(Photo: Glenn Peoples)
Music publishing isn't the most active segment of SXSW Interactive, but Justin Kalifowitz, President of Downtown Music Publishing and Co-founder of publishing royalty collection startup Songtrust, was in learning mode before the music conference got started. At Progress Coffee, opposite I-35 from downtown Austin, Billboard.biz chatted with Kalifowitz about the value of attending Interactive and where he got his best meal in Austin.
Billboard.biz: You're a publisher at SXSW Interactive where music publishing is maybe not the business of choice. So what are you getting done here?
Justin Kalifowitz: I'm looking at what's new and what's new and what's going on. Catching up with old friends. Looking at different opportunities for Downtown's broader businesses, including Songtrust, which is equally a part of what's going on at Interactive as Music.
What is interesting right now? What are you looking forward to seeing?
I'm looking forward to seeing the innovations that are occurring that are tangential to music. There are a lot of different platforms being created that are looking to engage with music. If you look at businesses like SoundCloud, for example, that have made it so easy for people to share what they're creating. They're here in force at Interactive, engaging with different brands. It's interesting to see the cross-section of those technologies with existing platforms.
Any bands you're looking forward to seeing?
On the Downtown side we have a slate of new artists, and not to plug but we have a lot of artists putting out new music this year. This week will actually be the first time I'm seeing any of it live. From Santigold to Miike Snow to Neon Trees, we have a lot of acts with new music coming out.
Where do you eat in Austin?
I'm going to have to recommend the Elizabeth Street Café, where I had dinner last night. It's a French-Vietnamese place just south of the lake on South 1st Street. It's a little bit off the beaten path and not your typical ribs and tacos recommendation that everyone else will give.