The second day of the Great Escape, the U.K. music conference and festival in Brighton, focused on the importance of digital marketing and digital services for the music industry.
A keynote conversation with Universal Music International’s VP of digital, Francis Keeling, explored the likely impact of the anti-piracy measures in the U.K.’s Digital Economy Act.
Keeling conceded that piracy cannot be completely stamped out, but he believes it can be made socially unacceptable “and that has to be our ambition around the world.”
The discussion also offered a predictive look at how the relationship between the music business and ISPs may evolve.
A panel on digital marketing for artists built on this, talking of the importance of “organic” feedback through portals such as YouTube and SoundCloud. The essence of what a “fan” is in the modern music world was also discussed, with PIAS’s digital marketing account manager Caitlin Lock commenting on the many levels on which music lovers can now show their support of an act. “The Internet has diluted what a fan is,” she said.
Another panel offered digital start-ups the opportunity to showcase their new technologies and get feedback from representatives at Music Glue, Music Ally, Rjdj and Musicmetric, amongst others.
On the live front, a Q&A with Windish Agency founder, Tom Windish, looked at ways of exposing new artists to potential fans, using his own example of playing gigs in unconventional venues like museums and company parties. On the oft-discussed topic of ticket price, he warned, “You need to be very careful about the ticket price, you go too high and you alienate a particular part of your audience.”
The second Q&A of the day featured Australian artist Nick Littlemore, whose resume includes the million-selling Empire of the Sun and award-winning dance act PNAU. He said of his somewhat hasty departure from Empire of the Sun, “Writing is all about having a muse – active or a resident of something in your past. I felt it was time to move on and find a new muse.”
He also hinted at the possible release of a collaboration album with Darren Emerson from dance outfit Underworld and talked of a new assignment with a Michael Jackson-themed Vegas show.
The Great Escape is held May 13 to 15 in the south coast town of Brighton, U.K. During the three days, more than 350 bands play in venues around Brighton and this year organizers report delegate registration is over 3,000.