold Turner/A. Turner Archives)
L-R: Ken Underwood of Stereofame with Island Def Jam SVP of Digital Strategy & New Business John Vanhala (Photo: Arnold Turner/A. Turner Archives)
L-R: Island Def Jam's John Vanhala with Echo Nest CEO Jim Lucchese (Photo: Arnold Turner/A. Turner Archives)
Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde gets a surprise birthday celebration from staffers including (L-R) Tommy Page, Lisa Ryan Howard, Matt Campbell, Elizabeth Hurst and Kim Rose (Photo: Arnold Turner/A. Turner Archives)
L-R: Gracenote's Ty Roberts, NMPA's David Israelite and PeerMusic's Ralph Peer (Photo: Arnold Turner/A. Turner Archives)
L-R: Reverbnation COO Jed Carlson, Myxer Founder Myk Willis and Songkick's Juuso Vermasheina enjoy a laugh (Photo: Arnold Turner/A. Turner Archives)
L-R: Topspin's Ian Rogers with Kobalt Music Group CEO Willard Ahdritz (Photo: Arnold Turner/A. Turner Archives)