If you live in Miami, music is all around you. Not only is this city home to world-renowned electronic music festivals, including this week’s much anticipated Winter Music Conference (WMC) but it’s also a home for recording artists, and a hub for major record labels like BMG and Universal Music Latin Entertainment.
On the cusp of the WMC, MIA Music Summit had its first event, starting with a music hackathon at The LAB Miami during the weekend—wrapping it up with a day of panel discussions at The New World Symphony. The aim of the event was to bringing together music experts, startups and investors to discuss the intersection of music and technology. Topics on the agenda included big data, what’s next for music streaming platforms, the future of record labels and more.
“What we’re trying to create with this event is a collision between this very vibrant technology community that is developing here and the traditional music sector we already have in this city,” explains Demian Bellumio, COO of Miami-based Senzari and the man behind MIA Music Summit.
Events like MIA Music Summit should happen more often. They connect established industries to Miami’s budding entrepreneurial community. This connection creates opportunities for the exchange of ideas, thus helping solidifying a tech ecosystem full of potential but in need of nurturing and guidance from those with the know-how. The model for connecting successful established corporations with early-stage startups is best showcased by events like Miami HealthTech Showcase 2013. Such events create conversations from what Miami needs to what Miami has to offer.
“There is atmosphere right now with the music industry where the business model is changing. More startups are able to monetize and there is opportunity for tech companies to bring music to people. I think there is a huge opportunity for any community that embraces both technology and music in a meaningful way,” says Neil Crilly from The Recording Academy (better known as the Grammys) during a panel about creating the next music innovation hub.
There has been a significant discussion within the entertainment industry on how to respond to the increase of on-demand streaming platforms like Netflix and Spotify. With physical music on the decline (when was the last time you bought a CD?), and artists relying on creating and distributing their own content, rather than relying on music labels (think Beyonce’s latest album release stunt and how Justin Bieber was discovered on YouTube), technology is revolutionizing how people interact with music. Successful startups like Pandora and SoundCloud have evidenced this shift most notably and are paving the way for startups focused on music.
Miami’s entrepreneurial community should be part of the change, given the fact that it attracts both music and entrepreneurs looking to do business in Latin America.