-- Interactive and Music Need to Overlap. Music industry people would benefit from spending time at SXSW during the conference’s interactive portion – and vice versa. There are stark differences between the two conferences. At the interactive conference, people look forward and consider what can be. But that conference was filled with young entrepreneurs who unfortunately have few incentives to create an app or service that will change the music industry. There are ample opportunities to launch a startup in fields that do not require the headaches of dealing with music’s tangled web of legal rights.

At the music conference, people tended to look backward and remember what used to be. To them, licensing content to digital service providers is a necessary process, no matter how laborious and costly. The common ground was both sides' removal from middle America. Mobile app Foursquare was to Interactive what Neon Indian was to music: greatly hyped but nearly irrelevant to those outside their respective industries.

-- Who Was That Band? Neither improvements in smartphone nor point-of-sale display technologies have helped SXSW attendees address two major needs: finding out what band is on stage at any given time, and remembering what bands were seen over the course of the festival. At the very least, bands should be encouraged to identify themselves while on stage. At best, digital technologies could be used to help people in the audience identify a band and stay in contact well after SXSW has ended. Granted, SXSW is a business-oriented festival. Bands tend to arrive seeking agents and label deals. But don’t forget about the need to connect with fans.

-- No Clear Evidence of Game-Changing Models. The ailing record industry is always looking for a savior. After the 2010 SXSW, the search continues. Streaming services made a big splash this year – Spotify’s Daniel Ek was a keynote speaker and MOG unveiled its new iPhone and Android apps. While the convergence of smartphones and music streaming apps is cause for guarded excitement, these music services aren’t yet in a position to achieve the type of “industry savior” burden frequently placed on them. Put simply, Spotify and MOG are great services that have a long way to go. Other potential game-changers discussed at SXSW, such as direct-to-fan tools and collective licensing, are also full of promise but not yet saviors.