Bitspiration Festival: Music vs. New Technologies

Article published on Aug. 5, 2014
Article published on Aug. 5, 2014

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

Every year the impact of new technologies on the music market takes on a new dimension. Today's artist has at their disposal more and more methods to promote their creativity on the web. But does it really guarantee success? The challenges that the current music business face in the age of digital revolution were being discussed at the third edition of the Festival Bitspiration.

Innovative conference

Bitspiration Festival is one of the most important events in Poland in the field of new technologies, startups and the future development of the Internet. What distinguishes this conference from the other similar events in the IT industry is an innovative formula. Through a variety of creative panel discussions conducted in English, investors, startups founders and tech industry renowned experts from Poland and overseas have unlimited possibility for information exchange and mutual inspiration. In the previous years, the speakers at the Bitspiration were, among others, co-founder of YouTube - Jawed Karim and Developer Advocate at Google Don Dodge.

The third edition of the festival recommended by TechCrunch was held on 12-13 June in Krakow in the inspiring spaces of the recently abandoned Forum Hotel. This two-day long event gathered nearly 400 participants. There were a total number of 62 speakers during the 46 presentations. This year the festival program was enriched with a block of lectures and discussions on the relations between music business and technology industry. While in the West such conferences on the cooperation between these two sectors have been organized for a long time (SXSW in Austin, Eurosonic in Groningen, The Great Escape in Brighton), in Poland it is still quite new. Bitspiration organizers had decided to change the Festival formula through invitations to a joint discussion of music producers, managers, artists who have managed to take advantage of new technologies to succeed, and agents of e-business, investors and representatives of platforms, services that contribute to the promotion of artistic activity on the Internet (Dean Johnson, Senior Vice President of Creative Innovation at Brandwidth Group  and Andreea Magdalina, Head of Community at Mixcloud). 

And the beat goes on (line)

During the panel "Intro to the Music Industry And It's Digital Facelift" Piotr Kabaj, director of Warner Music Poland and president of Warner Music Eastern Europe, had a presentation that concerned functional dependences in the Polish and global music market. Kabaj pointed out the trends in the current music streaming revolution and singled out the most influential services in this field.

Another phenomenon that was being extensively discussed by the invited guests was crowdfunding for musical projects. Among others speakers Misia Furtak, lead singer and bassist of the international team Tres.B shared with the audience her experience with this method of financing of musical projects. Alternative- rock trio Tres B. is the most famous example of the crowdfunding success used in the music industry in Poland. The Band acquired part of the needed funds for recording their newest album "40 Winks of Courage" through contributions by Internet users by preselling of a limited edition packages. During her presentation Furtak drew attention to the advantages of crowdfunding in terms of building relationships with fans.

Establishment and development of community in the age of social media plays a key role in promoting an artist online. While distribution of music on the web opens up new opportunities for artists, it also raises many controversies. An example is possible insufficient copyright protection for music that is massively distributed through P2P services.

Today's music world must strengthen its cooperation with the tech world to face all the challenges that the digital revolution set. Such inspiring international events such as the Bitspiration conference will surely contribute to this goal. We look forward to the next edition!